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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Cahokia's Avatar

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    Jun 2010

    Default Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    This is another one of those big, ambitious projects seeking to replace standard 3.5E.

    Like others, it's an attempt to replicate the feel of the heroic lore that culture is founded upon, to allow the player to be anything from Gilgamesh to Doc Holliday, from Merlin to Samson. But if this was my aim, why would I bother posting this? Many others more skilled than I have revised or are currently revising the very same system (Fax Celestis' d20r, for instance--an amazing piece of work).

    Perhaps unlike others, the system is built with a particular homebrew world in mind, of my own devising. This world is home not merely to gods (and actually, there aren't any gods), but to religions. Its history and geopolitics have been written keeping real-world politics in mind, to give it a truth and a life.

    My system owes much to the homebrewers who came before me, and uses existing homebrew as canonical material, but is very much its own animal, I believe. I'll start by posting the 11 base classes, and continue from there.

    The 7 seven levels now each signify a distinct level of ability.
    Spoiler
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    1st level: Apprentice-level skill, and the level most people below the age of 18 and nearly all under 16 are.

    2nd level: A professional level of skill--in other words, someone who is 2nd level is good enough at what they do to make a living off of it. As a college student, I would postulate that I am at 2nd level.

    3rd level: Beyond simply being able to earn a living, a 3rd level character is noticeably good at what they do. I would suggest that most campaigns begin at this level, or at least campaigns in which the PCs are given a task for their expertise. 3rd level characters are likely the best at what they do in a local area.

    4th level: 4th level characters have left the path of good for the path of excellence, and represent people who are likely the best in a larger area (such as their nation).

    5th level: 5th level characters are at the pinnacle of what is in our world natural ability. Hattori Hanzo, Sherlock Holmes, Batman (depending on the interpretation), Odysseus, Einstein, Imhotep, Hiawatha and Leonardo da Vinci are all 5th level. If 4th level characters are the best of their time, then (at least in our world), 5th level characters are the best of all time.

    6th/7th level: As the world of Talamh is one of heroic fantasy, natural ability is not quite the peak of ability itself. 6th level is the first foray into the true stuff of legend. The knights of the round table are arguably 6th level, as is Batman (in some interpretations), Achilles, Dracula, Kutoyis, Beowulf, Roland or Samson. 7th level, on the other hand, is more the domain of Gilgamesh, Cú Chulainn, Väinämöinen, or Hercules.

    In other words, a 1st level doctor is an intern, a 2nd level doctor has just graduated, a 3rd level doctor is probably your primary physician (meaning they've had years of experience), a 4th level doctor is Doctor Cox, a 5th level doctor is Gregory House, and a 6th/7th level doctor is Gregory House with the power to heal diseases by diagnosing them.


    Please read: these are important rules I forgot to write up!

    • At 3rd and 6th level, you can increase one ability score permanently by 2
    • Feats are gained at 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th level (as Pathfinder)
    • There is no advancement above 7th level. Unlike in E7, you do not gain extra feats with experience past 7th level, as experience is awarded as story dictates. Additional awards for advancement are up to DM discretion, but I advise that any rewards that are not tied to the acquisition of objects or property are only given out sparingly, if truly deserved.
    • Prestige classes do not advance manifesting, binding, or initiating, unless otherwise specified.
    • The skill list has been changed as follows: Acrobatics (Dex)1, Appraise (Int), Athletics (Str)2, Autohypnosis (Wis), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Wis), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex)3, Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Int, various skills)4, Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Psicraft (Int), Profession (varies, discuss with DM), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Speak Language (N/A)5, Survival (Wis), Use Psionic Device (Wis).
    • Skill synergies have been removed. Sorry.
    • Maneuvers and stances no longer have prerequisites beyond initiator level.



    __________
    1 Acrobatics serves the function of the Balance, Escape Artist, and Tumble skills.

    2 Athletics serves the function of the Climb, Jump, and Swim skills.

    3 Disable Device also serves the function of Open Lock and Use Rope.

    4 Dungeoneering, Engineering, Geography, History, Local, Nature, Psionics, Religion, Planes.

    5 Each language now simply takes two skill points to learn (like a skill trick). Each character starts with one language known, and having a higher intelligence does not automatically grant additional languages--you must spend the 2 skill points.
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2011-07-31 at 07:48 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Cahokia's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [3.5 Revision]

    Champion
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Maneuvers Known (Readied)|Stances

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    -
    |
    3(3)
    |
    1

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    Signature Strike
    |
    4(3)
    |
    1

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    -
    |
    5(3)
    |
    1

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    Signature Strike
    |
    6(4)
    |
    1

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    Mettle
    |
    7(4)
    |
    2

    6th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    Signature Strike
    |
    8(4)
    |
    2

    7th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    Dynamic Style
    |
    9(5)
    |
    2
    [/table]

    HD: d10
    Skills: 4 + INT1
    Proficiencies: All simple and martial weapons, light and medium armor, all shields (excepting tower shields)

    Maneuvers (Ex): A champion starts knowing three martial maneuvers and one stance. The disciplines available to you are Black Rain2, Diamond Mind, Devoted Spirit, Iron Heart, Steel Mountain, Stone Dragon, Tiger Claw, Twin Spirit, and White Raven. Once you know a maneuver, you must ready it before you can use it. You gain additional maneuvers and stances known/readied at higher levels, as indicated on the table. At 3rd level and every odd-numbered champion level thereafter, you can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one you already know. You can swap only a single given maneuver at any given level. You ready maneuvers by exercising for 5 minutes, and those chosen remain readied until you decide to exercise and change them again. You can recover all expended maneuvers with full-round action, steeling your mind again for the ongoing battle. Maneuver DCs are determined by the champion’s Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma bonus (whichever is higher). A champion’s initiator level is equal to their Champion level + ½ other levels (rounded down). This means that a Fighter 4/Champion 2 counts as a 4th level initiator, but with the maneuvers and stances known of a 2nd level Champion, and with only one Signature Strike.

    Signature Strike (Ex): A champion's personal flair permeates all that they do, and as they learn to favor particular techniques they change them to better suit their style. At 2nd, 4th, and 6th level, a Champion can modify one strike (which must be a maneuver known) of their choice. The bonuses do not stack (unless otherwise specified), but a single strike can be modified at 2nd, 4th and 6th level. Upon reaching 2nd, 4th, and 6th level, a champion can change which strikes are altered by this ability, but cannot rechoose signature strikes at any other point. The abilities available are as follows:

    • Strike deals bonus damage equal to CHA bonus. Taking this ability a second time for the same maneuver increases the damage to CHA bonus x2.
    • Strike ignores penalties for TWF
    • Strike ignores DR when Power Attacking for full. Taking this ability a second time for the same maneuver lets it ignore DR.
    • Strike gains a +2 bonus to DC when in a stance from another school.
    • Strike grants 20% concealment if the user is wielding a shield.
    • Strike grants a bonus to special maneuvers equal to CHA bonus the following round if wielding a only a one-handed weapon.
    • Strike grants a bonus to saves equal to CHA bonus the following round if the user is wielding a shield.
    • Strike deals a different kind of damage (slashing, piercing, bludgeoning, fire, cold, electricity, acid or sonic). The new type cannot be changed after the initial choice.
    • Strike lowers the target's saves by CHA bonus the following round.
    • Strike can be recovered as a standard action.


    Mettle (Ex): If a 5th level or higher champion succeeds on a Fort or Will saving throw that would normally reduce (rather than negate) an effect, it instead takes no effect.

    Dynamic Style (Ex): A 7th level Champion has honed their experience into a diamond of perfection, and gain a fluency of action that borders on the supernatural. 1/encounter, when executing a full attack, a Champion may use one of the attacks to initiate a strike, though the use of the strike must be declared prior to rolling for attack. In addition, a 7th level Champion may activate and gain the benefits of two stances at once.


    Fighter
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Bonus Feat, Weapon Aptitude

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Bonus Feat

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Bonus Feat

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Masterful Strike, Bonus Feat

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Bonus Feat

    6th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Bonus Feat

    7th|
    +7/+7
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Bonus Feat, Master of Combat
    [/table]

    HD: d12
    Skills: 6 + INT
    Proficiencies: All simple and martial weapons, all shields, light, medium, and heavy armor. Can exchange heavy armor proficiency or martial weapon proficiency for one exotic weapon proficiency.

    Bonus Feat: At each level, a fighter may take one feat for which he or she qualifies as a bonus feat.3

    Weapon Aptitude (Ex): As the Warblade ability.

    Masterful Strike (Ex) 4: Starting at 4th level, any time the fighter's attack roll exceeds his target's AC, he deals bonus damage on the attack equal to the amount he exceeded it by. The bonus damage cannot be greater than the fighter's character level. This ability does not function with spells, or against creatures immune to critical hits.

    Master of Combat (Ex): At 7th level, a Fighter can not only change around levels of proficiency with weapons, but can change his or her very style of fighting to suit the situation. By practicing for a full hour, a Fighter can swap up to 3 bonus feats gained from this class with any other three feats for 24 hours or until the Fighter practices again to switch the feats back. In addition, the Fighter's iterative attacks do not suffer a penalty. This ability is subject to DM discretion--a Fighter could not use this feat to pick up Wild Talent, Psionic Weapon and Psionic Meditation if they previously displayed no psionic power, for example.


    Psychic Warrior
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|PP/day|Powers Known|Max Level

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Psionic Body|
    2
    |
    1
    |
    1st

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Renewal|
    3
    |
    2
    |
    1st

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Psionic Meditation|
    5
    |
    3
    |
    1st

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Subversive Strike|
    8
    |
    4
    |
    2nd

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Rapid Focus|
    12
    |
    5
    |
    2nd

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Latent Power|
    18
    |
    6
    |
    2nd

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Twin Focus|
    25
    |
    7
    |
    3rd
    [/table]

    HD: d8
    Skills: 4 + INT
    Proficiencies: All simple weapons, light and medium armor, and 1 martial weapon of your choice

    Manifesting: A psychic warrior’s ability to manifest powers is limited by the power points she has available. She begins play with 1 power known, and learns 1 additional power each level. She selects powers from the psychic warrior power list. Power DCs are determined by the psychic warrior’s Wisdom, Intelligence, or Charisma bonus (whichever is highest). A Psychic Warrior’s manifester level (ML) is equal to their Psychic Warrior level + ½ other levels (rounded down). This means that a Monk 4/Psychic Warrior 2 would have a ML of 4, allowing them to learn and use 2nd level powers, but with the powers known and class features of a 2nd level Psychic Warrior.

    Psionic Body: At 1st level, a Psychic Warrior gains Psionic Body as a bonus feat.

    Renewal (Su): Starting at 2nd level, a psychic warrior regenerates a number of power points per hour equal to ½ ML (rounded up).

    Psionic Meditation: At 3rd level, a Psychic Warrior gains Psionic Meditation as a bonus feat.

    Subversive Strike: Starting at 4th level, a psychic warrior lowers an enemy’s Power Resistance by 2 for one minute (or until death, whichever comes first) with each successful melee attack. A psychic warrior can only use Subversive Strike while psionically focused.

    Rapid Focus (Ex): At 5th level, a Psychic Warrior can become psionically focused as a swift action.

    Latent Power (Ex): At 6th level, a Psychic Warrior automatically Extends and Maximizes all powers with a Personal Range while psionically focused.

    Twin Focus (Su): At 7th level, a psychic warrior can release their psionic focus to activate two effects that rely on the mechanic to function. For example, a 7th level psychic warrior could use Twin Focus to use Greater Psionic Weapon and Deep Impact on the same attack, or to Quicken a power and activate a Wounding Attack (assuming they have the feats to allow them to do so).

    __________
    1 Classes are no longer confined to particular skill lists, and instead may pick and choose skills at player discretion. Magic items are fairly uncommon, making UMD (or rather UPD, as arcane and divine are ditched in favor of spiritual/psionic), a much more narrowly useful skill. Rich's Diplomacy is used in lieu of the standard diplomacy skill.

    2 One small modification has been made to Black Rain: Black Tempest now allows you to reload firearms as a free action (but not an immediate one--it must be your turn) for the duration of the encounter. It needed the boost, in my opinion.

    3 Yes, this means a Fighter can even take Metapsionic feats if they have a reason to. Pounce has become a 6th level Fighter-exclusive feat, Rage is now a feat, and the Knight's Test of Mettle is now a feat as well (as have the Zhentarim's fighter abilities, a couple of the Samurai's abilities, and quite a few more). Other feats have been removed, and many feats, such as the Weapon Focus line, have been tweaked.

    4 Taken from Baron Corm's Build-a-Char!
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-11-16 at 05:41 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Cahokia's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [3.5 Revision]

    Bard
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Performance Abilities

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Bardic Knack, Bardic Knowledge, Patron Muse|
    1

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Floating Feat|
    2

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Dual Intent 1/encounter|
    3

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Floating Feat|
    4

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Dual Intent 2/encounter|
    5

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Floating Feat|
    6

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Magnificence, Dual Intent 3/encounter|
    7
    [/table]

    HD: d8
    Skills: 8 + INT
    Proficiencies: Light armor, all simple weapons, longsword, longbow, pistol (martial)1, rapier, sap, shortsword, shortbow, and whip.

    Bardic Knack: When making any skill check, you can use ½ your bard level (rounded up) in place of the number of ranks you have in that skill (even if that number is 0). You can’t take 10 on checks when you use bardic knack (to take 10 you have to use your actual ranks). If the skill doesn’t allow untrained checks, you must have at least 1 actual rank to attempt the check.

    Bardic Knowledge: As standard.

    Patron Muse: The bard has a number of ranks in a single Perform skill (chosen permanently at 1st level) equal to his or her bard level +3.

    Performance: A bard is beyond a mere entertainer; they inspire bravery in their allies and make their enemies tremble before a force of history. A bard learns one special performance at 1st level and another at each level thereafter. It takes a standard action to initiate a performance, and unless otherwise noted, the effects last 5 rounds. The performances are as follows:
    Spoiler
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    • Inspire Courage: Grants you and allies in range a morale bonus to attack equal to ½ your Bard level (rounded up).
    • Inspire Passion: Grants you and allies in range a morale bonus to damage equal to your Bard level.
    • Inspire Vigilance: Grants you and allies in range a morale bonus to AC equal to ½ your Bard level (rounded up).
    • Inspire Dread: Enemies in range must make a Will save (DC 10 + CHA + Bard level) or be shaken for the rest of the encounter.
    • Inspire Vigor: Grants you and allies in range a number of temporary HP equal to 2x your Bard level.
    • Inspired Fortitude: Grants you and allies a morale bonus on Fortitude saves equal to your Bard level.
    • Inspired Willpower: Grants you and allies a morale bonus on Willpower saves equal to your Bard level.
    • Inspired Reflexes: Grants you and allies a morale bonus on Reflex saves equal to your Bard level.
    • Inspired Tactics: Grants one ally in range 1 extra move action for 1 round.
    • Fascinate: As standard.
    • Countersong: As standard.
    • Muse’s Favor: Grants fast healing 2 to you and all allies in range. Bard 4 minimum
    • Muse’s Mysticism: Grants you and allies in range a morale bonus to Power DCs equal to ½ your Bard level (rounded down). Bard 4 minimum
    • Inspirational Augmentation: Grants one ally a number of temporary power points equal to ½ your Bard level (rounded down). These power points can only be used to augment a power or to add metapsionics to the power (in which case neither the Bard nor the subject needs not be psionically focused, and because the subject is not spending the power points themselves, these power points do not count toward the ML limit). Bard 4 minimum
    • Muse’s Alacrity: Grants one ally in range 1 extra standard action for 1 round. Bard 4 minimum
    • Stunning Performance: One enemy in range must make a Will save (DC 10 + CHA + level) or be stunned for 1 round. Bard 4 minimum
    • Muse’s Grace: Select one spell, effect, or other condition with a duration of 1 or more rounds currently affecting you or an ally. That effect ends immediately. Like Iron Heart Surge, DM discretion keeps this ability from blotting out the sun. Bard 4 minimum
    • Suggestion: Target must make a Will save (DC 10 + CHA + Bard level) or be affected as if under the effect of a magical suggestion. If the target that has already been under the effects of a Fascinate performance (and remains undistracted by nearby combat or other dangers), double your Charisma bonus to the DC. Bard 4 minimum


    Floating Feat: At 2nd, 4th, and 6th level, a bard gets a bonus feat, for which he must meet the prerequisites to take. Unlike normal bonus feats, however, the bard’s floating feats can be reselected at the beginning of each day.

    Dual Intent (Ex): At 3rd level, a bard can use two performance effects with a single performance 1/encounter. This number increases to 2/encounter at 5th and 3/encounter at 7th.

    Magnificence (Ex): A 7th level bard is infused with the power of the narrative itself, and it bends to suit his will. As an immediate action, a 7th level bard can force friend or foe to reroll their last roll after seeing the results of the roll a number of times per day equal to CHA mod. The bard can add a bonus or penalty to the roll equal to CHA mod.


    Binder
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Max Vestige Level

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Soul Binding (1 vestige)|
    1st

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Boon (1st), DR 1/obsidian, Soul Sickness|
    1st

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Bonus Feat, DR 2/obsidian|
    2nd

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Boon (2nd), Hide Sign, DR 3/obsidian|
    2nd

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bonus Feat, DR 4/obsidian|
    3rd

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Boon (3rd), DR 5/obsidian|
    3rd

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Soul Binding (2 vestiges), Aberrant Enlightenment, DR 6/obsidian|
    4th
    [/table]

    HD: d8
    Skills: 6 + INT
    Proficiencies: All simple weapons, light and medium armor, 1 martial weapon.

    Soul Binding (Su): A binder can bind ancient spirits known as vestiges2 into their bodies, using a fraction of the spirit’s power for themselves. At 1st level, a binder can contain 1 vestige at a time. You cannot summon a vestige of a higher level than your Max Vestige Level (indicated on the table above). To contact a vestige, you must draw its seal visibly on a surface (generally the ground), making the image at least 5 feet across. Drawing the seal requires the ability to mark a surface and 1 minute of concentration and the act provokes attacks of opportunity. A seal not used within 1 minute of drawing loses its potency, and a new seal must be drawn to contact the vestige. Most vestiges have other requirements for drawing upon them, as noted in their descriptions. Once the seal is drawn, you must perform a ritual requiring a full-round action to summon the corresponding vestige. During this time, you must touch the seal and call out to the vestige using its name and title. The ritual fails if you cannot be heard. Otherwise, a manifestation of the vestige appears in the seal as soon as you finish the ritual. The image is merely an illusion, though it certainly feels real, and it cannot harm or be harmed by any creature. If you fail to address it within 1 round, the vestige disappears and a new pact must be made. The creature speaks in whatever language you used to call it. To make a pact with the summoned vestige, you must make a binding check (1d20 + level). This process requires 1 minute, but you can choose to make a rushed binding check as a full-round action at a -10 penalty. The DC for this check varies, and is listed in each vestige’s description. You must make the pact without aid from others. If the check fails, you must follow the vestige’s influence and show its sign. Whether or not the check succeeds or fails, you gain the powers of the vestige for 24 hours. During that time, you cannot rid yourself of the vestige, save with the Expel Vestige feat.

    A binder’s effective binder level (EBL) is equal to their binder level + ½ non-binder levels (rounded down). This means that a 4th level Fighter/1st level Binder would be able to bind 2nd level vestiges, but would not benefit from Boons, would not receive DR/obsidian or Soul Sickness, and would not receive Bonus Feats until they reached the appropriate Binder level.

    Boon (Su): At 2nd level, a binder gains one boon from the following list whenever she makes a good pact. At 4th level, the binder receives 2 boons, and at 6th level, the binder receives 3. One boon can be taken multiple times, and the effects stack. The binder can reconfigure which boons to take each time she makes a good pact with a vestige. Once a binder gains access to 2 vestiges, she cannot benefit from Boon twice—only one of the vestiges grants her Boons.

    Spoiler
    Show
    • +1 to attack
    • +5 HP
    • Energy resistance 5 (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic)
    • +1 insight bonus on saving throws
    • +1 to damage
    • +1 to AC


    Soul Sickness: The spirits’ vulnerability to obsidian rubs off on the binder from being in such close contact with them. Not only does obsidian slip past the binder’s resistance (also granted from constant contact with the spirits), but starting at 2nd level, when a binder takes damage from an obsidian weapon, they are sickened for 1d4 rounds.

    Bonus Feat: At 3rd and 5th level, the Binder receives a bonus feat for which they must meet the prerequisites. The bonus feat must be a Pact Magic feat.

    Hide Sign (Su): At 4th level, if you have made a good pact, you can hide the sign of the vestige(s) bound to you.

    Aberrant Enlightenment (Su): By 7th level, a Binder's contact with the vestigial spirits have allowed them to ascend to a higher level of being, similar to a monk's ascension but decidedly...different. The binder's type changes permanently to Aberration, and as such the 7th level binder is not subject to humanoid-only effects. The binder becomes immune to humanoid diseases, only subject now to the rare illness that takes hold of the aberrant.


    Druid
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Shapeshift (1st form), Wild Empathy

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Additional Aspect, Woodland Stride

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Shapeshift (2nd form), Trackless Step

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Additional Aspect, Wild Grace

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Shapeshift (3rd form), Plant Speech

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Additional Aspect

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Shapeshift (4th form), One with Nature
    [/table]

    HD: d8
    Skills: 6 + INT
    Proficiencies: Club, dagger, dart, quarterstaff, scimitar, sickle, shortspear, sling, spear, all natural weapons, light armor.

    Shapeshift (Su):3 At 1st level, a druid gains the ability to take on the form of an animal. You can reassign your ability scores (you might switch an 18 from Wisdom into Strength, for example), but once the choice is made, it cannot be re-made, though when you gain access to new forms, you can reconfigure the scores for the new form (though, like the ones prior, they cannot be changed once the decision is made). Your wielded weapon(s) become natural attacks which effectively function the same (including iterative attacks, etc), but the names are changed to claw, bite, tentacle, slam, or whatever else is appropriate. The weapon must share at least one damage type with the natural attack. Any worn armor becomes natural armor and non-magical clothing is melded into your new form. Other worn or carried items are also melded into your new form and rendered unusable, unless your new form can wear, wield, or carry the item. You receive low-light vision and your type changes to Magical Beast. You also receive a +2 bonus to an ability score of your choice at 3rd, 5th, and 7th level (though this bonus cannot be reconfigured once the choice is made). At 2nd level, you can choose one aspect from the list below, and receive an additional aspect at 4th and 6th level. All forms have the same number of aspects, though you can select different aspect for each form. Like ability scores, though, the choice is set in stone, and aspects cannot be changed once selected. While in animal form, a druid is unable to linguistically communicate with humanoids, as their vocal chords have changed. It is a full-round action to change shape, and you must return to human form before switching to another animal form. Aspects are as follows:

    Spoiler
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    • A flight speed equal to your base land speed with Average maneuverability. Taking this aspect twice doubles your base flight speed and gives you Good maneuverability.
    • One additional natural attack, dealing 1d6 damage with a 5' range and a critical range of 20 at Medium size. This ability can be taken multiple times
    • A burrow speed equal to half your base land speed. Taking this aspect twice doubles your base burrow speed and grants you the Earth Glide special quality.
    • A swim speed equal to your base land speed and the Amphibious special quality.
    • A climb speed as the spell spider climb.
    • The Trip special quality. You gain no bonus to your check modifier.
    • The Improved Grab special quality. Taking this aspect twice grants the Constrict special quality, dealing damage equal to one of your attacks.
    • The Pounce special quality.
    • The Rake special quality. For every two attacks that you successfully hit with during a round, not counting rake attacks, you automatically hit with another attack.
    • An injury poison delivered by one of your natural attacks. The primary damage is 1d6 ability damage to the ability score of your choice, and the secondary damage is the same amount of ability damage, which may be applied to the same ability score or a different one. The save DC is Constitution-based. Taking this aspect more than once allows additional attacks to apply your poison.
    • One of your natural attacks becomes ranged, by throwing spines or similar. It receives a range of 30 feet, which can by doubled or halved if you become larger or smaller. Taking this aspect more than once can make more of your natural attacks ranged.
    • One of your natural attacks doubles its reach. Taking this ability again applies the doubled reach to another natural attack, but cannot triple or quadruple a single attack's reach.
    • The Trample special quality, dealing damage equal to (your natural attack damage + your Strength modifier) x 1.5. The save DC is Strength-based.
    • The Scent special quality and blindsense 30 feet.
    • Darkvision. Taking this aspect twice grants blindsight 30 feet.
    • Tremorsense 60 feet. Taking this aspect twice increases the range to 1 mile.
    • Fast healing 1/3 levels. Taking this aspect twice increases your fast healing by 1/2 levels instead.
    • Natural armor 1/2 levels. Taking this aspect twice increases your natural armor by 1/1 levels instead.
    • An increase or decrease in size by 1 size category. Taking this aspect twice increases or decreases your size by an additional 1 size category.
    • Type change to elemental, ooze, or plant.


    Wild Empathy (Su): A druid is able to use the Diplomacy skill on animals, as if they were interacting with other humanoids, and gains a +4 bonus to do so.

    Woodland Stride (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a druid may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion function as normal.

    Trackless Step (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a druid leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked, though can choose to leave a trail if desired.

    Wild Grace (Su): Starting at 4th level, a druid gains a bonus equal to its Wisdom or Charisma bonus (whichever is higher, minimum 1) to all saving throws.

    Plant Speech (Su): At 5th level, a druid can use Wild Empathy to commune with plants, and receive a +4 bonus to do so. This ability can be used for a number of purposes at DM discretion, such as spreading word through a forest of an interloper and blocking his path, encouraging plants to grow quickly and bountifully, or asking where a particular plant with healing properties can be found. If a druid does not make an effort to act in the environment's best interest, however, the plants are unlikely to avail themselves.

    One with Nature (Su): At 7th level, a Druid has become so attuned to the natural world that they can use their Wild Empathy to communicate with nature itself, and gets a +4 bonus to the check. They can use this ability to negotiate with nature and bring about things like summoning or dismissing storms, bringing fertility to the earth or taking it away, spreading or curing a disease, or many other things (all at DM discretion). The druid must convince nature itself, of course, that its aims are worth shifting the natural order, and doing so might have terrible consequences. In addition, the druid is permanently under the effects of freedom of movement, in all forms.


    Psion
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|PP/day|Powers Known|Max Level

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Discipline|
    4
    |
    3
    |
    1st

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Renewal|
    6
    |
    5
    |
    1st

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Aptitude|
    9
    |
    7
    |
    2nd

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Discipline Specialty|
    13
    |
    9
    |
    2nd

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bonus Feat|
    18
    |
    11
    |
    3rd

    6th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Superior Aptitude|
    24
    |
    13
    |
    3rd

    7th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Discipline Mastery|
    35
    |
    15
    |
    4th
    [/table]

    HD: d6
    Skills: 4 + INT
    Proficiencies: Club, dagger, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, quarterstaff, shortspear. No armor or shield proficiency.

    Manifesting: A psion’s ability to manifest powers is limited by the power points he has available. He begins play with 3 powers known, and learns 2 additional powers each level. He selects powers from the psion power list. Power DCs are determined by the psion’s Wisdom, Intelligence, or Charisma bonus (whichever is highest). A Psion’s manifester level (ML) is equal to their Psion level + ½ other levels (rounded down). This means that a Swordsage 2/Psion 2 would have a ML of 3, allowing them to learn and use 2nd level powers, but with the PP/day, powers known, and Renewal of a 2nd level Psion.

    Discipline:4 At 1st level, a psion selects one psionic discipline in which to specialize. The psion can take the powers restricted to specialists in that discipline, and cannot take powers from other discipline-restricted power lists.

    Renewal (Su): Starting at 2nd level, a psion regenerates a number of power points per hour equal to ML.

    Aptitude: At 3rd level, a psion gets a +1 bonus to DCs with powers of their discipline (exclusive or no). At 6th level, this bonus increases to +2.

    Discipline Specialty (Su): At 4th level, a psion gains access to one of these six abilities, depending on their discipline:

    Spoiler
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    • Egoist: While psionically focused, an Egoist gains fast healing 1.
    • Kineticist: While psionically focused, a Kineticist deals +1 damage/level with each psychokinesis power they use that deals direct damage to a target.
    • Nomad: While psionically focused, Scorn Earth (as Elocater).
    • Seer: While psionically focused, a seer gains the benefits of Uncanny Dodge and is not flat-footed during the surprise round.
    • Shaper: While psionically focused, a shaper can maintain two astral constructs at once.
    • Telepath: A telepath can expend their psionic focus as an immediate action to force a target to reroll a succeeded Will save a number of times per encounter equal to 1/2 ML (rounded up).


    Bonus Feat: At 5th level, a psion gains one psionic or metapsionic feat for which he meets the prerequisites as a bonus feat.

    Discipline Mastery (Su): At 7th level, a psion gains access to one of these six abilities, depending on their discipline:

    Spoiler
    Show
    • Egoist: While psionically focused, an Egoist is immune to ability damage.
    • Kineticist: While psionically focused, a Kineticist has an automatic +1 bonus to ML when using a psychokinesis power. In addition, all psychokinesis powers are automatically augmented by 1 power point.
    • Nomad: Can expend psionic focus as an immediate action to teleport 10’ 1/encounter.
    • Seer: Can expend psionic focus as a swift action to add INT, WIS, or CHA to AC for one round.
    • Shaper: While psionically focused, a shaper can maintain three astral constructs at once.
    • Telepath: While psionically focused, a Telepath ignores power resistance.



    __________
    1 Firearms are a part of the campaign setting. Their stats are as follows: pistols are simple, light ranged weapons that deal 1d10 damage with a 19-20 crit range, a range of 60', and take a standard action to reload. If you have martial proficiency with the pistol, the reload time is reduced to a move action and the range is increased to 80'. Muskets are simple two-handed ranged weapons that deal 2d8 damage with a 19-20 crit range, a range of 100', and take a full-round action to reload. Martial proficiency with the musket reduces the reload time to a standard action, and increases the range to 120'. Longbows/composite longbows have their range increased to 150'/180' to compensate. Ammunition tends to come in small packets waxed with tallow with a single ball and enough powder for one shot. The packets can be torn open with one's teeth. Firearms of the time are muzzle-loaded, with snaplock or doglock trigger mechanisms. The Gunslinger feat requires Quick Draw, martial firearm proficiency, and character level 3rd, and it allows characters to add their Dexterity bonus to damage done with firearms. Rapid Reload does not function for firearms.

    2 The names and backgrounds of the vestiges have been changed to fit the sitting. Vestiges are spirits that fell from grace around the height of the Spirits' power, and were consigned to the Insensate Plane. Golgothan gnomes worship these spirits not as fallen creatures exiled from creation, but as enlightened ones escaped from it. The renamed vestiges are as follows:
    Spoiler
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    1. Amon = Aggar the Fell Stag (1st), a stag spirit of a forest clearing that was burned and salted in antiquity, shortly after the time of Ur, and was the patron of a number of other stags and humans in the clearing, who were warned out of the clearing by the spirit. Aggar was still worshipped by them, thus held onto existence, but as a vestige. Since then, he has grown dark and hateful. Aggar’s sign is his ram horns, and under his influence he demands that you never part with what is rightfully yours under any circumstance. Aggar appears as a great, black-furred stag with wickedly curving, terribly sharp horns, burnt and smoking patches on his hide, and eyes of flame.

    2. Aym = Raaksaka the Smoldering Vengeance (1st), the tiger spirit that destroyed the clearing. He disputed heavily with Aggar over sovereignty over the clearing, and when Aggar was worshipped by nearly all in it, Raaksaka took revenge by burning down the clearing and killing all within it, and Aggar dragged him into the void. Raaksaka demands that, if you are slighted in any way that doesn’t interfere with your larger goals, you either take back what is yours, or if that is impossible, you take something of equal value away from them. His sign is his seal burnt into your palm. Raaksaka appears as a tiger composed of roaring flame, and his voice booms over the crackling and popping of flame as cinders whirl in all directions.

