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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SilverClawShift's Avatar

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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    Allrighty, I wasn't really planning on posting this one until we had it worked out, but I figure there's no harm in early versions. Just be aware that things are subject to refinement and change :).

    Also, two points.

    A word about power level: The totem ascendant (next post) is certainly more powerful than a fighter or barbarian. We're aware of that. The glyphcrafter and totem ascendant (and every other class we have) is designed with the mentality of trying to find some kind of friendly middle ground for class balance. Similar to how Tome of Battle is a scaled up fighter collection, and Tome of Magic is a scaled down caster collection...
    The Dustlands is sort of going to echo that sentiment, but with an exception. Since we're not making supplements, but rather a brand new campaign setting, with a brand new (and full) list of player races and classes, we're starting from the ground up, building off of what's allready known to work and not work, and trying to make casters, warriors, skillmonkeys and healers who all play in the same league as realistically as possible. It means a glyphcrafter gets overshadows by a wizard, and a totem ascendant makes a barbarian whimper and pout, but the end result is INTENDED to deliver a full set of classes that play together like old friends.

    Point two is... "At a glance" on the totem ascendant. I know, it looks crazy busy when you skim it. Really though, it breaks down pretty easily. Every totem ascendant follows the same basic path of when they get what, but at level 1 they pick their spirit animal and everything they get is from that animals list. Like how there are a hundered cleric domains, but you still only pick two. Well there's a wall of text for the totem ascendant, but the end result is "You just pick one animal and get all that stuff".

    So on to the class post: Totem Ascendant Alpha

  2. - Top - End - #92
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SilverClawShift's Avatar

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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    Totem Ascendant

    Inside every sentient creature is a quiet conflict between instinct and intelligence, nature and civilization. Even among barbaric and savage cultures, the pull of a central culture almost always trumps the wild frenzy of basic animal behavior. But nature does not simply abandon the sentient in favor of her more bestial children, even those who pride themselves on being educated and civilized have at least one weak tie to the natural world... in the form of their totem animal.
    Each creature that gains sentience -either naturally or through magical blessing- also has a totem beast, their guardian spirit who influences their savage side even when that side is neglected or ignored entirely. Which totem animal a person attains is not determined by some intentional force or pattern, but simply occurs naturally as sure as the creature breaths and blinks, and it can never be changed. It is worth noting however that tribal cultures who worship or attribute their group success to specific totem animals almost always share common totem guardians among their tribe.
    The Totem Ascendant embraces their spirit animal, favoring it, trusting the instincts of that wild force in balance with -or even greater than- their intelligence and cunning. As they ascend, their nature becomes less and less like that of their race, and more like that of their totem animal. They move like their totem, they fight like their totem, they think like their totem and they feel an undeniable kinship. While a Totem Ascendant does not truly become the creature they call upon for their base nature, the influence can never be ignored.

    Adventure: Totem Ascendants more often than not come in at least two distinct varieties, and both often set out into the world with unique mindsets, and for unique purposes. Most are tribal warriors who are considered examplars of their tribes totems, great warriors who embody the principals their group beleives are most fitting for continued survival. Such warriors often later become warchiefs of their tribes, and are often beleived to be destined to lead their tribe to greatness.
    Other Totem Ascendants are those who have drifted further and further away from the path of nature, who some way or another come to feel their spirit animal calling out to them, pulling them to revel in, and to trust, their instincts. Such unique individuals often have unique spirit totems, and usually feel compelled to drift away from civilization for great lengths of time, learning more about their own nature and reveling in the wild thrills of danger and victory. It's also not immpossible for a totem ascendant to stay amongst civilization even as they explore their own nature, finding ways to work their instinct amongs the civilized world, rather than against it. For example, an individual with the Wolf as their totem animal may feel compelled to protect the weaker of their 'pack', becoming officers of the law or guardians of the streets, and prowling quietly amongst the alleys and shadows.
    Characteristics: Totem Ascendants vary not only from which animal hides in their soul, but also from individual to individual among the same animal. However, almost all totem ascendants share certain behaviors and characteristics. They are almost universally physically capable in one respect or another, and all are capable of holding their own in physical combat, fighting with the natural fury of a wild animal for whom survival is at constant stake. They are all prone to occasional bouts of quiet introspection, but are otherwise varied individuals.
    Alignment: Totem Ascendants may be of any alignment, but in general have a pull towards chaotic and neutral trends. Wild instinct knows no alignment restriction, and whatever becomes the most prudent course of action for survival is often the action a totem ascendant will be inclined to take.
    Religion: Even in worlds where religion is prevalent, totem ascendants are more likely to revere nature or deities of the wild above others. There is nothing forcing a totem ascendant to revere nature beyond their OWN nature, however, just as there is nothing stopping them from any sort of -or lack of- religious beleif.
    Background: Totem Ascendants come from a wide variety of possible backgrounds, as the pull of their totem animal is almost universally unique to them. Even in tribes with multiple totem ascendants who all share the same totem animals, they do not usually form any organizations or share any of their personal introspection on the subject. Totem Ascendants almost always come into their nature completely independently.
    An exception is the notorious Sliss tribe Sel`sar, which follows the Wolf as their sole totem animal. They teach their young in the ways of wolfish behavior, and any who do not successfully ascend to wolf totem behavior are expelled from the tribe (or killed outright). They are the only Sliss group in the Dustlands which is known to let nos-Sliss races join their 'pack', so long as they suscribe to the ideals of the Wolf totem.
    Races: All sentient creature -including magically awakened animals- have a spirit animal from the moment or their birth (or of their awakening in the case of magically sentient beasts). This animal may or may not seem logical to anyone other than that individual, and it can never be altered through any known magics, including reincarnation. This all means that any race may have an individual who is a totem ascendant for one reason or another, and no one race is pre-diposed towards the class. Tribal cultures often have totem ascendants among their ranks, but tribal cultures can be of any race.
    Other Classes: Totem Ascendants see a natural kinship with other classes dedicated to the wilderness, even those rare totem ascendants who feel more at home in civilized populations. Barbarians, Druids, and Rangers are all more likely to receive a smile and nod than not. They will have more natural respect for anyone capable of physical combat, but do not neglect the potential raw power of those who weild arcane and divine magics. They are less likely to respect bards, rogues, and other classes that focus more on skill than on some form of power, but individuals vary wildly, and which spirit animal a totem ascendant has kinship with will likely influence their worldview. A Rat totem ascendant might feel more at home with rogues and thieves, and even multiclass in that direction themselves.
    Role: A Totem Ascendant is a warrior, one way or another. Even those ascendants who have peacefull or traditionally timid totem animals will feel the instinct of survival inspiring them to physical prowess. They are also more inclined towards using their bare hands as they fight, opting for natural savageness over tempered steel. As such, they serve their adventuring party best when engaging or distracting other foes in melee combat.
    Starting Gold: 2d4 x 10 (average: 50)
    Starting Age: As a Barbarian

    Adaptation: Nothing inherent in the mechanics or flavor of the Totem Ascendant base class limits it to use in The Dustlands campaign setting. A warrior who embraces their spirit animal as a guiding force in their lives is a staple of myth and legend, both in history and in modern entertainment. The likelihood of such a warrior arising in another campaign world seems not only likely, but inevitable, and can be a welcome inclusion into other games.

    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Totem Animal, Wild Empathy, Wild Fighter

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Step of the Beast, Wildfight: lesser

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Totem Boon

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Wildfight: lesser

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Beastial Drift

    6th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Wildfight: lesser

    7th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Totem Boon

    8th|
    +8/+3
    |
    +6
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Wildfight: lesser

    9th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Kinship

    10th|
    +10/+5
    |
    +7
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Wildfight: lesser

    11th|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +7
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Beastial Drift

    12th|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +8
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Wildfight: greater

    13th|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +8
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Totem Boon

    14th|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +9
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Wildfight: ferocious

    15th|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +9
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Shadowkin

    16th|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Wildfight: greater

    17th|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +10
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Totem Boon

    18th|
    +18/+13/+8/+3
    |
    +11
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Wildfight: greater

    19th|
    +19/+14/+9/+4
    |
    +11
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Beastial Drift

    20th|
    +20/+15/+10/+5
    |
    +12
    |
    Sp
    |
    Sp
    |Wildfight: ferocious[/table]

    GAME RULE INFORMATION
    Totem Ascendants have the following game statistics.
    Abilities: Constitution and Strength are a totem ascendants primary stats. Strength grants them additional power to strike and injure their foes, while Contitution boosts their durability and makes each injury they sustain less likely to end their fight. A decent Dexterity helps them protect themselves when engaging their foes or prey. A good Intelligence will provide more skill points with which to explore the bonus skills granted by their particular totem animal. Wisdom also assissts many of the skills gained by the totem ascendant.
    Alignment: Any.
    Hit Die: 10

    CLASS SKILLS
    The Totem Ascendants class skills (and the key ability modifier for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Jump (Str), Knowledge (nature) (Int), and Survival (Wis). A Totem Ascendant also adds a number of class skills to their list based on which animal they select as their totem spirit.
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x4.
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

    CLASS FEATURES
    All of the following are class features of the Totem Ascendant
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Totem Ascendants are not proficient with weapons. They are proficient in light and medium armor, and with shields (but not tower shields), but do not suffer any penalties if they become proficient with and use heavy armor and shields.
    Totem Animal: At first level, all Totem Ascendants must select a single totem animal. This animal is their spiritual beast, the aspect of nature that resides in them wether they realized it or not. Once selected, the totem animal can never be changed, not even by reincarnation, or a wish or miracle spell. Which totem animal the ascendant selects will determine most their class features, including enhanced saving throws and expanded skill lists.
    Wild Empathy: Totem Ascendants may communicate with animals of their totem type as if they had the Wild Empathy class feature of Rangers. This ability only works on animals matching the ascendants totem animal. This functions just as a diplomacy check made to influence a person, where the ascendant may roll a d20 and add their totem ascendant level and their charisma modifier to the check. If the totem ascendant has levels in ranger, those levels stack for dealing with their totem animal only (for instance, a 3rd level ranger 2nd level totem ascendant counts as a 3rd level ranger for wild empathy checks, but a 5th level totem ascendant when dealing with their totem animal).
    The totem ascendant and target animal must be aware of each other, and must be able to observe each other for approximately one minute to use this ability, though at DM discretion the use can apply faster or slower.
    Wild Fighter: A Totem Ascendant chooses to fight without manufactured weapons more often than not. Their instinctual cunning and willing savageness makes them successful unarmed combatants above and beyond what most warriors could accomplish with the same limitation. At first level, they receive Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. Their attacks also count as manufactured and natural weapons for the purposes of spells and effects which enhance weapons, and they threaten squares as if they had a melee weapon.
    Totem ascendants do no receive penalties of any kind for using manufactured weapons, but their Strike of the wild class features usually only function when fighting unarmed.
    Step of the Beast: At second level, all totem ascendants receive an enhanced method of movement related to the totem animal they have selected. This method of movement varies from animal to animal, but is always beneficial to the totem ascendant.
    Wildfight: Starting at 2nd level, and every even numbered level thereafter, the totem ascendant may choose from a list of special combat abilities learned by ascendants of their totem animal. These are often increases in melee ability which rely on unarmed combat to be properly utilized, but will sometimes grant alternate methods of attack or distraction, or abilities which are otherwise useful on the field of battle. At levels 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10, the totem ascendant may choose from the list of lesser Wildfight abilities. At levels 12, 16, and 18, they may choose from the list of greater Wildfight abilities. At level 14 and 20, the totem ascendant may choose from the list of ferocious wildfight abilities (the most powerful and vicious of totem ascendant capabilities).
    Regardless of which Wildfight abilities are selected, all totem ascendants unarmed strikes count as magic beginning at 4th level for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
    Totem Boon: At level 3, and at each level indicated thereafter, the totem ascendant gains a boon, a spiritual gift that brings them close to their totem animal. A Totem Boon is a pre-defined benefit dependant on the totem animal selected, and is more a mark of ability than a physical alteration (for instance, Dragon totem ascendants gain sorcerous spellcasting levels, while Snake totem ascendants gain 1d4 sneak attack progression).
    Beastial Drift: At level 5, and again at levels 11 and 19, the totem ascendant becomes slightly more like a physical embodiment of their totem animal. These drifts affect the totem ascendants physical form, granting them some unique ability related to their totem. Beastial drifts may be selected from a list presented with each specific totem animal.
    Kinship: At level 9, a totem ascendant developes an overwhelming kinship with their totem animal, gaining +4 to wild empathy checks made to influence their totem animals behavior.
    Shadowkin: At 15th level, the totem ascendants shadow takes on the shape of their totem animal. This ability can be turned off at will, but almost all totem ascendants consider it a mark of immense honor, and will display their shadow proudly.
    Totem Lord: At level 20, the totem ascendant becomes an exemplar of their totem creature, representing that aspect of nature wherever they go. They receive a +10 bonus to wild empathy checks made to influence their totem animal.

