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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Lightbulb Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    Hi!

    I'm not going to waste time. Here are a few ideas for a setting that's on my mind (tentatively called:) "Blue Moon" that I want to develop for 5th edition. If I don't get stuff written down, I will never get anywhere with it (my apologies if this is the wrong prefix or wrong forum).

    I have no doubt that I still have a LOT to work on. I am new to world building but would love to talk about how I go about finishing what I started, I want to be able to run a series of short stories to my players using this setting. And have a desire to perfect it, so be truthful, please!

    BLUE ☽ MOON
    "Once in a blue moon, anything is possible. "
    The premise:
    Spoiler: The Premise
    Show
    the Players will be playing "ghosts". (Not evil monster manual ones, though, but they could be evil, but caution is advised) they, among other souls of lives past, rise from the dead in a gorgeous valley, on three rare nights where the moon turns blue, and prepare for a festival of song, dance and music, without memories of their past selves, as they might seek to discover their back stories within the game by literally interacting with the world around them (many objects, animals and plants are also sentient, and can speak with the ghosts when the blue moon rises). After the blue moon sets and the sun rises, the spirits lay dormant, "sleeping" until the next blue moon.

    When the blue moon rises
    When the Blue Moon rises, things change, and not always for the better.
    The wolves turn white, and large, and mean. The Banshee haunts the nearby woods, old ladies in the nearby village turn green and become capable of granting wishes (for a price). the elements come to life and behave out of place, and so puch more. On the three nights that the PCs and other ghosts come alive, they are also the most in danger.

    Between blue moons, a decade passes by. The stage changes.
    Leaving a lot of room for change and time progression in the relatively small-scale setting (the valley). Some examples I thought of: The village might grow in that and (eventually) develop into a city. The Players could sleep at the end of their winter story, and wake up in the middle of the springtime. If the PCs find a way to befriend (or scare) a mortal, that could develop further as the PCs could encounter the individual during multiple stages of his life. The river might have been dried up since the last story arc in light of a gold rush that started years before, opening up a mine for them to delve into.

    The spirit's guide and leader

    A key figure offers wisdom and leads the Spirits. A single spirit, who is believed to be chosen by the moon, earns the title of Father Time. He has many roles, such as: being the master of ceremonies, offering pearls of wisdom to spirits who need it. He is a judge and analyst of the things he sees around him, he also keeps watch after the sun rises to guard the spirit's resting place until the next blue moon. This is a duty that weakens, bitters and deteriorates the spirit after a long enough time has passed, until it eventually fades away, and a new Father Time must be chosen. Most spirits either long for that honor, or are afraid to discover the daylight, and of where all Father Times might go after they vanish, if such a place exists.

    What I do not intend, however, is for him to have game-changing and Deus-ex machina level time magic at his disposal. he/she is known as Father Time for taking on the role of a historian. his knowledge and opinions can serve as quest fuel, whether the adventurers choose to heed it or defy it.


    THE VALLEY GEOGRAPHY: (I'm new at all this. Any help would be appreciated!)
    Spoiler: Geography
    Show
    Standing between two mountains - one tall and wide, and the other - yet cragged, and it's neighboring viscinity. A river flows serenely between the two mountains. one mountain has a forest ridge of cottonwood that grows lovely green leaves in the springtime. Rain usually flows down this path into the river, which could cause floods. and the other one bears dark and grey rocks, and a spiraled path is paved around it from constant travel. It is actually a volcano that has been dormant for centuries. In the Winter, both mountains are tipped with a blanket of snow at the summit. On the top of the latter mountain, spiritual structures and shrines to the volcano by the civilization are found at the top, while temples to mortal religions - found closer to the base. Beyond the mountain lies a village connecting the river with a simple bridge.


    KEEPING TIME AND ASTROLOGY
    Spoiler: CALENDAR
    Show
    in this setting, a day is 32 hours long (which means a between sunset and sunrise should be about 16 hours), a week is 5 days long, a month takes 6 weeks (30 days), each season is 4 months long and are equivalent to the 4 seasons in the real world, and there 16 months in a year. A blue moon in the valley occurs roughly once every 10 years and 4 months or so. Since the spirits are only awake once in a blue moon, the setting gives room for me to shift into the next yearly season once every few sessions.

    Holidays do exist, but very few, if any, would be relevant at most games. expect a segment on this in a future update.


    STORIES TOLD/NOTES

    DM Information
    Spoiler: DM INFORMATION
    Show
    With anthropomorphized creatures, objects, and forces of nature, and the story magic of cause and effect, the Blue Moon setting should a lot of tools one might need to tell fable-esque stories, or intrigues rife with allegories. While I want the setting to be dangerous if DM focuses on that, it is far more story-driven (interaction & exploration) than combat-driven, with the exception of when the players deliberately seek out combat - If the Players want to fight, they can easily have that option.
    With primary focus on cause and effect, I want players to have an opportunity to see how their actions on any of those nights could shape the campaign's future and that of their surroundings (for better and for worse, depending on the aftermath of that night). In the end, the valley featured in the Blue Moon setting allows for both a brutal and twisted storybook environment, and a stage for the most enchanting night of one's fantasies. I recommend mixing up and alternating between the two extremes as the story goes, in the case of an audience of teens+, but that ratio and intensity of Blue Moon stories is more dependant on it's target audience, and could be adjusted to fit for younger or more mature players as well.

    Custom mechanics and Blue☽ Moon player options
    Spoiler: Homebrew Thread
    Show


    Spoiler: Further Reading
    Show

    Era/Father's Moon - a draft of a story that inspired this entire setting.

    ----------------------------------
    Last edited by Prince Zahn; 2016-01-25 at 11:19 AM. Reason: 9/20/15: 20 years between blue moons is unreasonable

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: (WIP - Once in a Blue Moon... (A setting premise for 5th edition)

    Bump.

    added a section on Religion, and started working on the village.

    feel free to discuss, or voice an opinion.

    THE VILLAGE (New!)
    Spoiler: The Villaige
    Show
    The population in my sweet little valley would start with an estimated population of 400 when the story begins. (estimated 40% halflings, 19% dwarves, 14% elvenkind, 12% humans, 8% orcs, 7% other races) between blue moons, I would roll a d% and increase the population by that that much in %. irrationally high or low rolls might require me to come up with a reason for the extreme rise or fall in the population in recent years, or outright toss the roll and cause a big change in the setting and the settlement that could explain a large rise or fall in the population (i.e. massive wave of immigrants, war, famine, drought, a revolutionary magical event, technological/medicinal breakthrough, a large-scale event that congregates the people, et cetera. I might consider making a chart it.) if the village begins to grow too large, I could stop adding to it and start another one nearby. Over time, a cluster of villaiges might evolve into a town, and eventually even a city. this should, in theory, help make a richer world for the PCs in a setting where the world is changing around them.

    The village resides just beyond the moutains. Father Time usually warns the spirits from going to the village, but occasionally the ghosts are brave enough to go there despite his warning, which inevitably causes trouble.

    The people in the village are, at least at first, mostly agricultural. with most families owning a plot of land for farming vegetables, or for raising farm animals. some might plant trees later on, which would mean seasonal fruit. perhaps a vineyard might develop on the land (though I don't know if that requires a particular kind of soil would be needed for that to happen) they sell amongst themselves (and eventually to nearby settlements) what they don't eat for themselves.

    as more and more mysterious and occult events brew in the valley, a group of bounty hunters and sellswords called [I]Soul Slayers/I] will begin making their way into the region. further hunting anything altered by the Blue Moon, and seeking out unwelcome spirits. their presence can make matters difficult for a spirit.