    3. Leraje = Suudana the Kinslayer (1st), what seems to be some distinctively elven spirit. No one knows exactly what he did or why, though some sources say he attempted to slaughter the entirety of his people. The reason is a subject from which Suudana regularly derives bitter gallows humor but never speaks of in detail. His sign is an arrow that appears lodged somewhere on your body. If the arrow is removed, it deals only 1 point of damage, and the wound does not bleed, but the arrow itself turns to dust and reappears somewhere else on your body. His influence dictates that you don’t leave any enemies alive—if you knock a humanoid opponent out, you must take action to ensure their death as soon as possible. Suudana appears as an elf with an arrow lodged in each eye and one arrow lodged in his mouth. He is painted with dark green war-paint in shifting patterns over his nude body, with a head-dress made of white feathers.

    4. Naberius = Visadhara the Venom-Tongued (1st), a vestige in the form of a hound who constantly tells conflicting stories about his origins, but is one of the oldest known vestiges ever contacted—perhaps the first—and yet the only sources of his story are from his own mouth, and he is known to alternate between telling complete truths and total lies with no noticeable transition in between, so that the veracity of any statement can only be proven true when it is too late to have been any help. Visadhara’s sign is the adoption of his gravelly, hollow voice, and his influence is you fall in love with the sound of your own voice. Whenever you are presented with a pulpit, stage, talking stick, or any other object or situation designed to give a speaker the floor, Visadhara demands you seize the opportunity to speak on any topic. If interrupted, you must either shout down or mock the interrupter. Your speech must last a number of rounds equal to your EBL to satisfy Visadhara. Visadhara appears as a dead black hound with human eyes that are glazed over and rolled back into his head (enough to still see the pupils) and its mouth lolled open, though it still sits as if commanded. Black vapor curls from the hound’s mouth, filling the room with a nauseatingly sweet scent, and it haphazardly wears the holy garments of whatever religion the binder is most familiar with, especially the religion of her childhood. When he speaks, his hoary voice is heard as a whisper in each ear of everyone in the room, and one can feel his hot breath against each ear as he speaks.

    5. Atlach-Nacha = Tantuvaya the Spider God (2nd), a spider spirit who was incensed at the loss of spiderkind to man from the time of Ur. Though Tantuvaya himself had not been present at the time of Ur, the spiders he became the patron of told him of what happened. Believing spiderkind to be a far superior and more elegant predator than man, who must look outside himself to create, Tantuvaya sought to create a new world ruled by spiderkind by weaving the threads of dreams into the webs of a new reality. As the world Tantuvaya built became closer and closer to the Prime Material, it eventually collapsed onto itself under the weight of its own hypocrisy—Tantuvaya had sought for material outside of himself (dreams) to form his world. Tantuvaya was plunged into the void as a result. Tantuvaya’s sign is cobwebs growing at the corners of the binder—crossing your legs results in cobwebs in the crevasse between them, for example, and you leave behind a trail of thin spiderwebs whenever you touch something. His influence demands that you do no harm to spiders and guard yourself closely against hypocrisy (even when it would be exceedingly beneficial). Tantuvaya appears as a gigantic white spider with a golden hourglass on its abdomen, and eight shining eyes the color of abalone. It speaks softly and politely but with an edge of disdain behind every word as it slowly builds a web as the binder speaks to it.

    6. Dahlver-Nar = Akroza the Screaming Madness (2nd), a protector spirit of a small village shortly after the psionic dawn. Two fairly powerful but uncontrolled psions passed through the town and used it as a battleground, murdering each other and cursing the entire town with a terrible madness. The spirit shifted quickly into the madness of the village it reflected, and it is said that with one terrible scream, it ripped the Prime Material through to the void. His story is one of the first vaguely heard-of terrible disturbances to the spirits as a result of psionics, as it is mentioned as being told to Sybil during her travels documented in the Sybilogos. Most do not know of this section, but as literacy continues to spread, more are slowly taking notice of this passage. Akroza’s sign is a dull scream being heard whenever you open your mouth—soft, but just audible enough, and somewhat un-nerving when you’re trying to speak—and his influence makes you constantly distracted. You dislike concentrating for more than one round, and often stare blankly into space or gaze intently at the person or task at hand. Akroza has little physical form—upon being summoned, one hears an ear-splitting scream, and then Acroza simply appears as a tornado-like wind of human teeth in the center of the seal.

    7. Haagenti = Kaathora the Everpresent (2nd), a spirit whose origins remain vague as she speaks in varying pitch, usually too high or too low for humans to hear, it is said that she was assassinated by other spirits for her ability to exist in both Ur and the Prime Material at the same time, and threatened to stretch the Dreaming to its breaking point by standing with a foot in one and a foot in the other. Exiled from both planes, Kaathora found a home in the void. Kaathora’s sign makes you flicker in and out of focus occasionally. Her influence makes it difficult to process new information—the idea of “change” is somewhat alien to you, and the concept that you could leave a place or that someone could change their ways is bizarre. Kaathora appears first as a block of granite, which is sculpted quickly into the form of the binder’s mother (whether or not the binder knows or remembers his mother’s appearance). The sculpture then seems to be trying to turn into flesh, but is interrupted by splitting down the middle. Its right half falls to the ground and shatters while the left remains standing. Kaathora reaches out towards you as she speaks in her broken tonality.

    8. Malphas = Jatayu the Feathered Death (2nd), a vulture spirit who was consuming the souls of the dead and thus barring them from any further existence. It is said that mass of souls gravitated so powerfully towards the other realms they belonged to that Jatayu was pulled apart and his own soul sent into the void, and his feathers rained down from the heavens. Jatayu speaks of never having seen where the souls go after dying, or if they go to different places. Jatayu’s sign is that you leave a trail of vulture feathers behind you when you walk that disappear into nothingness after about a half a minute. His influence makes you terrified of entering graveyards or any other place where great numbers of dead lie. Jatayu appears first as a human man whose flesh rots off of his bones. Then enormous wings break open the figure’s ribcage, and an enormous vulture flies out from the skeleton before perching atop the pile of bones.

    9. Savnok = Kavaka the Forgeborn (2nd), the first blacksmith to forge a suit of metal armor and one of the truly great smiths of all time (Kavaka is a fairly well-known name, though his fate is not well-known). When he forged his perfect armor, he treasured it above all things—it was the most perfect piece of protection ever made, covering nearly all parts of his body, and he began to wear it at all times in life. Upon his death, his obsession with the armor overpowered even his pull towards the next life, and so his soul was invested into the armor. The armor was passed unto his son to fight in a great war, where he fell. The armor passed onto another soldier scouring the bodies on the field, and so the armor was passed over and over, each new conflict imbuing the armor and Kavaka’s soul with greater invulnerability. It became a great instrument of terror until the tyrant who possessed it at the time—or perhaps more accurately, the tyrant it possessed—was overthrown and the armor thrown into Ur-Ignis. Even as the armor melted, Kavaka stayed invulnerable, and slipped into the void. His sign is your teeth turning to iron, and his influence means that you are unwilling to part with any item that grants you protection. Kavaka appears as an enormously tall man—about 9 feet—clad in imposing bronze armor. Whenever he speaks or move, there is a grating noise, and blood leaks slowly from the chinks in his armor.

    10. Andromalius = Taskara the Lord of Thieves (3rd), is either the greatest thief in history or the spirit of thievery itself in his time (if such a thing is even possible). Taskara stole a great deal of wealth and powerful magical items from Ka, one of the six Dragon Kings (the others being En, Ea, Mu, An, and Ig). This woke Ka from his slumber, and the Dragon scoured the world causing all manner of terror and destruction in search of his lost horde. Ka was eventually put back to sleep when a group of seven heroes defeated him and sent him back into slumber. Taskara was nowhere to be found, having escaped into the void—uncatchable, untraceable, with none behind his back—and became trapped there (for there is no escaping the void once you have entered, for there is nowhere in the void to escape to, nothing there but yourself). Taskara’s sign is that your eyes are constantly closed, though you can see perfectly fine, and that in order to effectively close your eyes (to avoid a gaze attack, for example), you must open them, revealing them to be ink blank. His influence makes you very uncomfortable about having anyone or anything at your back, and unless it would be significantly disadvantageous, you prefer to at least stand with your back covered (for example, against a wall), and corners are ideal. Taskara’s appearance is subtle—a single gold coin is suspended in the air and flipped by an unseen figure, which speaks in hushed, conspiratorial tones and refuses to give a straight answer.

    11. Focalar = Zokasa the Storm of Sorrow (3rd), seems to be a spirit of storms who has been mentioned as a vestige as early as ~200 AS. Beyond that, nothing of the spirit’s origin can be divined, except that the spirit is consumed by a terrible sadness, as the only sound the spirit makes is a terrible weeping and wailing. His sign is the constant, slow drip of tears down your face, and his influence is an unwillingness to look directly at or directly address children. Zokasa appears simply as a whirling, wailing storm inside of the seal, whose wind whips even those outside of the seal.

    12. Karsus = Indu the Herald of Dusk (3rd) is the brother of Jyotis, a sun spirit and the former spirit of mental enrichment. Indu was jealous of his brother and his brother’s domain and slew him, but Jyotis’ blood sunk into the very earth of Talamh and created the Psionic Dawn. Jyotis was considered among the most beautiful of all spirits, and so Indu was punished by being imprisoned forever in the void, but he cursed all those who had received his brother’s blessing with his own lust for power, and as his energy slipped away, he released it as anti-psionic energy, birthing what are now known as Slayers. Indu’s influence requires you to spit on the ground whenever entering a house of worship, or to utter a curse to the ideals espoused there. Indu appears as a solar eclipse inside of the seal who speaks in a deep, resonant, and echoing voice.

    13. Paimon = Natavara the Muse of Blood (3rd), a muse of the dance who sought to become the spirit of the arts itself by commanding the dancers working in his patronage to murder their rivals. Beyond the normal muse’s blessing of exceptional talent, Natavara replaced his dancer’s limbs with wickedly sharp blades, and his dancers went about like whirling tops tearing into their competition. They fascinated more and more people until the remaining muses made a desperate plea to one heroic bard to stop Natavara. The bard found a way to bring Natavara into the physical realm. Once there, the bard battled with Natavara for control over his disciples, and after days of dancing, the bard emerged victorious. His patrons re-empowered, the other muses banished Natavara to the void. Natavara’s influence is a need to constantly move and dance about in rhythm—the effect can be subtle and controlled, but never totally subverted. His sign is that most of your bodily fluids—your tears, saliva, urine, semen, et cetera—all appear to be blood and taste the same. Natavara appears as first as a spinning metal top, which turns into a spinning blade as it spins, which forms into a single arm of Natavara, who grows from there, a pale-skinned but handsome man with long red hair literally dripping with blood. He spins constantly in the circle, switching from limb to limb.

    14. Y’Golonac = Pramatha the Violator (3rd), a spirit who is said to have been a spirit of love itself and unspeakably beautiful who fell in love with a great queen. Despite Pramatha’s insistence, the queen refused to return Pramatha’s affection out of love and respect for her husband and the kingdom. Eventually, Pramatha cursed her and twisted the love between the queen and her husband into hatred. The kingdom became a cesspit of death and disease. Pramatha came to the queen again, eager for her love, but his beauty had become corrupted, and so the queen still refused to be with him, sending Pramatha into a rage. The queen was found dead the next day, nude, clearly violated, bruised, and covered in festering bites (for Pramatha had forgotten how to kiss). Pramatha was never to be seen again as anything but a vestige. Pramatha’s sign is a small, toothy maw on either hand, and his influence requires you to abhor mirrors or any other reflective surface that could show you your visage. If encountered with one, you are hard-pressed not to somehow destroy or disrupt the image to avoid seeing it. He appears as a mirror which fades into existence in the circle and then shatters, most of the glass falling uselessly onto the floor. His actual image, a man whose face has been replaced entirely by a drooling, hungry maw and whose hands have similarly snapping and biting mouths on the palms. When he speaks, all three mouths speak in dissonant, hissing almost-unison. One might be seething with rage as it speaks while the others remain calm, one might seem bitter and depressed, and one might even chuckle with dark satisfaction as it speaks—the tonality is ever changing and completely unpredictable.

    15. Agares = Bhukampa the Devourer (4th), a former spirit of the sky who was married to a local spirit of the earth, Bhukampa consumed his wife to gain her power. His wife weighed him down and tethered him to the earth, prohibiting him from entering the sky, and so he sought to eat the sky and the stars themselves. His wife called to other spirits of the earth, and they rose to fight Bhukampa, causing a great many devastating earthquakes before banishing him to the void. Bhukampa’s sign is a constant wracking cough that spews dust and small stones from your mouth. You can resist the urge to cough for a number of rounds equal to your Constitution score, but thereafter, you cough for a full round before you can try to resist the urge to cough again. His influence is a hunger that can never be sated. Bhukampa appears as a giant eagle with horribly mangled wings and a globe locked between a tooth-filled beak. He stares intently at the binder as he knows, but refuses to speak.

    16. Andras = Khaga the Warmonger (4th), a spirit of war who sought to embroil all of the universe in a war against each other by sowing discord and veiling the difference between good and evil, between healing and harm. He appears as a knight riding atop a horse, both of whom have scorpions struggling to emerge from every orifice and chink in armor. Khaga’s sign makes your skin sallow and slightly yellowed, as if you are quite ill. His influence requires you never to back down whenever challenged to a conflict of some sort, and you prefer to solve your problems with violence, even if there is another way, though if doing so would cause a great deal more problems you will have little problem seeking another solution instead. Khaga rises up with his horse from the seal, defying gravity as he charges upward before spiraling into proper placement.

    17. Arete = Jyotis the Immortal Son (4th) was the spirit responsible for the psionic dawn. See Indu for further detail. Jyotis’ sign is that all of your features are slightly exaggerated—blonde hair is a bit too yellow, green eyes a bit too green, pale skin a bit too white, et cetera. His influence makes it difficult for you to conceal secrets, and if asked about something, you must make a DC 18 Will save or come out with it, even if you would rather conceal it. Jyotis appears as a sun slowly rising from the seal, and speaks in a tone similar to Indu’s, but warmer, though the higher he rises, the harder and more painfully everyone’s heart rattles against their chest.

    18. Buer = Maragata the Green Mother (4th), a spirit as old as Visadhara who, while appearing to be nothing more than a powerful, kindly healer, will reveal nothing of her origins (nor will Visadhara, who will only imply that there is indeed a terrible secret behind the Green Mother), responding with only a warm smile and a change of subject. Judging by the fact that she has been banished to the void, one can only guess at what she did to earn a place there. Her sign is small plants and flowers sprouting from parts of your skin, withering away to nothing, and then sprouting elsewhere. Her influence causes you to speak only when it is entirely necessary—otherwise, you prefer to simply smile enigmatically. She appears as a woman beautiful despite her middle-age, dressed in a cloak of green leaves and blooming flowers. She sits cross-legged, stroking what appears to be a sleeping doe, but is in reality a dead one.

    19. Eurynome = Jigisa the Fallen Conqueror (4th) was a spirit who sought to conquer Ur, the land where spirits dare not tread. In his blind ambition, he allowed himself to be tricked by another spirit whose name is never specified but who some binder scholars suspect is Visadhara. In his moment of triumph, he charged through to what he thought was a portal into Ur, and was in reality a portal into the void, where he became trapped. Jigisa’s influence requires you to never open a doorway personally, but to wait for someone else to open it, and his sign is you seem somewhat animalian to all who see you, depending on how they perceive you (if they suspect you of deceit and manipulation, you may seem serpentine, if they think you brave and haughty, you seem somewhat leonine, etc). Jigisa lets out a war cry as soon as he is summoned and climbs up the lip of the seal. He holds his head aloft and then looks about surprised when he notices where he is before letting out a gruff shout of frustration and leaning on his maul. He appears as a large red-skinned man wearing animal’s skins and a helm made from a gryphon’s skull.

    20. Dantalion = Shakuna the Unforgotten (4th) was a spirit whose worship became his greatest joy, and he basked in his own glory like a cat in a shaft of sunlight. His people, who lived in a secluded village in the wilderness, relied on him for survival, but when Jyotis died, a member of the village with gifted with psionic powers, and Shakuna soon fell to the wayside. As the psion began doing more and more for the village, Shakuna's attentions turned to hindering the psion instead of helping his people, and so they worshiped him less and less. Infuriated, Shakuna began using his powers to twist and feed on the memories of those who once worshiped him, so they would exist solely for him. The people, their minds mere shadows of what they were, chased the psion from the village and spoke in praise of their master until they dropped dead from hunger and exhaustion. The psion had gathered the help of other spirits, however, and with their help Shakuna was paid his due. All memory of him was wiped from the world, and he was banished to the Insensate Plane. But Shakuna would not be forgotten so easily--his desire to be glorified was so intense that even with his form gone, he still clings to thought itself, existing on the threads of dark manipulation, burning his seal into the minds of those able to summon him. It is said that, even in the Insensate Plane, he relishes the sheer amount of time he has to plan for his escape, and the subjugation of all in his worship.

    21. Tenebrous = Amara the Caller in Darkness (4th), is another spirit little is known about, except that it is an unspeakably ancient spirit of death. It is theorized that Amara may be the spirit of the Void itself, but most refute this claim. Its sign is that your skin becomes somewhat transparent, revealing the bones underneath if one comes close enough to see, and its influence requires you to eat the flesh of the newly-fallen dead. Amara’s manifestation darkens the entire room as all candles and other light sources are snuffed out. Then, Amara itself appears, a hole in reality that is somehow even deeper and blacker than the darkness around it. Amara does not speak.


    3 Yoinked from Baron Corm's Build-a-Char!

    4 The new powers for each psionic discipline are as follows. If it was on the list but is no longer, it's now a power available for general use, regardless of discipline. The exception to this rule is Metamorphosis, which has been removed.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Egoist:
    1 Thicken Skin
    2 Animal Affinity
    2 Chameleon
    2 Empathic Transfer
    3 Ectoplasmic Form
    3 Hustle
    4 Psychic Vampire
    4 Immovability

    Kineticist:
    1 Control Object
    2 Control Air
    2 Energy Missile
    3 Energy Cone
    3 Energy Wall
    4 Control Body
    4 Energy Ball
    4 Inertial Barrier

    Nomad:
    1 Burst
    2 Dimension Swap
    2 Levitate
    3 Time Hop
    4 Dimensional Anchor
    4 Dimension Door
    4 Fly, Psionic
    4 Freedom of Movement, Psionic

    Seer:
    1 Precognition
    2 Clairvoyant Sense
    2 Object Reading
    2 Sensitivity to Psychic Impressions
    3 Escape Detection
    3 Fate Link
    4 Divination
    4 Remote Viewing

    Shaper:
    1 Astral Construct
    1 Minor Creation
    2 Disguise Self
    2 Quintessence
    2 Repair Damage
    3 Greater Concealing Amorpha
    3 Ectoplasmic Cocoon
    4 Fabricate

    Telepath:
    1 Charm, Psionic
    2 Brain Lock
    2 Cloud Mind
    2 Read Thoughts
    3 Crisis of Breath
    4 Dominate
    4 Death Urge
    4 Modify Memory
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2011-07-27 at 04:18 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [3.5 Revision]

    Monk
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Speed Bonus|Unarmed Damage

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Zen Defense|
    +10'
    |
    1d6, 201

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Flurry, Evasion|
    +10'
    |
    1d6, 20

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Zen Attack|
    +20'
    |
    1d8, 19-20

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Zen Grappling|
    +20'
    |
    1d8, 19-20

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Zen Strike, Improved Evasion|
    +30'
    |
    1d12, 18-20

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Greater Flurry|
    +30'
    |
    2d6, 18-20

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Perfect Self, Mettle|
    +40'
    |
    2d8, 17-20
    [/table]

    HD: d10
    Skills: 6 + INT
    Proficiencies: Unarmed strike, club, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, siangham, and sling.

    Zen (Ex): Starting at 1st level, a monk adds his Wisdom bonus to AC when unarmored. At 3rd, he adds his Wisdom bonus to attack when unarmored. At 4th, he adds his Wisdom bonus to grapple checks when unarmored. At 5th, he adds his Wisdom bonus to damage when unarmored.

    Speed Bonus (Ex): At 1st level, a Monk adds +10’ to his base land speed. He adds another +10’ at 3rd, another at 5th, and another at 7th.

    Flurry (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a monk may make a second attack on a full attack (though he takes a -1 attack penalty to both). At 6th level, a monk may a second attack on a standard action as well, or two extra attacks on a full attack (though all three attacks take a -2 penalty to attack).

    Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level, a monk can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion. At 5th level, the monk also takes only half damage on a failed save.

    Perfect Self (Su): At 7th level, a monk is treated as an outsider instead of a humanoid for the purpose of powers and psionic effects, and takes no penalties from aging. Any penalties already incurred are wiped away.

    Mettle (Ex): If a 7th level monk succeeds on a Fort or Will saving throw that would normally reduce (rather than negate) an effect, it instead takes no effect.


    Rogue
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Sneak Attack +1d6, Trapfinding

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Evasion, Trap Sense +2

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Sneak Attack +2d6, Uncanny Dodge

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Quickness, Trap Sense +4

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Sneak Attack +3d6, Improved Evasion

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Improved Uncanny Dodge, Trap Sense +6

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Sneak Attack +4d6, Improved Quickness
    [/table]

    HD: d8
    Skills: 10 + INT
    Proficiencies: Light armor, all simple weapons, light crossbow, heavy crossbow, hand crossbow, pistol (martial), rapier, sap, shortbow, and shortsword

    Sneak Attack (Ex): At 1st level, a rogue deals +1d6 damage with her attacks when the target is deprived of their Dexterity bonus or when the rogue is flanking the target. At 3rd level, this damage increases to +2d6. It improves to +3d6 at 5th level, and +4d6 at 7th level. The rogue must be within 60’ from the target to use Sneak Attack.

    Trapfinding (Ex): Rogues (and only rogues) can use the Search skill to locate traps with a DC of 20 or higher. Rogues can use the Disable Device skill to disarm traps. A rogue who beats a trap’s DC by at least 10 can study it, figure out how it works, and bypass it without disarming it.

    Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level, a rogue can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the rogue is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless rogue does not gain the benefit of evasion. At 5th level, the rogue also takes only half damage on a failed save.

    Trap Sense (Ex): A rogue receives a +2 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +2 bonus to AC against their attacks. These bonuses increase to +4 at 4th level and +6 at 6th.

    Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a rogue retains her Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if she is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, she still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. At 6th level, a rogue can no longer be fElanked.

    Quickness (Ex): At 4th level, a rogue gets an extra move or swift action each round. At 7th level, a rogue gets an extra standard action as well.


    Slayer
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Mind Killer +1d6, Resilience, Detect Psionics

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Mind Killer (2 pp), Closed Mind

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Mind Killer +2d6, Psionic Mind

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Mind Killer (4 pp), Reflection

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Mind Killer +3d6, Enervation

    6th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Mind Killer (8 pp), Force of Will

    7th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Disruption, Mind Killer +4d6
    [/table]

    HD: d8
    Skills: 6 + INT
    Proficiencies: All simple weapons and martial weapons, light armor, and medium armor

    Mind Killer (Su): At 1st level, a slayer deals +1d6 damage on all attacks against creatures with the ability to manifest psionic powers. At 2nd level, a slayer also drains 2 power points from a psionic creature with a successful hit. The damage and power points drained increases with each level, as shown on the table above. Instead of draining power points, the Slayer can choose to deal 2 INT, WIS, or CHA damage at 2nd level (though a successful attack roll is still necessary), which lasts 1 minute and stacks with successive hits. A Slayer can utilize this option only against foes who lack a power point pool or are out of power points. At 6th level, when a Slayer utilizes the latter option, the Slayer can force a Will save (DC 10 + INT/WIS/CHA + Slayer level). Failure afflicts the target with 1 negative level, which stacks and lasts for 1 minute, though the target does not rise as undead if it is killed by this effect as it is not negative energy-related.

    Resilience (Su): Slayers are naturally resistant to psionic powers, and have Power Resistance 5 + class level.

    Detect Psionics (Su): A slayer can detect psionic auras, as the detect psionics power, at will. Once taking a level of Slayer, you are unable to take levels in any class that would grant psionic powers independent from the Slayer class, and if you have already done so, you are unable to take any levels of Slayer.

    Bonus Feats: At 2nd level, a slayer gets Closed Mind as a bonus feat, whether or not he meets the prerequisites. At 3rd level, a slayer gets Psionic Hole as a bonus feat, whether or not he meets the prerequisites. At 6th level, a slayer gets Force of Will as a bonus feat, whether or not he meets the prerequisites.

    Reflection (Su)2: At 4th level, a Slayer gains the ability to use a psionic creature’s powers against them in even more dramatic ways. As an immediate action, you can reflect a power cast upon you to its original caster. The original caster suffers whatever effects you would have suffered, but is offered the same DCs and must make any attack rolls against himself. In order to control a power, you must first win an opposed Psicraft check. You may control up to 1 power level per encounter per character level. On a failed opposed check, your controls per encounter are not wasted.

    Disruption (Su): At 7th level, you gain the ability to disconnect a psionic creature within 30 feet of you from the psionic energy flowing through them as a standard action. If the target fails a Will save (DC 10 + WIS/CHA/INT + Slayer level), they are unable to manifest powers or become psionically focused for 1d4+1 rounds. You are only able to disrupt one target at a time, and after the effects have worn off, you must wait at least 10 rounds before you can use Disruption again.


    Swordsage
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Maneuvers Known (Readied)|Stances

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    Quick to Act +2
    |
    6(4)
    |
    1

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    Speed Bonus (+10')
    |
    7(4)
    |
    1

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    Quick to Act +4
    |
    8(5)
    |
    1

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    Eye of the Storm
    |
    10(5)
    |
    1

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    Quick to Act +6
    |
    11(6)
    |
    2

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    Speed Bonus (+20')
    |
    12(6)
    |
    2

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    Dual Boost, Quick to Act +8
    |
    14(7)
    |
    3
    [/table]

    HD: d8
    Skills: 4 + INT
    Proficiencies: All simple weapons and martial weapons, unarmed strike, and light armor

    Maneuvers: A swordsage starts knowing six martial maneuvers and one stance. The disciplines available to you are Desert Wind, Diamond Mind, Falcon’s Eye3, Fool’s Grip, Monkey’s Paw, Setting Sun, Shadow Hand, and Tiger Claw. Once you know a maneuver, you must ready it before you can use it. You gain additional maneuvers and stances known/readied at higher levels, as indicated on the table. At 3rd level and every odd-numbered Swordsage level thereafter, you can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one you already know. You can swap only a single given maneuver at any given level. You ready maneuvers by meditating for 5 minutes, and those chosen remain readied until you decide to meditate and change them again. You can recover one expended maneuver with full-round action (and Adaptive Style allows you to both refresh and re-pick your maneuvers with a full-round action). Maneuver DCs are determined by the swordsage’s Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma bonus (whichever is higher). A swordsage’s initiator level is equal to their Swordsage level + ½ other levels (rounded down). This means a Slayer 6/Swordsage 1 initiates as a 4th level Swordsage, but with the maneuvers and stances known of a 1st level swordsage and without the benefit of Quick to Act or Dual Boost. A swordsage can pick from 5th level Stances on its 7th level.

    Quick to Act (Ex): At 1st level, a swordsage gains a +2 bonus to initiative checks. This bonus increases to +4 at 3rd level, +6 at 5th level, and +8 at 7th level.

    Eye of the Storm (Ex): At 4th level, a swordsage is the tranquil center of a storming battle, and adds his Wisdom bonus to AC.

    Dual Boost (Ex): At 7th level, a swordsage gains the ability to initiate two boosts simultaneously 1/encounter.


    __________
    1 This revision of 3.5 uses the Vitality/Wound Points system, and as such critical hits aren't notated with double or triple bonuses--they deal damage straight to Wound Points.

    2 Reflection is taken from Baron Corm's Control Magic ability.

    3 With Sublime Marksmanship moved to 5th level so that a 7th level Swordsage can take it as a stance.
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-11-15 at 04:20 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Jun 2010

    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [3.5 Revision]

    Origins of Talamh


    No one is certain what happened in the beginning, but it is said that after the earth was formed, life was born out of fire, at the base of the Tree of Ur, whose canopy stretched across the heavens and coddled the world in shadow.

    In the First Age, humankind was but a beast among other beasts, fighting to stay alive in a dark and wild world. For thousands of years, beast wandered Talamh without order, preying and being preyed upon in their turn. As time pressed forward, seven beasts earned themselves a distinction as the greatest predators on the planet--tiger, bear, spider, scorpion, serpent, shark and man--and so these beasts began to struggle against one another to claim territory as their own. Soon, the Predator's War began. Serpent's legs were cleaved off in the conflict, and shark was banished to the sea, but after a century of conflict, man emerged victorious. Their seven greatest warriors were named the King of Kings, for as man was king over beasts, An, Ea, En, Mu, Ka, Ig and Oa were kings over men. And the kings were as brothers, and with their strength, they arranged a circle of stones at the base of the Tree. So was born Ur, the first city.

    And six of the brothers bid Oa, "Who is King who collects no tribute? Stay here and build on the bones of Ur." And so Oa stayed with the rest of mankind, as his brothers swept over the face of the earth collecting what was due from the other beasts, but the kings could not be satisfied. With all that they took, their appetite only grew, and as ivy on the rock of their desire, their greed did grow with it. Skin turned to scale as the Kings hardened themselves against the world, and muscles strengthened from struggling. As each king's horde grew, their body grew for to cover it and keep it hidden. Wings, leathery and terrible, distanced them from the world as their hearts grew distant, and their very breath became castigating flame. So was Dragon born. An the Copper, Ka the Black, and Golden Ea battled over the Western coast of the Continent, and in so doing broke it into pieces, creating the Occidental Archipelago. When Oa saw what his brothers had become, he bid his people, "Go and find home elsewhere." Some escaped into the deep forest and became hunters again, and they became Elvenkind. Some fled to the mountains and became as the stone, and were called Dwarves. Others made a great raft and sailed to the Southern Island, and the group did divide among itself to become Orc and Gnome, separately. And those who lived under the dominion of Dragons grew to be like them, and became Koboldkind.

    Oa scaled the Tree of Ur until he had reached the top and stood above the canopy, and before him he saw a single seed seven times his size. Taking up his blade, he cut into its heart. From the acorn, the spirits were released upon the world and scattered through it. The Tree of Ur crushed the City of Ur to dust as it fell, banishing it to the Dreaming, and rose again as Ur-Ignis, the great volcano at the Continent's center. Thus began the Age of the Spirits, and thus did man become vassal to spirit. For 2000 years, the spirits of nature were Lords to man, and though man did on occasion strive against them, his victory was small, for man was at the mercy to spiritkind. What shall the warrior do, with the puissance to overthrow the river but the need to drink from it? Who, given power, can struggle against its source?

    But Jyotis, a spirit of the sun, looked upon man and smiled, and all mankind loved him. From his rays he began to create a new energy, bright and strange, and his brother Indu became jealous. "Why do they love my brother, who leaves them to smile on himself, and scorn me who watches over them in his stead?" And so he came to his brother in the day, and eclipsed him, and slew him. As Jyotis died, he released his energy and dispersed it freely to humankind and the races descended from them: a power their own, possessed by Jyotis but inherited by them. The other spirits exiled Indu to the Insensate Plane, but not before he dispersed his own project among the races of Talamh--induary energy, more commonly called anti-psionic energy--and so was Indu peeled from the moon and sent to the Void, cackling in his bitterness.