    TOTEM ADAPTATION: Not every animal can be a unique individual totem, and most don't need to be. Some totem animals could reasonably apply to other animals just as readily. For example, a player could select Coyote as their totem animal, and use the mechanics and progression presented for the Fox totem animal. Mechanically, the class remains the same, it is only the name and specific creature that have changed. Other possible examples could be using Dog instead of Wolf, or Crocodile instead of Alligator.

    CREATING NEW TOTEMS: A player or DM may, at some point, desire a totem ascendant character of an animal type not fully formed into a playable totem. To create a new totem animal, look first at the other totem animals presented, and use them as a base for comparing levels of power and featured styles. Each totem animal has a minimum number of abilities which must be created. All totem animals need one Step of the Beast ability, affecting movement. They need a minimum number of wildfight abilities (5 lesser, 3 greater, and 2 ferocious), as well as planning to include at least 4 totem boons, 3 beastial drifts, and their totem lord ability.
    Sometimes, different animals will share similar traits or features. In such cases, feel free to re-use appropriate abilities between totems, as that will create a baseline comparison for power, as well as helping deperate totems feel as if they are still part of the same class.

    **********************************************
    Snake Totem
    Spoiler
    Show

    -Snake
    Snake totem ascendants are often thought of as evil, though they need not be. They are naturally devious and cunning though, favoring deception and trickery, and often making blindingly fast strikes when their opponents least expect it. They are highly skilled compared to other totem ascendants, and rely on their nimbleness and tendency to manipulate situations into their favor over brute strength. Nevertheless, they are still terrifyingly capable warriors.

    Saving Throws: Reflex save becomes strong, Will save remains poor
    Additional Class Skills: Bluff (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Dex)

    Step of the Beast: A Snake totem ascendant can always move over difficult terrain, obstacles, or squeeze through small spaces as if they were moving normally (treating each square as 1 square, rather than 2 as normal). They may also run or charge across difficult terrain.
    Totem Boon: Each time the Snake ascendant gains a Totem Boon, they gain a 1d6 sneak attack. This boon stacks with other sources that grant sneak attacks (such as a rogues class feature).
    Beastial Drift
    - Venomous (Ex): You gain a 1d6 bite attack you can make in addition to your normal unarmed attacks. You also gain a venom you can use during your bite attack. This venom does 1d6 and 1d6 damage to a physical stat of your choice, Str, Dex, or Con (You can change which stat this venom effects after each 24 hour period, but once selected, you cannot produce a different type of venom for 24 hours). This venom is a poison with a Fort save DC of 15 + 1/2 your totem ascendant level + your CON modifier. This can only be used once per day. This drift may be selected multiple times, adding an additional does of venom each day, and increasing the save DC to resist it by +4.
    - Tastesense (Ex): You can detect certain creatures (any other than Construct or Elemental) as if you had blindsense out to 30 feet. You know that they are nearby, and what type of creature they are (abberation, undead, humanoid, animal, ect), but do not gain the ability to pinpoint the square they are in.
    - Snakeskin (Ex): You gain a +1 bonus to your natural armor, fortitude saves, and the save DC of any totem ascendant class abilities. This drift may be selected multiple times, and the effects stack.
    - Coiled Muscles (Ex): You gain a +2 bonus to Dexterity. This bonus is applied to you base Dexterity, stacks with any other sources, and cannot be removed. This ability may be selected multiple times.

    Wildfight, Lesser: At 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level, a snake totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed. Regardless of which Wildfight abilities are selected, all totem ascendants unarmed strikes count as magic beginning at 4th level for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
    - Strike of the Snake (Ex): Your unarmed strike becomes rapid, peircing, and precise, as if your hands were the maws of deadly snakes. Your unarmed strikes now deal 1d8 peircing and bludgeoning damage, with a critical range of of 18-20 x2.
    - Constrictor Fighter (Ex): The negative aspects of grappling now no longer apply to you when fighting unarmed. You maintain your dexterity bonus to AC while in a grapple, and still threaten squares within your reach.
    - Quick Strike (Ex): As a swift action, you may move up to 20 feet and make a single attack at a -2 penalty against a single creature. The creature attacked is considered flat-footed, and is denied their dexterity bonus to AC against this attack. You must move at least 10 feet for this ability to work, and once you have used it, you may not use it again for 5 rounds.
    - Sickening Strike (Ex): As a free action, you can prepare your next unarmed strike to attack a pressure point or other weak spot on a creature you target. If your next attack deals 1 point of damage, it also forces the target to make a fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 your totem ascendant class level + your Dexterity modifier). If they fail this saving throw, they are inflicted with 1d4 damage to a physical stat of your choice (Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution) as if they were poisoned. Creatures immune to poison are not affected by this attack. Once you have used this ability, you cannot use it again for 5 rounds.
    - Precise Blow (Ex): You must have selected the Strike of the Snake wildfight ability to select Precise Blow. As a free action, you can add your Dexterity modifier as peircing damage to your unarmed attacks for a single round. Once you have used this ability, you cannot use it again for 5 rounds.
    - Without Warning (Ex): You must have selected the Strike of the Snake wildfight ability to select Without Warning. You gain a +1d6 sneak attack. This stacks with all other sources of sneak attack (including snake Totem Boons and rogue class progression). This ability may not be selected multiple times.

    Wildfight, Greater: At 12th, 16th, and 18th level, a snake totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed.
    - Greater Sickening Strike (Ex): You must have selected the Sickening Strike wildfight ability to select Greater Sickening Strike. Your Sickening Strike ability now deals 2d4 damage to the physical ability score of your choice, instead of 1d4. Otherwise, this ability functions exactly the same.
    - Greater Quick Strike (Ex): You must have selected the Quick Strike wildfight ability to select Greater Quick Strike. The range of your Quick Strike increases to 40 feet, and you no longer suffer the -2 penalty towards its use.
    - Greater Strike of the Snake (Ex): You must have selected the Strike of the Snake wildfight ability to select Greater Strike of the Snake. Your unarmed strike becomes even more devestatingly precise, dealing 1d12 peircing and bludgeoning, with a critical range of 17-20x2.
    - Additional Without Warning (Ex): You must have selected the Without Warning ability to select Additional Without Warning. You gain another +1d6 sneak attack die, totalling 2d6 extra sneak attack. This stacks with all other sources of sneak attack (including snake Totem Boons and rogue class progression). This ability may not be selected multiple times.
    - Copperhead (Su): As a free action, you can cause your unarmed strike to to count as any material you are physically in contact with for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. This ability stays active as long as you are in contact with said material, but once activated, you cannot change the material for 5 rounds.

    Wildfight, Ferocious: At 14th and 20th level, a snake totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed.
    - Lash Out (Ex): You must have selected the Greater Quick Strike wildfight ability to select Lash Out. The range of your Quick Strike increases to 60 feet, and you may now also use this ability against adjacent creatures (without having to travel 10 feet to use the ability). You may still wait 5 rounds after using this ability to activate it again.
    - Crippling Sneak Attack (Ex): You may trade in your sneak attack dice to cause ability score damage on a successfull sneak attack, dealing 1 point of ability damage per 1d6 sneak attack sacrificed. You must declare that you are using this ability prior to making a successfull sneak attack, and must determine in advance how many sneak attack die to sacrifice (for instance, a totem ascendant with 4d6 sneak attack could sacrifice 3 of those dice, causing their sneak attack to deal 1d6 extra physical damage, and 3 Strength damage on a successfull sneak). Once you have used this ability, you cannot use it again for 5 rounds.
    - Destructive Sneak Attack (Ex): You can prepare to deal a sneak attack in such a way that it ignores a creatures immunity to such an attack. Before attempting to make a sneak attack against a regularily immune creature, you must declare that you are using this ability. If you make a successfull sneak attack, you deal half of your normal sneak attack damage against that target, regardless of any immunities of fortification against such an attack. This ability can even function against undead creatures and constructs, by dealing physical damage to their inherant structure, rather than targeting the traditional weak spots on living creatures. Once you have used this ability, you cannot use it again for 5 rounds.

    **********************************************
    Bat Totem
    Spoiler
    Show

    -Bat
    The Bat totem ascendant is a shady noctornual creature, appreciative of the grace and instinct of the blind-fighting bats. They tend to be skirmishers, prefering fighting in the dark and on the move, striking several foes in one pass and leaving bleeding wounds in their wake.

    Saving Throws: Reflex saves become strong, Will saves remain poor.
    Additional Class Skills: Hide (Dex), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex)

    Step of the Beast: At 2nd level, Bat totem ascendants gain a +4 bonus to all jump and climb checks, and can remain clinging to surfaces off the ground for several hours with no additional checks (a number of hours equal to their totem ascendant level before they finally tire and begin requiring checks to avoid slipping). In addition, if a Bat totem ascendant gains the ability to fly from some other source (such as a spell or other class ability), their flight speed increases by 10 feet, and their maneuvarability category increases by one (to a maximum of perfect).

    Totem Boon: At each level indicated, in areas of shadowy illumination you gain +2 to your armor class and reflex saving throws.

    Beastial Drift: At levels 5, 11, and 19, the Bat totem ascendant may select a beastial drift from the below list.
    - Echolocation (Ex): As long as you are not silenced or deafend, you gain blindsight out to 20 feet. This ability may be selected multiple times, increasing your blindsight by 20 feet each time. You also gain a +4 bonus to listen checks each time you select this drift.
    - Distracting Echo (Ex): In shadowy illumination, attacks made on you suffer a 20% miss chance if you have moved more than 20 feet on your last turn. This ability may only be selected if you have the Echolocation ability.
    - Disorienting Echo (Ex): In shadowy illumination, attacks made on you suffer a 50% miss chance if you have moved more than 20 feet on your last turn. This ability may only be selected if you have Distracting Echo.
    - Light Bones (Ex): Your body structure becomes naturally lighter, despite remaining as sturdy as always. You weigh 3/4 as much, and all falling damage you take is made as if the fall was 20 feet shorter.
    - Hollow Bones (Ex): Your bone structure alters further, becoming even lighter than before. You now weigh 1/2 as much as your original weight, and all falling damage you take is made as if the fall was 50 feet shorter. This ability may only be selected if you have Light Bones.