    THE GHOST COMMUNITY
    Spoiler: The Ghost Community
    Show
    As the sun disappears from the valley and the blue moon is begins to rise, the souls of those deceased awaken from their graves as ghosts. Having no memories of their mortal past to burden them, the young, "fresh" souls are typically more naive and passionate versions of their past lives, at least Slightly. But in the valley, the past once thought lost to history has interesting ways of emerging into relevance. On these nights, the ghosts celebrate their lives with stories, song and dance, they trade all sorts of trinkets and treats they might have gathered, and try to rediscover old ties to family or friends.

    Trinkets are the common commodity among ghosts, who are always swapping them around in their market of ghosts. these strange and slightly obscure mundane items are usually filled with somebody's sentimental energy, a ghost who finds a trinket that was sentimental to him in life can learn potentially important details from his past life.

    However, not all that glitters is gold, and not all that shimmers is water. While Father Time and his deputies work tirelessly to maintain order, arguments and even rivalries can escalate among the spirits, a feud from the living world, if discovered, could reignite the hostility between the two sides involved even in their afterlife. Deceased Criminals and murderers occasionally come to the spirit's world, and could return when the blue moon turns blue, unrepentant and vindictive.

    Some ghosts are sneakier, or more manipulative. Scheming and lying without a second thought just to befriend an unkowing spirit to get their trinkets, or steal water, or any other conceivable motive.

    Overall, ghosts are a good an enthusiastic bunch, eager to make something of themselves and reunite with their loved ones. Many only wish to please and bring happiness, others will stop at nothing to discover why and they died, or who they once were.

    After the sun rises, and the ghosts lay dormant for an unimaginable amount of time. the reigning Father time remains awake, alone to guard the valley's boneyard against grave robbers, defilers, Soul Slayers, cultists, and other interlopers who dare to challenge the ghosts' much needed rest before the next blue moon.


    BEING A GHOST
    Spoiler: Players: Being a Spirit
    Show
    As a Ghost, you would have no memory of your past life. Perhaps you might not even know that you are dead when the story begins. Instead, players write their back stories so that their characters could discover the details of their past lives for themselves.

    Practically speaking, being a Ghost makes less of a difference to mechanics than it does to how the Players interact with the world. Mortal NPCs usually can not percieve them, but children and mortals with a strong spiritual presence can. A Ghost can walk through man-made barriers and objects. I haven't decided on this yet, but Spellcasters might eventually have spells in their spell lists that allow them to "awaken" an inanimate object that otherwise can't be interacted with, but it's just an idea right now.

    A spirit can manipulate a man-made inanimate object only if it contains any form of spiritual or sentimental value or legacy to someone nearby. (I.e. family heirlooms, a child's toy, tools of a sawmill where an NPC grew up in...)
    Creatures that are affected by the blue moon, or can see and interact with a spirit can also harm it. Objects and normal weapons might need a spiritual charm or special material to harm a Ghost, but a Soul Slayer would already come prepared.

    Though you are a Ghost, which implies undead, I don't think that "real" undead zombies and the like would appear in the setting unless there's a necromancer involved (not denying the impossibility of necromancy, but magic that makes the dead rise would be rare, if possible. you can be killed again, which would mean game over for a character unless the PCs can find a way to return the ghost to "life". There will be no raise deads and resurrection spells here, so raising bringing back a dead ghost becomes a story driven quest, if it is at all possible, not sure yet.

    Ghosts have different mindsets than people do - the valley is your entire world. the valley is wonderful; the valley is home. your home changes everytime you awaken from your slumber, and it serves for the perfect place to celebrate and explore - there are yet many things for you to learn, friends for you to make, problems that you can fix for others, and miracles that only you could make - Once in a blue moon.


    THE SOUL SLAYERS
    Spoiler: Soul Slayers
    Show
    According to Father Time, the Soul Slayers are a dangerous organization hidden among the common mortals, and they are trained for one purpose - to seek and destroy everything beautiful and magical that envelopes places like the Valley. they wander in search of Ghosts and other creatures they don't like and label them "tainted" or "wicked", and they "purify" them by striking them ruthlessly with ancestral weapons soaked in wolf blood and moon water.

    The Soul Slayers often disguise themselves with names such as "Dawnbringers", "The Rivergourd guild", "Guardians of Cottonwood" and the like, but do not be fooled by these noble titles - When they come, they seek only to destroy the denizens of the valley, and all it stands for.

    The Soul Slayers are feared by many among mortals and spirits alike, but perhaps none should fear them more than the ghosts of the valley. wherever spirits of any sort cause a ruckus to the community, there is a slim chance that villagers will seek out Soul Slayers to solve their troubles. they indulge in occult traditions and rituals and fight using Heirlooms which they pass down from generation to generation so that they could best harm the ghosts. they are always prepared with nasty things like un/holy water (which can hurt a ghost of the appropriate alignment), vampire killing kits, silver arrows/bullets, and all sorts of other items to ward off dark creatures. they tend to travel alone or in groups and never split up when they can help it.

    As DM, you can decide when to introduce a group of Soul Slayers into your campaign. they might have come to the village and "did a favor" before the relevant Blue Moon, it is a good means of opposition for evil ghost PCs, or PCs who cause a lot of discord in the village. a child who is scarred by a visit from a ghost might one day mature into a Soul Slayer who directly opposes the ghosts. especially those who came that fateful night.


    CREATURES OF THE VALLEY
    Spoiler: Critters
    Show
    Although the Valley is but a small portion of a much larger world, there is no shortage of living things for a group of ghosts to run across in their wanderlust. You could likely find any number creatures local to forests and grasslands, to hills, watersides, farms, urban areas (more in later games, though), and mountains. Creatures known to be nocturnal (such as bats) might be more prominent and active than others when the PCs are around. Creatures you might see in fable stories, such as foxes(See: Foxes), mules, wolves(see: wolves under "Religion In The Valley"), lions, monkeys, and similar personified figures of allegoric fiction are encouraged to be used, as are entities from fairytales (such as witches or a Frog Prince) many classic monsters, such as an Will o' wisps, owlbears, a Satyr, or a werewolf, are not unknown to the region, (much less once in a Blue Moon), and most of them would have little trouble harming the PCs if a fight emerges, as you are not supposed to be protected solely by the fact that you are already dead. If desired, you might add creatures from scary campfire stories you might know. Some Inanimate objects can be interacted with (but many can not move or act without magic) when a spiritual or sentimental bond is formed between it and a mortal. Trees, mushrooms (including mushroom people, which would appear to resemble more generic-looking mushrooms), shambling mounds, and other plants are also living things, and may also appear in the campaign and even interact with the PCs if desired. Elemental creatures are also useful, within moderation, but take note that they, too, disappear at the end of the night. Many classic monstrosities are also welcome into Blue Moon campaigns with a darker atmosphere.

    Not all creatures belong in the valley, however. Aberrations, for instance, are certainly uncalled for. Dragons of any kind (and perhaps dragonborn) are less than welcome for this kind of story due to their rather predominant presence in a setting. (Though once the stage has been properly established, a DM Could place a dragon in his campaign at his/her own discretion.)
    Necromancers exist only as a requirement for undead, the exceptions being Banshees, Will O' Wisps and (maybe) vampires. For an undead creature (and, by extension, for a construct) to come to life, a mortal needs to create it with magic, and defy the laws of life and death. They are not necessary, however, if either player or DM do not wish to add undead or constructs into the game.