    The death of Jyotis is more widely known as the Psionic Dawn, and heralded a new age of Talamh. Over 400 years afterward1 city-states have grown into small nations in pockets of the world, though most of the Continent is still wild nature where monsters dwell. Though the Age of the Spirits is over, the spirits still play a major role in the world, and Spiritualism (defined as tithing and worship of one or more spirits) remains the world's most prominent religion. The Dragons sleep atop their hordes, trapped within the Dreaming with the rest of Ur, hidden deep underground. The Psionic Dawn signaled not the fall of the spirits, persay, but humanoid-kith's emancipation from the spirits' control of world events. The destiny of the intelligent races has been placed back into their own hands.

    To get an idea of the setting's "feel," think of a Wild West where gunslingers wield muzzle-loaded snaplock firearms placed in a world in the midst of a Psionic Renaissance.

    Planes
    Spoiler
    Show

    Talamh, The Prime Material
    This describes the main physical plane. Planar knowledge is hazy at best, with spirits offering the best answers, and often conflicting knowledge, on the nature of the planes. In recent times, however, scholars of psionic colleges have begun to study the planes themselves, but information so far has been difficult to come by. The most conclusive results concern only theory about the nature of dreams.

    The Dreaming and Ur
    The Dreaming is the plane of, well, dreaming. Many planes scholars theorize that the Dreaming was born with the spirits--that the seed Oa split was the universe itself, and that when it was cut in twain, reality was cut into the Prime Material and the Dreaming, and that creatures on Talamh could only exist in the Dreaming while asleep. The land of Ur is said to exist in the Dreaming as well, having been banished there with its rulers and most of its inhabitants when the Tree of Ur fell from the Prime Material, and Ur-Ignis rose up correspondingly into it. Most planology dictates that the land of Ur is a place with rules very similar to dreams, in that they are ruled by metaphor, but the land is stagnant, stuck forever as it was in the time of Ur. When a person dreams, they often create facsimiles of people and places they know, but Ur's atmosphere subverts and distorts them. Some follow a religion with the same name as the plane, and these Dreamers (as detailed in the Ur Dreamer PrC) believe that it is Talamh that is trapped in the Dreaming, a mere reflection of the reality of Ur.

    The pull of Ur is said to be stronger in the Occident, likely due to the present of the dormant Dragons there. This is evidenced by a marked increase in dream vividness there, and the fact that few spirits can find refuge there. Though An-Akari is the Occident's only Spiritualist nature, and as such spirits can be found there, this is apparently because An mated with the Dream Spirit to produce the national spirits of An-Akari. Besides these spirits, a couple weak ones can be found in the waters between Bet-Ea and Rodinia to its East, and here and there in the jungled, small island regions where only tribes of gnomes and kobolds live in the Archipelago.

    The Insensate Plane
    A plane supposedly created by the spirits, the Insensate Plane was designed as a prison for the most vile and corrupted of their kin who have been called vestiges, though some of its dwellers were brought there by other extraordinary events. Nearly all information on the plane is from the mouths of vestiges, and apparently it is a plane befitting of its name--the vestiges therein are robbed of all ways of perceiving the world around them, and thus are left only with their thoughts. Binders who learn to summon vestiges make a pact with these dark spirits, gaining a fraction of their power in return for feeling again. The Golgothan Vestigial Church claims that the vestiges are actually spirits who have attained enlightenment and freed themselves from the evil and suffering of the world. They believe the vestiges appear to Binders in order to lead them towards enlightenment as well, and that the Insensate Plane is not a hell but a heaven.

    The Plane(s) of the Dead(?)
    This(these) plane(s) are mostly theoretical in nature, as there is more than one death spirit, and often death spirits that represent different aspects of death and the dying process, for different regions. These spirits are all somewhat different, and have different customs regarding the dead, but are uniquely ambiguous about the nature of the afterlife. Most spirits of death claim to subsume the souls of the dead into themselves in order to maintain the balance of life, others claim to be mere ferryman, and the ones who do make mention of alternate planes for the dead keep very quiet about it. While some claim to decide who lives and who dies, others say they are not given a choice in the matter--that beings die without the spirit's involvement, they simply deal with the souls of the dead after the fact.


    __________
    1 It is currently 405 PD, or Post-Dawn. AS is the notation for Age of the Spirits, and notation of date was either non-existent in the Time of Ur, or was lost upon the fall of the first city.
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-12-26 at 01:25 AM.

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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    Races of the World

    Human:
    As standard human.

    Spoiler
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    Humankind is the progenitor, the species from which all intelligent races sprung (thus the blanket name of "humanoids"), and the most populous race on Talamh. Nearly all of the world's major settlements are human--Meropis, Rodinia, Canaan, Valbara (15% elven), Samaria, Nod, and Semel.1 That is not to say that the human nations get along very well.


    Elf:
    +2 DEX, -2 STR
    +4 to Stealth and Perception
    40 foot land speed
    Darkvision

    Spoiler
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    Elves occupy only a small part of the world, with a settlement in the forest of Gondwana and small population assimilated into Valbara. Moreover, the world has progressed past them, technologically-speaking. Although this would appear to make them fodder for invasion (especially considering the Gondwanan forests are not too far from the easternmost reaches of Rodinia and the northern border of Valbara), most would simply prefer to swallow hemlock themselves and get it over with comparatively painlessly. Considering that death by hemlock is an excruciating process, this says quite a bit about the brutality of elvenkind. The elves know the forests like the back of their hands (and tithe regularly to the forest spirits) and often wear cloaks made of bark with which to better conceal themselves. Guerilla tactics combined with traps laid throughout the forest and powerful druid leadership allows the Gondwanan elves to raid their neighbor's border cities and then retreat into the forests, where they are near impossible to find, much less kill. Gondwanan elves don't restrict their violence to foreigners--their culture is largely inspired by, if not directly taken from, the Angu tribe in Papua New Guinea.

    Valbaran elves have been largely "humanized," considering that those elves who relocated from Gondwana likely did so because of an existing discontent with their homeland and a desire to assimilate into human culture. Many elves who left for Valbara did so due to psionic ability, as the druids who lead elven society do not look kindly upon potential usurpers, and so often murder psionicists before they can do so. Elves have not spread beyond Valbara as it is the only non-elven nation that is willing to offer them employment.

    Gondwanan elves wear little but furs when it's cold and paint when they're at war. The Gondwanan language is equivalent to Finnish, and those elves who are able to avoid being killed can live to about 70 (to the human 80).


    Orc:
    +2 STR, -2 DEX
    Powerful Build

    Spoiler
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    Orcs hail from the Southern Island (which they call Kititha), and possess the larger part of it, the nation of Albion. The Orcs are famed rationalists and diplomats, and small populations of Orcs can be found even in human settlements. Orcish galleys made first contact with the Great Continent in ~1400 AS, with the city-state of Semel, and for hundreds of years were the world's great trade power, though Meropis has eclipsed them in recent centuries. The most famed Orc of all time is Sybil, one part psion, one part diplomat, one part teacher and one part prophet. Sybil was born in 7 PD, the daughter of Prince Damocles' tutor. Sybil was only two years the prince's junior, and they fell in love as they grew up together, but when Damocles' father insisted he marry a noble daughter and the boy accepted, Sybil's heart broke. In 26 PD, despite the prince's insistence that she stay, Sybil set sail for the Great Continent, to see the world and clear her head. She met four other like-minded men and women on her way across Talmah who joined her on her travels, and in 37 PD, she returned to Albion with one of the most important texts of all time: the Sibylogos. The Sibylogos covers a large number of topics. On the surface, it is a journal of her travels, but interspersed throughout the book is early psionic theory that would lay the groundwork for Psionic Colleges throughout the world, and the philosophy that became the 3rd most prominent religion in Talamh. The religion of Sybilogos is related to Mandalism, but with a more rationalist, philosophical bent.2 Sybil postulated that all things are composed of combinations of particular energies (which she defines as either a literal, intangible energy, or sometimes infinitesimally small parts) and that change is what occurs when a larger energy breaks down into smaller parts, when one smaller parts combine to form a unified, larger energy, or when one energy is converted into another. She gives the example of a woman who wakes up in the morning, and whose face is composed of skin. When she goes outside, the sun emits heat energy, and so her part of her skin breaks down into sweat. When the woman finds rest under the shade of a tree, the energy of the shade breaks down the sweat into coolness. When a person eats, the break down the energy of the food, and it combines with other parts of themselves to become vitality and flesh. Too much food results in an excess of flesh, and too little causes man to consume his flesh at the expense of his vitality. She postulates that when humankind dispersed from Ur, they were introduced to new energies, and these new combinations and breakdowns resulted in the evolution of the disparate races, and that even spirits follow these same laws. She also wrote that the advent of psionics obviates the need for tithe and worship--as Spirits are just as bound to their component parts as the humanoid races, or indeed any other beast that walks the earth, the only reason to tithe and worship was to gain power from the spirits. The existence of psionic energy means that humanoids no longer need to look outside of themselves for power, and thus Sybil says that the study of the self was more important than study of the spirits in this age.

    When King Damocles read her works, he was so inspired that he converted to the Sibylogos, made it the state religion, and insisted Sibyl teach his children. Sibyl served as Damocles' closest advisor as well as his best friend until her death, and Damocles' son Nikodemos was the last King of Albion. Near the end of his rule in the 90's PD, he abolished the monarchical system in favor of a representative system--or as Nikodemos put it, "a breakdown of kingship into its component parts." Nikodemos remained a Consul, equal to other Consuls, until his death into 102 PD.

    Albionese Orcs wear what would be traditional Greek clothing in the real world, and the Albionese language is equivalent to Greek.


    Dwarf:
    +2 CON, -2 DEX
    20' land speed (though their speed is not reduced by wearing medium or heavy armor, or carrying a medium or heavy load)
    PR 5 + character level
    Mountain Movement (treat standing long jumps and high jumps as if there was a running start, and may make an accelerated climb without penalty)

    Spoiler
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    Dwarves are nearly non-existent in all parts of the world but their native home, Karnak, in the mountains Northeast of Rodinia and Northwest of Samaria. Karnak is a fascist government with isolationist policies, and it is ruled by a duumvirate of the Vladar (a military leader) and the Vladika (the high priest of the Karnaki church). Karnak is a deeply Spiritualist nation centered around the Spirit of the Mountain (Karnak) and three spirits of fate, Jutro (YOO-truh), the maiden, Večer (VEH-chair), the mother, and Noć (NOE-tch), the crone, and practice of other religion is violently prohibited. The Dwarven government generally refuses to get involved in world politics, with more focus on protecting the homeland at all costs.

    Despite their isolationalist policies and totalitarian government, Karnak is not utterly opposed to visitors or to sending out diplomats to other nations. That said, it is a lengthy process to be allowed to enter Karnak, and with little exception, only diplomats are given the privilege, as express permission from either the Vladar or the Vladika is required. In Dwarven culture, it is unwise to speak against the government for fear of reprisal, often at the hands of the Štit Nacije ("shield of the nation"), Karnak's less-than-secret police and enforcers of Karnaki law. Dwarves are known for being friendly and polite but exceedingly private--when something they cannot answer or wish not to answer is brought up, the cultural norm is to simply pretend you didn't hear it.

    The Karnaki language is equivalent to real-world Croatian.


    Kobold:
    +4 DEX, -2 STR, -2 CON
    Small size, 20' land speed
    +1 natural armor
    2 primary claw attacks (1d4, 20)

    Spoiler
    Show
    Kobolds are the primary inhabitants of the Occidental Archipelago, and all three major civilizations--Ka-Tadan, Bet-Ea, and An-Akari on the archipelago are predominantly, if not entirely kobold. I will go further into depth on the varying kobold cultures in the nations section, but for now, a brief description will suffice. Ka-Tadan is a totalitarian nation that inhabits the largest island on the archipelago, and are extremely warlike and xenophobic. They consider their land holy land and worship the Black Dragon Ka, He Who Woke Before and Will Wake Again, and conversely consider all land but Ka's tainted and unholy. Note that this doesn't stop them from frequent raids. An-Akari is extremely isolationist, as they believe that a secret is the most powerful weapon, and prefer espionage to trade. As such, little is known about them (though this won't stop me going into detail in the Nations section). Bet-Eans are supposedly descendants of Ea, the Golden Dragon, and are the most well-known of the Kobold nations outside of the Occident. They are the only nation which allows gnomes, the other intelligent race present in small numbers on the archipelago to even set foot on their borders, and then only as slaves who perform unsavory labor like making soap (a painful process leaving hands bitten with lye). Bet-Ea is also the birthplace of Ascendancy, another one of Talamh's major faiths. Though Rodinia has established a positive rapport with Bet-Ea, most Continentals perspective on koboldkind is similar to Victorian England's view of the Chinese: cunning but inherently sinster.3

    All three kobold nations share a common language, though with significant dialectical difference. Their language is called Draconic, and is equivalent to real-world Amharic.


    Gnome:
    +2 CON, -2 STR
    Small size, 20' land speed
    +1 bonus pp/level
    +1 to Power DC or the DC of Su abilities
    Low-light vision

    Spoiler
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    As I'm a bit worn out from typing all this stuff on races, I'll go further into Gnomish culture in the Nations section.

    Gnomes are nearly universally hated throughout the world--for reference, think of the medieval world's opinion of the Chosen People. Gnomes are spread sparsely throughout the world, but organization is composed almost solely of small nomadic tribes. The one exception to this rule is Golgotha, the only gnomish stronghold on Talamh, often called the Land of Shadow. Golgotha is located on the southern rind of the Southern Island, and have conflicted with Albion for hundreds of years. Gnomes are mostly hated for their reputation as occultists (and the founders of heretical Binding), which sadly is a self-perpetuating cycle: 1) gnomes are terrorized by other races, 2) gnomes adopt whatever technique they must to preserve their lives and their culture, 3) gnomes are demonized for adopting said techniques, 4) repeat. Golgotha is a theocracy, ruled by the Vestigial Church, who worship the spirits cast into the Insensate Plane as enlightened figures who escaped the bonds of the reality.

    Golgothan is the oldest surviving language on Talamh (though few non-Gnomes are aware of this), and it is equivalent to Sanskrit.


    __________
    1 The reason I've not gone into as much detail for humankind, the most populous race of Talamh, is because that would require going into each individual human culture. Instead, I'll save those descriptions for the Nations section.

    2 Partly inspired by the Merit Ptah section in this Let's Play of Civilization 4 by Zoolooman.

    3 I bloody love the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-11-11 at 05:52 PM.
    Dawning: The Age of Psionics
    A work in progress that is slowly being transfered from my head to the internet.

    Avatar courtesy of Mr. Saturn

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dalai Lama
    My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    "I never let my schooling interfere with my education."

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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    Very impressive and well thought out.
    I'm sure there are a lot of ideas in this collection to draw from, but who takes the role of a primary healer in the lower levels, and why did you ditch arcane spellcasting as a concept ?
    (there are alternatives to the vancian system, you know)

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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    Very impressive and well thought out.
    I'm sure there are a lot of ideas in this collection to draw from, but who takes the role of a primary healer in the lower levels, and why did you ditch arcane spellcasting as a concept ?
    (there are alternatives to the vancian system, you know)
    I'm either adding cure light wounds as an augmentable power to the psion power list or altering the Heal skill to allow actual healing. The latter is more likely. I do know there are alternatives to the vancian system (which I despise)--that's why I decided to work with psionics instead, and added the Renewal system. Arcane spellcasting as a concept is actually not so much replaced, though. I just decided to keep the name "psionics" to avoid confusion over whether or not the core spellcasting systems exist. I also chose to keep psionics as opposed to arcane/divine spellcasting to cement the fact that this world is quite a bit different from your standard D&D world while still using an (altered) system that people are somewhat familiar with, unlike Incarnum, but I didn't use warlocks because I wanted to keep the feel of, "Well, I used up all my energy, I gotta recharge," but without requiring 8 hours of rest. Additionally, the name "psion" sounds much like the term "scion," as they are sometimes referred to as the Sons of Jyotis.

    EDIT: Silly me, I also forgot to post the revised discipline powers for the Psion. Not anymore. Powers posted.
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-10-09 at 10:40 AM.
    Dawning: The Age of Psionics
    A work in progress that is slowly being transfered from my head to the internet.

    Avatar courtesy of Mr. Saturn

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dalai Lama
    My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    "I never let my schooling interfere with my education."

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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    Given the lack of healing, would you consider using a variation of the wound point/vitality point system and allow vitality points to be regained on a round by round basis? It would solve any healing issues and kept the setting low-power (since characters cannot just cast a spell and suddenly stitch up all their wounds as a result).

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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    Quote Originally Posted by Nero24200 View Post
    Given the lack of healing, would you consider using a variation of the wound point/vitality point system and allow vitality points to be regained on a round by round basis? It would solve any healing issues and kept the setting low-power (since characters cannot just cast a spell and suddenly stitch up all their wounds as a result).
    I'm already using a WP/VP system, but your round-by-round healing is an interesting idea. That said, it would significantly depreciate the usefulness of fast healing abilities, which a number of classes grant, and would remove the danger of multiple encounters taking place one after the other.

    Looking over the longterm-care section of the heal skill, I think I'm actually not going to add any special healing capacity. Healing potions will exist, distilled from a particular plant that grows around particular areas in the wilderness. Though the plant isn't exceptionally rare, it is somewhat difficult to harvest, considering its location. This means missions to seek out the plant are quite the viable plot hook, and that encounters don't have to be perfect matches for the PCs to be viable threats--instead, a monster can overcome their disadvantage in the action economy or their weakness in comparison to the PCs with a group that has been worn down by fighting.

    Under the VP/WP system, a character regenerates 1 VP per character level per hour, 1 WP/level per 8 hours of rest or 2 WP/level for 24 hours of complete bed rest. Long-term care doubles that amount.

    To see the effectiveness of this system, let's look at a 5th level Fighter with 16 CON. We'll call him Frank, as I'm currently listening to My Funny Valentine. We'll say Frank has 53 VP (the average for his level and CON). He regenerates 7 VP per hour, meaning that even if he's reduced to 0 VP, it will only take him about 10.5 hours to return to full health. If he's hurt significantly in a battle--let's say reduced to 0 WP, but stable--three nights with only eight hours of rest with restore him to 15 WP (almost at full), one day of full rest will restore him to 10 WP (after which he can just rest 8 hours the next day and be pretty OK), and one day of full rest with long-term care under someone with the Heal skill will restore Frank to full health.

    EDIT (10/09/10): Next up is Prestige Classes, though I expect it'll be a while--I've got to read some more of Les Fleurs du Mal, Paradise Lost, and the Bible. Mon exposé sur la théologie et l'art sera magnifique!
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-10-09 at 11:52 AM.
    Dawning: The Age of Psionics
    A work in progress that is slowly being transfered from my head to the internet.

    Avatar courtesy of Mr. Saturn

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dalai Lama
    My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    "I never let my schooling interfere with my education."

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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    Prestige Classes

    Juggernaut
    "With the jawbone of an ass,
    heaps upon heaps,
    with the jaw of an ass
    have I slain a thousand men."
    --Judges 15:16


    Spoiler
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    Prerequisites
    BAB: +3
    Feats: Power Attack, Cleave

    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Strength Boost +2, Great Cleave

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Strength Boost +2, Awesome Blow, DR 2/-

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Strength Boost +2, Sweeping Strike, DR 3/-

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Strength Boost +4, Powerful Charge, DR 5/-
    [/table]

    HD: d12
    Skills: 4 + INT

    Strength Boost (Ex): At 1st, 2nd and 3rd level, a juggernaut gains a +2 inherent bonus to Strength. At 4th level, a juggernaut gains a +4 inherent bonus to Strength.

    Great Cleave: At 1st level, a juggernaut gets Great Cleave as a bonus feat, whether or not it meets the prerequisites.

    Awesome Blow (Ex): A 2nd level juggernaut can choose to subtract 4 from its attack roll and attack with an awesome blow as a standard action. If the juggernaut hits a corporeal opponent its size or smaller, its opponent must succeed on a Reflex save (DC=damage dealt) or be knocked flying 10 feet in a direction of the juggernaut’s choice and fall prone. The juggernaut can only push in a straight line, and the opponent can’t move closer to the juggernaut than it started. If the opponent would collide with an obstacle, both the opponent and the obstacle each take 1d6 points of damage plus the Juggernaut's STR modifier. If this would destroy the obstacle the opponent continues moving as normal - if it does not, the opponent stops in the nearest adjacent space.

    Sweeping Strike (Ex): At 3rd level, a Juggernaut gains the ability to make great, sweeping swings with a melee weapon. On each melee attack a Juggernaut makes, he can choose two squares he threatens that are adjacent to each other, and his attacks apply to creatures in those two squares equally. A Juggernaut can use this ability on any attack, even an attack of opportunity or a cleave attempt. A Juggernaut cannot use this ability if he has moved more than 10 feet since the end of his last turn. If a Juggernaut drops one or both of his foes with a sweeping strike, he can attempt a cleave normally; however, he makes only one cleave attempt per sweeping strike, even if he drops more than one foe.

    Powerful Charge (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a Juggernaut deals double damage on a charge attack.

    __________

    The Juggernaut prestige class is meant to represent the many strong men (or women, as it may be) in heroic fantasy (as evidenced by the use of Samson's pithy verse--the Hebrew words for "ass" and heap(s) are identical).


    Ur Dreamer
    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."
    --Oscar Wilde


    Spoiler
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    Prerequisites
    Manifesting: Must be able to manifest 2nd level powers
    Skills: Knowledge (the planes) 6 ranks
    Feats: Dreamtelling, Psicrystal Affinity
    Religion: The Dreaming

    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Manifesting

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Glance of Ur, Shadow Servant|
    -

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Bonus Psionic Feat|+1 level of existing manifesting class

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Visions of Ur, Whispers from Ur|+1 level of existing manifesting class

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Revelations|
    -
    [/table]

    HD: d6
    Skills: 6 + INT

    Glance of Ur (Su): At 1st level, an Ur Dreamer can pull apart the seams of reality just enough to catch glimpses of the ancient world of Ur. An Ur Dreamer can pay 1 power point to create a visual illusion of an object, creature, or force (like water or fire or light, et cetera) as visualized by him or herself, as the minor image spell.

    Shadow Servant (Su): At 1st level, an Ur Dreamer’s Psicrystal is changed by her insight of Ur, and is subsumed into her shadow. That shadow then becomes a reflection of the Dreamer’s Ur-Self, and a servant to the Ur Dreamer. The Ur Dreamer’s shadow can move of its own volition, separate from the Ur Dreamer, but it must stay within 50 feet/level of the Ur Dreamer. It has a move speed equal to the Ur Dreamer’s move speed, but is not hindered by terrain and can move on water, though it cannot walk on the bare air. It cannot attack or be attacked, but anything within 10’ of it takes a -2 penalty on saves and AC. The Ur Dreamer can choose to exclude subjects from the shadow servant’s stifling effects.

    Bonus Feat: At 2nd level, an Ur Dreamer gains one psionic or metapsionic feat for which it qualifies as a bonus feat.

    Visions of Ur (Su): At 3rd level, an Ur Dreamer can bring the world of Ur further into reality, and can pay 3 power points to replicate the effects of the major image spell.

    Whispers from Ur (Su): At 3rd level, an Ur Dreamer has tiny images of Ur flickering in their peripheral vision and soft whispers from the Dreaming pervading their thoughts. Once per month, they can open the flood gates and see and hear as if they were there. This functions as the commune spell, and the Ur Dreamer is exhausted after using Whispers from Ur.

    Revelations (Su): At 4th level, an Ur Dreamer can make natural terrain within 50 feet/level look, sound, feel and smell like some other sort of terrain at will. The Ur Dreamer can even turn the ground into difficult terrain or make all who stand on it (save the Ur Dreamer) take 1d6 points of damage for every turn on which the terrain is stepped onto from a piece of terrain outside of the Dreamer, or if a subject ends their turn on top of it. Additionally, the Ur Dreamer has the power of changing the aesthetic of the area. Though the Ur Dreamer cannot alter structures, equipment, or creatures, they can change the way they're perceived by adding overtone or emotional stimulus (to make the object or area seem foreboding, or romantic, or dirtier than it is, or cleaner, et cetera).

    __________

    The Dreaming is a religious cult that believes that Ur isn't trapped in the Dreaming--we are. According to the Dreamers, all events on the Prime Material are just reflections of the ongoing world of Ur.

    Ur Dreamers as detailed in this prestige class are psions who follow the Dreaming, and use their power to bring Ur into this world. In doing so, they hope to both see what "true reality" looks like, and in fully synthesizing Ur and the real world, to free humankind from the shackles of the Prime Material and vassalage under spiritkind.

    The class could also be refluffed to a simple illusionist.


    Necromancer
    "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying."
    --Woody Allen


    Spoiler
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    Prerequisites
    Manifesting: Must be able to manifest 2nd level powers
    Skills: Knowledge (religion) 6 ranks
    Feats: Tomb-Tainted Soul

    HD: d6
    Skills: 4 + INT

    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Manifesting

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Death Touch, Communion|
    -

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Animation|+1 level of existing manifesting class

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Bonus Feat|+1 level of existing manifesting class

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Biological Apostasy|
    -
    [/table]

    HD: d6
    Skills: 4 + INT

    Manifesting: A necromancer increases their ML, PP/day, Renewal and Powers Known at 2nd and 3rd level, as if they had gained a level in their manifesting class. The necromancer does not receive any other class features the class would have attained, such as Bonus Feats.

    Death Touch (Su): A 1st level necromancer is just learning to channel negative energy through their body. As a standard action, a necromancer can make a melee touch attack to deal 1d8 + Level negative energy damage (which heals undead, as standard). After using this ability, a necromancer must wait 5 rounds before using it again. The necromancer can target themselves with this attack, and automatically hits if they do so.

    Communion (Su): A necromancer learns how to commune with the spirits of the dead early on in their career. A necromancer can touch the body of a recently dead corpse (the necromancer cannot commune with a corpse that has been dead for more than a number of days equal to character level), bring the soul back into the body, and ask of it three questions. The necromancer can only use this ability 1/day.

    Animation (Su): Starting at 2nd level, a necromancer gains the ability to channel negative energy through a corpse in order to bring it to life. The necromancer can spend 5 power points to animate a mostly in-tact corpse as either a skeleton or a zombie. The undead can follow you, or they can remain in an area and attack any creature (or just a specific kind of creature) entering the place, and be commanded to perform simple tasks. They remain animated until they are destroyed. A destroyed skeleton or zombie can’t be animated again. Regardless of the type of undead you create with this spell, you can’t create more HD of undead than twice your manifester level with a single use of Animation. The undead remain under your control indefinitely, but you can only control 4 HD worth of undead per manifester level. If you exceed this number, any excess undead from previous uses of Animation become uncontrolled (though you can choose which undead leave your sway). You must place an amount of red coral worth at least 25 marks per HD of the undead in the mouth of eye socket of the corpse for Animation to work. After using Animation, the coral blackens as its latent power drains into the corpse and becomes useless and worthless.

    Bonus Feat: At 3rd level, the necromancer gains Corpsecrafter as a bonus feat. If you already have this feat, you may instead select one of the following: Bolster Resistance, Deadly Chill, Destruction Retribution, Hardened Flesh, Necromantic Might, Necromantic Presence, Nimble Bones, Tomb-Born Fortitude, or Tomb-Born Resilience. He must meet the prerequisites as normal.

    Biological Apostasy (Su): By 4th level, the necromancer has learned the very height of his art—to turn his immortal soul into a mortal one and imprison it within a phylactery. The ritual requires one full day of work, costs 5000 marks worth of coral, and the necromancer must personally slay seven humanoids in the area in which the ritual is being conducted over the course of the day. If the necromancer is interrupted, the spell fails, the coral becomes worthless and useless, and seven more must die. The necromancer places their soul within a Tiny object, which is given 40 hit points, hardness 20, and a break DC of 40. Once the phylactery is finished, the necromancer is given true power over death. His type changes to undead, and if he is slain (reduced to 0 hit points), he regenerates next to his phylactery in a week. Only by destroying the phylactery can the necromancer be permanently destroyed.

    __________


    The necromancer can be adapted to suit the Binder class. Simply change the prerequisites from the ability to manifest 2nd level powers to the ability to bind 2nd level vestiges and increases of ML to increases of EBL. Animation has the same costs and limits, but instead of costing power points, you can only use the ability once per day. It can also be adapted to serve Druids by removing manifesting from the prerequisites and replacing it with 6 ranks in Knowledge (nature) and two Shapeshift forms (one of which must have the undead type), using the same rules for Animation as it does for Binders. They gain an extra Shapeshift form at 3rd level, an additional +2 bonus to an ability score in forms at 2nd level, and an Additional Aspect at 2nd and 4th level. Upon gaining Biological Apostasy, all of a Druid's forms also become undead, unless an aspect has been used to change the form's type from animal, and the druid does not benefit from the undead type's d12 HD, nor does the druid lose their Con score (in any form).


    Effigy Master
    "Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children."
    --Sitting Bull


    Spoiler
    Show

    Prerequisites
    Manifesting: Must be able to manifest 2nd level powers, the minor creation power
    Skills: Craft (blacksmithing or woodworking) 6, Knowledge (psionics) 6, Psicraft 6, Use Psionic Device 6
    Feats: Craft Wondrous Item

    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Manifesting

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Craft Effigy|
    -

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Effigy Link|+1 level of existing manifesting class

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Improve Effigy|+1 level of existing manifesting class

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |True Life|
    -
    [/table]

    HD: d6
    Skills: 6 + INT

    Manifesting: An effigy master increases their ML, PP/day, Renewal and Powers Known at 2nd and 3rd level, as if they had gained a level in their manifesting class. The effigy master does not receive any other class features the class would have attained, such as Bonus Feats.

    Craft Effigy (Su): An effigy master can create constructs known as effigies. An effigy master can create a number of HD worth of effigies equal to 2x his character level. An effigy functions as an acquired template, and an effigy master can create any corporeal animal, humanoid, magical beast or vermin (referred to hereafter as the base creature) as an effigy. The base creature’s type changes to construct and it loses all subtypes. As such, it has a BAB equal to ¾ of its Hit Dice (as a rogue), base saves equal to ⅓ HD, d10 HD, and loses its Constitution score and thus any bonus hit points derived from it. It gains a number of bonus hit points, however, that depend on its size:

    {table=head]Construct Size|Bonus HP

    Fine/Tiny
    |
    -

    Small
    |
    10

    Medium
    |
    20

    Large
    |
    30

    Huge
    |
    40

    Gargantuan
    |
    50
    [/table]

    The base creature’s speed remains the same, and its natural armor bonus improves by 2 points. It retains all the natural attacks and weapon proficiencies of the base creature, and an effigy based on a humanoid with no natural attacks gains a slam attack that also varies with size, as shown below:

    {table=head]Size|Attacks

    Fine-Diminutive|
    -

    Tiny|1 slam (1d2 + 1.5x STR)

    Small|1 slam (1d3 + 1.5x STR)

    Medium|1 slam (1d4 + 1.5x STR)

    Large|2 slams (1d6 + STR)

    Huge|2 slams (2d6 + STR)

    Gargantuan|2 slams (3d6 + STR)
    [/table]


    An effigy that has two slam attacks can wield a weapon in one-hand and make a slam attack with its off-hand at a -5 penalty, adding ½ its STR on the damage roll. An effigy loses all supernatural special attacks, psi-like abilities, and extraordinary special attacks for which a target’s saving throw is based on the effigy’s Constitution, but it retains any special attack that either do not require a save (rake, rend, or constrict, for example) or any for which the target’s saving throw is based on the base creature’s Strength or Dexterity. An effigy loses all special qualities but gains DR/adamantine equal to its HD. Its Strength increases by 4 but its Dexterity decreases by 2. It has no Constitution or Intelligence score, and has Wisdom 11 and Charisma 1. It loses all skill points and feats except for those feats that improve its attacks (such as Improved Natural Attack or Multiattack). The process of creating an effigy takes a full week with at least 8 hours of work each day, exhausts half of your power point reserve each day, and costs about 100 marks per HD of raw material.