    Wildfight, Lesser: At 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level, a Bat totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed. Regardless of which Wildfight abilities are selected, all totem ascendants unarmed strikes count as magic beginning at 4th level for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
    - Claws of the Bat (Ex): Your unarmed strike leaves painful slicing injuries, as if your hands concealed razor sharp claws. Your unarmed strikes now deal 1d10 slashing damage, with a critical range of of 19-20 x2.
    - Bleeding Wound (Ex): Whenever you succesfully deal damage with an unarmed strike, you leave a painful slash that continues to bleed. A living creature damaged by your unarmed strike continues to lose 1d6 hit points per round thereafter, until they receive a cure spell or some other healing magic, or the bleeding is stopped with a Heal check (DC 10 + 1/2 your Totem Ascendant class level). Multiple wounds do not result in cumulative bleeding loss. You must have the Claws of the Bat ability to select Bleeding Wound.
    - Naseuating Injury (Ex): You must have the Bleeding Wound ability to select Naseuating Injury. Whenever a living creature receives a bleeding wound from you, they injury causes an overwhelming sickening feeling. Any creature who is suffering from one of your bleeding wounds receives a -2 penalty to all attack rolls, skill checks, and armor class until the bleeding is stopped. As with the bleeding wound itself, these effects are never cumulative on the same creature.
    - Vanishing Attack (Ex): A Vanishing attack is a full round action. You move up to your base move rate, and then make a single attack at your full attack bonus against a single creature. If this attack successfully does damage, you may then move your base move rate again, and then make a Hide check to dissapear into the shadows.
    - Dashing Strike (Ex): As a full round action, you may move up to twice your base move rate (60 feet for a creature with a 30 foot move rate), making a single unarmed attack at a -2 penalty to each creature you pass adjacent to. Once you have made a Dashing Strike, you may not do so again for 5 rounds.
    - Swarm Strike (Su): As a free action, you may select a single target to be the subject of a Swarm Strike. If you successfully damage them with your unarmed attack on your turn, they must make a Will save (DC 15 + 1/2 your totem ascendant class levels) or be considered grappled for 1 round as their mind is assaulted with thousands of bat spirit shadows. You are not grappled after performing a Swarm Strike. Once you have used this ability, you may not use it again for 5 rounds.

    Wildfight, Greater: At 12th, 16th, and 18th level, a Bat totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed.
    - Improved Bleeding Wound (Ex): You must have the Bleeding Wound ability to select Improved Bleeding Wound. The bleeding wounds you leave after injuring a living creature now cause 3d6 damage per round until healed, instead of 1d6 damage as normal. In addition, the Heal check to stop the bleeding is now a DC 15 + 1/2 your Totem Ascendant class level.
    - Glidestrike (Ex): As a full round action, you make a Jump check as if you were running full out, leaping a distance equal to your jump check result and attacking each creature you pass over with a single unarmed attack at a -4 penalty. Once you have made a Glidestrike, you may do so again for 5 rounds.
    - Disorienting Screech (Ex): You produce an echoing pulse that forces every living creature that is not deafened to make a Will save (DC 15 + 1/2 your Totem Ascendant class level) or suffer a 50% miss chance to their attacks for 1 round. Once you have used this ability, you may not do so again for 5 rounds.
    - Darkening Strike (Su): You may call upon your Bat totem spirit to flutter throughout the vision of your enemy, lessening their ability to use their sight. As a free action, you may select a single target to be the subject of a Darkening Strike. If you successfully damage them with your unarmed attack on your turn, they must make a Will save (DC 15 + 1/2 your totem ascendant class levels) or have their vision dim as if they were in an area of shadowy illumination, regardless of brighter lighting conditions. A Darkening Strike can be removed with a Remove Curse, Restoration, or Break Enchantment spell, but is otherwise permanent.
    Only one creature can be the target of a Darkening Strike at a time. You can dismiss this effect at any time by calling the Bat spirit back to you.

    Wildfight, Ferocious: At 14th and 20th level, a Bat totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed.
    - Gutting Wound (Ex): You must have the Improved Bleeding Wound ability to select Gutting Wound. Whenever you successfully deal damage with your unarmed strike against a living creature, the wound causes 2 points of Constitution damage, in addition to continueing to bleed normally. As with bleeding wounds, the Constitution damage caused by a Gutting Wound is not cumulative.
    - Flightstrike (Ex): You must have Glidestrike to select Swarming Glide. Your Glidestrike now covers a distance of twice your jump check, and you do not suffer the -4 penalty to the attacks made on creatures you pass over. You still may not use this ability for 5 rounds after each use.
    - Rabid Wound (Su): By calling on your Bat totem spirit, you may select a single creature to be the target of an injury debilitating to both their body and their mind. As a free action, select a single living creature as a target for your Rabid Wound. If you successfully damage that creature with your unarmed attack on this turn, they must succeed on a Will save (DC 15 + 1/2 your totem ascendant class level) or succumb to a blinding psychosis as the bat spirit clouds their mind. On their turn, they attack the nearest creature in a frenzied rage, stopping at nothing in an effort to destroy all nearby creatures. They can resist these effects for one turn by making the same will save, but they are not cured of the Rabid Wound. Only a Restoration spell (or stronger divine effect) can remove the bat spirit clouding their mind.
    Only one creature can be the target of a Rabid Wound at a time. You can dismiss this effect at any time by calling the Bat spirit back to you.

    **********************************************
    Dragon Totem
    Spoiler
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    -Dragon
    The Dragon totem ascendant is a rare being, gifted with the spiritual guardian of the mighty dragon. Almost always a mark of greatness, Dragon ascendants are often foretold from birth as being able to bring prosperity to their allies and woe to their enemies. Many tribal cultures will herald the birth or acceptance of a Dragon ascendant into their ranks proudly, regardless of their normal totems... many other tribes do still rigidly insist that deviance from their spirit guardians is unacceptable.
    In addition to the ability to cast very select few spells, the Dragon totem ascendant also has the options of terrifying their foes on the battlefield, increasing their strength charisma and natural armor, or improving their senses far beyond what most humans dream is capable.
    Charisma can be substantially more important for a Dragon ascendant than for other totems.

    Saving Throws: Will saves becomes strong, Reflex saves remain poor.
    Additional Class Skills: Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Spellcraft (Int)

    Wild Empathy: Totem Ascendants who select the Dragon as their totem do not receive the Wild Empathy feature as other totem ascendants do, but instead apply the Kinship and Totem Lord bonuses to Wild Empathy to all Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks made against dragons.
    Step of the Beast: At 2nd level, Dragon totem ascendants add +10 feet to their movement rate at 2nd level. If they can fly at any point due to some spell or ability, they add +10 feet to their flight speed as well.
    Totem Boon: Each time the totem ascendant gains a totem boon, they gain +1 level sorcerer spellcasting. If the character cannot cast sorcerer spells, this boon grants them the ability, meaning a 17th level Dragon totem ascendant casts spells as a 4th level sorcerer. If a Dragon ascendant multiclasses as a sorcerer, their boon levels stack with their sorcerer levels to determine total sorcerer spellcasting ability.
    Beastial Drift: At levels 5, 11, and 19, the Dragon totem ascendant may select a beastial drift from the below list.
    - Strength of the Wyrm: You gain a +2 bonus to Strength. This bonus is applied to you base Strength, stacks with any other sources, and cannot be removed. This ability may be selected multiple times.
    - Heart of the Wyrm: You gain a +2 bonus to Charisma. This bonus is applied to you base Charisma, stacks with any other sources, and cannot be removed. This ability may be selected multiple times.
    - Scaleskin (Ex): You gain +2 natural armor as your skin toughens and forms into scales. This bonus stacks with itself, and can be selected multiple times.
    - Wyrms Breath (Su): You gain a breath attack, able to deal 2d6 damage of any elemental type. Once you use this ability, you cannot use it again for 5 rounds. You must also wait for 1 hour in between uses to change the elemental type of your breath weapon. You may select this ability multiple times, adding 2d6 damage to the breath weapon each time. The delays in between uses and changes does not change.
    - Draconic Senses (Ex): The totem ascendant gains the ability to see twice as well as a human in shadowy illumination, and gains darkvision out to 30 feet.
    - Improved Draconic Senses (Ex): This ability can only be selected if you allready have the "Draconic Senses" Beastial Drift. The totem ascendant may now see 4 times as well as a human in shadowy illumination, and gains darkvision out to 60 ft and Blindsense out to 30 ft.

    Wildfight, Lesser: At 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level, a Dragon totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed. Regardless of which Wildfight abilities are selected, all totem ascendants unarmed strikes count as magic beginning at 4th level for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
    - Claws of the Dragon (Ex): Your unarmed strike becomes focused, feirce, and brutal, as if you were striking with the claws of a mighty dragon. Your unarmed strikes now deals 2d6 slashing and bludgeoning damage, with a critical multiplier of x3.
    - Wyrms Presence (Ex): You must have the Claws of the Dragon Wildfight ability to select Wyrms Presence. The force of your presence and personality on the field of battle becomes just as dangerous as the strength of your blows. Your enemies are forced to defend themselves not only against your physical attacks, but the feircness with which you make them. You add your charisma bonus to your unarmed strike when fighting sentient opponents (any creature with an INT of 3 or greater and free will).
    - Furious Assault (Ex): As a standard action, you open up on a screaming raging attack against a single creature. if this attack deals a single point of damage, the creature is forced to make a will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your totem ascendant class levels, + your charisma modifier) or become terrified that you will continue attacking them. A creature who fails this will save becomes shaken. If they are allready shaken, they instead become frightened. If they are allready frightened, they instead become panicked, fleeing from you at any cost. This effect lasts until they are no longer engaged in combat with you (the end of the encounter), but you retain a +4 bonus on Intimidate checks against them for 24 hours. Once you have used a furious assault, you cannot use it again for 5 rounds. If a creature succeeds in a will save against your Furious Assault, they are unaffected by it for 24 hours (but existing fear effects caused by it remain).
    - Strike of the Wyrms Breath (Su): As a free action, you channel magical energy into your unarmed strike, wreathing it in power. You add your charisma modifier as bonus damage to your unarmed attack for one round. This bonus damage is any elemental type (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic). once you use this ability, you cannot use it again for 5 rounds.
    - Wyrms Reaching Blow (Su): As a free action, you call upon your spirit totem to aid you in your fight, granting you the spiritual reach of the mighty dragon. For the remainder of the round, you may make a single attack at your highest attack bonus against any foe within 60 feet, lashing out at them spiritually as if striking them physically with your unarmed attack. This ability still counts as an unarmed attack. Once you use this ability, you cannot do so again for 5 rounds.

    Wildfight, Greater: At 12th, 16th, and 18th level, a Dragon totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed.
    - Greater Claws of the Dragon (Ex): You must have the Claws of the Dragon lesser Wildfight ability to select this. Your unarmed strike becomes even more focused, feirce, and brutal. Your unarmed strikes now deals 3d6 slashing and bludgeoning damage, with a critical multiplier of x3.
    - Terrifying Roar (Ex): As a swift action, you let loose a terrifying yell which forces those in a 30 foot radius around you to make a will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your totem ascendant class levels, + your charisma modifier) or become shaken. If they are allready shaken, they instead become frightened. If they are allready frightened, they instead become panicked. This effect lasts until they are no longer engaged in combat with you (the end of the encounter), but you retain a +4 bonus on Intimidate checks against them for 24 hours. The effects of a Terrifying Roar stack with the effects of a Furious Assault. Once you have used a terrifying roar, you cannot use it again for 5 rounds. If a creature succeeds in a will save against your Terrifying Roar, they are unaffected by it for 24 hours (but existing fear effects caused by it remain).
    - Greater Strike of the Wyrms Breath (Su): You must have the Strike of the Wyrms Breath lesser Wildfight ability to select this. Your Strike of the Wyrms Breath ability now adds double your charisma modifier to the elemental damage caused by your unarmed attacks. In addition, this ability now lasts for two rounds instead of one. You must still wait for 5 rounds after using this ability to activate it again.