    As always, but perhaps even more than ever, Legendary Monsters are best used as plot devices. A monster that changes the environment of the Valley spells major changes to the PCs' agenda and locations your players might explore for the day, as well as the creatures faced, and the atmosphere of the game. The changes imposed by a Legendary monster's will likely remain for as long as that monster takes residence in the region, which Could mean indefinitely if a legendary monster is not slain.
    Last edited by Prince Zahn; 2016-09-04 at 04:33 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    RELIGION IN THE VALLEY (Updated!)
    Spoiler: RELIGION
    Show
    to better fit the fable-like feel, deities and pantheons in the traditional sense, do not reign upon the valley, if they at all see play. instead, Animism is the preferred way of life to the region, and the source of all spiritual power (basically, in animism, a spirit exists in all things, not all have awakened, but all deserve some level of respect. highlighted forces that provide for divine classes, as well as sorcerers and warlocks include in the valley include (but are not limited to) the options listed below. there may be others that would be mentioned as I further develop the setting, and there are lesser forces at play that would also be able to interact with the players, but this is what springs to mind. The spirits likely to come into play in this setting will probably need to be detailed.

    In addition, these forces of the valley usually pick a single creature, living or dead (in accordance to the individual entity's desire) to champion it's goals and lead it's chosen people. these leaders are called Emissaries. it is an honor to be one, and an honor to serve under one. the sole exception is the spiritual Emissary of the Moon - Father Time, who's Ghostly followers are notorious in the valley for their lack of union and discipline.

    The Moon
    Spoiler: The Moon
    Show
    The Moon
    The Moon is the spirit of change for the people of the valley, as well as an envoy of darkness and fear. creatures of the dark awaken when the sun goes down, and the people of the valley rarely leave their homes after the sun comes down. the blue moon is even more frightening, as the moon warps the world around them.

    For the spirits, however, the moon is a silent goddess of creation and wonder, who watches beneath her as the world celebrates her azure presence. they say that the moon can see her creations, but can not hear their words, as the stars chatter around her. if a ghost has a prayer for the moon, he must ask the current Father Time to deliver the message to her.

    The people of the valley pray to the moon for guidance when undergoing a period of change. When the future is uncertain and scary, they pray for her mercy, and when the moon is full, (let alone blue), they pray to her for safety. in Addition, insomniacs and children sometimes also pray (and thank) the moon when their sleep is peaceful, and their dreams - pleasant.

    from both sides of the valley, offerings to the moon are typically those of both material and sentimental value, but she is not otherwise picky to the nature of it. The moon expects her subjects to be willing to part with something important if her blessing is of any importance to them.

    The moon has emissaries in both the material world and the spirit community. in the spirits' case, this emissary is Father Time, and she chooses a new emissary whenever any of her previous ones die or fade away from fulfilling her taxing demands.


    The Sun
    Spoiler: The Sun
    Show
    The sun
    The Sun is the keeper of time, light and order to the people of the valley, many have different approaches to how the sun champions their respective race, and some are more devoted to the sun than others. The sun radiates energy that feeds the life that walks upon land and everything upon it, the soil, in turn, feeds the animals, who feed the mortal humanoids who farm the land and the animals. Without the sun to serve as a catalyst in this cycle, there would be no order, and no life, Just chaos.

    To the spirits, however, the sun is not a bringer of order, the Sun is a body that represents sleep, mystery, and the symbol of an end. Some accept it, but others gravely fear what the mortals call "dawn", and some are simply curious how high could the sun go before the end. It represents the end of their time in the valley, for when they awaken on the next Blue moon, their home might not be the same as they left it.

    Among the spirits, the sun has no emissary, and it rarely ever listens to the prayers of the dead.


    Mt. Silvius & Mt. Yaomir
    Spoiler: The Mountains
    Show
    The Mountains
    The mountains Silvius and Yaomir are mighty sibling spirits who hold domain of judgment, valor and elemental earth. most of the time, they lay quiet and peaceful until Judgment day will come, when they will decide who will be spared and who will not.

    Mortals of the valley ascend the mountains during events regarding sport or competition, and arbiters often pay homage to each of the mountains before choosing a side. in the winter, both mountains have a blanket of snow at the tops, the idiom "To make the Silvius and the Yaomir hide their heads" evolved from this phenomenon, and it means either "to pose a question that is best left unanswered", or "to say something that will provoke conflict.", depending on the context.

    On the nights of the full moon, only the bravest of Ghosts attempt to ascend to the mountains, which anchor them more firmly to the ground (making even flight magic impossible) and weighing them down. the mountains are cunning, and do not like to be disturbed by the ghosts.
    The silvius often tries to tempt curious ghosts into his forest mountainside with succulent fruit. once they are lost within the forest maze, he lures them with will 'O' wisps and false clues to powerful beasts who will feast on the ghosts soul. And what little remains when a ghost and ghost in the maze has no body and no soul left, the plants envelop it, and it becomes a dark, ravenous husk of it's former self. [homebrew pending]

    The Yaomir, on the other hand, is guarded by the spirits of earth and fire. it is filled from bottom to top with elemental creatures who will block passage; monsters who are not what they appear to be; shining black stones glisten as a ghost ascends the Yaomir that, when touched, siphon a spirit's energy and root seeds of fear (or insanity, at the DM's discretion) within it's soul.

    Needless to say, neither Silvius nor Yaomir welcome the ghosts when they come, butňm
    , while this has not happened yet, they allegedly promised that any spirit who can ascend the mountains and overcome their trials shall win their favor and will be worthy to become their emissary.


    The Four Winds
    (WIP)

    Fumeberg, Silverglade, and Undersky
    Spoiler: The Three Waters
    Show
    The Three waters
    The River silverglade flowing between the mountains, the Fumeberg hot springs of Yaomir to the east, and lake Undersky in the south-west corner of the valley, are the Three water sources in proximity to the village. are not merely resources of life and sustenance, they are also spiritual symbols of forgiveness, beauty and indulgence.

    On the night of the blue moon, the waters are at their most powerful. Though they are benevolent spirits who offer aid and water to all. however, to drink (or bathe in) their rare, intoxicating nectar mixed with blue moonlight is to risk getting addicted to it to the point of fanaticism.

    The grace of the Three Waters is greedily guarded and fought for constantly by the local creatures in the area. Among the trio's most precious allies are the foxes, the soil, the wolves, the Moon and Mt. Yaomir (but not Mt. Silvius, who knows better than to drink from the enchanted water), but these allies of the waters are usually sworn competitors. The trio's allies mentioned above would always accept the nectar of the waters in place of their standard offerings.

    For the spirits, it is upon Undersky lake, a water body with an unbreakable reflection of the starry, moonlit night, that Father Time is permitted to observe the happenings in the valley, and speak directly with the moon.

    Before one takes blue moon water from these spirits, they demand a sacrifice. Each one will always want 3 matching objects of either common beauty or desire in return for their blessing, and their water. These spirits are usually referred to collectively, and these spirits always share their offerings with eachother - in fact, Legend has it that once the 3 offerings are accepted to one water source, one of them will later appear in each of the other 2 waters.

    The three waters always have an emissary in the valley. but they never decide it amongst themselves, for it supposedly caused them much bickering over the centuries. instead, the waters agree to let the creatures of the valley choose their emissary amongst themselves, which inevitably leads to the many creatures fighting to the death for the honor. currently, the reigning champion is the wolf pack alpha, known as Warg, who has been blessed with eternal youth.


    The Stars
    Spoiler: The stars and the sky
    Show
    The stars, occasionally referred to as the sky, are the infinitely high celestial bodies, unreachable even by ghosts, much less by mortals. They are enigmatic and fickle, and many in the world - ghosts, mortals, even other spirits, stare up at the starry night sky and wonder what secrets might they hold. On a spiritual level, they symbolize secrets, longing, the unknown.

    To the ghosts, as told by Father Time, the stars represent history. He says that he actually learned the trick from Novan the Priest: each star hides stories of the past, and lines could be drawn between the stars to form depictions of ancient stories via images called "constellations". Father Time seeks a way to use these comnstellations to discover more about the future. Speaking with the stars about this triviality amuses them, but yields no defining answer.