    Effigy Link (Su): Starting at 2nd level, an effigy master learns to create a supernatural bond between him and one of his creations. By completing a 1-hour ritual, the effigy master can sense the effigy’s condition at all times, and can see through the effigy’s eyes at will. The effigy master can only bond to one effigy in this way at a time.

    Improve Effigy (Su): Starting at 3rd level, an effigy master’s effigies receive a +2 enhancement bonus to attack, damage, and all saves.

    True Life (Su): At 4th level, an effigy master has figured out the secret of creating true life. In a ritual taking one full day, all of the effigy master’s power points, and 1000 marks worth of diamonds, the effigy master can bring life to one of his effigies. The effigy master rerolls the creature’s mental stats, rolling 3d6 for Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma, and the effigy gains free will though it is bonded strongly to its master and only extreme circumstances or moral dissonance could lead it to betray the figure it sees as both its father and God.

    __________

    If you read Fables, you know who this class is meant to emulate.

    If you don't, then you should.

    If you don't want to, then read this.
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-11-12 at 11:52 AM.
    Dawning: The Age of Psionics
    A work in progress that is slowly being transfered from my head to the internet.

    Avatar courtesy of Mr. Saturn

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dalai Lama
    My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    "I never let my schooling interfere with my education."

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    Returner
    "Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust."
    --The Book of Common Prayers


    Spoiler
    Show

    Prerequisites
    Special: Mind Killer +2d6
    Feats: Font of Life1
    Skills: Knowledge (religion) 6 ranks

    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Necrocide

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Nimbus of Life, Mind Killer +1d6

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Superior Necrocide
    [/table]

    HD: d8
    Skills: 6 + INT

    Necrocide (Su): At 1st level, a Returner gains the ability to gain the benefits of Mind Killer against undead creatures as well as psionics-users. At 3rd level, the Returner deals double damage against undead creatures, can score a critical hit against undead creatures, and gets a +5 bonus to confirm critical hits against them.

    Nimbus of Light (Su): At 2nd level, a Returner can exude an aura of positive energy 1/encounter. For a number of rounds equal to character level, the Returner gains fast healing 2 and provides bright light out to 5 feet and shadowy illumination out to 10 feet. Additionally, as long as the nimbus is activated, the Returner can make a positive energy burst within the nimbus as a full-round action. All undead within 10 feet of you must make a DC 10 + level + INT/WIS/CHA (whichever is higher) Will save or cower for 1 round. Additionally, all allies within 10 feet are granted fast healing 1 for 1 minute. Each time this burst attack is successfully used against a particular undead, that undead gains a permanent stacking +1 bonus on the Will save against your Nimbus of Light.

    Mind Killer (Su): At 2nd level, a Returner gains +1d6 Mind Killer damage.


    Usurper
    "God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him."
    --Freidrich Nietzsche


    Spoiler
    Show

    Prerequisites
    Special: Must have had a direct encounter with a spirit, Mind Killer +2d6
    BAB: +3
    Skills: Knowledge (religion) 7, Knowledge (nature) 7
    Feats: Defense Against the Supernatural, Supernatural Crusader
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Spirit Shield, Soul Killer +2d6

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Obsidian Soul, Call Spirit

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Spirit Trap, Soul Killer +4d6
    [/table]

    HD: d8
    Skills: 6 + INT

    Spirit Shield (Su): A usurper defends himself effectively against spirits by not letting the spirit defend itself. A usurper can turn completely undetectable by spirits for one round. The usurper can use this power at will, but must wait 5 rounds before using it again. This power is also effective against binders who have the Soul Sickness class feature, but the usurper is merely invisible to their eyes, and can be located by other means. The usurper also receives a +4 bonus of Stealth checks to hide from spirits and binders.

    Soul Killer (Su): At 1st level, a usurper deals +2d6 damage to spirits and binders. At 3rd level, this damage increases +4d6.

    Obsidian Soul (Su): At 2nd level, a usurper has attuned his energy to repel spirits. Any spirit within 30 feet is sickened with no save. Binders with the Soul Sickness class feature are sickened in the same manner. Additionally, when a usurper strikes a spirit (or a Binder with the Soul Sickness class feature) with an obsidian weapon, they must make a Fort save (DC 10 + the highest of INT/WIS/CHA + Level) or be nauseated for one round.

    Call Spirit (Su): At 2nd level, a usurper learns how to call a spirit from its dwelling against its will. By completing a ritual in the spirit’s dwelling that takes 5 minutes and brings danger of attracting the spirit’s presence (a Stealth check is required to avoid the spirit, though the spirit will easily and readily notice a non-usurper’s presence, and is likely able to put two and two together—if there are a bunch of people standing watch around a particular part of a forest and the spirit is aware of no other threat, it will likely suspect that something is amiss, giving it a circumstance bonus to the Perception check). If successful, the spirit is forced into physical form 30 feet from the usurper.

    Spirit Trap (Su): At 3rd level, after vanquishing a spirit, a usurper can bind its energies into a piece of obsidian, which can be subsequently incorporated into an object to grant it powerful supernatural properties (at the discretion of the DM). Destroying the object releases the spirit. Trapping a spirit can have many consequences. Usually, the spirit in question has no desire to remain incarcerated, and will fight against the will of its possessor in an attempt to free itself. Alternatively, the absence of the spirit can leave a “hole” in nature—until the object is destroyed, no spirit can take up dwelling in the space where the trapped spirit did, and the site is likely to fall into supernatural shambles (both are consequences that, like the creation of the item itself, are subject to DM discretion). One can use this ability to transport a spirit from one dwelling to another by vanquishing it, trapping it in obsidian, and releasing it in a new location, though if it would be at odds another spirit already resting there, more conflict could be created.


    Warlock
    "I love power. But it is as an artist that I love it. I love it as a musician loves his violin, to draw out its sounds and chords and harmonies."
    --Napoleon Bonaparte


    Spoiler
    Show

    Prerequsites
    Special: Boon ability, ability to bind vestiges
    Manifesting: Power point reserve of at least 4
    Feats: Body Fuel, Overchannel

    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Manifesting

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Diabolism, Psionic Boon (1st)|+1 level of existing manifesting class

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Recondite Power, Dark Enlightenment, Soul Binding +1|+1 level of existing manifesting class

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Oathbreaker, Psionic Boon (2nd), Soul Binding +2|+1 level of existing manifesting class

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Recondite Power, Dark Enlightenment, Soul Binding +3|+1 level of existing manifesting class
    [/table]

    HD: d8
    Skills: 4 + INT

    Manifesting: A warlock increases their ML, PP/day, and Powers Known at 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th level, as if they had gained a level in their manifesting class. The warlock does not receive any other class features the class would have attained, such as Bonus Feats.

    Soul Binding (Su): At each warlock level after 1st, your soul binding ability improves as if you had also gained a level in the binder class. Your warlock and binder levels stack for the purposes of determining your bonus on binding checks, the effectiveness of your vestige-granted abilities, your ability to bind higher-level vestiges, and the number of vestiges you can bind. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a binder would have gained.

    Diabolism (Su): A warlock learns how let the otherworldly visitor they house in their body permeate to their very blood, forcing them to sacrifice as the warlock sacrifices and suffer as they suffer. At 1st level, when a Warlock uses the Body Fuel feat, they gain a number of power points back equal to their ML +1 for each point of damage dealt to STR/DEX/CON.

    Psionic Boon (Su): At 1st level, may choose one of the following boons in addition to boons provided by other classes when making a good pact. At 3rd level, the warlock may choose two:

    • +1 to Power DC
    • +3 PP/day
    • +4 to manifester level checks to overcome power resistance

    Recondite Power (Su): A Warlock’s goal is to somehow extricate a part of the vestige’s power it doesn’t wish to part with—one it prefers to keep to itself—and can use it to alter their psionic abilities. When manifesting a power, the warlock can pay 4 power points and expend his psionic focus to alter the power accordingly. This counts as augmenting the power with metapsionics, and so cannot be used to expend a number of power points on a single manifestation greater than ML. You can choose one of the following powers:
    Spoiler
    Show

    • Psionic Curse: this augment triggers a Will save (DC 10 + power level + INT/WIS/CHA modifier) grants all who attack the target(s) a +2 bonus to critical range and a +4 bonus to confirm critical hits. This bonus does not stack.

    • Psionic Bile: This augment can only be used on a power that deals direct damage to a target. Using this augment forces a Fort save (DC 10 + power level + INT/WIS/CHA modifier). Failure nauseates the target(s) for 1 round, and they have a -2 stacking penalty to Fortitude for 5 minutes.

    • Psychic Cannibal: Using this augment forces a Will save (DC 10 + power level + INT/WIS/CHA modifier). Failure drains a number of power points from the target(s) equal to the amount you spent on the power augmented by Psychic Cannibal (including the 4-point cost to use it), and the target(s) has a -2 stacking penalty to Will for 5 minutes.

    • Dark Puppeteer: Using this augment forces a Will save (DC 10 + power level + INT/WIS/CHA). Failure prevents the target from directly targeting you, though they can harm you with an area-of-effect ability or by otherwise attacking you indirectly. This augment can only be used on single-target powers.

    • Visions of the Void: Using this augment imparts a -2 stacking penalty to Reflex for 5 minutes and forces a Will save (DC 10 + power level + INT/WIS/CHA) from the target each round, starting on the round you use this power. Failure increases a normal target to shaken, a shaken target to frightened, a frightened target to panicked, and a panicked creature to cowering. These forced saves continue until the end of the encounter.

    • Forced Stigmata: Using this augment forces a Fort save (DC 10 + power level + INT/WIS/CHA) on the target. Failure deals 4 Constitution damage to the target and deals 1 damage per round until a DC 20 heal check has been made on the target. Both effects stack, though the target would not need multiple heal checks.


    Dark Enlightenment: At 2nd level, a Warlock can deal an additional 1d8 damage to himself to increase his effective ML by 2 when manifesting a power with Overchannel (instead of the standard 1d8). At 4th, he can deal an additional 2d8 damage to himself to increase his effective ML by 3.

    Oathbreaker (Su): At 3rd level, a warlock can forgo the benefits of their pact for the rest of the encounter to automatically quicken one power per round, without an increase in power point cost. After the encounter, the vestige is expelled, as if from the Expel Vestige feat, and all binding checks made for the rest of the day suffer a -4 penalty that stacks with each successive use of Oathbreaker that day.


    Knight Heterodox
    "Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall."
    --William Shakespeare, the Bard


    Spoiler
    Show

    Prerequisites
    Special: DR 1/obsidian, Soul Sickness
    Religion: Vestigialism (monotheistic)
    Proficiencies: Heavy armor proficiency
    Feat: Favored Vestige (any one vestige—if this feat has been taken twice, you do not qualify)

    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Bound to Me, Bonus Feat

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Virtue in Sin, Soul Binding +1

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Maculate Glory, Soul Binding +2

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Sinner's Saint, Virtue in Sin
    [/table]

    HD: d10
    Skills: 4 + INT

    Bound to Me (Su): At 1st level, the Knight Heterodox can bind an opponent to him, locking his soul together with his target’s, and using his patron as the chain that holds them together (Will DC 10 + Knight Heterodox level + CHA). Should the target fail its Will save, the Knight Heterodox becomes the sole available direct target to his bound foe for 5 rounds. This ability can be used 1/encounter.

    Bonus Feat: At 1st level, a Knight Heterodox gains any one feat for which they meet the prerequisites as a bonus feat.

    Soul Binding (Su): At Knight Heterodox levels 2nd and 3rd, your soul binding ability improves as if you had also gained a level in the binder class. Knight Heterodox and binder levels stack for the purposes of determining your bonus on binding checks, the effectiveness of your vestige-granted abilities, and the number of vestiges you can bind. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a binder would have gained, including the ability to bind more than one vestige at a time.

    Virtue in Sin (Su): At 2nd level, the bonus received from Favored Vestige is increased by 1, and the DC of each supernatural ability granted by your favored vestige is increased by 1 (as the Favored Vestige Focus feat, and stacks with it). You become incapable of making a bad pact with your patron vestige, and become immune to fear effects as well. At 4th level, all the above bonuses increase by +1, and if your favored vestige has a power with a recharge time of 5 rounds, it is decreased to 4.

    Maculate Glory (Su): At 3rd level, the Knight Heterodox can extend a beatitude of dark power in an area of 60', centered on himself. When an ally within that aura takes damage, the Knight Heterodox can take half of it for them, and the enemy who dealt the damage must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + Knight Heterodox level + CHA) or be sickened for 1 minute. The halo of otherworldly force can manifest in a number of ways at the Knight Heterodox' discretion--from a subtle cast of shadow to a sphere of autumn to some Lovecraftion aureola.

    Sinner's Saint (Ex):By 4th level, a Knight Heterodox lets suffering pass through their body without holding on or resiting pain--he is but a vessel for his patron of choice. When a Knight Heterodox takes damage for an ally with his Maculate Glory ability, he takes only ½ damage.


    __________
    1 Font of Life has been altered, as the taint rules are not present in this campaign setting, to double the recovery speed of natural healing.
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-12-31 at 03:48 PM.
    Dawning: The Age of Psionics
    A work in progress that is slowly being transfered from my head to the internet.

    Avatar courtesy of Mr. Saturn

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dalai Lama
    My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    "I never let my schooling interfere with my education."

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    Spirit Shaman
    "In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences."
    --Robert Green Ingersoll


    Spoiler
    Show

    Prerequisites
    Special: Renewal, Wild Empathy, Woodland Stride
    Feats: Earth Sense, Earth Power

    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Manifesting

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Improved Earth Power, Plant Speech|+1 level of existing manifesting class

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Additional Aspect, Tremorsense 60'|+1 level of existing manifesting class

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Shapeshift (2nd form), Spirit Power|+1 level of existing manifesting class
    [/table]

    HD: d8
    Skills: 6 + INT

    Manifesting: A spirit shaman increases their ML, PP/day, Renewal and Powers Known at 2nd and 3rd level, as if they had gained a level in their manifesting class. The spirit shaman does not receive any other class features the class would have attained.

    Shapeshifting: At 2nd level, the spirit shaman gets an additional aspect. At 1st and 3rd level, the spirit shaman adds a +2 bonus to one or more ability scores, as the Druid’s Shapeshift dictates. At 3rd level, the spirit shaman gains access to a 2nd form (or a 3rd, should the Spirit Shaman already possess a 2nd).

    Improved Earth Power (Ex): A spirit shaman can expend his psionic focus to pay 2 powers points less than normal instead of 1 with Earth Power. You still can’t decrease the cost of a power below 1.

    Plant Speech (Su): A spirit shaman can use Wild Empathy to commune with plants.

    Tremorsense (Su): At 2nd level, a spirit shaman gains tremorsense out to 60 feet.

    Spirit Power (Su): At 3rd level, a spirit shaman learns to harness the powers of the spirits in new ways. When a spirit shaman uses Improved Earth Power to expend psionic focus and pay less to use a power, they may also use metapsionics to enhance it.


    Seeker
    "They call me the seeker
    I’ve been searchin’ low and high
    I won’t get to get what I’m after
    ‘Til the day I die."
    --Pete Townshend of the Who


    Spoiler
    Show

    Prerequisites
    Special: Must have had a near-death experience (reduced to 0 WP)
    Feats: Tomb-Tainted Soul, Knowledge Devotion
    Skills: 5 of the following 6—Knowledge (religion) 6 ranks, Knowledge (history) 6 ranks, Knowledge (psionics), Knowledge (the planes), Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (dungeoneering) 6 ranks

    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Deathsense, Grim Contract (1 token)

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Joie de mourir, Grim Contract (3 tokens), the Path Behind

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Grim Contract (5 tokens), Friend of the Reaper

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Grim Contract (7 tokens), The Path Behind, All Paths
    [/table]

    HD: d8
    Skills: 8 + INT

    Deathsense (Su): A 1st level Seeker has the infallible ability to detect the presence and condition of nearby life. The biological status of creatures in your sight is visible to you through synesthesia. Though the exact nature of the synesthesia varies from individual to individual, the effects are the same. If you can observe the creature in 20% concealment or less, you can determine whether it is alive, seriously injured (below 0 VP), dead, or undead. You cannot perceive constructs with your death sense.

    Grim Contract (Su): To become a Seeker is not just a matter of running towards or away from death, but having special responsibilities to it. A Seeker is favored by the spirits of the dead, and is thus given a rare gift--exceptions to his mortality. At 1st level, a Seeker receives one Death Token, and receives an additional two tokens at each successive level of Seeker. Each token can only be used once, and allows the Seeker to return from the land of the dead or retrieve another's soul from that dark place, resurrecting the subject of the token from the dead. If the Seeker resurrects another, their body must be in-tact enough to support a soul, but he himself is not subject to this limitation--his body is pieced back together from materials in the land of the dead. When anyone but a Seeker returns from the dead, they forget their experiences in the underworld. The seeker remembers, but is physically unable to speak of it or otherwise reveal its secrets. The time it takes to return to the dead is subject to DM discretion--they might be raised right away, or it might take time to venture down into the underworld and retrieve the soul. Usually, a Seeker's contract with death saddles him with other responsibilities to the dead (like interment rituals).

    Joie de Mourir (Ex): A Seeker must learn to embrace and appreciate death, and in doing so sheds the fear behind all fears. At 2nd level, a seeker becomes immune to fear effects of any kind.

    The Path Behind (Ex): In flying upward to reach higher realms of knowledge, a Seeker delves further into their roots. At 2nd level and 4th level, you may choose a one of the following abilities. You cannot choose the ability if you do not have at least 1 level in the [Class] in the heading it’s under.
    Spoiler
    Show

    [Bard]
    You gain +1 effective bard level that functions for the purpose of bardic knack, bardic knowledge, DCs of performances, and eligibility for performances. In addition, you may pick one performance ability for which you qualify.

    [Binder]
    You gain +1 effective binder level and an extra two boons.

    [Champion]
    You gain +1 initiator level, one maneuver for which you qualify, and one extra readied maneuver.

    [Druid]
    The first time a Seeker chooses this option, an Additional Aspect. The second time a Seeker chooses this option, they gain the Wild Grace ability and another Additional Aspect.

    [Fighter]
    The first time a Seeker chooses this option, they gain a +1 bonus to BAB. The second time, they gain an addition +1 bonus to BAB and a bonus feat.

    [Monk]
    You gain +2 to your effective monk level in regards to your unarmed strike damage and speed bonus.

    [Psion]
    You gain a +1 level of existing manifesting class for the purposes of ML, powers known, max power level, and pp/day.

    [Psychic Warrior]
    See Psion.

    [Rogue]
    The first time a Rogue chooses this option, they gain +1d6 Sneak Attack and Trap Sense +2. The second time a Slayer chooses this option, they gain the Quickness ability and Trap Sense +4 (for a total of +4, not +6).

    [Slayer]
    You gain +1d6 Mind Killer damage and you drain an extra 4 pp with each strike.

    [Swordsage]
    See Champion.


    Friend of the Reaper (Su): At 3rd level, a Seeker's connection with death has deepened to an almost personal relationship with the force itself. Not only can the Seeker see with his deathsense as normal, his synesthesia also reveals whether or not a person is in serious danger of dying within the next 24 hours (whether or not they have yet been afflicted with what's going to endanger their life). In addition, the Seeker becomes immune to poison and disease.

    All Paths (Ex): At 4th level, a Seeker fully comprehends that all paths are the same--that even the universe is humbled before death, as all things that are born are doomed to die, and all things that die are destined to have lived. The bonuses the Seeker receives from Knowledge Devotion are doubled, and the Seeker becomes immune to critical hits, negative levels, and ability drain. When a Seeker finally runs out of Death Tokens and meets his maker again, he doesn't die as normal people do, and his body doesn't rot. Instead, he simply fades away (how it does so is up to interpretation--the Seeker fades from existence, or disperses into butterflies or autumn leaves, et cetera) as he becomes one with death.



    Chirurgeon
    "The wounded surgeon plies the steel
    That questions the distempered part;
    Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
    The sharp compassion of the healer's art."
    --T.S. Elliot

    Spoiler
    Show

    Prerequisites
    Special: Renewal
    Feats: Skill Focus (Heal)
    Skills: Autohypnosis 5 ranks, Heal 5 ranks

    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Combat Medic, Lesser Chirurgery|
    -

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Good Vibrations, Greater Chirurgery|+1 level of existing manifesting class

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Transference, Masterful Chirurgery|
    -
    [/table]

    HD: d6
    Skills: 4 + INT

    Combat Medic (Ex): At 1st level, a Chirurgeon can take 10 on a Heal check at any time, even while under duress (such as in combat situations).

    Lesser Chirurgery (Su): At 1st level, a Chirurgeon can use their psionic powers to improve a target’s condition, touching particular points of the body with psionically-charged fingertips to unlock hidden potential. By spending 1 power point and expending psionic focus, a Chirurgeon can perform a lesser act of chirurgery on a target as a full-round action (and when used on an unwilling target, requires a touch attack roll). The Chirurgeon can increase attack and damage by +1 for 5 minutes, increase all saves by +1 for 5 minutes, lower all saves by -1 for 5 minutes, or lower attack and damage by -1 for 5 minutes. The bonuses don’t stack, and can only be applied to an individual target 1/hour. At 1st level, a Chirurgeon can only apply 1 Chirurgery effect to a single target at a time.

    Good Vibrations (Su): When a Chirurgeon of 2nd level or higher performs long-term care on a patient, the psionic energy accelerates the healing process, and the patient heals at double the normal rate (this stacks with other sources of doubling in the following manner: x2, x3, x4, et cetera).

    Greater Chirurgery (Su): At 2nd level, a Chirurgeon’s ability using psionic energy to manipulate biological forces has increased tremendously. By spending 3 power points and expending psionic focus, a Chirurgeon can perform a greater act of chirurgery on a target as a standard action (and when used on an unwilling target, requires a touch attack roll). The Chirurgeon can increase Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution by 4 for 5 minutes, increase the DCs of powers of supernatural abilities by +1 for 5 minutes, grant resistance 5 to any one energy type selected at the time, decrease the DCs of powers or supernatural abilities by -1 for 5 minutes, or decrease Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution by 4 for 5 minutes. The bonuses don’t stack, and can only be applied to an individual target 1/hour. At 2nd level, a Chirurgeon can apply 2 Chirurgery effects to a single target at a time.

    Transference (Su): At 3rd level, a Chirurgeon learns how to transfer powers normally reserved for themselves to their patients. By expending her psionic focus while using a power with Range: Personal, she can instead grant the benefits of the power to a touched ally.

    Masterful Chirurgery (Su): At 3rd level, a Chirurgeon’s ability as a healer has reached the level of a master. By spending 5 power points and expending psionic focus, a Chirurgeon can perform a lesser act of chirurgery on a target as a standard action (and when used on an unwilling target, requires a touch attack roll). The Chirurgeon can increase Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma by 4 for 5 minutes, decrease Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma by 4 for 5 minutes, remove existing DR for 5 minutes, remove existing energy resistance for 5 minutes, remove existing power resistance for 5 minutes, or remove a mind-effecting from a target. The bonuses don’t stack, and can only be applied to an individual target 1/hour. In addition, a 3rd level Chirurgeon can use their Chirurgery on themselves, and can apply 3 Chirurgery effects to a single target at a time.
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-11-12 at 11:52 AM.
    Dawning: The Age of Psionics
    A work in progress that is slowly being transfered from my head to the internet.

    Avatar courtesy of Mr. Saturn

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dalai Lama
    My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    "I never let my schooling interfere with my education."

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    I'm just going to list things as I think of them.

    I enjoy your style more than anything else. You're an extremely verbose individual who isn't above just naming class features such things as 'Awesome Blow.'

    Speaking of, for Awesome Blow, consider changing 'If an obstacle prevents the completion of the opponent’s move, the opponent and the obstacle each take 1d6 points of damage, and the opponent stops in the space adjacent to the obstacle.' to 'if the opponent would collide with an obstacle, both the opponent and the obstacle each take 1d6 points of damage plus the Juggernaut's STR modifier. If this would destroy the obstacle the opponent continues moving as normal - if it does not, the opponent stops in the nearest adjacent space.'

    I know that's not worded quite right, it's been awhile since I've played 3.5, but I feel that Awesome Blow should actually have the ability to kick an opponent through a flimsy wooden door.

    The Ur Dreamers are an interesting prestige class of professional solipsists, but they have a few mechanical issues. What's stopping an Ur Dreamer from walking around and not physically changing the terrain appearance via Revelations, but just stating it 'looks exactly the same, but everyone within 50 feet/level of me takes 1d6 damage every round.' Similarly, the phrase 'make mild aesthetic changes to structures, equipment, and creatures, though cannot make something look like something it’s not' needs to be better defined. Could I make a letter to a noble still look like a letter to a noble, but simply change the writing as I see fit? Could I alter my own appearance, and if so, under what limitations (gender, height, etc)?
    Shadow Servant is cool mechanically, but the Ur Dreamer needs to be exempt from the -2 penalty to saves and AC caused by their own transformed psicrystal.

    Necromancer and Animation. My skeleton can ONLY follow me OR stand in one spot and attack things? No simple tasks?

    Returner is cool just because I love seeing prestige classes that actually provide what they promise. Nothing quite as frustrating as taking the 'I kill undead' prestige class and only getting minor benefits. Necrocide is perfect.

    Usurper has a class trait listed as both 'Obsidian Shield' and 'Obsidian Soul,' you'll want to fix that.

    Warlock and Knight Heterodox simply bore me. While solid PRCs, they need more flavour, more oomph, something MORE than simply, 'more bonuses, more boons, more feats, higher dcs, reduced recharge.' The Knight Heterodox especially was something I was excited about, instead learning it's merely a substitute for KotSS instead of something more in flavour with your own world.

    The Seeker automatically became my favorite of all the PRCs due to the great flavor and options presented. As for Deal With Death, the first thing that came to mind for the fearless Seeker was the classical 'Take Me Instead!' line. Perhaps Deal With Death allows the Seeker to suffer a fatal or near-fatal injury in place of an ally.



    Watching this thread! Surprised more people haven't commented.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    Quote Originally Posted by Dust View Post
    I enjoy your style more than anything else. You're an extremely verbose individual who isn't above just naming class features such things as 'Awesome Blow.'

    Speaking of, for Awesome Blow, consider changing 'If an obstacle prevents the completion of the opponent’s move, the opponent and the obstacle each take 1d6 points of damage, and the opponent stops in the space adjacent to the obstacle.' to 'if the opponent would collide with an obstacle, both the opponent and the obstacle each take 1d6 points of damage plus the Juggernaut's STR modifier. If this would destroy the obstacle the opponent continues moving as normal - if it does not, the opponent stops in the nearest adjacent space.'

    I know that's not worded quite right, it's been awhile since I've played 3.5, but I feel that Awesome Blow should actually have the ability to kick an opponent through a flimsy wooden door.
    I sort of nabbed it straight from the monster ability in the SRD. But I'll certainly take the praise for it!

    I love your rewording, though, and when I copied the original wording down I remember thinking, "So nothing breaks?" Perfect.

    The Ur Dreamers are an interesting prestige class of professional solipsists, but they have a few mechanical issues. What's stopping an Ur Dreamer from walking around and not physically changing the terrain appearance via Revelations, but just stating it 'looks exactly the same, but everyone within 50 feet/level of me takes 1d6 damage every round.'
    Nothing. By 7th level, a character has enough power to be spoken of in legends for thousands of years. Dealing 1d6 damage/round within 350' sounds alright to me.

    Similarly, the phrase 'make mild aesthetic changes to structures, equipment, and creatures, though cannot make something look like something it’s not' needs to be better defined. Could I make a letter to a noble still look like a letter to a noble, but simply change the writing as I see fit? Could I alter my own appearance, and if so, under what limitations (gender, height, etc)?
    Shadow Servant is cool mechanically, but the Ur Dreamer needs to be exempt from the -2 penalty to saves and AC caused by their own transformed psicrystal.
    What I meant was that though they can't change what's being perceived (in terms of objects and people and such), but they can change the way you perceive it. Essentially, you can create illusionary overtone and emotional stimulus. As for Shadow Servant, the Ur Dreamer is immune to his Shadow Servant--there's a clause that mentions she can exempt a subject from its effects, which includes herself.

    Necromancer and Animation. My skeleton can ONLY follow me OR stand in one spot and attack things? No simple tasks?
    *facepalm* Yeah, that wasn't intentional.

    Returner is cool just because I love seeing prestige classes that actually provide what they promise. Nothing quite as frustrating as taking the 'I kill undead' prestige class and only getting minor benefits. Necrocide is perfect.
    I've always thought the same thing about all the undead-slayers I've seen in the past. I think I'm going to remove the blurb that specifically describes Superior Necrocide, though--it mentions its 3rd level effects in the description of Necrocide itself, and I don't want it to seem as though a Returner goes from +2d6 damage against undead to +2d6 damage, and then quadruple it.

    One thing that worries me, though, is how the critical hit system interacts with undead, who have no WP. In essence, a successful critical would be an instant-kill. Adding a +5 bonus to confirm seems a bit much, on second evaluation. So, too powerful or just powerful enough?

    Usurper has a class trait listed as both 'Obsidian Shield' and 'Obsidian Soul,' you'll want to fix that.
    Sure will.

    Warlock and Knight Heterodox simply bore me. While solid PRCs, they need more flavour, more oomph, something MORE than simply, 'more bonuses, more boons, more feats, higher dcs, reduced recharge.' The Knight Heterodox especially was something I was excited about, instead learning it's merely a substitute for KotSS instead of something more in flavour with your own world.
    You're absolutely right. Got me some work to do.

    The Seeker automatically became my favorite of all the PRCs due to the great flavor and options presented. As for Deal With Death, the first thing that came to mind for the fearless Seeker was the classical 'Take Me Instead!' line. Perhaps Deal With Death allows the Seeker to suffer a fatal or near-fatal injury in place of an ally.
    I love this idea. I've been trying to figure out the right mechanic for bringing himself back from the dead, and I'm including the Take Me Instead option.

    Also, I can build Orpheus now. Bard 3/Seeker 4.
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-10-11 at 04:20 PM.
    Dawning: The Age of Psionics
    A work in progress that is slowly being transfered from my head to the internet.

    Avatar courtesy of Mr. Saturn

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dalai Lama
    My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    "I never let my schooling interfere with my education."

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    I've made minor revisions to the Juggernaut, the Ur Dreamer, and Necromancer, a single major change to the Seeker, and a complete overhaul of the Warlock and the Knight Heterodox. Now I actually want to play them.

    EDIT: Chirurgeon added 10/12/10.
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-10-12 at 04:57 PM.
    Dawning: The Age of Psionics
    A work in progress that is slowly being transfered from my head to the internet.

    Avatar courtesy of Mr. Saturn

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dalai Lama
    My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    "I never let my schooling interfere with my education."

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    Didn't want this to fall into the dark recesses of page 3 and beyond, where great ideas go to die. There is a LOT of stuff here.
    Last edited by Dust; 2010-10-14 at 08:06 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    Nations

    Valbara

    Spoiler
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    History of Valbara
    Valbara lies at the base of Ur-Ignis, the volcano at the center of the Great Continent, allegedly built over the site of man's first settlement. Valbara was founded shortly after the Psionic Dawn, and its founder was a man named Roland. Unlike the majority of those affected by the Psionic Dawn, Roland was not gifted with psionic power--instead, he was one of the few blessed with Indu's gift. Roland deeply explored the potential of the energy that been imbued into his body, and found that he could turn it not only against psions, but against Jyotis' kin as well, and eventually, Roland learned to trap spirits within obsidian, and became the first Usurper.