    Wildfight, Ferocious: At 14th and 20th level, a dragon totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed.
    - Group Attack (Ex): Like a dragon, you can lash out at many foes at once. As a full round action, you can make a single attack at your highest attack bonus towards every foe you could hit with your unarmed strike. This ability stacks with all other wildfight abilities you may posess, including Wyrms Reaching Blow and Strike of the Wyrms Breath. Once you use this ability, you cannot do so again for 5 rounds.
    - Draconic Aura (Ex): As a free action, you exude an air of dragonly might. All creatures within a 30 foot radius of you must make a will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your totem ascendant class levels, + your charisma modifier) or become shaken. If they are allready shaken, they instead become frightened. If they are allready frightened, they instead become panicked. This effect lasts until they are no longer engaged in combat with you (the end of the encounter), but you retain a +4 bonus on Intimidate checks against them for 24 hours. The effects of a Draconic Aura stack with a Terrifying Roar or a Furious Assault. This aura only lasts for one round, and after activating it, you cannot activate it again for 5 rounds. If a creature succeeds in a will save against your Draconic Aura, they are unaffected by it for 24 hours (but existing fear effects caused by it remain).
    Last edited by SilverClawShift; 2008-02-26 at 08:09 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    Observations from the design and development standpoint:

    - There is a dead level at 12 that we want to plug with something. Probably something inconsequential to power level (like Shadow of the Kin, a flavorful and impacting feature that really doesn't actually DO anything....keep the power level status steady).
    - We would like more options for the totems presented.
    You get 4 lesser strikes and 4 greater strikes, and 2 beastial drifts.
    We'd like at least 6 options in each strike category, and 4 in each drift category, meaning you can NOT pick at least two of them... grab the ones you want only.
    - I'm aware there are only two totem animals to choose from currently
    - There is a substantial oddness in the way 'powers' are distributed throughout the day. We're not sure if this is entirely acceptable or not. Initial playtesting hasn't revealed it as a problem, but each power has its own set amount you can use it. Mostly "Once every 4 rounds" and "Once per encounter". There's a single feature (the snake venom beastial drift) which is useable once per day. That one's unavoidable, otherwise, we're going to try to stick with setting things up to be used once every 4 rounds, or once per encounter, with a healthy blend in each totem.
    That'll mean you can pick a few abilities that you can use semi-regularily, and a few you can use as the one-shot ace up your sleeve.

    - On an unrelated note, we're trying (trying very very hard at that) to avoid using dragons much in the dustlands. We're aware that the game is Dungeons & Dragons, but it's too easy to sprinkle elongated lizard faces over everything and call it flavor.
    The city of Beltine has draconic flavoring and ties. We're trying to pin the draconic attitude down and let it stew in Beltine. Dragons are almost extinct in the Dustlands, and we don't want everything to be "Dragon Dragon Dragon" like would be easy to do.

    That said, we're including a Dragon totem for two reasons.
    1. It's too hard to resist, and someone will just brew one up if we don't have it there by default anyway. Plus it's just fun.
    2. The Dragon totem is going to be the oddball totem, with its oddball sister, the Phoenix totem. We felt we couldn't skip out and not have the Phoenix be a totem animal, and if we're including one magical creature, we might as well tuck the magic creatures away and list them under "Rare Magical Totems"

    So there you go :).

    Feedback of any kind is of course welcome, as always, but bear in mind everything here is Made By Committee, and the head honcho calling the final shots doesn't post here yet.

    Hope it's at least fun to read, at the bare minimum :)

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    It's that good, huh?

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Geography Cliffnotes

    We have a spiffy little Atlas of our world forming up nicely, admittedly in the very beginning stages. I thought I'd take the time to post it, and maybe give a little more information on the geography of this world.

    Spoiler
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    There. That's the known, mapped, and charted land to date in the Dustlands. Actually, that's a tiny bit more than is known, the edge bleeds a little, and the current 'up to date' copy of the world map is illegal (for reasons I'll get into when I talk about one of the major cities and the governments concerned with it).

    I think it's important to point out, looking at this map, that travel here is not something to take lightly.
    Travel is dangerous and foreboding in a LIVING world such as Faerun.
    Travel in the dustlands is russian roulette.
    Messengers, Postmen, Guides, and Travel Guards are considered among the bravest (and most suicidal) people in the world here. To travel from The Cradle of the World to the hillside city of Beltine (the gray blur in the middle, and the jagged peaks in the top-right, respectively) is intensly dangerous. To travel from the wasteling lands (the gray pointy thing up top) straight to Silverbolt City (the tiny star beneath it) is borderline suicide.

    The green squiggle, and the gray blur next to it, represent the last time you'd consider yourself in "living" terrain. Everything east of that is a natural world. Forrests, possibly a jungle or two, swamplands and plains. A natural, albeit unhealthy and struggling, world.
    Everything west of the gray blur? Dessicated. Hostile. Desert. It's one big angry no-mans land full of stuff that will freaking kill you, and freaking eat you, no kidding.
    It's also not a small place. We'll get into easy size comparisons, but as a quickie mention, the gray pointy thing (wasteling lands)? That's divided into chunks each give or take the size of Wyoming in the USA. So it's not something you just set out walking through.

    Onto the meat.

    Spoiler
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    The Hillside City-State of Beltine, and the Edge of the World.

    Beltine - Sometimes called the City of Light and Shade, the city of beltine is one of the three human nations that managed to survive the apocolypse (or formed in desperation afterwards, depending on how you slice it). Of the three, Beltine is the most 'friendly' and easy-going land, with the most lax laws and optimistic governmental policies.
    They are also the nation that originally endorsed explorers heading west of Nellewauk (roughly translated to Nevergate, which will be detailed further). While even Beltine was politically split into two sides concerning the departure, they did ultimately side with the explorers bent on discovering more about their dying world.

    There are still those to this day who regret ever finding out what lay westward.

    Beltines own myths, legends, and history books say that they used to share their land with great and noble dragons, and most Beltese humans are brought up 'knowing' for a fact that they are dragon blooded to one degree or another. Their hair and eye color often takes on vivid shades reminiscent of dragon colors (blue, green, red, white, black, silver, gold, ect) but the hair and eyes are not always of the same shades.
    There exist organizations who beleive certain colors represent a stronger trace of a specific type of dragon blood, and attribute a level of prestige to it. Certain clubs exist for specific manifestations of color, and there exist many (good-natured) stereotypes related to colors and mix-matches similar to a beleif in zodiac signs.

    The Edge of the World - A massive mountain range that sprawls the entire eastern coast, the Edge of the World is commonly refered to as such, because it is utterly immpossible to traverse through mundane means. At every point along its length, there exists a stretch that peirces through the planets atmosphere, leaving the area devoid of breathable air of any kind.
    Explorers crossing it through magical means will find nothing but a sheer cliff face dropping into a bleak and lifeless ocean on the other side. How far the ocean extends in that direction is unknown.

    Spoiler
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    Nellewauk & the Cradle of the World, Explorers Marks, Silverbolt City, and the Line in the Sand

    Nellewauk - Named by one of the three surviving human civilizations, Nellewauk (translates roughly to Nevergate) is the one geographical area explicitly mention in all three civilizations historical records and verbal histories, with vague but unyeilding warnings against ever traveling through the 'gate'.
    When Devron -the first explorer to set west intent on crossing Nellewauk- first started seeking official support and approval for his travel, he received negative reactions from all three human societies (which were then only first begginning to accept that they were not alone in the world). Finally, Beltine, though split politically on the subject, gave him moral and financial support. He set out with good supplies with good supplies, and an eager team.
    Past Nellewauk, they discovered what is now refered to as the Cradle of the World.

    Cradle of the World - The Cradle is a strange discomforting gray grassland, where color seems muted and noise does not carry. No one feature in the cradle is so odd as to be considered unnatural, but it inspires a collective discomfort in those who travel through it, despite being free of predators and capable of supporting life. When heading west, the Cradle is the final area that would be considered a healthy and natural world. It is ridged by the Bandde Plateau, beyond which the concept of a natural ecosystem and stable world begin to break down.

    Explorers Marks - The Bendda Hills, and the Bandde Plateau were named for two brothers who were part of the original exploration party. The Bendda Hills are a rolling terrain alternating between plains and forrests. The Bandde Plateau is a steep cliff face on both sides coming sheer on either its northernmost or southernmost sides with the salt-water river which acts as a divider between desert and life. On the other side of the Bandde Plateau, there is nothing but bleakness. Sand, stone, and dust.
    It's said that when the exploring party initially crested Bandde Plateau and viewed the nothingess beyond, they camped for two days in emotionless silence before continuing their trek.
    Devrons Trail marks the original, the primary path taken through the endless desert.
    Along the way, it was discovered that the Sliss and Folian races existed on both sides of the Bandde plateau, but the incredibly sparse and feral tribes in the great desert lands could barely be called sentient. The Wrieks and Loaman races were also first discovered living in the rockiest terrains and in surface cave system.
    The Wrieks, Sliss, and Folians in these areas seemed to feed primarily on each other, existing in some macabre orgy of cannibalism and tribal warfare.
    The Loamans were much more peaceful, but still capable of defending themelves, and meeting the first of them was a great releif to the now exhausted and embittered exploration party. It's said that without the Loamans aid in finding water sources and attempts at guiding, the party would never have made it back.

    Devrons trail also marks the first point of futility in attempting to apply the rules of the natural world to the existance of the Dustland. It was agreed by the party to head directly west, regardless of landmarks, so that they would know they could always head directly back simply by going east.
    THeir efforts at heading directly west failed. The sun seemed to wobble from hour to hour and day to day, the stars seemed inconsistant and trecherous, and all efforts at using magnetic compasses found them drifting unevenly from yard to yard. While they never were turned too far from their intentional direction, the shaky nature of the trail marks how difficult following a single direction can be in the Dustlands.

    Silverbolt City - The city is actually two landmarks in one.

    When Devron and his team set out on their trail, they saw nothing but feral savagery and bleak emptiness. The land was hostile, the only living creatures were hostile, and the only landscape was jagged stone.
    In the area that is now Silverbolt City, Devron and crew were caught in a hideous sandstorm that threatened to bury them alive. Forced to keep moving against the sand or be lost under it forever, the team stumbled, linked together and blind, for an unknown length of time. As the sandstorm died down, they examined their area, and a monumental discovery was made. There was a small hut, perfectly square and surrounded by three concentric half-circles (facing west, the third and last of which was worn to almost nothingness by the sand). The stone hut was perfectly seemless (aside from a single door with stone hinges) and seemed almost natural as opposed to hand-made.
    Inside the stone hut were two things. A small stone slab in the ground that the team could not move, and a statue that, despite being weathered and aged, quite clearly showed a beautiful human female holding her hands to the sky in prayer.
    The team miraculously managed to cart the statue back with them through the wastes, and once back in the Cradle of the World, their discovery was quickly taken to Beltine amongst an uproar of political unrest.
    There was something out there afterall.
    The statue is considered by many to be an elaborate hoax, though any who see it in person question how even a skilled trickster could produce such obvious aging and weathering in such a short time. It now resides in the Beltine museum of art and history, and is guarded very carefully.

    Once news of the discovery spread, the political face of the three human civilizations changed wildly. Leaders and advisors who previously had intense isolationist attitudes suddenly made miraculous changes in their statements. Silverbolt City, a joint effort by all three civilizations, was founded and devloped seemingly overnight, despite the dangers and difficulties. But the small stone hut disocvered by Devron cannot be found.
    There are many who claim -in hushed tones of course- that the sudden willingness to go against all previous wisdom on the subject is some manner of conspiracy. They claim that the stone hut was intentionally concealed, and the placement of the statue in a museum, instead of an academic lab of some kind, is intended to cover up some unknown truth...or untruth.

    Silverbolt City is now a metropolis of many faces. In some areas, law seems powerless to control the rowdy criminal behavior. In other areas, strict curfews are enforced and no one (outside the law-men themselves) is allowed to carry a weapon of any kind in public. Members of many race can be found there in one place or another, and danger can be omnipresent.

    The Line in the Sand - a naturally occuring rocky trench marks the end of legal civilization. Not only do all governments currently refuse to enforce any law or attempt any further exploration beyond the line, many governments explicitly OUTLAW crossing the line at all. Any such persons found on the wrong side of the line will be declared high criminals, and in some locations, executed on sight.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Continued

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    The Bleak North, home of the Wastelings

    The Bleak North - So named because negative energy bleeds through in this area, radiating it due to some strange planar damage which occured during armageddon. Everything in the bleak north seems more lifeless and bland... colors seem gray, sound seems muffled, the sky itself seems dim and bleak. And almost nothing is alive.
    Undeath is the theme most common to the bleak north. The animals and even the plants thrive in the most unnatural ways. Anything alive that dies in the bleak north is likely to get up and continue its behavior in a grotesque mockery of instinct and the cycle of life.