    Mortals use the stars for many other purposes, such as auguries and navigating the oceans, and combine them with their sun and moon to track time, there are legends of prophets from far off lands who read the stars to predict the future, secrets Father Times have spent their entire lineage trying to learn.
    Mortals also have a strange ritual of making a wish upon these stars. Some only wish upon a falling star, others upon the shiniest star. Either way, once in a blue moon, wishes can come true, and one must be careful what one wishes for. The Witch in the Sky hears the wishes of creatures below, and every now and again, she grants a wish, and when she does, it tends to come with a catch.

    The Forest
    (WIP)

    Foxes
    (WIP)

    The soil
    (WIP)

    Home
    (WIP)

    Warg's Wolves (Emissary)
    Spoiler: The wolves
    Show
    Wolves
    The wolves, like their rivals the foxes, are symbols of the hunt, they represent unity and determination, but at the same time could spell war and death, it really depends on the side you are on when you encounter a wolf.

    On the night of the blue moon, the wolves gain sentience, turning white, large and brutal, their disposition and goals have not changed, by gaining intelligence, but rather gives them better tools to do so. on this night when the ghosts arrive, they enjoy siphoning their spiritual energy with silvered teeth and onyx black claws.

    Wolves are closest tied to the three waters, and have full dominion over the Silverglade river that divides the valley. the wolves drink from the silverglade's azure moonwater freely with the blessing of their alpha, Warg, who remains the reigning emissary of the three waters. Drinking from the blue moonlit Silverglade grants them great strength and whitens their fur like snow, and their great, black fangs glimmer with a blue sheen. The wolves are malevolent and always hungry for more flesh and soul, and greedy over the water of the Silverglade. but thanks to the gift of intelligence, they could be bargained with if their mark could offer them something they want, with rising expectations, and those who do not follow through on a bargain with wolves do not get the chance to win back their graces.

    The wolves are born and raised to be addicted to the blessed waters, and driven by a single goal: to conquer and hoard all the water source in the valley, and grow strong enough to outnumber the mortal tribes.


    The town/City (for long term games)
    (WIP)


    MAGIC IN THE VALLEY (New!)
    Spoiler: Magic
    Show
    When a story under the Blue Moon begins, Magic most certainly exists, and is believed to be an extension of the powerful spirits all around, but when the story begins, it is typically far from being controlled and harnessed by mortals beyond an elementary level, as studying a spell is a long and difficult process while the village is under-developed. In the meantime, spellcasting remains feared by the mortal community, which brings an abundance of suspected wizards, sorcerers, Warlocks and similar arcanists who were persecuted by Soul Slayers into the Realm Beyond. Mortal bards, however seem to have an easier time surviving persecution than other spellcasters, as long as they have in their possession an embroidered, standard-issue, red-plumed hat called a red angel that marks they are not to be harmed.
    cultists may be found in the middle of the night, performing strange rituals and practicing their magic. Once in a blue moon, a very fortunate spellcaster might stumble upon important breakthrough in the fields of magic, or the magic users might be up to no good with a powerful spell made for destruction.

    As a rule of thumb, a mortal must be able to see and perceive the ghost in order to target it with a spell. an exception for this, however, are abjuration spells, and spells that fill a specific area with magic. a ghost's spell can target a mortal, but doing so gives away the Ghost's presence and possibly it's location, and usually leads to the mortal understanding that something is amiss.

    In order for a ghost to interact with or manipulate an object in Blue Moon, the item in question must bear an aura of magic (such as a magic item), an aura of an alignment (such as aberrations, celestials, elementals, fey, fiends or undead, or under a cleric, druid, paladin, or ranger spell), or bear Significance. For more information on Significance, see the homebrew thread.


    Necromancy is rare, but it exists, and it is more focused on spells that siphon life than those that bring life to the dead. no magic known by mortals can bring a corpse back to life or violate the balance of the realm beyond without a consensus from the spirits. The exception to this is Speak With Dead on a white moon, which can only be cast with the presence and consent of Father Time, and it is the only method by which a spirit can be contacted on a normal day or night. to the spirit, it is like a visit in a dream, (in which Father Time remains present,) and it, too, can serve a vital clue to a new ghost's Origins when all else fails.
    The spell Magic Jar can't be cast by ghosts, though it can be used by mortals to trap a ghost within the component used (as an alternative option to it's original effect). If a ghost wishes to possess a mortal, it needs the Spectre feat, detailed in the Blue Moon Homebrew thread.

    mischievous ghost spellcasters are seldom powerful enough to possess a mortal (I need to make rules for that!) but for a low-level solution, they might occasionally use enchantments and illusions to play tricks on mortals. At the DM's discretion, there might be consequences for ghosts who do not maintain a low profile in the company of mortals.
    Last edited by Prince Zahn; 2016-09-04 at 05:04 AM.
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    Does the blue moon only last for one night?

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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    Hi thanks for replying!

    Yeah, the blue moon only appears for one night every couple of decades. It's a relatively short window of time (roughly equivalent to 1 adventuring day) for the PCs to explore and discover what they can, because parts of the setting might not be the same next time. This might take the form of a set of tables you can roll once I can organize my thoughts a little better.
    Last edited by Prince Zahn; 2015-09-19 at 01:54 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jette View Post
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    I like the animism approach, as well as the fact that you made your own calendar. Are you aware that a human lifespan would be about 45 years though? That would mean that the spirits would generally meet the same person twice, if lucky.

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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    I like the animism approach, as well as the fact that you made your own calendar. Are you aware that a human lifespan would be about 45 years though? That would mean that the spirits would generally meet the same person twice, if lucky.
    Honestly I was very much unaware of that did you run the math that a human would reach old age in his 40's or did you reach that statistic because of other variables?

    Perhaps I ought to counterbalance the short lifespan by making a blue moon appear a little more often. Maybe every 10 or so years and a season so that it becomes more possible for the PCs to interact with a NPC in multiple phases of his/her life. That being said, I don't know your math nor the ratio, so it's a little hard to correct it.
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jette View Post
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    A year on your world has 1 1/3 times the number of days an Earth year has, and a day has 1 1/3 the hours of an Earth day. That's 1 1/3 x 1 1/3 or a bit more than 1 3/4. In other words, in the time it takes for the Earth to orbit the sun 80 times, your world will orbit its sun roughly 45 times.
    Or if that doesn't clear things up, a blue moon would only appear once every 36 Earth years.
    It's not that their lives would be shorter, the years are just that much longer. Otherwise, you could just let them reach the ripe old age of 140 Earth years...
    Last edited by the_david; 2015-09-20 at 11:55 AM.

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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    I really like the idea; but it might be hard for your players to develop long term goals.

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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Zahn View Post
    Honestly I was very much unaware of that did you run the math that a human would reach old age in his 40's or did you reach that statistic because of other variables?

    Perhaps I ought to counterbalance the short lifespan by making a blue moon appear a little more often. Maybe every 10 or so years and a season so that it becomes more possible for the PCs to interact with a NPC in multiple phases of his/her life. That being said, I don't know your math nor the ratio, so it's a little hard to correct it.
    Note necessarily. In ancient times the average lifespan was short because of child deaths. If you manage to live passed your childhood and didn't have an accident or catch some disease, you could live to your 90s just fine.

    Note, that I didn't read the entirety of what's written, only the premise, which so far looks interesting.

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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    Quote Originally Posted by dragonfuit88 View Post
    I really like the idea; but it might be hard for your players to develop long term goals.
    Thanks!