    Roland bound a sea spirit called Caliburn into a piece of obsidian set into a master's blade, a spirit of the winds called Tangu into an elegant rug (with obsidian sewn into the lining), a terrible spirit of the night called Kamazots into a cloak fastened by obsidian brooches, a spirit of the earth called Tammuz into a tome written in ink made with powdered obsidian, and Lemuria, a death spirit who sheltered the drowned, was imprisoned in a crown of red coral adorned with a shimmering shard of obsidian.

    He used the powers of these spirits to cut a swath through the jungles around the Black River, the longest river in the world (though only about a portion of its length is in Valbaran territory) named for the volcanic black silt that colors its waters. Roland created trading posts all along the Black River and eventually carved his mercantile empire into a true nation-state. Though Roland cut down large tracts of jungle to make room for settlements and trading posts, a sizable amount of jungle and swamp still occupies the expanses of Valbara.

    Roland was as sharply intelligent as he was ruthless, and though he was not known to kill when other strategies proved superior, he was never opposed to brutally efficient violence when the situation called for it. As Roland's reign extended into his old age, he desperately sought to extend his own life, and trekked across the Continent to steal power from other spirits.

    His first attempt involved the imprisonment of Dindrane, a spirit of purity and life energy--her soul was placed into a piece of obsidian laid into a goblet. Roland nearly found his death before he resolved to have one of his advisors taste of wine poured into Dindrane. Though drinking from the goblet would restore the drinker's youth, but only if the spirit within judged them worthy. Dindrane did not judge Roland's advisor so, and so the wine instead wracked his body with holy venom, ending in an extremely painful death.

    Aware of the blood on his hands, Roland captured a spirit of the cleansing flame within an obsidian amulet, called Alerion, which granted its wearer with immunity to fire (and the amulet was immune itself) and to senescence as well. Roland's brother Pharamond, however, was not willing to see Roland become an undying tyrant, and he feared a future where Roland conquered the world with his ever-increasing knowledge and power. When Roland returned to Valbara after finding Alerion and trapping him within the amulet, Pharamond had arranged a military coup. Roland's remaining guard clashed with Pharamond's army, and Pharamond himself fought with his brother high above, atop Tangu. Pharamond cast Alerion into Ur-Ignis, and eventually wrestled his brother from the flying carpet, and so Roland fell to his death.

    Pharamond gave Caliburn to the Meropian king at the time, but the sword would not avail itself to his power. He gave Tangu to the Southern city-state of Canaan in exchange for enough gold to retain power in Valbara and keep it stable. Roland had already given Kamazotz to the Lord of Golgotha for unknown reasons, and reports of giving the Lemuria, the coral crown, to a man in a black cloak who stank of the ocean depths, and who walked into the sea after receiving his prize. Dindrane's whereabouts are unknown. Pharamond gifted Tammuz to the Karnaki dwarves, who used the spirit's powers to create the golem, a personal bodyguard to the high priest, but who was won over by the heretical Father Dragomir, and has never been seen again.

    Valbara has remained a cornerstone of civilization, and is sometimes called the hub of the world. Valbara is known for its rejection of spiritual power over mankind, its large minority of elves (15% of the population are elven, and 5% are half-breeds1), and for being both a haven for wealth and a breeding ground for crime, with lots of trade to steal and plenty of jungle to hide in. As a result, the Valbaran trading companies employ a large number of bounty hunters, issued the license to kill in the pursuit of those who would steal from their employers.

    Valbaran Politics
    Valbara is officially a monarchy, but in practice, the king is not the most powerful and influential leader of Valbara, which is at heart a plutocracy and thus ruled more directly by the wealthy heads of Valbara's guilds and cartels. The pre-eminent guilds in Valbara are Les Gondoliers, Le Métier des Fermiers, Le Métier des Artisanes, Le Métier d'Esclavage, Le Métier des Tailleurs, Le Métier des Charpentiers, Le Métier des Marchands, and Les Limiers. When a king passes a law, it must be put up to a vote. Though the king himself gets a goodly number of votes, each guild also receives a number of votes based on how many members belong to the guild. Le Métier des Marchands and Le Métier des Artisanes both have more votes than even the king, and Le Métier des Fermiers and Le Métier d'Esclavage both have almost as many votes as the king. The amount of votes the other guilds hold are also far from negligible. Despite being able to veto law, the guilds cannot make it, though use money or other forms of coercion to influence the king's decisions.

    Les Gondoliers are a small guild just beginning to rise in power. Early elven immigrants in about 225 PD were originally not trusted in Valbara to perform many jobs, largely due to the language barrier between the Gondwanan-speaking elves and the natives speaking varyingly-dialected Valbaran. As such, one of the few positions elves were allowed in Valbara was to man the boats that transported people across the city-state. Elves, often referred to as "Gonds," lent their name to both the boats they manned (les gondoles) and the name of the Guild that eventually formed. Originally a guild solely for elven ferrymen on the Black River (le Fleuve Noir), it has been expanding to serve elven workers across Valbara, though it still mostly focuses on those who work down the Black River (such as those who farm along it or those who mine obsidian near it). Its current leader is a half-elf named Caron.

    Le Métier des Fermiers is Valbara's agricultural guild, and is none too happy with the Gondoliers for stepping on their toes in regards to farming along the Black River. Les Gondoliers insist that elven farmers are under Les Gondoliers' jurisdiction, while Les Fermiers disagree, saying they are farmers first and thus belong to Les Fermiers.

    Le Métier des Artisanes is Valbara's guild of craftsmen, and as such is a major political force in Valbara. Its main political enemy is Le Métier des Marchands, the guild in charge of the many Valbaran marketplaces wherein goods are haggled for, bought and sold.

    Le Métier des Tailleurs is a fairly recent guild, and only about 100 years old. It doesn't have much political pull, as it broke away from Le Métier des Artisanes as an off-shoot group focused specifically on the production of clothing, shoes, et cetera. They have poor relations with Les Artisanes, and are sometimes referred to jokingly as the vassal of Les Marchands. They have good relations with another of the more minor guilds, Le Métier des Charpentiers (the Valbaran carpenter's guild).

    Le Métier d'Esclavage is a guild in charge of Valbara's slave trade. In Valbara, one can sell oneself as a slave to the Slave's Guild for a number of years (usually between 5 and 20), who hire them out to those in need of slave labor. The proceeds go to the slave's family, another person of the slave's choosing, or to Le Métier d'Esclavage if the slave is deep in debt. A powerful but controversial guild, as prisoners are often given the option of selling themselves as a slave rather than living out a prison sentence.

    Le Métier d'Esclavage is closely tied to Les Limiers ("the bloodhounds"), the bounty hunter's guild, who often track down escaped slaves and return them to Le Métier. Les Limiers also sometimes serve as simple Valbaran policemen. Les Limiers is currently run by a human named Nazaire.

    In recent times, a group of human supremacists called Les Racines have terrorized Valbaran elves on multiple occasions. They began operating about 15 years ago, and their leader remains enigmatic.

    Religion in Valbara
    Religion does not have a strong hold in Valbara, and it generally isn't considered much of an issue by the populace, but it has cropped up in small ways. Many elven immigrants who have abandoned their homes still wish to hold onto their roots in some way, and so have remained Spiritualist, deciding to tithe and worship the spirit of the Black River. They believe that the river spirit feeds on sin, and that by bathing in La Fleuve Noir, their sins are consumed by the river and thus they are washed clean. Some humans who live along the river have adopted this elven river woship, and some elves (especially those who decided that the life of a criminal pays way better than any job they could get) have put a more dangerous spin on their worship.

    These elves purposefully "stain their souls" by committing evil and then offering that evil to the river before going out to gather more sin with which to empower their god.

    Besides this Black River Spiritualism (which is practiced by about 11% of the population, and 9 of that percentage is elven), Mandalism is practiced by about 15%, and other religions have small fingerholds on Valbara. Generally speaking though, a lack of religion is the Black River's strongest faith.

    Valbaran Culture
    Valbara has three major holidays: Moussonoir, Belété, and Masquerade. Moussonoir celebrates the coming of the rainy season, and is celebrated with wild rain dances and excessive consumption of elaborately prepared fish. Belété celebrates the coming of the summer season, and is celebrated with performances by fire eaters, fire dancers, and some extremely spicy food (along with bowls of mashed bananas and ice).

    Valbaran cuisine has similarities to real-world Indian cuisine, with its many spices and exotic foods grown in the jungles. Bananas are a hot Valbaran commodity, as is cotton, and both grow along the Black River.

    Most Valbaran natives dress in thin cotton garments to combat the sweltering summer heat, and a wide-brimmed black hat. In dryer seasons, leather jackets have gone into vogue, and many Valbarans can be seen in such outfits (especially bounty hunters, who often travel outside of Valbara for their quarries).

    The guitar was invented in Valbara by natives, but technique has been heavily divided. The classical style of guitar (think Spanish guitar) has been played in Valbara almost from its inception, and Pharamond is said to have been an excellent guitarist. An elf named Kaleva created a style all his own (think bayou blues) almost 40 years ago, in 367 PD. The style has since spread to most Gondoliers, and has become increasingly popular to the general populace in the past 20 years.

    The Valbaran language is equivalent to French.


    Rodinia

    Spoiler
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    History of Rodinia
    Rodinia has been a center for civilization for thousands of years, though its initial formation was that of a number of tribes dwelling throughout the area. These tribes first united under the rule of Arista, who led a tribe that settled by the bay (the site of which eventually became Rodinia's capital of Corona), at around 400 AS. This was the foundation of both Rodinia and the Rodinian monarchy, while reigned supreme over the city-state for almost 500 years. The Theocratic Revolution changed that.

    In ~800 AS, a man named Bolivar had an affair with the Queen and so was slated for execution when the King discovered what had happened. Bolivar escaped into the wilds of Rodinia, outside of the city-state's bay stronghold, and received a vision of all the universe, encapsulated in what he called a mandala.

    Bolivar perceived the mandala itself speaking to him, as the fundamental force of the universe, and it showed him how all things were designs within the mandala, and often formed mandalas within the great mandala in the universe, and that all things had been written into the mandala since the beginning of time. Bolivar wandered Rodinia for the rest of his life, devoting himself to the spread of his new religion, which he called Mandalism. Many converted to Mandalism, but after 40 years of preaching and gathering disciples, Bolivar was captured by the Rodinian government and drowned in the bay.

    This incensed the many faithful in the populace, and Bolivar's greatest disciples began rousing the people to action. Not 20 years after Bolivar's death, the Mandalist church rose up against the Rodinian monarchy and assassinated nearly every member of the royal family of Arista--only the king's four daughters were spared at first. Three converted to Mandalism and were forced into life as priestesses, while one, Dolores, refused to do so. She remained in her family's own dungeon for the rest of the days. Supplied with parchment and writing implements, Dolores wrote one of the most famous Rodinian works of all time, known as Días Sin Sol, a compilation of hundreds of poems written while in captivity. According to the popular myth, when Dolores' body was discovered, along with her poetry, the soldier who read it carried her body into sunlight and wept, while the body of Dolores, who was known to never laugh, or smile, or even look at or talk to her captives, sighed and smiled in the sun. The name gets its title from one of the poems in the volume.2

    With the Mandalist church established as the head of the state, the Sumo Sacerdote (high priest) essentially took the role of the king, with the rest of the church serving as the larger body of the government, and when the High Priest died, he was replaced by the next priest in line (as many church "positions" were created to facilitate this process).

    Since the Theocratic Revolution, Rodinia has flourished into one of the premier nations of the world, as well as the Continent's religious capital. Mandalism is the world's largest unified religious tradition in the world, and travelers from all over voyage to Rodinia to connect with the Mandalist faith.

    Government of Rodinia
    Rodinia runs on a strict occupational caste system, in which one is born into one's job, and where different castes have different rights. The lowest caste is the Labrador caste. Labradores are born into the position of farmers, animal husbandmen, and other labor positions, and are required to go to agricultural college at the age of 10. Though Labradores are entitled to adequate shelter from their employers and an "appropriate" share for their labor (labradores working for a land-owner split 50% of the harvest and whatnot between eachother). The second caste are Los Soldados, the military caste of Rodinia, who are given military instruction from the age of 6, and allowed no other pursuits besides Mandalist study. Despite these restrictions, Los Soldados are paid a regular salary and may own land. The third caste are Los Arquitectes, who are given instruction in carpentry, geometry, astronomy, sculpting, and of course, religion. Los Arquitectes are free to own land, and are paid a high salary to build and maintain Rodinia's architecture as well as plan its cities. Using Rodinia's native stone, a particularly white shade of limestone, Los Arquitectes have created many wonders for which Rodinia is famed, and which will be described in greater detail under the Cultural section. The final and highest caste in Rodinia is, of course, its priests (called "Los Rectores") who have been encouraged to be natural scientists and scholars.

    The Theocratic monarchy prevailed for many centuries, but in recent times, a revolution quite different has taken place in Rodinia. In 333, Desiderio was born to a member of the priesthood, and quickly rose through the priestly ranks. When the Sumo Sacerdote Gonzago died, Desiderio was appointed ruler over Rodinia at the young age of 30. He was known for his exceptional charisma, and as soon as he took power he began pushing for the creation of a Constitutional monarchy. In 388 PD, he succeeded in his aims, and utterly transformed Rodinian government. Though he retained the caste system, he created another caste which functioned differently than the others: Los Magos. As Desiderio was loathe to put all of the psionic power in one caste, he made Los Magos the one caste that one was not born into. Instead, those born with the psionic gift continued life in their caste, but could attend Rodinia's Psionic College at the age of 16 regardless of caste. Members from the college are hand-selected by the priesthood for placement into Los Magos, who are a caste above Los Arquitectes, and are often personally employed by higher-ups in Los Rectores. Those who do not make the cut return to their previous caste upon completing their studies, but are often put in charge of other Labradores due to their abilities.

    The largest change put in place by Desiderio, however, was the way he changed the kingship: now, when a king died, Los Rectores must put the rulership to a vote (with the voting process detailed in-depth in the constitution). The new king rules for the rest of his life, but cannot change the caste system further without putting it to a vote among Los Rectores, and cannot alter the voting system or anything else dictated in the constitution. When Desiderio ran for election, he won almost unanimously, but in 393 PD, a priest named Almagro, who was against the inclusion of a psionic caste (much less one that one wasn't hereditary) and the constitution itself, assassinated Desiderio with four other priests, armed with concealed firearms. The priests were executed and the current ruler, Sumo Sacerdote Fortunato, was elected head of Rodinia. Fortunato has ruled for 12 years, and his reign has been characterized with frequent trade and interaction with Bet-Ea, as well as a focus on arming the Rodinian military with gunpowder weaponry and increased tension with the Spiritualist Meropis to their South.

    Culture in Rodinia
    Rodinia is known best for being the birthplace of Mandalism, and the prevalence of añil (woad) and Rodinian granite to the Rodinian north and northeast, and the strange setasueños that can be found on the Western half of Rodinia.

    Añil is considered sacred in the Mandalist faith, and having designs similar to the real-world Māori tā moko carved into the body in the same process using uñitas (the Rodinian name for the Māori uhi) and the indigo añil. Rodinians are known to be tall, with pale skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. They tend to wear simple garments that cover little but the waist, and brightly colored feathers from birds in the area are considered very fashionable (though it is considered uncouth for a priest to wear them). In the winter, they wear leather garments (usually tassled) worked from hide of the cows that are so prominent in Rodinia.

    All Rodinian communities find their nucleus in the Rodinian longhouse. Longhouses are built on raised earthwork mounds, as in extinct real-world Mississippian culture (the largest mound site being my namesake!), in the center of town, often on top of burial mounds in which priests are buried. Labradores find their homes in large tents of hide made to provide protection from the cold, while wealthier arquitectes and soldados live in more house-like structure. Only los rectores live in the longhouse, which also serves as the local church. The priests hold religious rituals there, collect tribute from the labradores and other denizens of the town, and hold ceremonies in times of great plenty or great want when the denizens of the community gather in the longhouse, and are each given shares from the priesthood's stores.

    Many other buildings are often also built on these mound-like structures, especially in larger cities.

    Picture of a small Rodinian village
    .

    Setasueños are a species of mushroom with hallucinogenic properties, are often used in religious rituals for Mandalist priests. One of initiation rites for becoming a priest of the Mandala is the consumption of the mushroom, which is identical to the real-world amanita muscaria.

    Common structures built with stone are echo chambers--perfectly cylindrical or conical rooms carved from stone (now often with psionic assistance) in which about a dozen priests can fit, often built as an annex to the local longhouse. Echoes persist for long periods of time in these chambers, and prayer circles and religious discussions are often held by the priests in them. They are also open to the priesthood for vision quests via the setasueño.

    Other sculptures, mostly from stone, adorn the squares of many cities, and in Rodinia's largest cities, the priests reside in ornate castles instead of a longhouse. In the recent century, arquitectes have begun to sculpt more often in copper or wrought iron as well.

    The Rodinian language is equivalent to real-world Spanish.


    Meropis

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    History of Meropis
    Though Meropis is now one of the great world powers, it has origins far humbler. What is known the world over as the nation of Meropis truly began in ~700 AS as a small settlement on the other side of the bay, a sort of mirror to Rodinia's capital of Corona to the north. Meropis was named for one of the two spirits of the sea that sheltered the people of early Meropis, and was the wife to its opposite spirit, Caliburn. The state was considered a conglomerate of mere barbarians by its Northern brothers for much of its existence. For hundreds of years, Meropis lived on the brink of destruction, doing constant battle with other barbarian tribes around it. In the latter centuries of the Age of the Spirits, a king named Lysander shaped Meropis' loose military into a true fighting force and swept across the barbarian tribes, conquering them in the name of Meropis. Even then, however, Meropis truly only rested at the lip of the bay where it started, with the other tribes serving as mere vassals, to pay tribute and continue governing themselves.

    The Psionic Dawn seemed to spell Meropis' peril, however. Roland did combat with the spirit of Caliburn and bound him within a sword of masterwork quality. Roland brought the blade with him on his conquests, though Caliburn refused to yield his power to him. The loss of Caliburn signaled the deterioration of the Meropian government. Tensions began rapidly mounting between the kingdom of Meropis and Rodinia. Lysander IV desperately tried to prepare his country for the onslaught he saw in the future, and began attempting to nationalize Meropis, turning the vassal tribes into true parts of the Meropian kingdom. Though he vastly expanded the capabilities of the Meropian war machine, it was abundantly clear by his death that the Meropian military was dwarfed by the Rodinians. He famously stated upon his death, "Time has spent me, and thee, I fear." The throne was passed to 35 year-old Lysander V in 95 PD. With destruction looming ever closer, Lysander V attempted to negotiate a treaty and improve relations between the two nations by offering up his daughter Gloriana (his only heir, and 13 at the time) to the son of the Rodinian Sumo Sacerdote, Iago II. Gloriana was put onto a ship with her mother and her attendants across the bay. They set sail on a clear day, but upon reaching the middle of the bay the skies clouded over and storms streaked the skies. The ship was capsized and all were killed, save Gloriana, who appeared unconscious but unharmed on the shores of Meropis the very next day. This ended hope of a Meropian peace, and only five years after taking the throne, Lysander died of an infection. At the age of 18, beautiful Gloriana took the throne, and only a year later (101 PD), Iago I declared war on Meropis over control of the Great Bay, and the Rodinian armada descended upon the nation. Aided by her advisor and close friend, Mordred, who was skilled with the psionic gift, Gloriana managed to repel the first small wave of attackers, but could not stem the tide of Rodinian ships and soldiers. Still, Gloriana fought bravely on, repelling invaders from the Meropian homeland with fewer and fewer resources at her disposal. She famously inspired her troops by riding around the battlefield shouting inspiring speeches while naked on horseback and protected by Mordred's psionic enchantments (and inspiring she was--known as the Fair Queen for most of her life, Gloriana's fiery red hair, ivory skin, deep blue eyes, and general comeliness surely made a great number of Meropian soldiers willing to die for their country).

    A famous painting of Gloriana beginning one of her rides into war, painted by Jocelyn of Joyce in 345 PD.

    By 103 PD, Gloriana knew that though they had managed to survive so far, defeat was imminent without something to change the tide. She was reportedly visited in a dream by the imprisoned spirit of Caliburn, and remembered that Pharamond had dispersed many of his brother's artifacts across the lands they hailed from. With hope that Caliburn, the Sword of Meropis was within the nation's borders, she and Mordred began searching for the blade, and found out that the blade had been deposited at the bottom of Bonny Lake. She famously approached the lake, waded in to her ankles, and pulled the sword from the shallows of the lake, though they had been explored by her men the day before, with the blade surmised to have been at the bottom. She returned to Meropis' capital again in the year of 105 PD to see no more than 4 ships of the Meropian fleet left and the Rodinian armada approaching 50-strong, the remaining total of Rodinian forces ready to crush their enemy in a single decisive attack. With Caliburn in hand, Gloriana lept upon one of the ship and led them out to attack the armada. As they approached, Gloriana lashed out with the blade and the waters themselves were cut in twain. She summoned a terrible typhoon and destroyed the Rodinian armada to the last main, without losing a single ship of her own.

    With that, the war was ended, and control of the Great Bay (which is known to this day as the Bay of Gloriana) was awarded to Meropis, as well as a good portion of Rodinian white granite. Meropian then assembled 12 circles of 12 great knights, and sent them across Meropis to spread the word of their victory, provide provisions to settlements under siege, and restore order to the wartorn country. Gloriana urged these knights to be paragons of virtue, to inspire the people to be proud of their nationality and ensure security in the kingdom. Using the stone, Gloriana commissioned many great castles to be built across the land, and built what is known as the Hall of Heroes, an enormous stone building dedicated to the nation's heroes. The center room holds statues the twelve leaders of the Circle of Knights (one from each of the circles), with a statue of Gloriana standing proudly in the center (erected posthumously).

    Gloriana married Mordred, and they produced four children. For many years, Gloriana and Mordred ruled Meropis happily, but as Caliburn remained imprisoned, the spirit underwent dark works in a bid for freedom. He began whispering in Mordred's ear and appearing to him in sleep, driving him to obsession with the sword's attainment as decades passed. The main problem to surmount was that Gloriana carried the sword on her person at almost all times. In 135 PD, Mordred couldn't stand it anymore, and had arranged a conspiracy to seize the sword and turn it over to him. He recruited a number of soldiers to descend upon Gloriana in her throne room, and take the sword by force, but the plan went horribly awry. Gloriana's men fended off the usurpers, and Prosper, Gloriana's youngest son and a paragon of righteousness in the land, loved by all, was killed in the skirmish. All soldiers were executed save one, who Gloriana interrogated tirelessly. Though she resorted not to physical abuse, she would daily come to the man's cell and weep, "Who has taken my son from me? Why won't you tell me who murdered him, so that he may rest in peace?" After months of this, the men finally sobbed back, "Mordred, Mordred, Mordred."

    When encountered with his deed, Mordred did the same as his wife and the soldier: he wept. Mordred exiled himself and was never heard from again, and Gloriana retired to a fishing village she renamed St. Prosper's, in honor of her fallen son (now featured with his own room in the Hall of Heroes), where she spent the rest of her days. She had a temple constructed by the coast that was adorned with Prosper's bones over the entryway, which remains one of Meropis' most beautiful (if not macabre) buildings.

    In 160 PD, at the age of 78, Gloriana woke with a start at the midnight hour, hitched up her horse, and roused 12 Spiritualist priests to join her at the lip of the Bay of Gloriana. She commanded them to begin a ritual to implore the reunification of Meropis and Caliburn, and then cast the blade into the sea. She whispered, "At last," and died on the spot.

    It is now the year 405 PD, and Meropis is ruled by the 54 year-old King Duncan, whose 16-year reign so far has been characterized by mounting tension against the Rodinians, staunch Spiritualism, and dedication to the arts (especially the theater). Duncan has spoken out against Mandalism on many occasions, and has written a few plays venerating the reign of Gloriana and the 12 Circles of Knights, and has even assembled his elite guard to mimic the knights.

    Meropian Government
    Meropis is a monarchy, and that monarchy is absolutely rooted into Meropian culture. Monarchs are taught to speak in the royal "we," as the Meropian ruler is meant to be a representative of the nation itself. A metaphor that is often made is that the monarch of Meropis is the mortal spirit of the nation, and official doctrine according to the Meropian Spiritualist Church states that the king or queen is fated to rule and blessed by the spirits Meropis and Caliburn. There are several occasions throughout the year where the king or queen parades through the kingdom of Meropis with his or her (heavily armed) entourage, and the subjects are essentially conditioned to love the monarch as nigh-infallible, of leading the state where it is meant to go.

    Gloriana was Meropis' first queen, but since her death several other queens have taken the throne. Meropis is the one of the only nations in the world with full equality extended to both genders (a law put into place by Gloriana herself). A Meropian woman has the right to choose her husband, the right to own land, the right to inherit property, and the right to lead a household (the eldest child takes the mantle of family head when the former head dies, regardless of gender, and this of course extends to the monarchy, as well).

    Many noble houses also exist in Meropis, and either relatives of the royalty or are related to former royalty in smaller kingdoms vassalized earlier in Meropis' history, that have since been assimilated into the larger Kingdom of Meropis.

    Meropian Culture
    Meropis has grown into one of the cultural capitals of the world in modern times (though still not as influential on global culture as Samaria). The temple of St. Prosper's is no longer just a place of worship, but an academy of the arts. Duncan's mother, Miranda II, became Queen at the age of 23 after her mother Miranda I was assassinated in 341 PD. She passed the rule to her regent for seven years, and retreated to St. Prosper's where her great ancestor had after the death of her son. Artists and writers from across Meropis had gathered in St. Prosper's to work, and Miranda II became considered as one of them. Though she produced no work of note herself, she was dubiously known to be more concerned with the arts than actual rule for most of her life but was loved for it as well. Though she took a husband upon ascending to the throne, she and Jocelyn of Joyce, one of Meropis' greatest painters, were lovers until Jocelyn fell victim to the Red Death in 356 PD.3 Many love letters between the two were written, and their relationship speaks well of Meropis' policies on homosexuality. Though the Spiritualist Church refuses to perform marriage ceremonies for a couple that cannot bear children (they refuse to unify couples who are barren, as well), homosexual lovers for both men and women are not uncommon, and though rarely spoken of, there is not a great deal of social stigma placed on the topic. Sadly, homosexual lovers are not given the right of inheritance of household, estate, or family name, though individual property that is not rooted to the land can be given in a will.

    St. Prosper's Temple was formerly opened as an Academy of the Arts by Duncan in 399 PD, and many great artists across Meropis have been given a pension by Duncan to live in St. Prosper's Temple, and take on a small number of apprentices each year. The other place of formal education is the Psionic College of Meropis, built in 262 PD by Queen Titania, herself a powerful psion.

    Meropis is also the home of one of Talamh's more recent religious traditions. At the dawn of the 4th century PD, a man named Christopher of Eselde founded Sojournism. Christopher was a Meropian merchant whose fortunes were lost at sea. Mourning his wealth and desperate for money to support his family, Christopher set off on another merchant's ship as just another sailor...which was caught in a storm. He escaped the ship on an emergency vessel, and eventually landed on the Semelese coastline. Without a cent to his name, Christopher made a pilgrimage back to Meropis through great nations he had never seen before, and even passed through the unforgiving wilderness. Halfway through his journey, Christopher abandoned the search for wealth and embraced an ascetic lifestyle. By the time he found his family in Meropis again, he had been religiously awakened, and wrote a manifesto that would become the skeleton of Sojournism. Christopher theorized that the mind and the body were inextricably linked, and that physical action would prompt the same action mentally. Thus, Christopher of Eselde proposed that to walk the path to enlightenment, one must literally walk a path, and that travel without relying on anything but your own ability or the kindness of others to survive. By stripping yourself of everything but the journey, Eselde wrote, one is able to become a simple part of the path, and in so doing, truly become one with the natural world. Like many great thinkers living in the wake of the Psionic Dawn, Eselde rejected the necessity of the spirits, and conjectured that humanoid-kith could serve the same function. By subsiding into the path in death, one joined nature and supplied it with the same life as the spirits did. Sojournism has begun to spread rapidly across the world, and though no formal church of Sojournism exists, Eselde's followers can be found across the world.

    The Meropian language is equivalent to real-world English.


    Samaria

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    History of Samaria
    Samaria is known across the world as the Jewel of the East, and is considered the cultural capital of the world (as Paris is, or at least was, in the real world).

    Samaria was supposedly founded deep in antiquity, when a tribe of Spiritualist peoples fled far East from Rodinia at the beginning of the Theocratic Revolution. When they came upon a land lush and green, they settled down, but a cruel spirit who had dominion over the land demanded blood in return for letting the people stay. The spirit demanded the lives of every man of the tribe to be offered to him. The people were extremely tired and hungry, having been driven out by the spirits of the land in all areas they visited prior, and knew that they could go no further if they wanted to live. But the tribe had been led to the land by a priest, whose daughter was named Esmeralda, and Esmeralda said to the spirit, "Take my life instead." The spirit did, and the blood that was shed from her supposedly originate the green emeralds in the Samarian soil. Esmeralda's soul overtook the spirit, and now she reigns as the protector spirit of the capital city built on the spot, called Santa Esmeralda. Visitors are welcome to the city, but only those who worship and tithe to Esmeralda are able to live there (though one is not bound to tithe to only Esmeralda--the worship of other spirits is permitted as well).

    The small tribe of Samaria slowly spread out to the Northeastern coast, bordering Karnak to the West and Nod to the South, and grew to become the Samaria of modern times.

    Contact with the draconic nations of the Occident was first made in 139 PD by Samarian trade ships, who were blown off-course by a storm. The Western part of the continent was presumed sunken by the Dragons in ages prior, and only now is it common knowledge that the Dragons rent apart the land and separated it into the three kobold nations. The Samarians sighted the land of Bet-Ea, and though initial contact was friendly, and trade routes were even opened between the two nations, the relationship soured like milk left out in the desert. By 180 PD, Bet-Ea had cut off trade routes with Samaria. In 203 PD, a historical alliance was made between Bet-Ea and Ka-Tadan, the first alliance between two draconic nations in modern times. The event was not a marker for global peace, however, but for the bloodiest war in history. Bet-Ea and Ka-Tadan had not drawn their lots together out of friendship, but only to wage war upon Samaria and reap the bounties of the green land. An armada of both Bet-Ean and Ka-Tadanese forces descended first upon the three tiny islands off the Samarian coast, in a day which is now "celebrated" as Lágrimas, the Day of Tears. The islands, often affectionately called As Irmãs ("the sisters" in Samarian), were barely more than large fishing villages, with almost no military to speak of, and the kobold forces burned all three to the ground as their first act of war.

    Horrified at the atrocity of this action, the Noddic government declared war on the Draconic Alliance of Bet-Ea and Ka-Tadan, and the Draco-Samarian War truly begun.

    As Nod's scientist had perfected the mixture of gunpowder, they brought the arquebus, an early matchlock pistol, to the fight, and supplied an enormous supply of the weapons to their Samarian allies. As the arquebus required almost no training for its operation in comparison to the bow, the spread of these weapons allowed the Samarian government to field massive, improvised militias composed mostly of civilians, often backed up by the more skilled Noddic cavalry or official Samarian infantry. Early in the war, these guns allowed most Samarians to remain relatively comfortable against the attack, but this security was not to last. The kobolds had attacked at the beginning of the Samarian summer, but when the rainy season came, it invalidated many of the tactics Samaria relied on for its protection--the matchlock mechanism of the arquebus made it almost impossible to use while raining, and the Draconic armies took full advantage of that fact. Ka-Tadanese cavalry mounted on armored caribou wrought havoc on the Samarian mainland with the intent to slaughter as many as possible, as Tor yä Sämay ("Spears of Heaven," the Bet-Ean pikemen) did the best to stop Noddic cavalry from reaching their allies. Samarian forces mustered themselves and tried to hold the line, but survival was never a matter of certainty. Cities were constantly raided by the Ka-Tadanese and sieged by the Bet-Eans, and the scent of sulphur filled the air when the rain cleared enough to strike with firearms. For six years, the Samarians and Noddites strove against their draconic attackers, and halfway through the war, the Draconic Alliance began researching the use of gunpowder weapons. At the war's seventh year, in 210 PD, Bet-Ean alchemists managed to reverse-engineer's the Noddic perfect formula, and small units of the Tänagari Zändo (dragon-speakers, referring to the fire and roar of black powder weaponry) were fielded against the Samarian and Noddic forces, but by 212 PD, the war was ended through a number of peace talks facilitated by the neutral, isolationalist Albion. By the end of the war, over 1,200,000 lives were lost between the four warring states. To this day, Samaria and Nod refuse to allow koboldkind to enter their borders.