    Rotwood Forest -
    If any area could be said to best sum up the Bleak North, it is the Rotwood Forest. It is composed entirely of Rotwood templated plant life (mostly trees, though some strong stalks of grass grow haphazardly, and mishapen and ever wilting flowers continue their macabre bloom). The forest chokes the only passage through to the penninsula that is the wasteling home land, turning any effort to leave or enter into a possible gamble of life or death.
    Rotwood plants aren't stopped by water, either. The forest continue past the border of the land, growing in a dark and twisted maze of interconnecting plantlife well into the Black Sea.
    The Rotwood Forest is a cancer on the allready dying world of the Dustlands. Given time, it will consume anything and everything the world has to offer, choking it, and growing until all that is left, is the rot.

    The Black Sea - Skeletal sharks glide silently through the gray-black waters, feeding on zombified fish and other now-rotting marine life. There have even been rumors of vampiric dolphins... though how such creatures came to be, even in the bleak north, is disturbing to think about.

    Devrons Tease - The almost-trail of Devrons Tease, where land threatens to touch land like two desperate hands reaching for each other. So named for the fabled explorer Devron, the last of his excurssions into the unknown. Devron and a crew of eager explorers set out into the black sea with the intention of sailing the relatively short distance between land masses, hoping to find a shortcut which would bypass most of the bleak north.
    It was the last Devron was ever heard from. The idea that that powerful adventurer is now rotting below the black sea is not nearly as terrifying as the possibility that he is doing more than just rotting...

    Wasteling Homelands - Marked in gray, a fitting color, the wasteling homelands are the only area of the bleak north that one can hope to consistently find living creatures. Of course, those living creatures comfortably ride undead mounts and feel no aversion to the rotting monstrosities that shamble among them... but for explorers greeted with nothing but the moans of unliving creatures crying out through rotting vocal chords, even the dispassionate wastelings can be a warm and welcome sight.

    Ceverne - The only wasteling nation that forbids necromancy and considers undeath an unnatural state, Ceverne is also the least popular. Though not outright struggled against, the heart of the Wasteling homelands shares an uneasy relationship with the surrounding territory.

    Spoiler
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    Ah, and finally, the Lighthouse.

    The Lighthouse -
    In the middle of a sea so salty its waters are lethal, rests a tiny forgotten island which would GENEROUSLY be described as a rocky outcrop. On this tiny island rest an ancient rotting lighthouse, reinforced haphazardly and held together by unseen magics. In this makeshift tower resides, the lich

    The lich is, quite possibly, the only 'living' thing to have existed pre-armageddon. Who he once was and what he once did is lost to the sands of time however, buried in an unknowable history. You see, the lich is insane, even by lich standards. So insane, that he can not even rightly be considered evil anymore. No, at this point, the centuries and millenia of silence (and guilt?) have driven the once sadistic creature into state of mind no other creature might even attempt to understand.
    If you had to describe the lich's alignment... you might try Chaotic-Chaotic. Or Neutral-Psychotic.
    The lich (he no longer remembers anything resembling a name or title) has spent the last several centuries creating bizarre... 'constructs', more accurately described as a blend between a physical elemental and a golem. Using whatever he had laying around, the lich made these creations ranging from diminutive to tiny, and set them out in random directions, observing the world through their unseeing eyes, desperately hoping to find something, anything else with even a glimmer of sentience or thought... at this point, even a creature driven by instinct would be welcome company to the lich.
    If one somehow encountered the lich (and we do plan to construct a real adventure including him), joining him in his residence would be an 'experience' to say the least. He will ramble endlessly, nonsensically, in every language he knows, barely hearing anything said to him as his knowledge and secrets come spilling out happily to his delightful guests. No amount of rudeness, hostility, or even attacks will disuade him from his behavior. If his guests are even capable of inflicting lasting harm on him, he will simply combat them in an effort to subdue them, prattling on the entire time.
    Through meeting him, though, one might have a chance of learning some splintered fragments of the truth surrounding the secrets of this dying world... the truth of the armageddon... and perhaps even a measure of guilt the lich feels for what occured.
    It's even possible that the lich is somewhat responsible.

    The lich will not let you leave.

    The constructs he creates are made primarily of glass and saltwater -the glass made from the sands of the seabed- as he otherwise lacks renewable construction materials.
    The fortunate thing for any adventurer stumbling across on of his constructs? The salt is expelled by his creation over time, leaving glass containers of pristine drinkable water... a valuable commodity in a barren desert.
    But the lich also knows now, that he's not the last remaining creature in the universe. And he wants company.

    *********************

    And if anyone happens to want the (unfinished) atlas in full size, I'm sure I can get it and upload it for ya.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Spellshot Pistol



    Cost: 450 gp
    Damage: (varies)
    Critical: (varies)
    Range Increment: 30 ft.
    Weight: 2 lb.
    Damage Type: (varies)

    Simultaneously elegant and complex, the Spellshot Pistol is an utterly unique exotic weapon. Rather than firing mundane physical rounds, the Spellshot Pistol uses specially prepared "wands" of ammunition. Once the wand is created and locked into place, the spellshot pistol automatically drains a charge from it, producing a simple (usually) blast of magical energy. The pistol itself is only a channel for the magical energies to drain through, and as a result, the weapon itself has less to do with the resulting blast than the ammunition that is placed into it. Common wands (called Stackrounds) create a blunt pulse of energy which survivors often relate to a solid kick from a strong mule. Other wands may produce weaker or more powerful effects, and often cost significantly more.
    A single spellshot pistol can be reloaded as a swift action, even if both hands are occupied. Because of the weapons compact and graceful nature, it can be used in close combat without penalty (unlike many other ranged weapons).
    Unlike with a more mundane firearm, an indrect shot will dissipate the magical energy harmlessly, deflecting outwards in all directions with a light pressure. This weapon will not tear through armor and wound flesh casually, it must be used properly to inflict damage.

    Ammunition
    A "wand" of ammunition most be specially designed and created for use in Spellshot pistols. It can not safely be used outside of the weapon, though there have been claims that they can be rigged to create a small but powerful explosion in a pinch.
    Spellshot ammunition is usually made by an arcane caster, but is very easy to make in comparison to a scroll or similar item. Mass production of spellshot ammo is much more realistic. It should also be noted that non-spellcasters have been known to learn tricks necessary to create the relatively simple ammunition without actually learning any magic themselves. (this will be represented by a feat).
    ************************************************** ***********
    Stackround Ammo
    Damage: 2d4
    Critical: x3
    Damage Type: Bludgeoning
    Pricing: 1 gp, 6 shots per stick
    ************************************************** ***********
    Cursebreaker Ammo
    Damage: 1d4
    Critical: x3
    Damage Type: Peircing
    Special: Cursebreak Ammo counts as silver for overcoming damage reduction. Cursebreaker Ammo also ignores the normal miss chance for striking an incorporeal creature such as a ghost, but does not ignore miss chances from physical or mundane sources.
    Pricing: 2gp, 6 shots per stick
    ************************************************** ***********
    Mercyreach Ammo
    Damage: 2d6
    Critical: x2
    Damage Type: Bludgeoning
    Special: Mercyreach Ammo does not deal lethal damage.
    Pricing: 2gp, 6 shots per stick

    Spell Rounds
    Spell Rounds are sticks of ammunition for the Spellshot pistol specifically designed to cast a single spell. They are created in the same manner as spell scrolls, but the formula for creation (and therefor purchase price) is much more expensive.
    Spell rounds are usually very visually different from normal rounds, often being made partially of glass (which does not survive the firing), and are frequently covered in arcane markings. They may or may not be labeled, and some spellcasters have been shown to be capable of creating mundane-looking ammunition which hide spectacularily powerful spells.
    You can create a one-shot stick of ammo that fires off a specific magical spell for -Spell Level x Caster Level x 75 gold- plus XP cost as if scribing a scroll. You must be able to cast the spell during the creation of the ammo, must provide any material components or spell focus items, and must provide any XP cost in casting the spell beyond that which creating the spell round would normally take. Creating a spell round takes 1 day per 1000 gp of the base item price.
    ************************************************** ***********
    Lightning Bolt Round
    Special: A Lightning Bolt Round produces an effect identical to the Lightning Bolt spell, caster level 5th. A lightning bolt round must overcome spell resistance normally, and behaves in all respects as if it were cast from a scroll
    Default creation for a wizard: 1125gp, 15 XP, 1 day
    Market Pricing: 2250gp, 1 shot per stick

    Incomplete Notes on Special Weapon Qualities:
    Ghost Charge - The Spellshot Pistol can draw and store a single round from a stick of ammunition, and fire it normally, even if the weapon is unloaded.
    Silver Rail - The Spellshot Pistol amplifies all ammunition fired through it in a very specific fashion. Any (non-spell) ammo fired from a Silver Rail pistol counts as silver for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

    ************************************************** **************
    What?
    a.k.a. Balance concerns.
    Yes, having a spellshot pistol does mean that you can cast a spell without any real effort, and no failure chance, provided you spend enough cash.
    That said, it's a LOT of cash.
    If you're a spellcaster, you're better off making scrolls. If you're a non-spellcaster, you're better off befriending (or hiring) a spellcaster. So why bother? Flavor reasons mostly.
    Regardless of their ridiculous price, we wanted to ensure that one-shot spell rounds existed in the world, and could be created and used. A 5d6 lightning bolt is all but guaranteed to kill your average human being, and the idea of a hitman striking from a rooftop with a lightning round is just downright groovy.
    A DM could opt to drop the occasional spell-stick for his gunslinging players. These could be anything, from one-shot one-kill disintegrate rounds created for no other reason than to assassinate someone, to fireball rounds created for crowd control. A rogue infiltrating would probably grin at the prospect of pressing a gun into the base of someones neck and firing a sleep spell. It's even possible that healing rounds would be created for emergency uses by towns or adventurers. You can't always carry a cleric with you, but a bone-white wand with a golden leaf design that is your healing ace-in-the-hole?

    Why?
    The Spellshot Pistol is a creation for my groups fledgling campaign world, The Dustlands. The brutally short pitch is that the Dustlands is a fantasy western, a world like faerun that came to a sudden apocalyptic halt, and then went from there. It's a bitter, largely wasteland location with a western-expanionist mentality. A myth-and-legend version of cowboys and indians. It's also meant to be a D20 world that's 100% compatible with base D&D (similar to eberron, if it exists in one world, it can exist in the other).
    So what does that all mean? Well, we needed a weapon. A western flavored weapon for a world where magic is stronger than lead. Knowing the weapon would essentially be an iconic representation of what the world was all about, we had a long list of criteria we felt we needed to meet in its creation.
    It had to be useful. There needed to be a reason to want to pick up and fire one of these.
    It couldn't automatically replace swords and armor. The weapon shouldn't render a good solid sword and stout shield useless.
    It had to be adaptable. An arrow against a great wyrm is not a fantastic combat option. This weapon has to have a purpose, even when you're face to face with an angry demon and a pack of ticked off werewolves.

    I think we succeeded. The Spellshot Pistol is a nifty little ranged weapon, that a martial fighter, or a deadeyed gunslinger, would be happy to pick up and fire. At the same time, it doesn't make a katana weilding blade master cower in fear. Both mechanically and flavor-wise, a sword fighter could go toe to toe with a gunslinger and still hope to win the fighter. Dropping a spellshot pistol into a different fantasy setting won't wildly upset the power balance, it will simply be another option (admittedly, an exotic one, but not so fascinatingly powerful that it renders its world moot).
    And, it's scaleable. There's no reason a DM couldn't give a player access to more powerful ammo for more dangerous worlds.