    That is something to consider, indeed. For my own sessions, it might not be as big of an issue since I'm running it as a series of related short stories, as opposed to song term plot. But you might be right. I'll see what I could do in terms of getting my players to acquire a long term goal.
    Quote Originally Posted by GorinichSerpant View Post
    Note necessarily. In ancient times the average lifespan was short because of child deaths. If you manage to live passed your childhood and didn't have an accident or catch some disease, you could live to your 90s just fine.
    I can imagine. But magical healing and other forms of Medicine also exist in this world, which can add years to a person's lifespan.
    Even then, as part of my own gaming preference I would rather not mess with diseases beyond a plot element. Given that the livings will all be NPCs, I'd imagine the application of any disease(s) is a matter of creative freedom.
    Note, that I didn't read the entirety of what's written, only the premise, which so far looks interesting.
    thanks! I'm glad it's interesting even at a glance!
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    Another idea that might solve the age problem to the short life span problem is to use a race with a longer lifespan. Maybe elves live to long, but half-ling could be a good fit for the valley.

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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    Quote Originally Posted by dragonfuit88 View Post
    Another idea that might solve the age problem to the short life span problem is to use a race with a longer lifespan. Maybe elves live to long, but half-ling could be a good fit for the valley.
    also good a thought to make more halflings in the valley. I would like to have a lot of humans, so I could live with having the Blue Moon occur more often of it means they won't be gone overnight.

    What should I work on next?
    Last edited by Prince Zahn; 2015-09-23 at 02:25 PM.
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    Added more Animism spirits: The Sun and the Three Waters, as well as the Wolves, who are Emissaries of the three waters.

    I got REALLY caught up in the spiritual soap opera at play. it's kinda fun to think about!

    EDIT: So... What should I work on next...?
    Last edited by Prince Zahn; 2015-09-23 at 02:26 PM.
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    Added the segment on creatures of the valley, moved halflings to the top, taking 40% of the local population.

    Currently, I am pondering over how I'd like my Occult Hunters, which is weird for me to say because I never, ever liked Occult Hunters. They always seem to exist solely to ruin my spellcaster's fun
    Last edited by Prince Zahn; 2015-09-27 at 11:05 AM.
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    COMMERCE IN THE VALLEY(New!)
    Spoiler: Economy
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    In the spiritual grounds of the valley, a common resource for the mortals are the cottonwood timber. Cottonwood trees are occasionally cut down with the consent of a druid who is usually payed. Various spice plants and fruit are grown In the woods. Oats and vegetable fields are grown and harvested in the village nearby, alongside livestock. Precious metals or other minerals lie hidden within the twin mountains of the valley, which could one day be discovered for the locals to mine for their profit.

    The Ghosts, however, rarely care about any of those resources. Apart from food, which the Ghosts usually can not eat anyway, as they can not interact with objects that bear insufficient sentimental or spiritual energies, practical items that meet that criteria are a difficult commodity to measure. Instead, the most precious resource the Ghosts and other denizens could want to have is water - more specifically, the water exposed ti the moons blue rays, which possess great spiritual energy and become an rare and addictive elixir to all who drink it.

    The ghosts do have a finite water source to draw upon - Lake Undersky, and some of It's waters are given to newly arisen spirits, and as rewards for aiding Father Time.
    In important ceremonies or celebrations, the moonwater is drank in small portions. Most incarnates of Father Time are rather cautious about how much water is drawn from the undersky, And some have purer interests to do so than others.

    When water is unavailable or Scarce, the primary, stable alternative for ghosts is usually bartering with any trinkets they might be able to pick up. Or offering one's service in exchange for an item of interest or value, if one can sell himself off as desireable. With that said, not many living creatures in the valley are naturally drawn to trinkets and baubles, whereas water bears near universal value to all but the villagers.

    Trinkets are the common commodity among ghosts which they trade all the time, they are always swapping them around in the Undersky market. these strange and slightly obscure mundane items are usually filled with somebody's sentimental energy, known as Significance a ghost who finds a trinket that was sentimental to him in life can extract the object's Significance and learn potentially important details from his past life. Sellers of trinkets developed a price list and motto amongst the market ghosts - "trinket - sip, water - once, vision - thrice." indicating that a ghost owes three skins of moonwater for a trinket when they find memories from it. otherwise, one trinket could easily be swapped for another.


    EVENTS AND TRANSITIONS(New!)
    Spoiler: DMs:time skips
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    What player doesn't wish for his adventures to one day shape the future of the world he is in? in the Blue Moon setting, this is not only to be expected, but these changes are expected to happen rapidly, due to the player characters skipping a decade between each 3 nights (in-story) for better and for worse (which is reasonably anywhere between half a short story to 3 different stories*). When coming up with an important story point in the setting, a good principle to adopt would be to think of at least 3 ways (at least one 1 positive and 1 negative, adding more where necessary) the Valley could be affected or changed by the decision being made within the next 1 or 2 blue moons to follow. Creativity is key here, because you want to make follow-up events and outcomes both for your players and for you, as a DM, to want to explore further.

    It is easy to assume the best time for a sunrise/time skip is at the end of a session, potentially as a cliffhanger, but it need not be. A given story arc can contain any number of sunrises, and (with judgment) it might be more interesting at a particular plot point to make the change mid-session, Which may require some forward planning. The recommended goal of a mid-session time skip would be to deliver the outcome/aftermath of major decisions the second act, and it's solution, epilogue and lessons learned at the end of the arc, or as a third act. the transitions are best presented quick enough that it could be traced back to an important decision made early in the arc or as recently as that same session.

    If you remember your high school Literature/English class, or are otherwise versed in how literary tools work, it might occur to you that lots of stories use a type of time skip not only to get the next scene, but occasionally to deliver an analogy between two or more events or characters, or mark repetition, progression, and practically anything else you might think to use it for. In Blue Moon, it is also used to change the stage the players will play in, as new areas might develop over time, a changing flow of people to interact with, technology advances and characters your players may have liked could disappear "overnight".

    Two main issues to arise with abusing sunrises that require their careful application:
    • the mortality rate of the villagers with whom the PCs have interacted with.
    • Too many time skips in a short period of time will likely irritate and confuse your players.


    The former is fixable - an NPC villager with whom the players might have grown attached to can someday return as a ghost, if desired.
    The latter is only prevented with careful application of in-game time skips.
    Time skips (the sunrise) are a valuable creative tool to help your story get to the point; use it to your best judgment.


    *Guesstimate; to a GM, there are no limits to how to divide 3 Blue Moon nights.

    (Coming Soon - list of examples for Time skips)
    Last edited by Prince Zahn; 2016-01-20 at 09:59 AM.
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    Question Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    NPCS

    Some NPCs II came up with for the setting, as I can come up with them.
    (NPCs will come as I develop them, stay tuned!)

    Emissaries
    Emissaries, as mentioned under "religion", are an addition to classic Animism inspired by prophets of mainstream religions. They possess unique powers and rights that their brethren in the valley could only wish for. An Emissary is usually a leader, a commander or a guardian loyal to both the interests of the spirit that chose them and to their own kin. When an emissary dies, the spirit in question will choose another to reign immediately.

    Below is a list of Emissaries and my notes on them:
    Spoiler: Emissaries
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    FATHER TIME
    Deep in meditation, Father Time sits upon the altar, not in spiritual contemplation, but rather to get one last chance of rest for tonight's big festival. The leader of the ghosts finally reunites with others of his kind, once in a blue moon; praise be it.

    The Father Time, emissary of the moon, is a unique emissary in the sense that he is already dead, like all ghosts. He is blessed by the moon's consent to experience the day, to witness the white moon and call upon it's powers, He is also granted an otherworldly wisdom, and can conduit messages between the mortals and the realm beyond. he also has a limited capability to turn back time to an extent (doing so causes him 1 level of exhaustion.)

    Father Time is a leader of his people, the ghosts, as well as their mentor and counselor, their guardian and a master of ceremonies. He is always up and about, busy doing something important. If the players can find him, he can usually answer their questions about the world.

    The moon's demands, as well as handling his many followers on the blue Moon nights, are all very taxing for Father time: unlike others of his kind, the Father Time tends to live only 50 to 100-ish years. (rounded up to the nearest full moon) at which point he delicately fades away, and a new one would be chosen in his place.