    Samarian Government
    Samaria has seen many different forms of government in its lifetime. When it was originally conceived in the 800's AS, it was a theocracy, ruled by the priesthood, but by 1000 AS, the priesthood abdicated governmental responsibility and transformed the government into a hereditary monarchy. The monarchy lasted throughout much of the age of the spirits, surviving several usurpations and changes in the monarchial line, but about 60 years before the Psionic Dawn, the Samarian monarchy was fully interred. Over the course of Samaria's lifetime, the feudal system drew stronger lines between different parts of the nation, and by 1900 AS, seven noble houses had risen to be powerful influences, each controlling a large part of the country. These noble families conflicted constantly with the king over the rights to jurisdiction, and in 1986, the gap between monarchical and aristocratic interests had widened into an irrevocable schism. These seven major noble houses banded together their feudal armies, and in the span of a week, transformed Samaria into a full-fledged aristocracy in a single act of blood.

    The heads of the seven noble houses decide collectively on large state issues, but there is still a degree of separation between each district, to the point where different districts have slightly different laws. The seven districts are named over the governing aristocratic family line: Vermelho, Escarlate, Beleza, Nascente, Salazar, Matagal, and Marmóreo.

    Samarian Culture
    Samaria is unique in that each of its districts has its own capital. Beleza lies in the Samaria heartland, and its capital is Santa Esmeralda. It is the country's most religious region, and the priesthood holds a surprising amount of sway in the district. Escarlate lies to its Northeast, with Vermelho to Escarlate's West. Both regions are the home to Samaria's famous red apples, and are considered some of the most beautiful regions in the world, especially when the nation's foliage is painted in Samaria's autumnal red. Vermelho and Escarlate both are Samaria's most well-known regions, and are flourishing capitals for artists world-wide. Each of the two regions holds one of the two most prominent schools for art worldwide--O Conservatório de Vermelho and A Academia de Escarlate. The two schools share a relatively friendly but intensely competitive rivalry, and people from across the globe travel there, desperate for admission into one of the two, but most must be turned away. Escarlate's capital and Vermelho's capital both take the namesake of the region they belong to. Nascente is the land's smallest region, lying against Escarlate to its West, stretching across a strip of land at Samaria's Northeastern coast and also ruling over As Irmãs. Its capital is the largest of the island sisters, and is called Estrela. Salazar is the district that separates the rest of Samaria to its North with the borders of Nod to its South. There is a large amount of cultural bleed, and Salazarians are known to speak in a dialect heavily influenced by the Noddic language (equivalent to real-world Dutch, as opposed to the Samarian Portugese), and the Salazarian country bumpkin is largely unintelligible to his compatriots in other districts. Salazar's capital is Centrum. The plains of Salazar comprise the largest part of Samaria's agricultural economy. The noble house of Matagal rules over Samaria's westernmost border that is largely choked with jungle, pestering insects, and infectious disease to those not inundated from living in the area, but is well-known for its wild celebrations and more tribal leanings, with the entire region being very family-line centric (as opposed to just the aristocratic rulers of the district). Its capital is Capão. Marmóreo is Samaria's Northernmost region, with its borders almost touching the borders of Karnak, and is the source of Samaria's beautiful marble that adorns grand buildings across the nation, glowing in the land of the rising sun (Samarian marble resembles real-world Indian marble, like that of the Taj Mahal. The main difference between Indian marble and most marble found in the west is that while Western marble is known for its shine, Indian marble has a somewhat translucent quality and rather glows golden in the sunlight, and while Western marble quickly absorbs pollutants and is difficult to restore, Indian marble is typically cleaned just by coating it with mud, which absorbs whatever is staining the marble and can be easily peeled off). Marmóreo's capital is Ardente.

    Samaria is a religiously diverse environment, and has no state-mandated religion (except in the case of the city of Santa Esmeralda, of course). While the much of Samaria is Spiritualist, more and more Samarians (especially those who immigrated to the country) are converting to Sojournism. In recent times, the Ascendant church has spread to the region, sparking a huge negative reaction in the populace (as the religion was founded in Bet-Ea), and many violent crimes against the burgeoning Ascendant church have occurred. Most Samarians see the Ascendancy as a direct threat to the existence of Samaria, and as agents of malevolent koboldkind. Mandalism also has a strong enough power base in Samaria, as does the Sybilogos.

    Samarians are typically dark-skinned, though are on the whole noticeably lighter-skinned than their Noddic or Semelese neighbors, and eye color tends towards either hazel or a light blue reminiscent of Rodinian pigment.

    Samarian music is also quite popular throughout the world, known for its use of the sitar, the violin, the cello, the harp, and the tambourine.

    The Samarian language is equivalent to real-world Portugese.


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    1 Half-elves use either elf stats or human stats. If you must have a differentiation, try replacing the Human's bonus skill with the elf's darkvision and +2 DEX, -2 STR.

    2 The poem is featured in the spoiler below: I don't speak Spanish very well and I fear my translator to be inadequate, so please correct me if I've written something strangely:

    Spoiler
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    Rodinian:
    Soy cansado de dormir.
    Cuando cierro los ojos, casi
    Puedo sentir la luz - casi!
    Pero cuando los abro, se disuelve de nuevo en mi memoria
    Como la agua en la tierra hambre.

    Ilusión veleidoso!

    Tú eres mi amante ingrato
    Que arranca besos como flechas de mi pecho
    Y das las gracias a nadie por nada.

    Lo que me han dado, no puedo dar la espalda.
    Mi sacrificio es hasta la médula,
    Por el regalo verdadero,
    Se da sin la expectativa de su regreso.

    Me libra de la palabra,
    "Mátame, mátame, por favor!"
    Pero sólo yo puedo oír.
    Así que escribir con tinta roja,
    Sin compañía, sin esperanza,
    En estos días sin sol.


    Meropian
    I am tired of sleep
    When I close my eyes, almost
    Can I feel the light--almost!
    But when I open them, it dissolves back into my memory
    Like water into the hungry earth.

    Fickle illusion!

    You are my ungrateful lover
    Who plucks kisses like arrows from my breast
    And gives thanks to no-one for nothing

    What I have given, I cannot give back
    My sacrifice is to the core
    For the true gift
    Is without the expectation of its return

    I pound the floor,
    "Kill me, kill me, please!"
    But only I can hear myself
    So I write in red ink,
    Without company, without hope
    In these days without sun.


    3 The Red Death is a disease that, while rare, is feared throughout Talamh. Spread through blood or, er, particular other fluids, the Red Death causes increasing fatigue over the course of its month-long incubation period. Once the disease has reached its adulthood, it's marked by broken blood vessels all over the body, and bleeding from the pores and other orifices. The disease usually takes another month or two to run its course, during which the bleeding becomes more frequent and more dramatic, the victim becomes prone to insomnia and lack of appetite, and is beset with mania, dementia, and frequent heart attack in the latter stages of the disease.
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-12-30 at 03:50 PM.
    Dawning: The Age of Psionics
    A work in progress that is slowly being transfered from my head to the internet.

    Avatar courtesy of Mr. Saturn

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dalai Lama
    My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    "I never let my schooling interfere with my education."

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Violet Octopus's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    Feedback on classes, a little on races, and a comment or two on prestige classes. I'm not good with balance, especially over a whole system, but since it's E7 it should be fairly hard to break.

    When I'm back home I may put together a few character builds to test my suspicions about Champion, Druid, Monk and Swordsage.

    Base Classes:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Champion:
    I'm not sure how I feel about Mettle being the only non-maneuver class feature. It depends on how many Fort/Will save for partial/half effects there are, given you've cut out arcane and divine spellcasting. I have more feedback for this under Swordsage.

    Psychic Warrior:
    Sweeping Strike is missing a word: "he can choose two squares he threatens that are adjacent to each other".
    Also, if a psychic warrior is fighting creatures small enough to occupy the same square, does this hit all of them?

    Fighter:
    Good to see this stole the warblade's weapon aptitude. I'm not sure if this is an E7 system or if it just stops at 7th level, if it is E7 then Master of Combat helps keep the fighter relevant in a campaign where everyone has lots of feats anyway.
    Ooh, Pounce is a fighter feat now. Nice. Are you making feats like Improved Critical and other just-beyond-7th-level feats accessible to fighters?

    Bard:
    Inspire Dread has an unusual DC. It's normally 1/2 class level. A lot of other abilities are like this too. Is this intentional?
    Copypasta error on Inspired Willpower and Inspired Reflexes.
    Inspirational Augmentation… the temporary PP don't allow someone to break ML cap on PP expenditure.
    Muse's Grace is subject to the same possible wackiness as Iron Heart Surge. I don't know the details of that, but it might be worth delineating its limits a little more.
    Can a bard do a second performance in the middle of the first one's duration? If not, is it possible to dismiss a performance?
    Since you're giving feats at character levels 1, 3, 5 and 7, Floating Feat might be better if moved to even levels, moving the other class features down.
    Overall the Bard is pretty nice. I like bard spellcasting a lot and am sad to see it go, but the Performance Abilities make up for this, and synergise with psion multiclassing anyway.

    Binder:
    7th level on the table is mucked up - it says 6th level and the BAB doesn't go up. any reason you've removed the Cha modifier from binding checks?
    Vulnerability to obsidian and soul sickness are interesting. It'll be nice to see your take on special materials in general.
    While I love the original fluff, the reflavoured vestiges are great too, and I'll keep them in mind if I decide to make a nature spirit character in a no-homebrew game.
    However, Amon/Aggar still says "Amon" in the text.

    Druid:
    I'm a bit concerned about a class that, at level 2, can entangle at will, then dump its Wis into Str (with an added +4 bonus) and fly around attacking enemies.
    I guess that does take up two rounds before attacking, but the ability score swapping aspect really does bug me.
    Incidentally it's weird that it's "human form" when there are kobolds, dwarves, etc. Maybe normal or natural form.Flame Strike at will is also a nice capstone, though
    Every form the Druid learns has the same number of aspects and ability bonuses right? Or is it like Ranger's Favored Enemy, where you have to choose where each one goes?
    Can a druid use call lightning, shapeshift, and call down bolts in animal form?
    Wild Grace and at-will barkskin make for a pretty untouchable character, especially since it allows Wis bonus.
    At-will flame strike, while probably not that powerful balance wise (especially since there's no way to apply metamagic), could wreak havoc on a game world. It is level 7 though.
    This is all just eyeballing, it might be less of a powerhouse in actual play, but this is the only one that's really worried me thus far.

    Psion:
    More errors in save progressions, this time under Will save.
    Compared to the other discipline specialties, Telepath seems pretty bland and redundant. All the others are nice though.
    Do psions get bonus PP/day for a high manifesting stat?
    Discipline Mastery:
    The 1/encounter restriction on Nomad's teleportation seems a bit redundant since he also has to expend psionic focus. I guess it's to prevent Abrupt Jaunt style shenanigans every round.
    Telepath. Ok, that makes up for level 4, though I'm not a fan of 'balance' by trading power between levels.

    Monk
    I'd write Mettle as a separate ability instead of folding it into Perfect Self, for consistency.
    It's missing a writeup of Improved Evasion, not that there's any doubt about what it does.
    Overall, while Zen does decrease MAD, waiting until 5th level to finally add Wis to damage seems a bit harsh. I don't have my copy of ToB with me and can't remember the prerequisites (or name!) of the Dex to damage feat, but it would be unfortunate if swordsages still had an easier time getting decent base damage than monks.

    Rogue:
    More copypaste errors in the save progressions...
    Extra skill points are nice, as is the hd bump. Are you folding skills together (e.g. Athletics, Legedermain)? Looking at races, you are. If so, I can't find a list of available skills.
    Pistol proficiency? The fluff of this world should be interesting…
    Trap Sense - I'm glad you've put other features on those levels, as well as bumped up the progression to something worth remembering.
    Quickness is a rather nice addition, Improved Quickness is a very good capstone.

    Slayer:
    While I get that this class is important from a fluff perspective, everything the Slayer gets is only useful against two other classes, and a small subset of monsters. Perhaps if it got other abilities that target other types of supernatural abilities, e.g. ability to treat weapons as obsidian, a counterspelling mechanic that worked on powers and invocations; or a maneuver progression, it would be versatile enough to warrant being a base class. Alternately make it a PrC.

    Swordsage:
    It doesn't get access to Iron Heart, and I haven't read through the homebrew disciplines, but it seems to be getting the better deal than the Champion. Many more maneuvers known/readied (albeit with Adaptive Style as a feat tax), Dual Boost and a 5th level stance as a capstone, bonuses to initiative and a better reflex save. In return, the Champion gets 8 more HP on average, better armor, Mettle, and a 3rd level stance at most (barring multiclassing). It gets an iterative attack, but with maneuvers that doesn't matter as much…
    Overall I'd rather play a swordsage, spending a feat if I wanted better armor.
    I like how the swordsage is still the person with most in-depth knowledge of maneuvers, and
    I can't think of what I'd give the Champion - two bonus fighter feats, or the Crusader's damage pool ability might work. Or the ability to apply a standard action strike to his iterative attack. Once again, I don't have ToB on me, so that last one might be overpowered or be difficult to apply to every strike out there.
    ooh! maybe he chooses a strike to permanently alter in this way, a "Signature Move" ability. It could be a series of class features that allow a Champion to personalise their maneuvers. This helps distinguish them a bit from Swordsages, who could be more traditionalist and less idiosyncratic, hence their mastery of a 5th level stance.


    Races:
    Spoiler
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    The fluff is a little dark for my tastes, but it succeeds at putting different spins on each classic D&D race without completely divorcing them from their original concepts. Well, except for Orcs, but Greek philosopher orcs are awesome anyway and are totally stolen for personal use. Elves are terrifying, and the Dwarven religion makes me curious about the relationship between the three Fates and the mountain spirit.

    Mechanically, they all seem to have their own niche or archetype they're suited to, apart from kobolds, which are a nice puzzle. Humans are still pretty strong, but with the faster feat acquisition and extra skill points awarded to classes, the other races are worthwhile. Plus no mental ability score penalties!


    Prestige Classes: (currently only have feedback for Seeker and Usurper. More to come)
    Spoiler
    Show
    Juggernaut:

    Ur Dreamer:

    Necromancer:

    Effigy Master:

    Returner:

    Usurper:
    OK, so my suggestions for Seeker are implemented here. I'm still iffy about having a narrow base class, and while this class lets a Slayer branch out into anti-spirit and binder combat, it does so at the complete expense of its anti-psionics combat.

    Warlock:

    Knight Heterodox:

    Spirit Shaman:

    Seeker:
    I've reached the point where I'm tired to read through more rules, but from what I remember of the Deal With Death ability when I first read it, it's interesting but a little overcomplicated. I like the argument and each player making a roll/swaying the roll, but drawing tarot cards clutters it up, even if it is flavourful.
    I Like tarot, and have an idea for using cards as an alternative to rolling, instead of modifying it, and I'll try to flesh it out over the next few days. Basically mapping cards to numerical values, and adding effects like temporary penalties/bonuses and binder-style RP restrictions, with maybe a few geases for the major arcana.

    Is there any resurrection available? Obviously not magic-mart resurrection, but are there other ways of bringing people back to life apart from questing for a Seeker willing to off themselves? If not, then the stacking -4 penalty weakens the capstone somewhat (I'm assuming if they die and get resurrected, the penalty gets reset).
    Someday I'll have my anxiety under control, but until then, I'm prone to sudden month-long disappearances.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Cahokia's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    @VioletOctopus: Thank you so much for the feedback! I made some changes to the Champion already (though, as you can tell by the lack of description for Dynamic Style, more changes must be made) and when I have more time I'll be altering the rest with your suggestions in mind.

    I've made the appropriate changes to the classes and such. I'm going to hold off on altering the Seeker until I hear your tarot ideas, which I am anxious to read.

    As for your questions:

    It's not E7, it just ends at 7th level, so no extended acquisition of feats. The thing is, at 7th level, a character is already the stuff of legend--they've likely gone through a life of adventure, and if they're not famed throughout the world it's because that's the way they like it and they've probably worked to keep it that way. As such, any further rewards they receive are at DM discretion, and likely are rare circumstances indeed. But a 7th level character should be powerful enough and historically important enough to build an entire campaign around. A 7th level Druid laying waste to villages with flame burst sounds like a pretty good hook, no?

    The bard's weird DCs are intentional, and the result of my tinkering with the system to try and make the result as balanced as I wanted it to be.

    The reason for the obsidian vulnerability is that because the spirits were born from the seed of the reality that held Ur-Ignis--think of the volcano as the anchor for the current world, and the Tree as the anchor for Ur. Obsidian is also born from the volcano, and as such it pierces through a spirit's natural defenses.

    I'm adding to the rules specified in the first post to include the skill list, among other things I typed up in this post.

    As for Kobolds, I've found they make excellent gunslingers, and have worked out a Kobold Rogue/Fighter build for a desperado that does silly amounts of damage. I picture the kobold in my head wearing a red bandana, and so he's called Rouge-Gorge in Valbara (French=language equivalent) and Canaan (Creole=language equivalent) and Robin Redbreast in Meropis. Of course, though Rouge-Gorge technically means "robin" in french, it translates literally to "red throat," alluding to his habit of spilling blood.
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-10-21 at 09:17 PM.
    Dawning: The Age of Psionics
    A work in progress that is slowly being transfered from my head to the internet.

    Avatar courtesy of Mr. Saturn

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dalai Lama
    My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    "I never let my schooling interfere with my education."

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Cahokia's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    Nations (continued)

    Nod

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    History of Nod
    Nod lies on the continent's Far East, its borders brushing up against Samaria to the North and Semel to the South. It is known for being the world's scientific capital, and one of the oldest nations on Talamh. According to myth, when Oa bid the denizens of Ur to leave that first city, the first people to heed his warning traveleast eastward settled on the sprawling, beautiful plains of Nod. They founded what would be known as Belvodaan, the nation's capital, against the edge of the Genezen river.

    For a great while, Nod existed only in the form of loose tribes across the area. Though they skirmished with what became the tribe of Semel, true war was mostly averted for centuries. By ~500 AS, however, the tribe of Semel had become more organized, having already spread along the coast of the peninsula they called home, and had perfected the art of ironworking. Armed with bright blades, teams of Semelese swordsman raided with impunity, until the loose tribes of Nod gathered together to provide suitable defenses. For a great while, however, the Noddic people were at Semel's mercy, and they conquered even the settlement of Belvodaan. The Noddites were forced to move into the hills to the East of Belvodaan, at the lip of the river, and there honed their skills, rallied their forces, and began to strike back at the Semelese. They came upon their sleeping enemies at night and slit their throats, set fire to their encampments, stole their supplies, and led constant ambushes against their attackers until they were eventually driven back to their native peninsula. In ~600, Belvodaan was taken back and the Noddic nation was truly born.

    Diplomacy with Semel has remained an issue of contention, and whether or not Nod stands as their friend or foe fluctuates with the centuries. Major war has been averted, though violence has broken out on several occasions.

    Noddic scientists have been credited with the invention of the wheel, papermaking, the watermill (which can be found all along the Genezen), the windmill (often spotted across the expanses of the Noddic hills), and gunpowder, as well as the domestication of the horse for both civilian and military purposes. In the Draconic War, Noddite forces often used windmills as makeshift forts, riding groups of horseman armed with arquebuses to camp out on the hills. Enemies would have the disadvantage of lower ground (especially infantry), while the Noddic cuirassiers could fire effectively against them and duck behind the mills for cover in order to reload.

    While Nod has been attacked in recent times and in its ancient history, for the period in-between saw not a stalwart defender but a nation of aggressive expansionists. Nod stretches from the Eastern coast almost to the borders of Valbara, and is one of the world's largest nations, and it only got there through the dogged conquest and assimilation of small city-states.

    Noddic Culture
    Nod's inventors are more revered than its greatest military leaders, though actual product is emphasized as the most important (if not the only important) part of the inventing process in Noddic society. An old Noddic proverb goes, "If the tree bears no fruit, build a house from its trunk." Leaving leftovers is fine in Noddic society, but you'd better eat them before they go bad, and simply making progress without yielding tangible results is almost the same as failure.

    As such, the Noddic government has always placed a high value on education, and their system has developed naturally, growing like creeper vines. As Noddic peoples began making paper with papyrus plants found near the Eastern swamplands as early as 900 AS, writing became common enough to require libraries of works, and in 1200 AS Nod's first large-scale library, De Grote Schriftheek was built. Over the years, more libraries were built, and now 8 great libraries with tens of thousands of scrolls stored within each are spread across Nod (the others being De Klimop Paleis, De Papirium, De Kluis, De Archief Royaal, De Academie Azuur, De Herenhuis, and De Inktbolwerk). As scholars gravitated towards these repositories of knowledge, apprentices began to seek them out. The scholars who stayed at these libraries and gave instruction become known as wijzen (defined as teachers, or sages), and the system has evolved to the point where dozens of wijzen found permanent homes within the library (quarters have been built into all of the land's great libraries for this purpose), writing full time, attracting apprentices, and teaching only the select few best. Thus began the Noddic educational system as it stands today. Though the journey to Nod may prove treacherous, people from all across Talamh voyage there in an effort to apprentice themselves to Nod's wijzen. Educational systems worldwide have been inspired by Nod's, even in Meropis to Nod's far West.

    Nod is known for its advanced calligraphy, heavily-syncopated music made with varieties of drums, and poetry. The most famous form of traditional Noddic poetry is called Het Dubbelezicht, or the Twofold Vision. Dubbelezicht is usually assembled as a papyrus diptych, with four verses written on each side. Each verse, paired with its counterpart on the opposite side of the page, was meant to be a poem in its own right, with one half describing nature itself and the other describing its parallel in the writer. The length of verses within dubbelezicht has lengthened over time--though when traditionally conceived, dubbelezicht verses had only four lines, the standard has grown to eight verses, with the four-line verse form now known as a helftdubbele. They often rhyme (with an ABAD scheme), and the only common thread between verses on the same side of the page is that the last lines end with the same word, and are meant to have some small part in common.

    Noddic food closely resembles real-world Ethiopian food, and the Noddic language is equivalent to real-world Dutch. Noddites are on average the darkest skinned of any of the human nations. Nod's religious atmosphere is fairly diverse--there is no state religion, but most Noddic citizens claim to have some religion. About 15% are Spiritualist, tithing mostly to sea spirits and a prominent spirit local to Nod, called Vermanen. Vermanen is sometimes called the steed that rides the skies, and supposedly brings spring to Nod every year, and is ridden by the spirit of lightning and war, Vernietigenen to lead the nation of Nod into battle. About 40% is Mandalist, 25% is Sybilogian, about 10% are Sojournist, and about 10% are other (and about 5% of that "Other" is Liberalist).

    Some of Nod's chief exports are papyrus, gunpowder, red tea and sugarcane (which it often trades in exchange for Samarian wine).

    Noddic Government
    To say Noddic Government isn't what it used to be is an understatement, and whether that's a positive or negative judgment is up to interpretation. For most of its formal existence, Nod has been run as a monarchy--only around the time of its inception had it been different before, when it was run as a Council of Elders from the disparate Noddic tribes. Members of noble families comprised Nod's complicated bureaucracy, entrenched in almost four centuries of use. But in 384 PD, the decaying beast fell, slain by the Noddic Revolution.

    Liberalism was for a long while nothing more than a strange cult originating in Nod--nothing remarkably out of the ordinary. Yes, their beliefs were different, but you couldn't immediately tell if someone was Liberalist, and most kept to themselves. With Nod's religious diversity, it was easy to overlook the burgeoning religion. Liberalism was created by Hendrick van Heeren, a wealthy son from a noble house who preferred the life of a scientist to that of an aristocrat. Known to be rude, temperamental, but passionate inspired, van Heeren used his fiery charisma to win a quick following at De Herenhuis, the academy commissioned by his parents' house. Unfortunately, an "inability to comport himself" got Hendrick kicked out from De Herenhuis, and so he left for De Academie Azuur on Nod's Eastern coast. Immersing himself in his studies, he wrote up a searing article demeaning Nod's Spiritualist population (which used to be larger than it is now). Vermanen and Vernietigenen were used as symbols of the Noddic spirit when Nod first entered the war, and Noddic writers in the monarchy's employ sent out pamphlets portraying Vermanen and Vernietigenen raising the Noddic flag to swoop in, save Samaria from its Draconic aggressors, and quickly return home. As the Draconic War stretched on a year, then two, then three, until nine years had past, the image of Vermanen and Vernietigenen became more and more bitter.

    The article reached more ears than van Heeren had expected, and four years later, he released his manifesto. He proclaimed that for all of history since the Time of Ur, we have been deceived by the spirits--though he knew not what the truth was, he was convinced that the spirits had engineered a story that showed mankind as corrupt, with the spirits arriving to enforce a peace on the world. He asserted that the spirits were not embodiments of nature at all, but beings living off of it the same as humanoid kith, and exploiting their worshipers to maintain dominion over their thralls. Moreover, he likened the reign of the monarchy and the lurching, decrepit bureaucracy as no different from the oppressive spirits. He titled the paper "Liberation!" and Liberalism was born.

    The ideology evolved and became both more sophisticated and more varying in belief--there are some Liberalists who believe that there is no higher force to guide the world, no creator save chance. Others disbelieve in the divinity of the spirits, but believe that there is a higher divinity, a great spirit of the universe itself, that truly created the world. Many other variations exist. Meanwhile, as Liberalism itself mutated and evolved, its creator traveled from college to college, spreading his philosophies until many great thinkers across Nod either shared his belief or supported his believer's political goals. In 377 PD, only 22 years after the initial publication of Liberation, van Heeren released another pamphlet: Revolution! The pamphlet's last line describes its thesis well: "A tyrant, like a rotting tooth, is best removed by force."

    A warrant was put out for Hendrick van Heeren's arrest, inditing him with treason, but he went into hiding and was safely and comfortably harbored by his fellows. The government's ban of the pamphlet only increased the buzz around it as van Heeren continued to distribute them, and two years later, King Koenraad imposed a ban on the distribution of black powder beyond strict military use. In response, van Heeren supplied the formula for black powder in another pamphlet. Tensions built quickly, and finally snapped in 384 PD. Van Heeren's men set of a chain of explosions around Nod, destroying several bureaucratic centers, and then laid siege to the palace. The siege continued for weeks, with many roads to the capital blocked off. Royal reinforcements were picked off using guerilla tactics and excessive use of explosions, and in an attempt to intimidate further reinforcements, the revolutionaries mounted the dead bodies of the monarchical military all areas they feared reinforcements could come. Finally, after two straight months of siege, van Heeren's movement set up barrels of black powder all around the castle, as well as in the castle's basements. A few men were assigned to protect each barrel, sacrificing their lives for assurance of the plan's success, including van Heeren himself. The Noddic Revolution ended in a violent explosion, and revolutionary soldiers who had retreated from the blast radius stormed back into the palace, slaughtering nearly all within. The bloodshed ended, and twelve leaders stipulated by van Heeren before his death took control of the government. Teachers all across Nod were replaced by those favored by the new government of the elite, and instructed to take on far larger groups of students (while most wijzen used to only have between 5 and 20 students, some wijzen now have between 60 and 70), and the wijzen class has replaced the noble bureaucracy. Some wijzen have been moved out of the libraries and placed into the centers of large community, where they act as judges and arbiters over disputes. Things have been surprisingly peaceful since, but relations between Samaria and Nod under its new regime are up in the air--no one really knows where the old allies stand now, especially considering the fact that Samaria lent forces to the monarchy to fight against the rebels, but withdrew after seeing their soldiers impaled on pikes.


    Canaan

    Spoiler
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    History of Canaan
    The lifeblood of Canaan, like Valbara, can be found in the Black River, but the part of the river that Canaan calls home slices through unforgiving desert instead of jungle-ridden grassland. Canaan occupies the belly of the Great Continent, in the middle and to the far South. The Canaanite Desert stretches far to the West until it subsides into the plains just beyond the Thurner Mountains at Meropis' Easternmost extremes.

    Though settlements farther out West have been limited to desert nomads due the scarcity of food or water in the desert, tribes have gathered around the fertile lip of the river for over 2000 years. For a great while, the tribes formed only diminutive city-states, often warring with each other to claim the choicest strips of fertile land that stands so disparately against the arid desert.

    Only by ~1700 AS did the tribes merge enough into a cohesive culture to raise a single king over the rest of the land. The first Canaanite king, Kayen I, focused on consolidating power for the new nation, but his son had his eyes on territory in the West. Though the desert was harsh, the hills to the West provided rich reserves of iron, coal, and other such resources. Kayen II worked throughout his monarchy to build a complex road system throughout Canaan and into the deep of the desert. With these road systems, supplies from the more fertile part of the land could be exported to those living in the desert and make life there more stable, and mining more reliable.

    The power of the Canaanite monarchy was not destined to last long, however. A powerful Canaanite merchant called by Renard used his money to buy Tangu, the flying carpet Roland created by trapping a spirit of the air. He used the powers of Tangu to quickly spirit himself from place to place and garner support around Canaan. Renard had been dissatisfied with a his lot as a merchant--oftentimes, a great investment would come to naught and he would be held culpable. Renard, who made most of his profit selling the intoxicants that naturally grow around Canaan's section of the Black River, was also increasingly frustrated by what he viewed as lost potential, as expanses of the soil were being taken up by more edible agriculture rather than his cashcow crops. He used Tangu to alter his fortunes, and soon the entire system itself. Though he could not do so by legal means, he used Tangu to be everywhere in the nation of Canaan and quickly organized many disparate criminal groups to form an organized mob, which grew to be called Renard's Men.

    As other criminals saw the wild success of Renard's men, they did the same, and soon Canaan was beset by various criminal organizations, often disputing over territory. The only people who conflicted with the criminal organizations more than each other was the government's military, but the tension only snapped decades after the death of Renard. In 132 PD, the king's men raided a prominent black market run by Renard's Men. The mobsters were well-prepared for a raid, and struck back. The vicious battle lasted through the day, and earned it the moniker of Lannwit Nan San (the Night of Blood). In attempting to deal a palpable blow to its lawbreaking enemies, the Canaanite monarchy had dealt itself a mortal wound by poisoning public opinion. Civilians generally sided with their local mob, and the criminal organizations began coordinating attacks against the government, robbing them blind, taking most of the money for themselves, and giving the rest to the communities that supported them. By 163 PD, the royal house was nearly bankrupt and law enforcement was worn to the bone. The leaders of the five major criminal organizations that had gelled together simply waltzed into the palace and cut a deal with King Seza III. The King dissolved the monarchy and gave up all political control for a reasonable sum of money, a small manor in the desert, and the assurance that he and his family would not be slaughtered outright. The leaders also worked out a vague constitution built on the foundation of the criminal organizations' existing customs and divvied up the many districts of Canaan. Though the mobs don't control the land, they are considered to be "protecting" the land in their region, and the citizens of Canaan function very much as the mobs' vassals.