    As far as the Dustlands themselves, the euipment section is going to include a more detailed write-up about the way the weapon interacts with the world, but the important part is that it fills every role it's needed for, including blending in with mainstream D&D.
    It's recomended that, despite the cost, DMs hosting a Dustlands game allow players who intend to use pistols in some capacity have a simple spellshot pistol as part of their starting gear. Otherwise, it's more of a financial investment, requiring a substantial amount of gold to obtain (and MAINtain).
    It's one area where a sharp blade, and the spellshot pistol, vary greatly. A sword could realistically be obtained by anyone with a fair bit of effort. A commoner might not be able to get much more than a plain shortsword, but almost anyone is going to be able to buy, steal, find, or inherit at least some kind of blade. Most blades could also serve multiple purposes, such as cooking or butchering.
    A spellshot pistol? It costs almost as much as a solid suit of armor, and the only thing it can realistically be used for is combat. That means that, when you see someone who has one holstered at their side, you know something. You know they took the effort and money to get, keep, and carry one of these things.
    Even in a world where everyone carries a knife or shortsword, the message of the spellshot is loud and clear. "I'll try to kill you, if it comes to that."

    Anything Else?
    Yeah, actually. The world this weapon was made for is very much a work in progress. So I'll note that we have preliminary concepts for "Rifled" spellshot weapons, as well as incorporation of our base caster systems for use with this ammunition (glyph covered ammo anyone?).
    We're also working on the rules for using wand-sticks as, essentially, TNT. You can't have a western without high-explosives. Heck, High-explosives make everything better



    I feel like I'm forgetting to mention stuff, but ah well. Any questions, comments, and considerations are more than welcome.

    Disclaimer: I did not draw this picture, and I am not the sole designer of this weapon. It's a group effort, though mostly the effort of one person in particular (who is not me).
    Last edited by SilverClawShift; 2007-09-16 at 09:08 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    Planar Bleeding

    The war of Armageddon had many effects on the world of the Dustlands. Races were driven to extinction, planets were picked clean, entire planes of existance were shattered into nothingness.
    When the champions -the survivors of the apocalypse who somehow remained standing- entered the 'after' beyond all that which is known and unknowable, all of reality was destined to fade away to nothingness behind them. The stragglers, the bleak, those unworthy of damnation or salvation, were left in a husk of reality, cursed to non-existance.
    Somehow, splintered fragments of existance, shards of reality, stubbornly refused to vanish. The few beings remaining in those dessicated worlds carried on, fighting against inevitability, and remarkably managed to do what nothing should have been able to. They continued to exist.

    But the universe is not a healthy one. It could almost be called an undead realm, the very physical makeups continuing to shamble and shuffle even as the life force behind it was rent out and discarded.
    Among the myriad of problems reality now faces (the utter lack of divine guidance being the least of which), the multi-purpose bonds between the planes were likewise wounded. Those strands which simultaneously connected, seperated, and allowed passage between different facets of reality have cracked and split. Now, in some locations, the planes literally bleed, the forces of each mingling and producing alien effects.

    The most noteable examples of this planar blood in the main Dustlands setting, is in the Bleak North. A section of land that pulses and oozes with negative energy.
    The effects of the Bleak North are well known, even if the causes behind the force are not. The Wasteling race, the naturally occuring undead ecosystem dominating any living creatures, and the notorious Rotwood Forrest... a vast gnarled and mangled maze of branches seeming to grow from each other in all directions, into and out of the ground, miles into the sky, and even beginning to creep out into the horrible black waters of the undead seas.

    But many wonder, why does such a place manage to even exist?

    ****************************************

    The Remnant Divinity, Carcerack

    When all factors are taken into considerations, many would be amazed at how powerless the deities actually are. Fate is a very heavy force, heavier on those who know the future than on those who are shrouded in the details of unpredictable choice. Destiny can cripple the mightiest warrior, or unravel the cunningest plan, and it can be argued that the more powerful a force of the cosmos is, the more beholden to fate and destiny they are.
    Mortals, for better or for worse, have only vague ideas about what will happen. It is freedom, and it is simultaneously a blessing and a curse.
    The deities, however, are crippled by their own knowledge of what was, what is, and what will be. When the outcome of each war and battle is written across the stars, and the details of your destruction were known before your creation, your every thought and action becomes little more but a cog in a great machine.
    At no time is unerring force of destiny more stronger, than during that grand finale to all that is or was. The outcome of Armageddon was known before the universe began to take shape. Its battles were simply a formality.

    And in the world of the dustlands, Evil was fated to win.

    Pre-Armageddon, there was a Lawful Evil deity known as Carcerack, Tyrant of the tyrannical, the unforgiving judge, a paragon of ruthless manipulative hatred. It was Carcerack who was fated to win the final war, and to determine the nature of... whatever was meant to come afterwards.
    Carcerack was simply too powerful to lose. Too vile and cunning to find anything less than the perfect path to victory, and too evil and merciless to be be held back from his attacks. Carcerack would win this fight, and ALL would despair.
    It was during Carceracks battle with the forces of chaos that the first threads of reality began to fray and unravel. The Chaotic Neutral deity known only as "Lady Luck", the primal force in opposition to law, was destined from the start of existance to be felled by Carceracks hatred. And when he vanquished her, all of her forces would die with her, leaving nothing but cold hard law. It was to be the final turning point in the war, and an event which could not be avoided by either side.
    But the Lady took a gamble, and true to her name, lucked out.
    The details of her victory are lost, but it is known that she rallied all the divine forces left in the universe to strike at carcerack in the instance she was to be felled. It was those forces Carcerack found, rather than the figurehead of chance. It was those forces that warred with him at the grand crossroad of destiny.
    They could not destroy carcerack, his power ran deeper than all of theirs combined. So they did the only thing they possibly could. They contained Carcerack. Imprisoned in chains of unbreakable divine metals, Carcerack was rendered blind, deaf, numb, and helpless.
    Reality shudders when destiny is defeated, but all had succeeded at what was truly immpossible. They had bested the one who was meant to win the war of armageddon.
    The rest of the battle played out, much much differently than fated, and all those who remained traveled into the 'after' beyond existance itself. They left Carcerack to rot in his prison, confident that he would fade from reality with the rest of the universe...and those stragglers who remained in it, hidden away in the farest corners.

    It is unknown how Carcerack lashed out in his state. It may even be unknown to Carcerack himself. Perhaps his hatred grew stronger than any containing force could hope to control, perhaps the evil machinations inherant to his nature found some loophole in his current state. Or perhaps destiny is stronger than any would like to admit.
    However he did it, the Tyrant struck in the last moments of the universe, snaring three creatures (two celestials, and a mortal champion), binding them in the same metal he found himself encased in. The three creatures (The mortal Perecept, and the celestials Augan and Audaz) were each left with a single sense (vision, touch, and hearing) through which their master now experiences the world. The unbreakable chains of his prison wrenched open the path between this reality and the next, leaving a slim, almost non-existant fracture between the worlds.

    Through that hairline crack, Perecept watches the next world with hatred. Along the chains of his prison, Augan caresses the seemless bindings in search of escape. And through the bleeding planes Audaz sits silently, and listens to the world of the mortals.

    Carcerack can do nothing. But he waits. He waits, and he waits.

    ******************************

    Those few who know the shaded secrets of the past have many beleifs about what occured. The most common beleif is that it was the will of the survivors who anchored this existance, bracing it against destruction. The stragglers and misfits who crawled out of the reaches to re-forge life from a lifeless world have not only demanded, but TAKEN their existance away from the ether.

    Some scholars have a much more disturbing theory. There are those who beleive that Carcerack is the sole lifeline of this world. The crippled god, the powerless power, and the sole link between this world and the next. The idea that his endless hatred, and his desire for macabre justice, is all that keeps this world alive is a terrifying one indeed.

    It is known that the unbreakable chains of Carceracks prison also serve as new ties between different planes of existance. In places, these ties have weakened or warped the world around them. Such it is in the bleak north.

    *****************************

    Coming up sometime in the future: Details about Rotwood for use in the dustlands (and other worlds), the Folian player race, and Rotwood templates for folian creatures and player characters :).

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Wow, I missed a bunch of updates on this...

    I like the notes on travel being a really, really bad idea. It makes perfect sense given the setting, and it helps remind you that in a post-apocalyptic world, everything is supposed to be dangerous. The history is all pretty interesting and well thought-out, and I like the idea of The Line in the Sand being a no-go zone. How is it enforced, if at all? Did the explorers put some kind of spell to mark anyone who tries to cross the line?
    The Bleak North is, as I expected, completely and totally made out of awesome. The rotwood growing into the sea is a nice touch, showing how unstoppable it is. The undead ecosystem is creepy and pretty cool - Wasteling Druids could be pretty interesting to play, seeing "normal" animals as disturbing and unnatural. And vampiric dolphins... wow.
    The lich is very disturbing. Too few stories with liches consider what spending thousands of years alone would do to someone's mind. Are you going to stat him out, or just have him be a "If you attack him, you lose" character?
    Are you going to go into more detail on Perecept, Augan, and Audaz? A campaign against Carcerak cultists, with one of them as BBEG, would work well (and I like how "Carcerak" is derived from the Latin word for "prison.")
    Quote Originally Posted by Thespianus View Post
    I fail to see how "No, that guy is too fat to be hurt by your fire" would make sense.

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    I feel like I am just repeating myself over and over. "Wow"

    "Awesome!"

    "Great!"

    But really, this is already hands down my favorite homebrew on this board. I get giddy when I see it pop up from time to time. All of the ideas are just pefect. Every inkling you give gets my mind racing with ideas and gives the urge to try to run a Dustlands campaign. If this were a book, I would buy it.

    Keep up the amazing work!


    PS: Oh, I will definately use the Whitelight Shakes. Damn cocky healers.


    Edit: Just a random thought. In regards to the Whitelight Shakes would it be possible for the disease to be removed by say a vampires energy drain attack? Or some sort of other level draining power?
    Last edited by Saint George; 2007-10-01 at 12:14 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bears With Lasers View Post
    Build? He's the goddamn Batman. He doesn't have a build, he has victory.

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint George View Post
    I feel like I am just repeating myself over and over. "Wow"

    "Awesome!"

    "Great!"
    But really, this is already hands down my favorite homebrew on this board.


    Really, I can't even think of a reply. Thank you. I'm just glad to be able to lend a hand in it, and to show it off to other before we compile and release a formal PDF.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint George View Post
    Edit: Just a random thought. In regards to the Whitelight Shakes would it be possible for the disease to be removed by say a vampires energy drain attack? Or some sort of other level draining power?
    That would make a lot of sense. I'm sure my DM would rule off the cuff "Oh, yeah" on that one. I'll bring it up the next time I talk to him.

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    I like the idea of The Line in the Sand being a no-go zone. How is it enforced, if at all? Did the explorers put some kind of spell to mark anyone who tries to cross the line?
    THAT is another post or three. The hints of conspiracy among the few surviving civilizations, the presence and continued survival of the peaceful loaman tribes in an area full of nothing but psychotic cannibals (that make "the hills have eyes" look like the brady bunch), the statue and the missing stone hut (which each hold a few secrets still), and the line in the sand...

    It's all about an organization that most of the dustlands doesn't even know exists. In most fantasy settings, "Secret" organization means "they do things without telling you". Everyone's still heard of them though.
    Not this one.

    The Lock Brotherhood (alternatively, the Lock Organization, or the Lock Agency depending on which chapter you're talking to) is a secret group that laughs at secret groups. In fact, it's kind of an internal problem.
    Individually, they're normal people who happen to be working towards a shared goal, and with shared resources.
    But as a group? The lock brotherhood is scizophrenic. They're an organization that keeps secrets and is in perpetual conflict WITH ITSELF. The fact that all their internal inconsistencies cause so many problems for them, and that STILL no one knows they exist, is a testament to how skilled, cunning, or ruthless they are (depending, again, on which section you encounter).

    Spoilers for a setting that isn't even done? We are planning on making official modules/adventures for it. It's not a big deal, but I hate to ruin a noteable twist without at least saying it's a spoiler.

    Spoiler
    Show
    A lot of the things that aren't known in the Dustlands, aren't known because the lock agency doesn't WANT anyone to know them. Like, say, that statue devron and co. found in the desert? It has something hidden in its base. A rather simple magical rod.

    A rod that has a single charge of Stone to Flesh.

    They know that. But they figure there's no reason YOU need to know that.