    Father Time in Era/Father's Moon (see first post: further reading)
    Spoiler
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    In the canon of Blue Moon's default story, the current Father Time is an old, bitter, no-nonsense spirit. He is weary, he wants to protect his spirits but they do not respect him back. He would not rescue ghosts that are captured or destroyed, instead insisting that the ghosts learn to solve their own problems. He has a grandchild, named Era
    in Father's Moon, Era is still young, and has played hide-and-seek with Father Time and hid below the frozen lake (now named Undersky), and father time mourned her, thinking she was dead.


    NOVAN THE PRIEST
    (Coming soon, stay tuned!)

    THE LADY OF COTTONWOOD
    'Tis the first night of summer, The woods upon the silvius are coated in white clumps and patches, almost like snow. The Lady of Cottonwood skipped through the mountainside forest, she smiled warmly as only the creatures of the night knew of her secret. With but an affectionate peck on the tree bark, the cotton from the tree flew away, scattered for miles and miles across the four winds, and Owls fly about in delight.

    The Lady of Cottonwood is a fey that resides in the Silvius forest and is the Emissary of the woods. She is blessed with inner harmony, unmatched bodily and intuitive senses, the ability to change shape into all she could want, and the choice of who may go where. In a way, she serves as a liaison between the winds, and who guide a mortal's journey, the mountains, who want mortals to constantly prove their worth, and the soil, who wishes for the mortals to settle down. Even outside of the valley, the Lady of Cottonwood is oftentimes portrayed in legend as an angel who ended a timeless feud between the heavens and the earth.

    The Lady allies herself with creatures aligned with the soil, As well as avians of the wind spirits and all the creatures living in her home. The current Lady of Cottonwood is a dryad with wings of branches and silver cotton webbing it, she is known in some sources as ________, but she always denies it. Alternatively, she might often manifest in other forms, depending on her mood and the yearly season, such as a green owl with a cotton white mask and cottonwood leaves for feathers (Autumn), a walking, leafless tree (Winter), a cloud of butterflies/hornets (spring), or a massive, drider-like plant (summer). She can be quite territorial towards new faces. Though she generally kind in her exterior to those who bring an offering to the forest, The Lady of Cottonwood Secretly she harbors resentment towards the wolves for hunting her friends, starting a blood rivalry with the foxes, and claiming ownership of the precious Silverglade river, which limits her enjoyment of moonwater and moreover limits her territory, but she acknowledges that for now, the emissary of the waters - the wolf known as the Warg, would be too fearsome to take on herself.


    Spoiler: more info( Lady of Cottonwood)
    Show
    The Lady of Cottonwood is a legendary creature of her type (Statistics block, as well as legendary actions and lair TBD) with unique symbiosis to her lair. If she were to die or wither, but the forest remains, all the cottonwood trees and their cotton in the valley would vanish in 1d10 days, and a would be reincarnated into a mortal, who would be drawn to the forest 12 years later and take form become the new Lady of Cottonwood. If the forest is destroyed, the Lady withers and leaves a magical, white seed and remains inert until new life grows in the land.

    THE WARG
    (Coming soon, stay tuned!)

    THE CHIMNEY RAT (for later games)
    (Coming soon, stay tuned!)

    THE WITCH IN THE SKY
    The Witch in the Sky is quite a malevolent Emissary of the heavenly stars and the sky they inhabit. she owns her marvelous house above the clouds where she lives and concocts recipes for potions, poisons and pasteries. the sky is a fickle mistress, however. because of it's "Blessing" her skin turned green and warted, her eyes - black as night. her old, filthy broom allows her to fly as long as she sweeps the floors of her amazing house upon the clouds every day and her wide-brimmed hat grants her powerful magical powers. the greatest gift, however, that the sky has given the witch, is to grant the wishes of others around her as she sees fit, but never those she wishes upon herself. it has turned her very spiteful how time after time she has made her wishes upon the stars, and recieved something she did not want with it. she loathes the heavens, where she must cook and clean to maintain her marvelous life of solitude.

    LORD BORRU
    (Coming soon, stay tuned!)


    Spoiler: Others in Canon
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    ERA
    "'Blue moonrise, black sunset,
    a little girl asleep with pet,
    and father - looms upon the rime,
    spills her blood by morning's time'...—So~! How do you like my poetry~?"



    in the original story, Era was the child of Father Time, who was missing and brought Father time into mourning, In a typical game, however, she loyally serves him and aids him during the blue moons, and writes poetry in the lake in her spare time, whether or not a familial connection exists between her and Father Time, they do have a bond like a father and daughter, and she is always seems to be the same race (and subrace) as the reigning Father Time. her physical appearance (but not abilities) varies from old to young and back from night to night (select an age, or roll a d6 and consult the table below). Era insists that deep inside, he had and still has a good heart, even if her lakebed poetry presents stories hinting a darker story. as an NPC, use the statistics for a Priest (SRD page 396) and add the following additional abilities:

    Mark of Time. due to your high exposure to a temporal entity and force, you do not age at a linear rate. upon finishing a long rest, select a period of life or roll on the table below, you now appear to be someone of that age group. your statistics remain the same regardless of this new age, except for your size, if you change to an infant, your mace instead deals 1d4 damage instead of 1d6.

    d6 Age (assuming human, a year is 30% longer which makes mortals appear to live 30% less years). adjust ratios further in relative to other races)
    1 Infant (ages: 5 months~3 years)
    2 Child (ages: 4 years old-12 years old)
    3 maiden/adult (Ages: 13 years old - 30 years old)
    4 Middle Aged (ages: 31-50 Years old
    5 old (ages: 51-60)
    6 venerable (Ages:61-92 years old)

    Ghostly Nature. you does not need to eat, drink, or breathe, though you can engage in such activities,

    DYZZI DEZYRAE
    "I like you, you're sweet. Come with me! I know a shortcut!"

    Aimlessly wandering the Silvius mountain in absolute wonder and confusion is a ditzy, deranged little pixie named Dyzzi. She'll never forget a name, or a face, but she likely won't remember much else! She is a proud little one, she wanders the dangerous forest aimlessly, thinking she is patrolling the woods for interlopers, (not that she would necessarily recognize interlopers when she meets them), she safe only by the fact that she is the Lady of Cottonwood's familiar. She always offers help to those lost in the woods, despite not knowing the way around herself. She will likely take those who trust her across several perilous encounters, and circling around square 1 before leading them to their destination. The Lady of Cottonwood likes to generously reward those kind and patient enough to keep her familiar happy, and those who politely guide Dyzzi home safely (and live!)
    Last edited by Prince Zahn; 2016-02-13 at 09:20 AM.
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    I've been thinking long and hard about this, I always picture the Warg, (my emissary of water and king of the wolves,) as a kind of mafia don in a way, he has land, he has territory, and he is pretty strong. One thing that is kind of hard for me to envision is how he is blessed by the river. I find myself walking around in circles because I don't think I understand what would be the cherry on the top of the wolf king, so to speak. He's an emissary, he's supposed to stand out. But does anybody have any ideas how I could go about that? or how I could make it a little more thematic?

    Any input, thoughts or suggestions will be great, I'll be thinking up on more things in the meantime.
    Does anybody think I am going about this all wrong, either by focusing too much on these spiritual figures, or by messing with what animism means or by making it feel more like a classic religion? What does anyone who reads this think I should address better or sooner?
    Last edited by Prince Zahn; 2015-10-22 at 06:44 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jette View Post
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    I really love everything you've come up with, it is all very creative and beautiful, and a very different and interesting twist on a fantasy setting.

    I like the animism. I think it works really well with the ghost idea. I think the direction you're going with the emissaries isn't too close to organized religion, but if you want you could even have the timeskips cause religious change, as people shift in their view of the the emissaries, from manifestations/representatives of something larger, to leaders of the faith or objects of worship unto themselves. How would the emissaries react to that?