    "Government" in Canaan
    Eskòpyon (the scorpions) control most of Canaan's arid Western deserts, and its members are known for their worship of Serket, a scorpion spirit who represents both justice and nature's greatest cruelty: the inevitability and randomness of death. She is also a sort of dark fertility god, representing the creative force of destruction. Renard's Men are no longer the largest or most powerful gang, having lost Tangu in a terrible fire that destroyed their headquarters in 215 PD, but their influence remains strong. The Renard's Men often act as diplomats between the organizations, to settle disputes before they escalate to violence in the streets, but are notorious cat burglars as well. They control several middle-class urban districts. A large gang simply called the Protectorate are known to dabble in lawmaking as well as lawbreaking, and have a sharp head for business. They control a great number of Canaan's neighborhoods, and handle most of Canaan's cannabis trade. The Nòblafimen is a mob that has a propensity for styling itself after a house of nobles, and though they only control a few small neighborhoods, those neighborhoods are either inhabited by Canaan's rich and powerful or prime opium-growing spots. The Nòblafimen are entrusted with most diplomatic relations between Canaan and other nations. Sèk la Wouj (the Red Circle) has jurisdiction over most of Canaan's middle region. They control many of Canaan's factory districts, and are known to be especially fond of ironic punishment for crimes committed against them. A thief has his fingers severed, a snitch loses his tongue, and in general a lot of blood must be spilt before the Red Circle is satisfied. They have jurisdiction over most of Canaan's tobacco production.

    Canaanite Culture
    Canaan, the land of smoke and sand, is a nation sharply divided. The wealthy can afford a carefree, hedonistic life as long as they remember to pay off the right people, you're screwed without the right amount of cash. Just leaving Canaan's borders requires a stiff bribe, so Canaan's average farmer is out of luck. Canaan is a haven not only for crime, but disease and starvation--after Canaan's monarch was deposed, many of Canaan's farmers were forced to stop production of food product to farm more of Canaan's famous cannabis, opium, and tobacco. As a result, those who have the money get first pick of the land's bounty, or pay to have food imported, while those without are forced to ask special help from the criminal organizations to keep living. Those people are either sold into slavery in Valbara (by their choice), with half the money going to their family, or inducted into the organizations ranks and expected to do the dirty work of a button man.

    But even Canaan's criminals have fears, and one of their greatest fears is known as Kontra Chakal. The Kontra Chakal are a group of intensely religious assassins that first appeared in Canaan almost 50 years ago. They worship Chakal, the jackal spirit, and are pro-monarchist, anti-organized crime. Their leader uses opium as sacred communion, in much the same way as the real-world Hashshashin did--members of the Kontra Chakal are often recruited by kidnapping starving orphans from the street and bringing them to the Kontra Chakal's secret headquarters. There, they are given opium, and once the opium wears off, they're fed. They develop an addiction to the opium and are conditioned by the Kontra Chakal to fervently believe in its tenants, and undergo near-constant training when they're not under the effects of opium. The Chakal become convinced that the Kontra Chakal headquarters is heaven on earth, and that if they die, they'll simply return to heaven, and combined with the opium's dysphoria and numbing of physical sensation, are known to fear no death. They wield scythes and sickles, don the mask of the jackal, and set out on strike forces in the dead of night. Their kills are swift and efficient, but rarely clean or silent--they cover the houses of their victims in blood, and cannibalize the flesh of their victims to emulate the scavenger's spirit. Though they claim to support Canaan's workers, they go into a frenzy when they set out to kill, and often cause plenty of collateral damage.

    Canaan is known for its "Fumwar" (smokehouses), which can be found all over the nation, with varying levels of elegant decoration, quality of intoxicant, and price of entrance depending on the neighborhood in question. Many who hail from nations outside of Canaan travel there for its famous fumwar, but some of that number never manage to leave. One of Canaan's more redeeming qualities is that its criminal organizations accept members of all races. Even a gnome can live in relative peace if he pulls his own weight, and many elves on the run from Valbara's bounty hunters escape to Canaan. Moreover, almost 5% of Canaan's population is kobold, and many Dwarves escaping from Karnak find a new home in Canaan--just under 1% of the population is Dwarven. Most of Canaan is Mandalist (~60%), but Spiritualism remains a powerful force in Canaan (~25%).

    The Samarian sitar is Canaan's most popular instrument, and in Canaan's most lively districts, the sound of the sitar along with traditional Canaanite drums can be heard throughout the streets. Canaanite skin-tone is significantly lighter than its Valbaran neighbors (who are comparable in appearance to real-world Indians or natives to regions around the Tigris and Euphrates), but much darker than their Meropian and Rodinian neighbors--think indigenous South Americans. The real-world equivalent of the Canaanite language is Haitian Creole.

    Weaponry is illegal to those who do not belong to one of the five organizations, but enough money in Canaan can buy you anything, and those who prefer not to live in fear are smart enough to buy a firearm and learn how to use it.


    Semel

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    History of Semel
    Semel's history is not largely known by most of the world, and even its Noddic neighbors seem to have forgotten that Semel is the world's oldest permanent settlement, barring Ur itself. In fact, only Semel's greatest scholars know of Semel's true origins.

    Just after the rise of the spirits, a small tribe of humankind ventured to the Semelese peninsula at the Great Continent's Southeasternmost position. The chieftan's son became the tribe's shaman, and handled diplomatic relations with a spirit that would eventually be called Lemuria. The spirit granted the boy power to rule over the tribe, which he did sooner than he imagined after Lemuria drowned his father. But the boy, named Samael, expected what was to come even less--weeks after his father died, he returned from the sea, a mindless shambling husk animated by negative energy. After verifying that only his father's body had returned, and not his soul, Samael had it cremated. But his interest had been piqued--although it was only ~100 AS, Samael simply had to know how his father was rebirthed.

    Thus began Samael's study of Semel's native red coral, and so was born the world's first necromancer. Samael kept his secrets to himself, only telling the people that the coral was a source of a strange enemy that animated the dead when the energy was released when parts of the coral died. A select few, however, were gifted with the knowledge of the coral's true nature, and the power it held. Samael's apprentices became druids called Custodes ("Keepers" in Meropian), and were tasked to study and preserve the coral, as well as ensure the cremation of the dead. He mandated that bodies be cremated before their ashes were deposited into the sea before walking into the depths himself and never being seen again. Some say that Samael still exists in unlife, having bought the Crown of Lemuria from Roland, thus granting him power even over the spirit who first granted power to him. They call him Samael the Patient, and it is his name, distorted by time, that became the name of the nation.

    Hundreds of years later, the Custodes remained but knowledge of Samael was bleached from memory. The Keepers, hungry for power, organized their nation's raids against what would become Nod (see Nod section). Though Samael is said to have learned the secrets of animating the dead in his mortal lifetime, and those who die close to the red coral when it dies are very rarely resurrected as undead, his followers first took the power of animation into their own hands somewhere between ~1100-1300 AS, when the Custodes began formalizing necromantic ritual. Though only the most skilled necromancers perfected the art of raising the dead with the use of red coral, the first Carnifex (see Government section), named Augustus, was put into place in ~1200 AS.

    Today, in 405 PD, Semel occupies the entirety of the Southeastern peninsula, and is bordered by Nod to its North and Albion across the sea. Contact was first made by the Albionese Orcs in ~1400 AS, when a small Orcish fleet of galleys under the command of the great Albionese explorer Leandros sighted the peninsula. Initial contact was friendly, maps were exchanged between the two nations, and Leandros traded a small number of Albionese specialty goods with the Semelese nation. The meeting was to be unrepeated over the next century and a half, as Leandros' fleet had managed to reach Albion either by extreme skill or, more probably, a fluke. When the Albionese invented the more ocean-ready carrack, trade between Semel and Albion became more frequent. In exchange for Albionese marble, silver, and oranges, the Semelese were more than willing to trade their native coffee and cocoa but were unwilling to trade the powerful and dangerous red coral until hundreds of years later.

    Semelese Government
    Semel is ruled by the Triumvirate, a three-part government system of the Imperator, the Carnifex, and the Magisters.

    The Imperator is the hereditary ruler of Semel, and has jurisdiction over most of the same things a monarch does, though the power of the Imperator is far from absolute--he shares his jurisdiction with the seven Magisters of Semel, who are chosen by popular vote and function as more of a parliament. Though he holds much more political sway than any individual Magister, a law requires 60% agreement from the full group of Magisters + Imperator to be passed. The Imperator possesses about 45% of the vote, and each Magister has an equal share of the remainder. The Imperator has additional abilities, such as veto power and of course the large amount of wealth that comes with royalty.

    The Carnifex commands a more particular aspect of governance, and serves as a sort of necromantic pope. The Imperator is chosen by birth and the Magisters is chosen by popular vote, but the Carnifex is chosen by the Custodes, who still exist in small number in modern times. One of Semel's few remaining Spiritualist groups, the Custodes inhabit one of the nation's most famous works of architecture, the Orcus Basilica (further detailed in the culture section). It is they who hold Semel's secrets of necromancy, and the most skilled necromancer in Semel is chosen from the ranks of the Custodes (and very rarely, from outside it) and given the position of Carnifex when the last has died or abdicated the position. The Carnifex was once in near-absolute power over all religious law, but now presides as a representative of the land's necromantic power itself. Any legislation that involves the land's coral or use of the undead is ultimately decided by the Carnifex, with no exception. The Carnifex thus has control over the nation's small but significant undead work force--when a Carnifex has enough power to animate the dead, they use that power to assemble a force of undead to do difficult or unsavory labor that is nonetheless simple enough for a skeleton to do--and those skeletons will do their work tirelessly, with no need for food, drink, rest, or compensation. In times of strife, the Carnifex might dismiss this labor force in favor of a sort of undead elite guard to watch over political leaders night and day without stopping. It is said that before Lemuria (the spirit that once presided over the fate of Semel's coral and its drowned dead) was imprisoned by Roland, he would tell the Carnifex of his impending death the day before, so that he could have the undead under his sway rounded up and either dismissed or kept in the chambers of the Orcus Basilica. Now, the release of the hungry undead at the passing of a Carnifex can spell disaster among the populace before they can be gathered up and dealt with. Most Carnifex, especially in more recent times, are born with albinism--a condition not exceptionally uncommon in Semel, especially not among necromancers. Semel's proximity to the negative energy exuded by red coral seems to have effected its populace, and about 5% of Semelese children are born with it. Though these children are sometimes born frailer and more vulnerable to the sun, they are often skilled with necromancy, and some are even born with the ability to be healed by negative energy.

    Semelese Culture
    Semel is considered the Great Continent's greatest mystery. Since its ancient days of warring, Semel has preferred to remain detached from world events. Its refusal to join the war against the Draconic Alliance in the Draco-Samarian war earned it ire from the nations it shares a continent with, and neither Samaria nor Nod knows exactly what their neighbor's long-term diplomatic plans have in store.

    Semel's monarchical crown has sat atop the charismatic Nautilus IV's head for about a decade and a half, and its Carnifex is the albino Sirius, a powerful necromancer capable of raising the dead at only 43 years of age. Firearms spread quickly from Nod to Semel, but Semel has yet to use them in a major conflict.

    Religion is a strange thing indeed in Semelese culture. Though Spiritualism is Semel's official state religion, only about 20% of the population actually practices Spiritualism. A full 45% of the population is Sybilogian and about 20% is Mandalist, but many Semelese Sybilogians and Mandalists still tithe to local sea spirits (such as the totemic spirit of the Semelese Crocodile) and the spirit of Lemuria (who was presumed returned to Semel to some) without worshiping them, as a sort of service to the land. Religion is oddly blended together, with many people picking and choosing from various established traditions. Part of this is due to Semel's racial diversity--even gnomes are allowed to live there (though they face heavy discrimination), and Semel is home to the Continent's only major Vestigial Church.

    The Orcus Basilica is a tall pagoda carved from dark wood inlaid with silver and capped with a marble tip, Orcus is nothing if not imposing--all of its designs focus on the nature of death, as cruel and kind and everything in between, and includes many scenes displaying the place of the undead in life's natural order. The inside is what is truly awe-inspiring, however. Though most of a body is easily turned to ash in the cremation process, the bones are harder still to do away with, but the Custodes are not known for wasting anything. As such, centuries of skeletons adorn the walls of the Orcus Basilica, and when a Carnifex with the power of Animation rises to power, he or she often picks skeletons from the Basilica if they are perfectly in-tact.

    Semel is famed for its cocoa, coffee, crocodiles, and coral. Semel began trading red coral just after Psionic Dawn, but as it is carefully regulated and sold only in small quantities for excessive amounts of money (outside of Semel), it remains a rare commodity indeed. It is said that coffee is the drink of the dead, and cocoa the dead's food, for their deep, rich, and bitter taste. Cocoa is made into Semelese chocolate using sugar traded from their Noddic neighbors, a pinch of sea salt, and a small amount of goat's milk (as cows do not frequent the Semelese peninsula).

    The Semelese people are dark-skinned like the rest of their Eastern neighbors, but their tone is darker than that of the Samarians and lighter than the rich, dark brown of Nod. The Semelese complexion is more of an olive color.
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-12-26 at 04:43 AM.
    Dawning: The Age of Psionics
    A work in progress that is slowly being transfered from my head to the internet.

    Avatar courtesy of Mr. Saturn

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dalai Lama
    My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    "I never let my schooling interfere with my education."

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    This looks like some great work. Particularly, I enjoyed the history that you gave. It was the first time I have ever actually read the entire history that someone provided; usually I get bored and skip to the next section. Your writing is compelling and you have an excellent voice. The story of your world felt like an epic in the truest sense of the word.

    There is a small matter of concern as to why Oa actually scaled the tree and split open the huge seed. As far as I can tell, you didn't provide an explanation for that.

    What is the planar structure like?

    Do people simply level up to 7th in the normal way and then be done? That is an average of 91 encounters, which is potentially less than you might desire. I've had characters that I loved that lasted longer than that, and being forced to put them aside at that point just for the sake of the system seems slightly cruel and not totally necessary.

    The classes look great. I can't really tell you if I think they are balanced, as that isn't really my expertise. I will tell you, they all look well-rounded and they all look like they have a role and would be fun to play. That, in itself, is certainly more than you can say of many other systems.

    I wonder if it might be a good idea to give the choice of race a larger role in the character. If you don't want it to be that way, could we have an explanation for that choice? Most of the successful 3.5E fixes have an expanded role for the race rather than a diminished one. On the other hand, the individual bits of fluff for the races is magnificent. Really dark, though.

    The choice of races and classes is a good one. You haven't overextended yourself, but there is still a great deal of variety and the feeling of excitement. I really liked how you explained the development of the races from humankind; I found it to be very coherent and elegant.

    The story of the men turning to dragons was great. So was the story of the battle for supremacy among the 7 predators (Actually, it might be good for this to have had some impact on the modern age. You seem to have left it in the past. Maybe something flavourful for the Druid?) And of course, the deicide that begins the Psionic dawn is beautifully written as welll.

    The prestige classes look really cool and very exciting. I am still worried that you won't have time to really experience them in a seven level build. That remains my main concern with this fix, although that may be simply based on my own style of play.

    Overall, this looks great. If I had the chance, I would love to play in this world. Frankly, your power with language is such that I would proably just love to have you as a DM. Good luck with the project and I'll be watching it.

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    I purposefully left Oa's rationale ambiguous, as the first section of the world was heavily influenced by the opening of Genesis, where things like "Why?" are up to the interpretation of the reader. Moreover, the time of Ur essentially consist of the entire Stone Age and ending just before the very beginnings of the Classical Age, and given that writing was invented in the beginnings of the Age of the Spirits, no actual documentation of the era exists. The summary I gave is what a character in the world would know.

    Race plays a large enough role, though Humans and Orcs will be seen most often. Elves can pass through places but aren't likely to actually live outside of Gondwana, Valbara, Canaan, or wilderness tribes, and though gnomes are essentially hated by everyone, they can disguise themselves as children and are only not advised to be actually seen in Kobold nations. Dwarves are pretty reclusive, but have plenty of reasons to be characters and don't suffer social stigma, and though Kobolds aren't going to be accepted in Samaria or Nod, they can definitely be found in Rodinia, and you might spot one in Meropis, Canaan or Valbara.

    Levels are no longer assigned based on abstract, mechanically-grounded "xp," but based on actual experience. An entire campaign could take place over the course of 1 level, or for more sprawling epics, it would just take a long time, as level ups would come at story appropriate moments, likely loosely outlined by the DM. Check the 1st post for details on the level scale. But I'm actually hankering for a 7th level campaign, where everyone plays the heroes of their own epics. Or the villains...

    EDIT: I realize I didn't answer you concerning the planes, and I'm adding the information to the Origin Story.
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-10-27 at 09:05 PM.
    Dawning: The Age of Psionics
    A work in progress that is slowly being transfered from my head to the internet.

    Avatar courtesy of Mr. Saturn

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dalai Lama
    My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    "I never let my schooling interfere with my education."

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    Most of the following are minor observations and nitpicks. Let me take a moment first to praise you on your work here. This is nothing short of amazing. I have little to contribute as suggestions because you've done so well, so I'll just point out what I think might bear fixing/rewording.
    • Athletics is listed twice on your rules summary.
    • The Druid's Shapeshift ability is slightly unclear to me. When it first occurs, the player is allowed to set a form and completely change his physical and mental ability scores around, and then additionally get +2 bonuses as indicated? What happens with Vitality/Wounds/Power points with these changing constitution and mental scores? Overall, it just seems a little bit wrong to me.
    • Although you have Renewal in the Psychic Warrior entry, the Psion entry does not list Renewal's effects. I would add it to the psion's table.
    • Under the Seeker's so Below abilities, you've mistyped Seeker as Slayer under the [Rogue] entry.
    • You never explicitly state what the first effect of the Seeker's Deal with Death ability is. Does the player come back to life if most of his fellows give a "yea", or must it be unanimous? Does he come back with full hit points, or get left with 1 hit point away from dying but stable? Also: you might wanna revise the sentence that reads: "The final variable is that a deck of cards is passed around the group, with each player drawing one and passing it on until."


    That said, this is nothing short of amazing, and I absolutely love the mix of flavor and rebalancing to actually make some archetypes playable, and make others more interesting. I really want my DM to get a look at this thing. If I weren't too busy myself, I'd be planning a PBP game right now.

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    Albion

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    History of Albion
    Albion's exact history is hazy at best, with its forefathers having apparently embarked across the Southern Sea at the end of the Time of Ur. Their transformation from human to Orc is one of the few stories from the age of Ur not lost to time.

    According to legend, a man named Priam was the forefather of the people who would become the Albionese. When Oa first told the citizens of Ur to disperse, Priam challenged him, saying that he had become weak and unfit to rule. Priam said that his ancestors had built Ur from the sweat of their brow, and he would not live to see their work come to nothing. Oa could not stand such offense, and demanded satisfaction from the boy. Priam was strong and proud, but Oa was the most skilled of all of his brothers, and his father Patroklos said he would stand in his place to pay for the offense. Oa and Patroklos battled, and Patroklos was slain. Oa then forced departure from Ur by exiling Priam from the ancient city, and said that Priam could not even bury his father.

    Priam left Ur with his father's bones in arm, and as he was powerful in his own right, many people followed him, but where he met he was hounded, and there was no where to settle. He fled into the trees and bear met him there, snarling that he would give no tribute to a deposed master. And bear came upon Priam, and Priam slew him, and went on. When he came upon tiger, tiger snarled the same, and attacked him the same, and was slain the same. All great predators of Talamh sought Priam for vengeance against their conquerors, and all were slain in turn.

    Priam walked until he had come upon the edge of the earth, and great expanses of water lay before him. His people cried that all was lost, that there was no where they belonged, but Priam declared that they followed him for their strength, but they could not follow him without strength enough for their own. They had wandered to the edge of the earth, and Priam instructed them to work the earth further. He pointed to a grove of trees by the coast, and he and his people painstakingly uprooted them one by one. Priam lashed the trees together, and his people set out onto the sea on a gigantic raft, and soon all they could see was vast blue in all directions.

    The people feared they would never again see land, when they saw in the distance the great fire of Ur-Ignis rising, and great plumes of dust from the falling of the Tree of Ur. When they looked in front them, in the light of the flames, they beheld the white chalk cliffs of the Southern island. Priam finally laid his father to rest, and from the bones of Patroklos, the nation of Albion was born.

    When Priam died, only two sons survived him, and he had not yet declared to whom the throne would fall. And Priam's sons could not have been more different. Orion was honest to a fault, the greatest hunter of his people, and bright as the sun. The sun shone unkindly upon Dagon, and he concerned himself with the earth, and kept many secrets. But though Orion was well-loved, Dagon too had his followers, and so the nation was split. Orion came upon Dagon and challenged his brother for the island, but when they fought, Dagon was no match, and so he fled. Orion chased him all across the island to the edge of the Southern swamps, where Dagon hid in a cave. As Orion reached the lip of the cave, leathery wings filled the air and he was beset by hundreds of bats. Now, Dagon had crafted a spear blessed by a dark spirit, and he hurled it at Orion in the commotion, and pierced him in the ankle. While it was in his ankle, the spirit clutched him and would not let him leave his spot, and spread infection through his body, and he screamed so loudly that he could be heard back in Albion. His confidantes came to rescue him, but Dagon could not be found in the winding caves, and though the spear's curse was broken, Orion's skin was forever greened by the infection, and though the tone was beautified with time, it was passed on to his people's descendants.

    Those who followed Dagon were rounded up in rafts and removed from the island, and those who could fled and joined their master. These exiles became the gnomish people, and the orcs have hated them ever since. Throughout their history, the people of Albion and the gnomish exiles who would eventually form the nation of Golgotha have conflicted many times.

    Albionese contact with the Great Continent is detailed in the Orc part of the Races section.

    Government of Albion
    Like many other nations of the world, Albion began as a monarchy, supposedly led by those born of Priam's line, but as a writing system was only adopted in ~800 AS, the veracity of this claim is arguable.

    Regardless of whenever Albion became a monarchy, the monarchy was ended by Nikodemos shortly after the Psionic Dawn (see the Orc spoiler in the Races section for further detail). Its government has been run by consuls for over 300 years now.

    Albionese Culture
    Though the Albionese are proud of their physical strength, they believe that sculpting the mind is just as important as sculpting the body. Towns are usually built in spiraling avenues encircling a large open space, often called the nucleus. The nucleus is seen as a reflection the life of a town and a microcosm of the town itself, and though nuclei vary widely, they are almost universally adorned with an olive tree planted at the town's foundation and a podium for speakers to lecture or debate. At least every week, people from all across town sit under the shade of the olive tree or elsewhere around the square and hold public debates, lectures from great teachers, or even plays or musical shows. On a larger scale, many sites on the rolling plains between towns feature odeons and large theaters as in real-world ancient Greece.

    In Albionese culture, there are said to be eight great arts: debate, singing, sculpture, wrestling, archery, astronomy, theater and more recently, psionics.

    Albionese music only started introducing instruments to its general fare. For much of its history, the use of instruments outside of your own body was considered barbaric, and only the popularization of non-Albionese music has led to their inclusion in Albionese-native music (though there is still some disapproval). Albionese choirs are quote common, and the Albionese do not use sheet music.

    An example of the general sound of an Albionese chant.

    Albionese debate focuses on winning a debate soundly and elegantly, by deconstructing the component pieces of an argument and letting it fall to pieces around them, disarming the opponent of all their weapons and winning without drawing blood. Defaming the opposing speaker, winning through unsound arguments, or by removing any dignity of your own, is seen as amateurish (though many popular debaters rely on fiery rhetoric regardless).

    Albionese theater is done in a similar style to Japanese Noh and Kabuki--movement is slow, stylized and deliberate--but with back-up from a chorus that chants the progression of the story's plot.

    Albionese sculpture mimics the style of real-world Greco-Buddhist art, and all of Albion loves a good wrestler--it is in Albion that the Monkey's Paw discipline was created. Archers are trained with exacting discipline, conscripted from an early age. These archers make up the brunt of Albion's fighting force, as Albion's government still eschews the use of firearms, preferring quality over quantity for a nation who only makes war on its small continent, preferring isolationist diplomacy (as opposed to the Occidental kobolds).

    Astronomy has been practiced in Albion for thousands of years, and indeed, an early star chart remains from only 200 AS. It's no wonder the Albionese reached the Great Continent before it could reach them. Albionese boats are considered the best in the world, and their navigational skills have only been challenged by Meropian merchants in the past 200 years.

    Psionics became included in the Great Arts soon after the consul system was instated, largely influenced by Sybil's writings. The Menteon, Albion's premier psionic college, was established in 100 PD in honor of Sibyl, and was built around a shrine built upon her burial site.

    Albion is rich with desirable trade resources, such as silver, marble (more akin to real-world Greek marble as opposed to Samaria's Indian marble), black tea and exotic oranges, as well as the prized mithral. Veins of mithral ore are only rarely found in the ground, but without being perfectly alloyed with precise amounts of iron and silver, the metal is not suitable for armor or weaponry. Under careful metallurgy, however, mithral has all the strength of steel and half its weight, making it highly prized throughout the world.

    The Albionese language is equivalent to real-world Greek, but as its writing system was taken from the Golgothan, its alphabet is Sanskrit, not Greek.


    Golgotha

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    History of Golgotha
    Golgotha is the only true haven for gnomes on Talamh, in that it is the only nation where gnomes are in the majority (and about 99.9% percent of Golgotha is gnomish), and indeed, where they aren't ceaselessly persecuted.

    Golgotha's true origins lie in the story of Orion and Dagon, the two sons of Priam. According to gnomish myth, Dagon was weaker and less physically skilled than his brother, but wiser, more cunning. Moreover, he was nobler, but his brother turned opinion against him. Finally, his brother came upon him in the night and tried to kill him, but Dagon fled, and the chase that follows is detailed in the Albion section.

    Dagon's nature and the nature of Dagon's people grew to reflect his long night of hiding in the darkness of the caves at the Southernmost part of the island. Though his people formed an early settlement in the Southwest swamps, as Albion quickly expanded under ambitious kings, the gnomish people of Dagon had their lands conquered. They were subjugated and kept as slaves by the more powerful Orcs, and though they tried to rebel on multiple occasions, they were never successful--the spirits themselves favored Albion, who had more to offer them than the gnomes could possibly muster.

    In about 900 AS, a gnome named Dumah traversed through the Southwestern swamps and sailed past the tip of the Nakhara Peninsula to the small island of Vrana, where he was born in his youth, and he came across one of the bat-filled caves on the island. When he went spelunking in the cave, he saw a strange symbol across the wall with a name scrawled beneath: Visadhara.

    Dumah summoned the first vestige back into the world, for (presumably) the first time. Using the vestige's gift, he quickly garnered support across the lands of Dagon, incited rebellion, and sought out the names and seals for other vestiges. He spread the knowledge of these vestiges and the rudimentary methods he had devised for summoning them, and eventually took back a wide strip of land across the Southern continent's Southmost side--all of that land which once belonged to Dagon, and more.

    Though Golgotha is a small nation, it has resisted doom on numerous occasions. Though frequent skirmishes broke out across the borders of the Albionese and Golgothan nations, Golgotha managed to hang on until the Orcish king Argus trained a great army and marched towards Golgotha borders in an effort to bring the Shadow Lands back into Albionese control. Golgotha's general Molek mustered his forces, but he was outnumbered and under-equipped, and was routed utterly. Without a doubt, it seemed Golgotha was to be conquered once more, after six centuries of independence.

    But Molek was determined not to watch his nation fall out of gnomish hands again. He conferred with a terrible bat spirit named Kamazotz, a patron of blood and the night. And he asked Kamazots, "What is the worth of a gnome's life?" And Kamazots scowled, "Only more blood to sow the earth."

    "So, if one gnome were sacrificed to you, what would you give for it?"

    "Nothing. A single life, when letting Golgotha die would grant me the joy of a nation's blood."

    "And 10 gnomes?"

    "More lives still could be taken than with ten willing sacrifices."

    "And with a 1000?"

    The spirit remained silent.

    "And 10,000?"

    Molek went out into Golgotha, and 5,000 offered themselves up to save their nation. With permission from the Asuradeva, he gathered up 5,000 more and sacrificed them to Kamazotz before the approaching army. Imbued with immense power, Kamazots raised a terrible wind and flayed the skin from the flesh of the soldiers, and tore them asunder. With both armies in shambles, peace was struck.

    Roland gave the Golgothans the mantle of Kamazotz for unknown reasons after initially combating the spirit, and it is now worn by the Asuradeva, granting Golgotha's ruler the power to command all of Golgotha's bats and the power to imbue bats with great strength and size (so that they can carry gnomish warriors into battle), along with a host of other abilities. Maragata, the Bat Queen, is Golgotha's current Asuradeva.

    Golgothan Government
    Golgotha is a strict theocracy run by the Vestigial Church, who worship spirits supposedly banished to the Insensate Plane as enlightened beings who have escaped the suffering of the world, and only exist to be called to bring others an end to their continued, mortal suffering.

    The head of the Golgothan church is called the Asuradeva. Each Asuradeva elects their successor before death, but many Asuradevas have been overthrown by more powerful priests. Every member of the clergy is inducted into the art of binding, and its leaders are all powerful occultists who often do as much to protect their people, hanging onto the edge of an island, from falling into the hands of a world that hates them.

    The theocracy runs a tight ship--even government take-overs tend more to early assassinations and quick and efficient regime changes rather than bloody, messy coups, though individual leaders tend to be strong enough to fend off countless would-be usurpers (and as such, Asuradeva is only picked off when they're too weak to avoid it). Punishments are draconian and worship of anything but the vestiges has been strictly prohibited since the imprisonment of Kamazotz, and life is often difficult--each gnome is given a job by the church based on their talents at a young age, and must work grueling hours to complete that job, often until they are simply too old to work (or more often, until they die). Still, ask many a Golgothan gnome and they will reply that they are proud to be a part of their nation. The theocracy stresses that their people live on the brink, that gnomekind must struggle for its life if it wishes to survive. Though many of their freedoms are restricted, a gnome is ultimately freer in Golgotha than anywhere else in Talamh, and most know that if with Golgotha gone, there would be nowhere a gnome could call home. Thus, the most common greeting from one gnome to another is brother or sister, and Golgotha's priests are father, mother, grandmother or grandfather.

    Golgotha is small, and thus divided into only three regions: Dagana, Devaksetra, and Yuddhata.

    Dagana comprises of the Westernmost chunk of Golgotha--the swamps, a good bit of the plains that flow into Yuddhata to the East, and the Nakhara Peninsula that leads to what was once the small island of Vrana, now renamed the island of Dumah. Farmers toil on the plains while fisherman are bitten by mosquitoes in swamp houses like this one. Due to the small size of the Golgothan empire, space is tight, and the government tries to fit as many people as it can. As such, some communities are built right onto the water, especially as one nears the island of Dumah. Many practitioners of binding hone their art in seclusion in a Daganan stilt-house, and outlawed Spiritualists who serve malevolent spirits sometimes haunt the bayous. Dumah houses a small volcano that is eagerly harvested for precious obsidian.

    Devaksetra is Golgotha's capital, and comprises the most fertile and forgiving lands at Golgotha's east. Unlike in other regions, most of Devaksetra's houses are not built of wood, but of the red sandstone deposits found in the area. In other areas, only the cathedrals are made of sandstone, but entire avenues of Devaksetra are built from the rock. Devaksetra is Golgotha's urban hub and the world's largest Vestigial cathedral stands in the middle of Capital Square, serving as the nation's palace. It is built of sandstone and adorned with gorgeous stained-glass windows (including some made from obsidian) and menacing-looking gargoyles and grotesques, though also built to serve as an impenetrable castle fortress. Though most of Golgotha's cathedral are built with the same patterns in mind, no gargoyles are so life-like, no windows so brilliantly shining, and no construction so great as the Parama Pravitra.