    So, it may seem like I'm not answering the question, but I am. The Line in the Sand is there. They don't want you crossing it. Are you insta-busted just for stepping over the line? That's up to your DM. It's definately something that you should be thinking twice about though. Outlaw status isn't something to take lightly in a world where the paladin/sherrif might have a bullet of Disintegration.

    Really... the lock need a lot more info posted about them before you can figure you know what they're all about.

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    The lich is very disturbing. Too few stories with liches consider what spending thousands of years alone would do to someone's mind. Are you going to stat him out, or just have him be a "If you attack him, you lose" character?
    Yeah, The lich is certainly a little tragic and uncomfortable of a character. He's just...so....lonely.
    It's a little unique, and probably not fitting with what some people imagine liches to be. But don't take lightly what a few thousands years of global and planar silence will do to a person... no matter how dead that person is.
    Personally, I like the idea that he's become so far gone that you can't even fairly call him evil anymore. He's like a vestige. Good and evil just can't apply to someone like that at this point.

    As for statting him out, that's mostly up to our DM, but we've talked about it. He might actually be a glyphcrafter lich. Which would have interesting implications. Might even be a new lich-like template for him. But I can't say, the head honcho might make him an evoker wizard lich for all I know.

    I DO know that the lich pretty much won't kill you if he has any other option. He'd gladly fight to save peoples lives at this point. Not out of altruism, he just doesn't want to see anyone stop talking when they might have something worth hearing. And after a few millenia of silence "I like bread" is something worth hearing.

    I know he's high-level concern. Hell, you need to be high level to reach him, the ocean around his 'tower' is fatal. As for wether high-level means "High level can get away" or actually being able to destroy him, is another question entirely.

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    Are you going to go into more detail on Perecept, Augan, and Audaz? A campaign against Carcerak cultists, with one of them as BBEG, would work well (and I like how "Carcerak" is derived from the Latin word for "prison.")
    Oh yeah, plenty. There's also the unmentioned fact that there was supposed to be a forth being snagged, but somehow managed to escape. Ouvercne was meant to be Carceracks voice. She's free of him, but stuck in this world. And Carcerack is stuck without a herald. It would have likely been a much different history, if Carcerack could communicate with the world.

    Officially, there's no Cult of Carcerack, but you can of course make one for your game. That's because officially, only crazy high level scholars of the lock agency have even heard the name "Carcerack", much less know details about him.
    That said, information bleeds. Even secret information. The idea that lock-agents gone rogue might be trying to worship carcerack for some reason? Very possible. It's even possible that, say, they'd be posing as a sheriff. A very lawful evil sherriff. With a lot of chains, and very small prison cells.

    The big leak for Carcerack getting into the game world though? Well, heh, I guess I'm gonna get derailed to talk about the pre-armageddon pantheon.

    The pantheon in this world has a few oddball deities, but a lot of them are going to be 'common folklory' type beings. For instance, you allready know that the Chaotic Neutral deity was called only Lady Luck. She was one of the three "Ladies". Blind Lady Justice (Lawful Neutral) and Lady Liberty (Neutral Good)). Neutral Evil is Old Man Winter (seriously). The other three seasons were lesser (but unique) celestial under him, the most powerful of which was Autumn (who was actually a lesser deity, the only one so far). We don't have the whole pantheon nailed out to a T yet, but True Neutral was a deity called reflect.
    We're going to stat out the pantheon in two ways. One way as real deities, for if you would like to play pre-armageddon games (or for use in 'alternate' worlds that still tie to the dustlands a little...).
    Mind you, a pre-armageddon game in the dustlands would be a teensy bit silly, because it would basically be Faerun with spellshot pistols. But you know, whatever, it's your table

    The second way we're going to stat out the deities? The way they're intended to be used in this world?

    Well. Let's just say that the Binder base class needs a little lovin'
    So they're going to be contactable vestiges in this world. What is the "after" the deities all went to? Tough to really say, but even if it's not the place vestiges come from, the deities can still be called AS vestiges here in the Dustlands.

    This makes Binders an interesting source of information in this world. They can actually, in a very limited sense, contact the missing deities. One deity for each vestige level.

    And... Carcerack. This isn't a healthy world. Clerics don't talk to god here. Binders do. And a high level binder will find themselves being able to touch Carceracks essence. Even summoned, Carcerack still cannot communicate. But he can be bound. And he can INFLUENCE those who make pacts with him.
    Boom. Carcerack is now touching the world.

    Where does it go from there? That's up to you the players, and the DM. But it probably isn't gonna be healthy...
    Last edited by SilverClawShift; 2007-10-01 at 11:51 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    This article is made of pure, unadulterated WIN.

    On another note, I was reading this while a war movie was being shown on tv and I began thinking of a siege weapon that could probably never work: The Spellshot Gatling Cannon. Basically four specially made spellshot barrels that are fused together, with somebody sitting in the middle directing the fire. Think WWII era anti-aircraft (I believe) guns. Ammo would be in the form of multiple-shot sticks, 8-shots per round (each barrel has it's own ammunition), and there are always at least two barrels firing, so you can imagine the devastation. Would probably set the price of this around 50,000 gps due to the time and effort needed to make the cannon, and even then make it a pain to lug around and the ammo hard to come by (300 gps a stick) Probably it'll be too prohibitively expensive for a group to lug around, but as a siege weapon for warring city-states, it oculd become an invaluable asset to either defenders or a means to take out fortified positions.
    Last edited by Marek; 2007-10-02 at 01:12 AM.
    In the desert
    I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
    Who, squatting upon the ground,
    Held his heart in his hands,
    And ate of it.
    I said, "Is it good, friend?"
    "It is bitter - bitter", he answered,
    "But I like it
    Because it is bitter,
    And because it is my heart."


    Stephen Crane, 'In the Desert'

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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    Not to just bump this with no new content, I just wanted to give it an explenation.

    Right now, my group is waist deep in a horror campaign that's taking all of our gaming time. When we finish this in a week or so, we'll be back to giving the dustlands a little more attention.

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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverClawShift View Post
    It's that good, huh?
    It's brilliant. I'll have to try out the mechanics first, but I really like the fluff.
    Spoiler
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    Thanks to Kalirush for the most excellent Avatar.

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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    The Wastlings in particular rock, just perfect for any world with a big negative energy soaked area. or society that focused on necromancy. Or a gods curse, good stuff.
    Give them bread and circusses and the plebs wont rise against you. Give adventurers dungeons and trapped chests and they won't waste time looking to ransack your home and kill your wife.

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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    This..... is so amazing. When this is released in completion, I will recruit people to play it in seconds. It will likely take less time than that to get a full party. A truly original idea that isn't afraid to just go with things.
    Not to needle but, will there be a 4.0 version?
    Libras D'lnar avatar by CSK

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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    This is simply brilliant. I have no better words to describe this. I would love to see the finished version of this world and if I can provide any help to this (besides pictures) I will. This world will be something to be remembered.
    The Ishka wiki. Check it out people, it's a cool little city.

    My memorial spoiler. Please give a moment of silence for those who have died.
    Spoiler
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    Gary Gygax.
    1938-2008


    Lord Shojo
    266-407


    Miko Miyazaki
    120-464


    Therkla
    484-593


    Thanh
    511-827


    Durkon Thundershield
    001-877

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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverClawShift View Post
    Heh, it's also worth mentioning that a half-wriek likely has ONE parent, and it's likely a non-wriek player race mother. The Wriek 'culture' can only be called that because they're sentient. Wrieks as a group tend to behave as wild beasts on a level that would make orcs look civilized.
    Now are you reminding me of the Reavers from Firefly/Serenity, albeit not entirely human, and still sentient. Awesome campaign setting, and a thank you to whoever linked the Gun Mage earlier.

    I'm going to try and get my DM to allow me to use that or the spellshot pistol for my next character.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manticorkscrew View Post
    It's brilliant. I'll have to try out the mechanics first, but I really like the fluff.
    Thanks

    Mechanically, it very much needs work. The concepts are down, and show off what the class is meant to do, but it all needs to be cleaned up (both the wording and the raw numbers behind them) and then expanded upon into new animals.
    Basically it just needs to be polished, and heavily. It's got great potential, but it's definately under-worked.

    The first thing that needs to be done is to standardize when and how abilities can be used. There are simply too many different mechanics for the class to keep track of.
    It's going to be updated so that only three mechanics exist for the class abilities.
    - At Will
    - Once used, cannot be used again for 5 rounds.
    - Once per day.
    Every class ability for the totem ascendant needs to fall into one of those three. That'll simplyify things greatly, I think.

    Totem strike needs to be removed, and a similar mechanic for making your strikes magical needs to be included in the class 'strikes' list for player convenience.
    Strike of the Wild (lesser and greater) needs to be re-examined. Our DM has some good ideas on how to clean it all up.
    Totem Boons will probably be bumped up to 5 total, at levels 3, 7, 11, 15, and 19.
    Totem Lord needs to provide a special capstone for each totem animal.

    Still, it has a lot of potential. We'll actually probably be working on it soon, because we're in a city campaign, and one of our group said he wanted to be a Bat Totem Ascendant (The DM said if he even utters the phrase "I'm Batman", in character or out, the character will die a sudden and excruciating death, and he'll also be kicked in the shins).

    Quote Originally Posted by mostlyharmful View Post
    The Wastlings in particular rock, just perfect for any world with a big negative energy soaked area. or society that focused on necromancy. Or a gods curse, good stuff.
    The wastelings do indeed rock. They're great in the dustlands, they're great in faerun, they're great in eberron. They're just a really solid player race that our table actually uses with some regularity now that they're made.

    On our to-do list is a wasteling racial paragon class, a wasteling only prestige class that lets them further examine their ties to undeath along specific themed lines (ghost, vampire, ghoul, zombie), and wasteling racial feats to exaggerate their wasteling-ish nature.
    Mind you, our to-do list is pretty darned big.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldmor View Post
    Not to needle but, will there be a 4.0 version?
    Ah. That's the big question lately isn't it?

    We have no freaking clue. We're waiting for 4.0 to come out, so we can check the books before we even decide if we're going to migrate, or become the next generation of old-timers who just don't understand why people use the new mechanics.

    We like 3.0 (or 3.5, whatever) We have tons of 3.5 books. We collect and organize 3.5 homebrew for our own uses. Our campaign setting has been designed for 3.5 D&D and eberron and D20 and what have you.

    We don't know if we'll even be PLAYING 4.0, much less homebrewing for it. If we move over, and there's reason and room to make new content, then sure. But likely, we'll be continuing our slow-but-steady climb towards compiling and releasing the dustlands as it allready exists, in 3.5.

    But who knows, it might be easily converted too. Only time will tell.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaddy_24 View Post
    This is simply brilliant. I have no better words to describe this. I would love to see the finished version of this world and if I can provide any help to this (besides pictures) I will. This world will be something to be remembered.
    Thanks

    Unfortunately it probably won't be fully complete and ready for quite some time. It's a lot of content and all. But it's nice to know people enjoy it, and we'll certainly keep working on it. Someday, god willing, it'll be compiled into an honest-to-god book/pdf.

    Quote Originally Posted by loopy View Post
    and a thank you to whoever linked the Gun Mage earlier.

    I'm going to try and get my DM to allow me to use that or the spellshot pistol for my next character.

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    Nature adapts. It's what it does, and has always done. The Folians are a prime example of natures constant drive to feed, breed, and thrive, under even the harshest of circumstances. While explicit details of folian history are unknown, most everyone -folians included- agree on the general concept. Once a species of carnivorous plants, the Folians -either due to necessity or expediancy- developed greater and greater ways of observing, luring, and attacking their prey in search of their primary food source, blood. Eventually, they developed the ability to uproot themselves entirely.
    Now they exist as a verdant mockery of other humanoid races (who, not coincedentally, serve as their primary food source).