    Here's a thought: do the other major spirits have times like the Blue Moon? The wolf tide, the black sun, the roaring mountains, the forest dance eg. That would give the Occult Hunters something to do in between Blue Moons.

    Speaking of the Occult Hunters, I love the idea that the toughest "bad guys" are essentially adventurers. I don't think the name is great. It doesn't really roll off the tongue. I also think it should be able to strike fear into the ghost PCs when they hear it. It would be fun if the Hunters called themselves something virtuous, innocent, and good, (Guardians of the Night, eg) while the ghosts had their own name for them, designed by Father Time to terrify his people into staying away from the village, like "The Soul Torturers" or something.

    As far as the Warg goes, maybe look into wolf behavior, culture, and instinct IRL. Maybe something like an obsession with establishing dominance, or marking territory. If you want a mafia feel, have him offer "protection" to everyone in his territory, and send his goons after anyone who declines his offer.

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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    Quote Originally Posted by WMO? View Post
    I really love everything you've come up with, it is all very creative and beautiful, and a very different and interesting twist on a fantasy setting.

    I like the animism. I think it works really well with the ghost idea. I think the direction you're going with the emissaries isn't too close to organized religion, but if you want you could even have the timeskips cause religious change, as people shift in their view of the the emissaries, from manifestations/representatives of something larger, to leaders of the faith or objects of worship unto themselves. How would the emissaries react to that?

    Here's a thought: do the other major spirits have times like the Blue Moon? The wolf tide, the black sun, the roaring mountains, the forest dance eg. That would give the Occult Hunters something to do in between Blue Moons.

    Speaking of the Occult Hunters, I love the idea that the toughest "bad guys" are essentially adventurers. I don't think the name is great. It doesn't really roll off the tongue. I also think it should be able to strike fear into the ghost PCs when they hear it. It would be fun if the Hunters called themselves something virtuous, innocent, and good, (Guardians of the Night, eg) while the ghosts had their own name for them, designed by Father Time to terrify his people into staying away from the village, like "The Soul Torturers" or something.

    As far as the Warg goes, maybe look into wolf behavior, culture, and instinct IRL. Maybe something like an obsession with establishing dominance, or marking territory. If you want a mafia feel, have him offer "protection" to everyone in his territory, and send his goons after anyone who declines his offer.
    I was going to put this on hold but I'm gonna make time
    First of all thank you very much! I'm very glad that you enjoyed reading into my setting!
    1)The idea of religion in the valley evolving into something more organized is certainly a thought I hadn't considered. Perhaps I should consider the time skips in the setting further, perhaps even to the degree of having multiple eras detailed in terms of options, like I noticed in, for instance, dark sun. What would stand out in eras before and after the standard blue moon beginning? sure I was thinking relatively small changes in scenery, but what are other important factors the future or past should contain?

    2)I'd imagine that they do, though I didn't want want to focus on too many when the players have a single night at a time. There has to be unique events and holidays, I just don't know what they might be at the moment. I'm open to ideas? I'll probably write back if I get ideas too.

    3) thanks! I had this sort of sensation ever since looking into the 3.5e Binder, who's sworn enemy were the witch slayers. It occurred to me that if ghosts start to cause trouble to the village, then the locals will seek out people who can get stop the evil spirits. Which as you guessed is EXACTLY why Father Time is trying to keep mischievous spirits away from the village, or at least, it is one reason.
    The only thing I DON'T want to call them is the simplest term - "adventurers", if you think about it, is not a real occupation. It's just a weird combination of so many vague things within it, that the term has become synonymous with "errand-boy/girl" in most fantasy settings, and "unemployed hipster" in others. What are cool names the hunters could be named collectively, and what are names Father Time could call them to inspire fear in his people?

    4) I want it both, actually. It feels difficult to accomplish while maintaining the "Fable-feel" I'll look into it a bit. If you have any links/articles I'll gladly read them over, once I clear up a little time

    Again, thank you for reading! The more input I have, the more I have what to work with!
    Last edited by Prince Zahn; 2016-01-12 at 07:49 AM.
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    Wow, this setting is striking.

    I'll offer what I can.

    -Perhaps a Blue Moon lasts for three nights (a very story-book number) instead of three. I would run my sessions in trilogies, with a problem presented the first night and solved on the last (or, worse, not solved and allowed to fester for many years before our heroes get another moment).
    -Can spirits/ghosts be summoned by magic practitioners on non-Blue Moon nights?
    -Idea: the heroes awake and the village is gone. Maybe the volcano covered it. Where did the people go, did they escape, hide, will they come back?
    -Can memories of living be remembered?
    -Is there anything outside the valley? Do events there have an effect on the valley? Are there governments/raiders/travelers that influence the valley?

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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    Quote Originally Posted by zeek0 View Post
    Wow, this setting is striking.

    I'll offer what I can.
    Thank you! Your words are appreciated.

    -Perhaps a Blue Moon lasts for three nights (a very story-book number) instead of three. I would run my sessions in trilogies, with a problem presented the first night and solved on the last (or, worse, not solved and allowed to fester for many years before our heroes get another moment).
    I won't lie I really like this idea of having 3 nights, I might just go with it. Mind you, there is no actual obligation for the end of a session to end with the morning, you can make a night pass earlier or later than that if you find it appropriate. With that said, I agree with you that 1 session =1 night is a rather convenient assumption to go with by default.

    -Can spirits/ghosts be summoned by magic practitioners on non-Blue Moon nights?
    I like this idea too, but I think that in order to contact a deceased spirit, a mortal needs Father Time's consent, which means persuading Father Time your intentions are worthy, and making an offering to the moon. . . Or perhaps to the world beyond? Hmm....
    -Idea: the heroes awake and the village is gone. Maybe the volcano covered it. Where did the people go, did they escape, hide, will they come back?
    Deliciously cruel. . . the village could have invoked Mt. Yaomir's wrath, and thus he covers their village in a pool of molten rock. The ghosts might venture to the mountain (on foot, mind you; if ghosts have/get a fly speed which I think personally they should, they certainly can not use it on the mountains) to attempt to make him change his mind (or at least free the souls). That's one way you could take it :3
    As I generally picture it, engagements with Yaomir are great for high level play, as nobody hates being disturbed by the dead more than the volcanic mountain, and he most certainly doesn't want a ghost for his emissary
    -Can memories of living be remembered?
    I'm lightly considering of relinquishing the idea that spirits come to the world with no memories of their past. A few friends I've spoken to about it told me it makes having long-term goals rather hard to have. Though if I did keep it, I would imagine (especially after reading a Fireborn novel) that there could be lots of little details, objects, people, experiences, etc. That trigger memories of the past. And come to think about it, it might be what makes trinkets value more than gold in this setting, because they translate into memories that have to belong to someone... It also gives me an interesting idea about someone starting an antique shop in the valley, or having an abandoned one turned into a carnival game for ghosts (Come one! Come all! To the house o' mem'ries! ) What are your thoughts about it?
    -Is there anything outside the valley? Do events there have an effect on the valley? Are there governments/raiders/travelers that influence the valley?
    The valley, and by extension, the village itself are both currently unnamed. I think they could be part of some empire or other rulership in the region, but my goal is to keep the players in a relatively small setting that always has much to explore and evolve (as I said over time the small village gradually expands and aims to one one day evolve into a large, bustling city that endures). I'm open to suggestions for the name of the village and the Valley, by the way. . .
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jette View Post
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    Okay, did a few little updates:
    1. there is now a homebrew thread for Blue☽ Moon, that will contain any custom mechanics necessary to make it work! find it here or in the OP
    2. Built a new mechanic - Significance. it is inspired by weapon properties and magic item rarities. it should shed a little light on what an object can do for (or to!) a ghost, even if it's not actually magical (you can find it in the Homebrew thread.
    3. Fixed one blue moon night a decade to three, to make things a little bit easier
    4. added a bit on Occult Hunters, who are now renamed as Soul Slayers
    5. small changes here and there regarding what I could fix in what brief time I had. I should ask Father Time for more of it.
    6. working on more things, I may as well be out of hiatus
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jette View Post
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    I thought about a tale about one of the less invested emissaries. I thought that it could be the story of a poor housewife who kept wishing for upon the stars, and got her wishes in ways she did not appreciate (for example, she was given a broom that will fly only once the household chores are done for the day, she was given a hat that granted her powers of suggestion and sorcery, but she became green and warted and unappealing because of it. You get the point, she became a witch. She now lives in a magnificent mansion upon a cloud, and she can now grant the wishes of others as she sees fit, but not her own anymore. She became rather mean and vindictive from wishing for things and getting them with strings attached. It made her realize that this is what wishes do - they blow out of proportion and give you what you want, but there's always a price. She became known in the valley as The Witch in the Sky.
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jette View Post
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    Not that familiar with 5th edition, but this looks amazing.