    Yuddhana comprises Golgotha's middle region, hard-won from their Orcish captors many centuries ago. It is a large agricultural region, but its small chain of hills and mountains harbor important resources like copper, iron and coal. Many of the Golgothan War of Independence's bloodiest battles were fought across the fields of Yuddhana, and it is famed for wide cemetaries and monuments to those who sacrificed themselves for the good of Golgotha. Smriti, the Spire of Remembrance, is the name if Yuddhana's most famous monuments, and commemorates the sacrifice of 10,000 in Molek's war. It is made of wrought iron, and though it caught fire in ~1850 AS, tit survived and now only looks more imposing.

    Golgothan Culture
    Golgotha is a very unified nation, packed with citizens who view each other as one giant family fighting to stay alive. Gnomes are taught to be both devout and questioning since birth, and an ambition for power, willingness to apply power when it's needed, and the understanding of the value of a secret are all impressed into their minds from an early age.

    Golgotha is also known for its peoples' disconcerting love for bats. Bat caves can be found all across Dagana and, to a lesser extent, Yuddhana, and they have been domesticated by gnomes for centuries. A bat in a gnome's house is more common that a cat or a dog in the real-world home today, and those who live in the swamps often keep multiple bats both as companions and as a way to deal with mosquitoes, which are spreaders of sickness as well as mere annoyances. Even in Devaksetra, where the caves themselves are scarce, many houses keep bats, and indeed, the animal is symbolic of the nation itself. Vampire bats are also common in Devaksetra, and are often subject to the power of the Mantle of Kamazotz. Using the mantle's power, they are turned into large animals and mounted by Golgotha's elite cavalry. Because the bats must be imbued with the power of Kamazots soon after they are born to grow to a size suitable for riding, and because of the enormous appetite their new size gives them, only the wealthy can afford to keep and raise the giant bats, and they are few in number.

    Golgothan art resembles Byzantine mosiac, its architecture is gothic, and the Golgothan language is equivalent to real-world Sanskrit. Gnomish music tends to feature instruments like the harpsichord, piano, or organ (all gnomish inventions), as well as the violin in more recent times. The cello is not common due to its size, and difficulty for the ~3-4 foot tall gnome to play.


    Gondwana

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    History of Gondwana
    Gondwana's history is very much an unknown, as there is no Gondwanan writing system, and the conception of a nation is somewhat foreign to the Gondwanan populace. Though most Gondwanan elves can readily recall generations of their family line, and many can relate the history of their tribe, there is no solid idea of national history, or even when Gondwana was first established.

    Although an enigma, Gondwana's official borders stretch across vast amounts of taiga between Rodinia and Karnak (and is close to Valbara). Though Gondwana is not the world's largest nation by far, it occupies nearly as much land as Nod.

    Gondwanan Government
    For the most part, Gondwana functions as a tribal government. Many elven villages are built throughout the forests, but most of the territory is undeveloped and free for all Gondwanans to use.

    Many tribes only rarely interact with one another, especially the smaller ones that may only consist of a few family lines. There are settlements large enough to be called cities, but elven technology has not progressed far past the iron age. Certainly, these disparate tribes could not defend again their far more technologically-advanced neighbors.

    And that's where Gondwana's ruling class comes in: the druids. These druids serve both as Gondwana's diplomats to the spirits and one of Gondwana's greatest assets against interlopers. The druids fly throughout Gondwana and relay messages with alarming speed and gather tithes from across the taiga's elven tribes to curry the spirits' favor on a monthly basis. At least one druid is assigned to every tribe, and large Gondwanan cities may feature several. They serve as final arbiters of disputes and as Hobbesian Leviathans when violence has reached the point where it must be curbed. Though they don't often interfere with tribal law, religious law is their responsibility to mandate, and if they must, they can exert their power over the tribes they have been assigned to. Druids usually protect the tribe they were born in, but many choose not to, and most cycle through towns, joining more powerful and important settlements as their power increases. Gondwana's druids are essentially treated as a separate, nomadic tribe that runs the country's affairs and protects it from harm. In wartime, the druids are generals and warriors elite, calling upon nature itself to vex their enemies.

    The Gondwanan druids do not look kindly upon the psionic gift, as they fear it threatens their power, and will gladly kill those who exhibit the power before they can be overthrown. As such, many elves who have or are suspected of having psionic powers are forced to leave Gondwana.

    Gondwanan Culture
    Relations between Gondwana and the rest of the world suffer terribly from moral dissonance. The average Gondwanan values life and property very differently than the average Meropian or Noddite. Though property is worth dying for, life is cheap. Even in large cities with granaries, organized agriculture, aqueducts, military barracks, and other such improvements, theft is very uncommon, and punished severely. There is little organized law enforcement. The responsibility for having your crime repaid is, except in extreme situations, on your hands in Gondwana. Considering that Gondwana relies more on "a life for an eye" than "a tooth for a tooth," provoking someone's vengeance is a bad idea.

    Elven men are expected to be able to survive completely independently. They are trained in the closest military basis from an early age and taught to be expert hunters, both of animals and other humanoids. The initiation into adulthood always involves being stranded in the wilderness and surviving entirely on one's ability for several weeks. Donning cloaks made of bark, they can adopt an impeccable camouflage in the forests by curling under it like a turtle into its shell. Elven women are responsible for Gondwana's agriculture and construction, as well as duties such as painting their husband's face with native Gondwana ochres before battle. These distinct roles are set in stone in Gondwanan tradition, and mandated by its druids as well. An elven man's wives are considered another part of his property, and though it is his job to provide for and protect it, it is hers to maintain in. Violent conflicts often arise between wives, and though a man faces danger from his fellow Gondwanans, he is well-prepared to simply disappear into the wilderness. Women are not so trained, and thus are often abused by their husbands. Having romantic relations with another a man nearly always results in death.

    All Gondwanans are Spiritualist, with tithes mandated by its druids, who are not only representatives of their people to the spirits, but representatives of the spirits to their people.

    This is not to say that all Gondwanan elves do is hurt people and die. Sports are a major part of Gondwanan life, and usually do not directly involve combat. Though simply thinking up and trying out different games is a Gondwanan's favorite past time, ball courts made for the purpose of playing a game called nakata can be found in most Gondwanan villages of significance.

    The Gondwanan language is equivalent to real-life Finnish.


    Karnak

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    History of Karnak
    According to myth, those humanoids who left Ur for the mountains were the ancestors of the Karnaki nation. Before Karnak's people were a nation, however, they were but disparate tribes living in the mountains or at the strip of fertile coast to the North for hundreds of years.

    The Karnak mountain range is, according to Karnaki religious leaders, physically Karnak's body. Karnak is usually depicted as a bear hibernating deep under the earth, and the mountains named after him are formed from his spine pressing against the crust of the earth. The small earthquakes that often occur in Karnak are supposedly caused by Karnak shifting in his sleep.

    In ~700 AS, the spirit of the mountain appeared directly to the leader of one of the tribes, a dwarf named Vladimir. In the midst of a terrible earthquake caused by Karnak merely turning his head to face Vladimir, the spirit invested the dwarf with but a fraction of his massive power and instructed him to assemble dwarvenkind, a people he had grown to consider his favorite children, into a cohesive people. Vladimir used his abilities to gather and save victims of the earthquake and yield sustenance from the mountain with which to feed them, and the nation of Karnak was formed, named after its great protector.

    Much later, Roland captured a spirit of the deep earth called Tammuz, said to be the son of Karnak. He imprisoned him within ink made from obsidian and wrote a tome that allowed the animation of powerful beings of dirt and stone, and used them originally to help in his conquest of Valbara. When Pharamond defeated his brother, he gave the tome to the Karnaki people to consolidate relations between the two nations. For almost 300 years, these golems served as the personal bodyguards of the Vladika, but that changed in 319 PD. A dwarven priest called Dragomir began an anti-fascist movement and constantly escaped pursuit with the help of those who supported his movement. His movement reached culmination when he attempted a military coup against the Vladika. His men stormed the Vladika's stronghold. The battle was bloodier for Dragomir's followers than it was for the Vladika's guard, and when the revolutionary's men all retreated en masse, it seemed at first that victory once again belonged to the state. When they realized that the Tome of Tammuz was gone, they realized their mistake. Dragomir was finally captured and beaten to death in public view, but the tome was never recovered.

    Karnaki Government
    Karnak was originally a theocratic civilization, as Vladimir formed the Karnaki priesthood essentially at the same time as the nation was born. This priesthood initially served as Karnak's ruling class, but as the years wore on, political corruption drove the nation to civil war. In 1334 AS, the dozens of warring factions came to a bloody peace, having been conquered by a warlord called Košar (ko-SHAR).

    Košar's father was a member of the priestly class before the civil war, but Košar was only 14 years old when the conflict began, and as a result only received the very beginnings of his religious teaching before the ruling class itself was disintegrated. Although his father wanted him to continue his religious instruction, he instead ran away to a military barracks and sought instruction there. He took to the training like a bee to nectar, and he showcased his sharp tactical mind only four years into it. Košar spotted an enormous group of raiders moving up the mountain pass that led to the barracks in the middle of the night, and so he made his way up to a farm where mountain goats were kept. Using a traditional Karnaki shofar and his own warhorse, Košar led the goats into a stampede and over-ran the group of raiders as he and his allies loosed a hail of arrows before going in with axe and shield. Despite being outnumbered more than 10:1, the raiders were slaughtered utterly, with only the most minimal of losses for the military men.

    Košar quickly distinguished himself as a master tactician, a charismatic leader, and a powerful warrior in his own right. But though he let war become his life, he still believed his calling was a religious one--he made it his mission to reunite the peoples of Karnak. Supposedly, he was visited by the three spirits of dwarven fate: Jutro, the morning star, and the spirit of the future, Večer, the mid-day star, the spirit of the present, and Noć, the evening star, the spirit of the past, three different incarnations of Karnak's wife. According to popular myth, it is she/they who commanded Košar to complete his mission, and create a government built not on an unstable singularity, but a harmonious duality. When the bloodshed finally ended in 1334, Košar stood as his country's first Vladar (military leader), and appointed his sister as the first Vladika (religious leader).

    These positions remain steadfastly in control of Karnak, though policy has of course changed and evolved over the years. Today, Karnak is a fascist state. Dissenters are quickly put down by the Štit Nacije (SHTEET NAH-tsee-yeh, the shield of the nation), Karnak's secret police and elite fighting force, and petty criminals learn to forget their craft by being tied to the local whipping post and beaten until they sob for mercy in the middle of the town square. The crime rate is one of the lowest in the world, but a pall of terror hangs over much of its populace.

    The worship of Karnak and the Maiden/Mother/Crone is mandated by the government, and those who adopt other religions are usually punished by being tied to the whipping post.

    Karnaki Culture
    Silence is golden in Karnak, and social norms dictate that when asked an uncomfortable question, the proper response is to simply pretend you didn't hear. Its international policy reflects this--Karnak has had an isolationalist stance for most of his history, focusing on building infrastructure across the mountain and the cold but virile north coast rather than expanding further outward, and though it gladly trades with other nations (except for kobold nations on the Occidental Archipelago), it refuses to get involved with world politics.

    Despite their isolationalist policies and totalitarian government, Karnak is not utterly opposed to visitors or to sending out diplomats to other nations. That said, it is a lengthy process to be allowed to enter Karnak, and with little exception, only diplomats are given the privilege, as express permission from either the Vladar or the Vladika is required.

    The Karnaki language is equivalent to real-world Croatian.
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-12-26 at 02:04 AM.
    Dawning: The Age of Psionics
    A work in progress that is slowly being transfered from my head to the internet.

    Avatar courtesy of Mr. Saturn

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dalai Lama
    My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    "I never let my schooling interfere with my education."

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    I gathered that they were set in stone after the first transformation. The whole base-stat switching thing just kind of threw me for a loop in that your character can literally get dumber for turning into a bear.

    And color me interested with the PbP game. I've never used these boards for the purpose as I prefer to tools on myth-weavers but I'd probably have to make an exception to apply to your game.
    Last edited by Devigod; 2010-10-27 at 05:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    Think of it this way: a Druid who lowers his Int when turning into a bear is also changing his brain. That, or he's just "thinking like a bear."

    Now, the real funny thing is that the Druid could become smarter when becoming a bear. Yogi?

    Wow...actually, that could make for a crazy build. Go Spirit Shaman, crank up that relevant casting stat, and go crazy with ridiculous power DCs.
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-10-27 at 05:42 PM.
    Dawning: The Age of Psionics
    A work in progress that is slowly being transfered from my head to the internet.

    Avatar courtesy of Mr. Saturn

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dalai Lama
    My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    "I never let my schooling interfere with my education."

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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    On E7, that's cool, I was just unsure. The two are definitely compatible, and there are a lot of ideas worth raiding for an E6 (or 7, 8) game.

    The fluff behind obsidian vulnerability makes perfect sense. I forgot obsidian was associated with volcanoes, as opposed to other types of igneous rock.

    Gunslinging kobolds sound great. I'm a fan of the OotS/d20r fencing kobolds, and that takes it further.

    Skill list: Concentration isn't there - is this an omission, are you adopting a Pathfinder-style check, or just completely nerfing manifesters by removing the ability to concentrate? The latter might be unfortunate for Psychic Warriors.
    With Knowledge (arcana) gone, it's probably a good idea to define which Knowledge picks up lore on constructs, magical beasts and dragons. Perhaps Engineering, Nature and Psionics (or History), respectively?

    I like the improvements to Champion. Just to clarify, at level 6 a Champion could have three altered strikes, a twice-altered strike and a singly-altered strike, or one strike altered three times?

    I know I said I'd put together a few builds, but I forgot my copy of ToB is on loan to a friend. I really should get that back…

    On Slayer, I just noted that as-written, it lets you reflect/disrupt actual manifesting, but not psi-like abilities or spell-like abilities. It's up to you whether you want it to disrupt a druid's invocations, but it should be able to disrupt a psionic monster.

    Haven't been inspired about tarot for Seeker yet.
    Someday I'll have my anxiety under control, but until then, I'm prone to sudden month-long disappearances.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    Bet-Ea

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    History of Bet-Ea
    Bet-Ea, often known throughout the world as the Kingdom of Ea, traces its origins back to the Time of Ur. According to myth, when the Dragons Ea, Ka, and An fought for supremacy over the Western part of the Great Continent, the conflict broke up the land into what is now the Occidental Archipelago. When Oa split the seed of the spirits, the Dragons were plunged into the dreaming with the rest of Ur, sleeping eternally on their giant hordes deep under the earth.

    Bet-Ea began as a kobold kingdom on one of the Archipelago's many islands, said to be the Gold Dragon's resting place, now called Mähäk and Bet-Ea's capital. The kingdom of Mähäk frequently locked claws with a kingdom on the neighboring island of Jämbär, but in about 1100 AS, the kingdom of Mähäk conquered their neighbor. In 1300 AS, Mähäk expanded further under the rule of Mansa Tafari, who venerated Ea as the Golden Dragon of Perfection and preached a doctrine of manifest destiny. Tafari conquered two other island kingdoms during his reign, transforming the simple kingdom of Mähäk into the empire of Bet-Ea. Two more islands were added to the empire over the centuries, granting Bet-Ea the largest amount of total landmass of any Occidental Nation. Since then, Bet-Ea focused on consolidation rather than expansion, with the one exception being the failed Draco-Samarian war.

    Bet-Ea is split up into seven major regions: Upper Mähäk, Lower Mähäk, Jämbär, Täbta, Tafari, Bäräqwa, and Worknesh. Mähäk, Bet-Ea's largest island and the nation's hub, is large enough to be separated into the Upper and Lower districts, but the other regions are simply named after the islands the regions coincide with (even Tafari--the island was named after the Mansa after he conquered it). Its current leader is a kobold called Mansa Nuh.

    Blame for the Draco-Samarian is usually placed on the scaly shoulders of Mansa Desta. The name is spat upon by the (admittedly rather chauvanistic) Samarian populace, but she is often lauded as a hero by the Bet-Ean populace, though even in her homeland she gets mixed reviews. Desta holds the distinction of being one of the nation's only empresses, and is considered by most to be the best. By some, she is considered among Bet-Ea's greatest rulers. Desta was known to be both a shrewd diplomat and a fervent militarist, and it showed--only through calculated zealousness was she able to finally sway the Ka-Tadanese into an alliance, and it took her guidance to assemble the largest military force the world had ever seen at the time. With state-of-the-art galleons based on Albionese design, the joint militaries could send enormous fleets of ships all across the Eastern coast. As for the Mansa's own military prowess, it was said that she could strike a man's tonsils with her precision with the bow, and to this day, a nickname of dubious dictinction is given to those known to be devilishly crafty and exceedingly perceptive: aäynyädesta, or "eye of Desta" (or perhaps Desta-eyed).

    Bet-Ean Government
    On the surface, Bet-Ea is a strict monarchy--but after all, nothing in Bet-Ea is as it seems on the surface. Because Bet-Ea is a kingdom assembled from islands, it is harder than it would seem to retain a continuous order from the throne. As such, the governers (called geta) that are given jurisdiction over the other islands, especially the newest additions to the empire, sometimes have interests that conflict with the Mansa, or emperor. As such, though the monarchy is acknowledged with ultimate power, the governors have a certain amount of autonomy in their ability to work outside of the Mansa's gaze. A great deal of energy is spent keeping the geta in check, and correspondingly, the geta spend a great deal of energy keeping the Mansa in check. Adding further complication to the Bet-Ean political scene is the prominence of the Ascendant Church. The religion called Ascendancy originated from ancient Mähäk traditions of purity and cleanliness. As the spirits dare not tread in the land of the Dragons (except, of course, for An-Akari), some Rodinian scholars who have studied Ascendancy have noted it was likely seen as a way for koboldkind to purify nature themselves, without the help from the spirits, by recognizing themselves as a part of nature and working to perfect themselves. Indeed, Ascendancy is centered around keeping oneself pure and perfect. Agility of both mind and body are virtues, and Ascendants believe that developing and honing skills sharpens the mind and nears one closer to divinity. Ritual also plays a major role in Ascendancy--priests are forbidden from touching the dead or eating unsalted meat, they typically wear only white, are advised to eat with utensils (chopstick-like devices) unlike most other classes, who eat with their hands, and bathe frequently. Priests thus seem blessed by the devout population, who look upon their religious leaders and see kobolds who live long lives comparatively free of disease, who eat well, read much, and spend their days constantly in practice. Unfortunately, the class divide in Bet-Ea is great. Though the Ascendant priests serve as a significant class of specialists and intellectuals, there is a much larger class of serfs, for whom every month is a struggle to get by.

    Mansa Nuh, Bet-Ea's current Emperor, is known for his close ties to the Rodinian high priest. Though the relationship between Rodinia and Bet-Ea seems to be peaceful, born of a taste more for gold than blood, many fear a Western military union even more powerful than the Draconic Alliance--a threat so large no nation acting alone could stop it, provoking a war unlike any other. Though a world crushed under a draconic heel would seem paranoid delusion to any Continental who wasn't a shameless Chicken Little, it is a fear that remains in the back of the mind. This fear has led to the rising prominence of Les Racines, a militant group of human supremacists centralized in Valbara.

    Bet-Ean Culture
    Bet-Ea is known as being the only kobold nation that doesn't consider a gnome's trespassing onto its borders as a capital offense, and in fact has a very small minority of gnomes who immigrated there from tribal outposts. Sadly, their quality of life remains low. Though they are spared the fear of Ka-Tadanese raids, they are relegated to jobs that entail hard, often deadly labor. One of the most common jobs they are given is the production of soap, which is in always in high demand due to the focus on cleanliness in the Ascendancy. This job leaves the bodies of the gnomish and low-class kobold workers bitten with lye, often to the point where the gnome is no longer able to work, and thus is forced to starve to death.

    Bet-Ean music involves very little singing, and instead heavily involves plucked string instruments so as to sound much like traditional Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese music.

    As for cuisine, Bet-Ean cuisine generally consists of rice laid on a mat of dried seaweed, over which other components of the meal are placed, and eaten by hand (except by the more devout Ascendants, who eat with modified chopsticks). Shrimp is most common, though clams are also a staple of the Bet-Ean diet. Honeybees are also quite populous in Bet-Ea. The honey is often used to add flavor to the food, especially combined with exotic spices from the Continent, and the bees themselves are considered holy to the Ascendant church. It's said that when an Ascendant who has lived a good life dies, their soul briefly lives on as a bee.

    The lands of Bet-Ea are rich in resources, and known for having the largest deposits of gold in the world. The golden-scaled Bet-Eans speak a language they call Klsan or Mänagär, but which is generally referred to as Draconic by Continentals. The real-world equivalent is Amharic.


    Ka-Tadan

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    Government of Ka-Tadan
    Although the reins of one of the world's most feared nations remains in the hands of the same organization that held it at its birth, its government has undergone significant evolution towards a single ideological goal.

    The governing body of Ka-Tadan is known by different things in different places. Its people call it the same thing they call the religion itself: Sägädä (literally, "Kneel Before"). The rest of the world simply calls it the House of Ka. But this theocracy is anything but stagnant--through tumultuous fractioning and civil war, of dissolving and coagulating back into a powerful, unified state encompassing the largest and Northernmost island on the Occidental Archipelago. The iron of its government was tempered by the fires of opposition, and in the modern era (currently 405 PD) has refined itself into well-oiled totalitarian regime.

    Worship of Sägädä is mandatory, and the religion follows a set of major tenets known as Amst'at, The Five Talons. The first is Mätriya, or Assurance. This tenet expresses without doubt that Ka woke before and will wake again. The second is Grma, or Sanctity. This tenet is the belief that all of Ka's land (the island of Tadan) is holy land, and correspondingly, that all land that does not belong to Ka is unholy. This tenet prohibits expansion beyond the island of Ka, but does not discourage the nation's frequent raiding. The third is Kunäne, or Judgment, which stresses that when Ka wakes he will destroy all other nations and establish his people as rulers of the world. The fourth Talon is known as Däm, or Family, which emphasizes that all of Ka's people are naturally unified by the color of their scales inherited from the Black Dragon, and this ancestry elevates them above all other peoples. And the final fifth is, of course, Sägädä, usually translated into this historian's native Meropian as "Purpose." This tenet holds that all of Ka's people were created with the divine purpose to serve their progenitor--by Ka's grace were they born, by Ka's grace do they live, and for Ka's grace do they die.

    The church itself is headed by the high priest, whose word is then put into action by Ka-Tadan's clerical bureaucracy, and though higher-ups in the government hoard like any dragon-kith should, all within Ka-Tadan is legally property of the state.

    History of Ka-Tadan
    Ka-Tadan is nation founded on the legend of the Black Dragon Ka. Supposedly the most ruthless of his brothers, Ka thought the bones of his enemies just as good as gold when it came to trophies in his hoard. Though the black-scaled people of Ka wandered the island of Tadan in loose tribal coalitions, the nation of Ka-Tadan was only solidified after the spirit Taskara attempted to steal from his hoard somewhere between 100 and 300 AS. The dragon supposedly assembled his priests to bring the tribes together in his service, and when a band of valiant adventurers finally returned Ka to the Dreaming, the assembly remained.

    That loose group of tribes devoted to the Dragon cult soon became the fascist state of Ka-Tadan, and though it has been broken down in the past, it has stood strong without political coup for over two centuries. Its people must attend church in the middle of every day, where they must recite the Five Talons and listen to the preachings of a cleric appointed to their settlement by Sägädä. Hymns to Ka are a common staple of these Mid-day masses, though they're fairly atonal--pitch varies little and is less important than the rhythm of the words. The beat is kept by a drum section, and nearly every hymn is written to a march tempo. Recently, trumpet and other brass instruments have started to feature in pieces written by the pastors of particular congregations, as well as separate drum sections providing intersecting rhythms. Call and response is a staple of the services.

    Devotion to the government is one of the two pillars that keeps the Ka-Tadanese government strong, and the other is its military. One of the most massive organized forces in the world in one of the few nations that employs full-time military officers, the military also serves as the nation's police force, and maintains order and loyalty (no matter how much blood it takes).

    Though the most feared members of Ka-Tadan's fighting force within the nation is a special operations group known as the Blackened Tooth, the Continent learned to fear Ka-Tadan's cavalry in the Draco-Samarian war. Ka-Tadan's riders train for a decade to act as one with their steeds--massive, armored caribou who are as fearless as the kobolds they carry. None understand the power of psychological warfare like these mounted masters of it. Adorning helmets fashioned in the image of an antlered skull and eschewing the spear for the war scythe, they rode through the countryside specifically seeking civilian encampments. They would murder as many as they could, mount heads on pikes, capture a few to torture mercilessly but leave alive and immobile, let enough go to spread the story, take what they wanted, and then douse the farms and the houses in oil and set them ablaze. While generally outclassed by a skilled group of pikemen or other such units adept at dealing with cavalry, they became the terror of the Eastern Powers, earning them the title of Ceifeiros, or reapers, in Samaria.

    Ka-Tadan has been isolationist for a long period of time, only beginning to reach out to other countries for trade before the Draco-Samarian war. Even now, it only trades with its kobold neighbor Bet-Ea.

    Ka-Tadanese Culture
    Ka-Tadan is known for bitter winters, mild summers, and a cool spring. Occupying the northernmost and largest island of the Occidental archipelago, its North edge is ridged by mountains. Tundra stretches down from these peaks before turning into hills rich with veins of iron, copper, coal, and even small amounts of adamantine (which is much more plentiful in Karnak, but still quite rare). These harsh conditions are eased by the River Gämäsä that splits through the ends of the hills and gives way to the Ka-Tadanese plains, where farmers toil for the good of the nation.

    The common people of Ka-Tadan mostly subsist on a diet wheat and potatoes, occasionally hunting small game around the tundra. Those with more money can import somewhat more exotic from Bet-Ea, but a traditional Ka-Tadanese meal is a stew, often with thick filling broth made from caribou's blood, featuring chunks of meat and potatoes, often with a bit of bread to sop it up.

    The Ka-Tadanese, like the rest of the Occidentals, speak Kobold (Klsan), to which the real-world equivalent is Amharic.


    An-Akari

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    History of An-Akari
    To outsiders, An-Akari's history is a mystery, but that is not to say that it isn't known. This well-represents the general philosophy of the people of An: knowledge is only power when it's hidden. Bet-Ea hordes wealth, Ka-Tadan hordes military might, but to the people An-Akari, no treasure is more valuable than a secret. An-Akari opens its borders to no foreigner, and trades only sparingly with other nations.

    The kobolds of An-Akari are said to be descended from An, the Copper Dragon. The craftiest of the brothers, An exact motivations for trying to conquer the Western side of the Great Continent before its fracture into the Occidental Archipelago is unknown even to his people. But a feature that distinguishes An-Akari from the other Draconic nations is the existence of spirits upon the isle. Nowhere else in the Occidental Archipelago houses them--it is theorized that the Dragons at the heart of Bet-Ea and Ka-Tadan keep them away. Supposedly, the Dream Spirit (which is only worshiped in An-Akari, as dreams are seen as Ur's domain on the Great Continent) mated with the Copper Dragon An and produced four children, who are worshiped by An-Akari Spiritualists. These spirits are Shar, the Spider Spirit, Aeli, the Turtle Spirit, Ayta, the Puffin Spirit, and Rodha, the Wasp Spirit. All represent fauna common on the island of An-Akari, but each have certain ideological domains as well. Shar is given domain over the forests, and is the spirit of nobility and plans. Many in An-Akari pay him tribute in order to grant their plans for the future luck. Aeli has domain over the seas, and as a spirit of protection, serves as the patron of the An-Akari military. Ayta is given domain over the air, and is tithed to by those hoping for clarity and foresight, as well as those preparing for a voyage. Rodha is the spirit of checks of balances, of unraveling plans through less-than noble means, and is the twin brother of Shar.

    An-Akari's history is long and complex, and it is said that they pioneered the first writing system (which includes the invention of the Klsan ኽልሳን script). That said, though the full history of An-Akari is recorded, it is kept in the capital and only revealed to scholars and government officials. Throughout their history, An-Akari has done all it could to avoid war and preserve the integrity of the state. Much of the responsibility for this is placed on one of An-Akari's national heroes, known as Imamu.

    Supposedly, Imamu was a great teacher living in ~500 AS (and in fact, it's suspected that Imamu was not his name at all, but a title), and one of the pioneers of the writing system. Though An-Akari was at this point divided into five tribes, Imamu traveled across the island to find other great minds to create the Draconic writing system. At the time this system had been created, the nation of An-Akari had only just recently come into contact with its Occidental neighbors, and Imamu feared what would happen to his people. He realized that only unity and organization could save them from destruction, and so he used his writing to form a conspiracy. Teaching his writing system only with those who shared his political aims, he sent messages across the island that looked like chicken scratch to the uniformed. Using these encoded instructions, he and his allies manipulated island conflict to establish a unified state as quickly as possible, and thus was An-Akari born.

    Government of An-Akari
    Control over An-Akari's government is divided into three official rulers, the rank for which is called Sultan. The first Sultan, who it is said wears the Crown of the Spider, is given power over government legislation, and enforcement of the law. The second Sultan, said to wear the Crown of the Turtle, is given control over the nation's military. The third, who wears the Crown of the Puffin, has control over the nation's finances, including the dispensation of currency (the mädab, a copper standard), taxation and other such business. These Sultan are voted into office, but the vote is not open, built instead as an oligarchy: licensed specialists are given the vote, such as in law, engineering, astrology, or mathematics. Priests are also given a vote, considered religious specialists, and soldiers are given a vote as military specialists. The elected hold their position for 20 years or until death. The current bureaucracy, in its centuries of life, is becoming more and more entrenched and progressively corrupt, and some intellectuals fear (or hope) that the tension between the government's control and the bureaucracy's bloating power will one day erupt into civil war.

    There is, however, a fourth unofficial ruler, that is generally said to also hold the rank of Sultan--he or she who wears the Crown of the Wasp. This Sultan's duties are twofold: first, to serve as the head of the nation's extensive espionage network, and second, to keep the other Sultans in check. The Wasp Crown is also voted into, but with votes from a much more specific group of specialist--the spies that work below him. Additionally, his or her appointment is lifelong. The Crown of the Wasp's men voyage to other lands to keep An-Akari's government informed on the state of the world and also serve as the nation's secret police.

    A absence to note for those who live in real-world, modern democratic systems (of various stripes--parliamentary, republics, etc) is that the the An-Akari code of laws does not include the right to a trial.

    An-Akari Culture
    The copper-scaled kobolds of An-Akari live in a tropical climate, and thus wear little in the way of clothing--nudity is largely de-sexualized, and unless the weather is particularly cold or one is wearing garments that denote office, most would wear nothing else but the white markings in paint that are considered fashionable to wear. In recent years, light clothing has become more common, but is still rather minimal.

    Music in An-Akari uses instruments that are largely Bet-Ean, with minor changes, the most notable being a prevalence of woodwind instruments and the inclusion of voice. One of the most common ways that the An-Akari celebrate is to organize masked dance festivals to their traditional music.

    A an example of how music might sound in An-Akari.

    The art of calligraphy is highly revered in An-Akari, as is the art of weaving. Though traditional painting is uncommon, woven tapestries decorated not with conventional images but with complex patterns are very popular.

    An-Akari is an island rich with resources, the most notable being copper, a variety of tropical fruit, silk, and green tea (including post-fermented tea used medicinally, called shayana).

    The An-Akari language, like its other Draconic neighbors, speaks Klsan (ኽልሳን), the equivalent to real-world Amharic.
    Last edited by Cahokia; 2010-12-26 at 01:58 AM.
    Dawning: The Age of Psionics
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dalai Lama
    My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    "I never let my schooling interfere with my education."

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    Default Re: Dawning: The Age of Psionics [PEACH!]

    I've started an interest-combing thread on the Finding Players subforum. The link is here.
    Dawning: The Age of Psionics
    A work in progress that is slowly being transfered from my head to the internet.

    Avatar courtesy of Mr. Saturn

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dalai Lama
    My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    "I never let my schooling interfere with my education."

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