    Given the long periods of inactivity, how does 'progress' look to the ghost upon their return?
    After all, unless they manage to be destroyed or 'resolve their business & move on', they will occasionally have to endure a decade long time skip...which could alter the story significantly.

    The decision to calm or dismiss a small child makes a difference if the next session has him grow up to be head of the night Watch patrol.

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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    Quote Originally Posted by NekoMancer657 View Post
    Not that familiar with 5th edition, but this looks amazing.

    Given the long periods of inactivity, how does 'progress' look to the ghost upon their return?
    After all, unless they manage to be destroyed or 'resolve their business & move on', they will occasionally have to endure a decade long time skip...which could alter the story significantly.

    The decision to calm or dismiss a small child makes a difference if the next session has him grow up to be head of the night Watch patrol.
    Hey thanks for voicing your thoughts! I appreciate it!

    inactivity on my part or the time skip? On my part it is my fault that I invest what free time I have on the setting, which I'm afraid isn't as much as I'd hoped. But I edit posts every now and then, it's worth checking back I'm trying slowly to get back on track.

    If it's on the time skips, all the yes, to all of those points. :3
    The valley is supposed to change, and fast at that. Decisions need to matter with a quick resolution in Blue Moon. I want to build a few charts for the DM to roll on whenever between these intervals, or cherry pick as he or she wants. I want children to be very moldable by an interaction with a ghost, and the ghosts could find him or her in numerous points of the kid's life, so the decisions made earlier can be easily linked by the players to a actions that they made previously.

    Thankfully, with the use of trinkets and Significance, you are not solely dependent on the living to find your memories. Right now, you only need to find an object you had sentimental memories feelings or personal experiences with to slowly rediscover your roots. I'm trying to think of other means of gaining memories, such as a universal memory crystal you might find every now and then. Sentimental locations, or perhaps some kind of direction or guidance from Father Time for players who are having trouble. Maybe it might be attainable by level? I want there to be ample opportunity to get those precious memories, so that even if one gate closes there are other ways.
    Last edited by Prince Zahn; 2016-02-07 at 07:06 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jette View Post
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    So I read a little on wolf behavior. Truly not what I expected O.O


    I think wolves might tend to be very opportunistic predators just like in real life, keeping their distance from people unless provoked or hungry, picking off the weak members of their prey first. though they have not the standard hierarchy portrayed in movies, but rather a more "respect your elders, die to protect your family" approach. Uncharacteristically, they can sense when the blue moon approaches, and they do go hunting, hungry for bigger prey on the night before the first blue night, and the wolf that kills the first beast becomes the vessel of the Warg upon this blue moon, if it lives until tomorrow night.

    When the blue moon rises, the wolves gather by the Silverglade river. The vessel is first to drink from it. And his gray fur turns white as snow, he grows to twice his size, and his teeth and claws become sharper than naturally thought possible. And a crimson red mark appears on his forehead, as the Warg is reborn. The congregation then begins to drink to their hearts content, growing stronger as their furs turn dark blue as the night.

    The Warg uses statistics of a winter wolf (SRD 387), (which makes him a good boss for early level play). Whereas his closest family use statistics for Worgs (SRD 388). other wolves uses the statistics for wolves as normal (SRD 388), but have an intelligence of 5 (-3) instead of their normal intelligence scores. They all the have Pack Tactics Trait, even worgs. Their alignments become usually Lawful Evil. Whereas the Warg is always Lawful Evil. All wolves share the wolf language, and can speak common in addition to that, but only during blue moon. All their weapon attacks are considered magical as far as hitting ghosts is concerned.

    The wolves (under Warg) form a powerful empire around the river, creatures need to pay a handsome price if they wish to drink from, or even cross the river. The wolves become more hostile, more likely to attack unprovoked. If encountered, one can negotiate a deal with them, but if you ever owe them a favor, you become in their debt for good. They are bullies, but at the same time, the are a family of bullies. Cross one, and they will all be after you. Kill one, and they crave vengeance tenfold. Serve them well, and you can win their good graces, perhaps even a lifetime alliance. They don't handle rejection very well, however, and don't like to break ties easily.

    Aside from the river's privileges, Warg also offers protection from villagers and soul slayers. From dangerous forest critters, and will assassinate for you in return for money, or a favor.

    When initiating combat, the wolves naturally try to pick on weak links in their enemies. If attacked first, they are more inclined to kill whoever harmed them or their allies. If the wolves have a particular mark, eliminating the mark is their objective and is a higher priority than picking on the weakest members.

    The wolves revere the Warg as the biggest blessings the water could have given them. Truth be told, anyone who kills the Warg may inherit the title, and gain it's perks (TBD). if the Warg dies, however, the wolves shall lose their dominion over the river, returning to normal, wild wolves starting from the next white moon onwards.
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jette View Post
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    A different poem of mine gave me another idea. Basically, a little pixie who is always ditzy and crazy, never does she stray far from euphoria. Perhaps it because the blue moon does something to psych, of perhaps living in the Silvius Forest made her insane. I was thinking that she would be the servant or familiar of the lady of Cottonwood, which gives the players a test of patience with what may as well be a tiny, drunk 6-year old. If they help her and follow her through all sorts of dangers, they'll get rewarded by the emissary of these woods, if they make her cry or kill her, their time in the forest will be far more nightmarish. Functionality-speaking, Dyzzi Dezyrae exists to sort the kind, virtuous and compassionate from the mean, rash and impatient whom the Lady has no interest in meeting.
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jette View Post
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    THE HOUSE OF MEMORIES

    (How does this fontplay look? I feel fancy )

    "Step right up! step ri~ight up! get a glimpse of Significance in the House of Memories! keep everything you find, only a single bauble!" --The Raven Man, festival owner

    The Raven Man's circus wanders from town to town, amusing people with the extraordinary, Making a keen profit off of distracted pockets and candy corn. upon hearing of the Blue Moon's Magic upon the Valley, he has set upon himself a daring mission - to bring his festival to the Valley on the first blue moon, where the dead come to life, and... that's what I got. I don't know what I want to do with this yet. What would be the Raven Man's goal? to steal a Ghost for his show? to discover the connection between the valley and the blue moon? to harness that energy? perhaps he wants to find an artifact of some sort in the valley. . . I just don't know right now. suggestions would be nice if anybody has any.
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jette View Post
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    Default Re: Once in a Blue Moon - A setting premise (WIP)

    Could the Raven man be looking for the ghost of a loved one, using the House of Memories in order to attract ghosts, in the hopes that one of them will be his long lost friend or lover, and will regain their memories?
    Currently worldbuilding Port Demesne: A Safe Harbor in a Shattered World! If you have a moment, I would love your feedback!

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