    Personality:
    Ultimately the Folian are a sentient race of unique individuals, with as wide a spectrum of outlooks and beleifs as any other race. Underneath that blanket truth, however, the folians have a general tendency towards brutality. Their viciousness comes not out of any sort of racial rage or fury, but out of simple primal hunger for the blood of other creatures. Meat, blood, organs, and bone comprise the entireity of the folian diet (excluding fresh water and sunshine), and any race that universally carniverous can't help but see a meal anytime they see something small enough to swallow (this includes fingers, eyes, chunks of flesh that could potentially be carved or torn away, bodily fluids, and the organs underneath it all). Folians seem paradoxal, calmly passionate, ready to stand motionless for hours, or even days, only to suddenly strike in an orgy of ruthless violence and insatiable bloodlust. They generally prefer not to be indoors or underground, as a folian away from direct sunlight for a month will begin to starve to death just as if they had not eaten physical food. They are not unwilling to descend into caves or enter buildings, but are quick to panic if they beleive they are trapped in such circumstances.
    Physical Description:
    Folians, more than anything, resemble a humanoid flower/flytrap comprised entirely of leafy greens and thin strips of wood, bark, and sturdy fibrous material similar to cactus skin. Their torso is a small hollow hourglass, where they digest their meals. Larger chunks are caught in the top half and coated in a powerful acid. Liquid, smaller bits, and the sludge that results from the chunks caught up top filter down to the second, where they are slowly digested.
    Due to their leafy appearance, they seem much more massive than they actually are. While limbs may appear broad and full from one angle, other angles reveal them to be as thin as regular leaves. However, their physical structure (including each of their limbs) is supported by a 'skeleton' of wooden material, and the fluid system of tubes which allows them to move. Their leg-limbs are usually concealed underneath heavy leaflike material, but underneath, it appears similar to a tangled mess of roots which brush rapidly in various directions to acheive movement.
    "Wild" folians tend to be very bushy, appearing more like natural vegetation than anything. More 'civilized' folians will regularily prune and groom themselves, using the other races tendency towards being manipulated by certain appearances to personal advantage.
    As a folian ages, it becomes heavier, bulkier, and more wooden. Eventually, a folian will become more tree-like than leaf-like, at which point they will enter another stage of life. Their roots grow down into whatever terrain they stood on, and they cease most physical activity, becoming dormant (but still alive). At this stage, a folian requires far less food, capable of sustaining themselves with insects and any small animals that get to close (or foolishly nest on the folian itself). Most folians look forward to their eventual asendance into a wise 'tree', and some are even tended to by active folians with food, blood, and fresh water.
    Relations:
    Folians get along very poorly with other races, for a variety of very good reasons (not the least of which being that folians EAT other races to survive). Most creatures have a difficult time experiencing empathy towards a plant, and the folian lack of facial expressions and unnatural body language means that most other races have a difficult time 'reading' or understanding a folian creature. That lack of connection means most folians do not find themselves welcome amongs the various humanoid races, though exceptions always apply.
    Compounding this problem is the folian tendency towards bloodthirstiness, quite literally at that. A folian will gladly cut away an opponents limb and let the blood flow freely into their mouth with no hesitation or squeemishness. Those who look past the troubles folians have relating to other races will find a friend as true as any other. But even a human who looks past their racial differences and befriends a folian character will be faced, repeatedly, with the cold hard fact that folians like drinking human blood.
    What most races don't fully realize is that the folian outlook towards other races (the Sliss race in particular), is with equal discomfort. In the dustlands, fresh water is a very important material. Battles are waged over water rights, and sources of fresh water or guarded heavily and coveted intensly. Many folians have been cornered, captured, or killed by humans and humanoids who were searching for fresh water, as the folian body is riddled with hollow areas coursing with the purest, cleanest water. The sliss race in particular is notorious for capturing live folians and using them as living canteens. Each story of a folian feasting on a lost wanderer has an equal counterpart in folian society, of a folian who was peirced and drained by some parched explorer.
    Despite the animosity between the races, many folians do attempt to enter human (and humanoid) societies for a variety of reasons. Other races occasionally find specific folians very asthetically interesting, and desire to have them around as idle companions. Some wealthy (and eccentric) individuals have made deals with folians, providing them a steady supply of food and fresh water in exchange for hanging around and improving their homes visual appeal. Other folians simply prefer to escape the savage cycles of life in the dustlands, favoring the savage cycles of city-life in the dustlands...
    Alignment:
    Folians tend towards chaotic and neutral alignments in a vague fashion. An individual of their race can be of any alignment, with any view of the world, but most of them (especially in the dustlands) are pragmatic rule-breakers, ready to do whatever they need to for a meal and their own saftey.
    Folian Lands:
    Folians officially have no land or kingdom. They move, either alone or in packs, towards wherever easy prey is. They prefer wooded areas, swamps, or areas dense with vegetation, but a folian who knows with enough fresh water can shed their leaves, revealing their waxy exterior that can fair the desert sun better than many other races. There they can often find creatures weakened by sun, sand, and hunger... easy meals to share with the vultures.
    What few races other than folians are aware of, is the Folian Graveyards. When folians feel their bodies beginning to stiffen and solidify, they will seek out areas where other folians have come to rest. Some prefer to head out to where they can be alone, but many group together naturally in small forrests of still living folians; motionless, but intelligent, wise, and content. When these areas are known, ambulatory folians often stay nearby, bringing fresh water and small animals into the fields of their elders and protecting them quietly. The folian graveyards, for the most part, resemble natural forrests. But you will occasionally see plantlife that is still more folian than tree, or you may catch a glimpse of a pair of leaves wrapping quietly around a small bird and hiding it away in their form.
    Religion:
    Folians who have a religion tend towards worshipping the ideals of nature itself over any specific deity. Those who do select a deity almost universally choose one of the wild.
    Language:
    Folian language is aromatic in nature. They release subtle scents and odors which serve to both attract insects for meals, and to communicate general ideas to each other. General ideas are usually more than enough for basic communication, but if necessary, folians can produce audible noises by rushing air through their leaves. They have very deliberate control over the sounds they make, physically capable of speaking any language they learn. Any language they speak, however, always has the distant sound of wind rustling through treetops, and it is always painfully obvious that a folian is doing the speaking.
    Names:
    Folians do not normally give each other names, but identify each other by coming up with distinct (to them) scents. Every folian is actually both genders, capable of creating 'seeds' with any other member of their race, so the concept of male or female names (and personalities) is largely lost on them.
    Folians interacting with other races often pick a name for the sake of others, choosing another races name seemingly at random. This name means nothing to them but an identifier for their allies to call them by.
    Adventures:
    A folian might adventure for any reason, including sheer raw hunger. Interestingly, many folians regularily engage in combat, adventure, and otherwise put themselves at risk because they fear aging to the point that they become immobile. While most folians see it as an honor and an ascendancy, some see it as a potential nightmare from which there will be no escape other than starvation. They head out into the world with reckless abandon, living their life fully prepared to die in some spectacular way.

    Folian Racial Traits
    : -2 Str, -2 Dex, +2 Wis
    : Medium: As medium creatures, Folians receive no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    : Plant Type: Folians are considered Plants for the purposes of spells and effects, with one exception. Folians do not have an immunity to critical hits. A Folian creature has centralized body structure with exploitable weak points, and despite being plants they are subject to sneak attacks and critical hits as normal humanoids.
    : Plant Traits: Low-light vision, Immunity to all mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, polymorph, and stunning. Plants breathe and eat, but do not sleep.
    : Fire Vulnerability: Folians take half again as much damage from any source of damage caused by heat and flame.
    : Slight Build: The leafy and frail nature of a folian creature forces it to be treated as if it were one size category smaller in several instances. Anytime a folian is subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for an opposed check (such as grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attacks), the folian is treated as one size gategory smaller if doing so would be detrimental to them. A folian is considered one size category smaller when determining wether special attacks based on size affect them (such as being swallowed whole). A folian weilds weapons as if they were one size category smaller. This traits stacks with powers, abilities, or spells that change the folians size category. Folians still retain the space and reach of a creature their actual size.
    : Leafy Frame: Folians receive a +4 bonus to hide checks in areas with naturally occuring vegetation, such as forrests or grasslands. They also receive a +4 bonus against any non-folian creature making a sense motive check towards them.
    : Bioluminescent: A folian can produce a soft glow from the leafier portions of their bodies. This glow casts dim light out to 20 feet, but gives the folian -10 penalties to Hide checks. This ability functions for one hour per use, and cannot be ended prematurely. This ability can be used any number of times, including remaining active all day.
    Folians can willingly coat small objects in their bioluminescent fluids. This causes such objects to cast a similar glow for 10 minutes. Folians are only capable of coating an object twice per hour, and must have used the Bioluminescent ability prior to doing so.
    : Plant Lifespan: Folians do not experience aging the same way other creatures do. Once they bloom to maturity, they go up an age category every 30 years. At each age category, they receive a cumulative +1 to Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma, but a cumulative -3 penalty to Dexterity as they become bulkier and more wooden, and less leafy and fibrous. When a folians dexterity reaches 0, it ceases being ambulatory and grows its roots into whatever spot it stands, continuing to thrive as long as it gains some manner of nourishment while becoming more and more tree-like with each passing year. A folian who goes through 4 age category increases also experiences a natural growth into the next largest size category.
    : Automatic Languages: Common, Folian. Bonus Languages: Sylvan, Terran, and languages spoken by geographically close creatures.
    : Favored Class: Ranger. A multiclass Folians's ranger class does not count when determining wether it takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing. Folians are almost universally at home in the wilderness, and use their appearance and basic nature to great end when near other platlife.

    Playing a Folian:
    Folian characters are, one way or another, looking for blood. Wether they swallow rats whole, purchase lots of fresh meat and cattle, or simply decimate their enemies and consume them for nourishment, one of a folians chief concerns is what's for lunch.
    Beyond that, a folian might be interested in anything. Violence for violence's sake, intelligence for intelligence's sake, or art for art's sake. Folians are often blunt about what interests them, prefering to save their deception for whatever they've decided is their next meal.

    Adaptation:
    Folians can spring up in any world that has plantlife (and probably a lot that don't). Wether they've naturally evolved, or been cobbled together by an insane druid tampering with things she shouldn't have. Maybe a wizardly experiment produced a 'genesis seed', spawning the first of a race which can throw their seeds into the soil and dissapear into the wilderness, springing up no matter how many times the locals thought they destroyed them all. Short of burning the forrest to ashes and salting the earth, once the folians exist, they're liable to stay around.
    Using the folian race in other campaign worlds can be painless and quick, wether for a DM interested in a new monstrous force attacking a town, or for a player with a special kind of character in mind.

    Last edited by SilverClawShift; 2007-11-11 at 06:43 AM.

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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    So there's the folians anyway. Not my favorite race by a longshot, but they certainly have an interesting thing going on. They make really interesting rogues, ultimately, and the fact that they stand out like a sore thumb in a city environment can be a blessing and a curse.

    They make for darn interesting warlocks.

    Also, I might as well do it before someone else does.
    *clears her throat*
    Ahem.
    "feeeeeeed me seymour. feed me all night loooong.
    cause if you feed me seymour, i can grow up, big, and stroooong.

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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    I'm stunned. This setting is the win. GO your, yor group and the DM

    Also, I would probally drool If you are planning on statting out a spellshot rifle.
    Not forgetting Yldenfrei and the wonderful avatar she made.

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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    Hmm. Given the description of their poor relations with the other races, I would have expected that you'd give Folians a Charisma penalty. Also, given their carnivorous nature, would it make sense to give them a bite attack?

    Overall, I like them, though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thespianus View Post
    I fail to see how "No, that guy is too fat to be hurt by your fire" would make sense.

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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    Well, poor relations with other races does not necessarily translate to a weaker personality, or lack of charismatic ability. It's more of a learned trait than anything ingrained.
    As for the bite attack, it didn't seem to really fit. They're not biters, unless you count swallowing tiny creatures alive. They don't even really have teeth, they just happen to shove flesh they tear off down their maw.

    Glad you like them though. I think they could be better, but some of our group is really fond of them.

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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    Good news! the totem ascendant has been updated to reflect our current version of the class, and more totem animals will theoretically be on the way (a bat totem is likely specifically because one of our group wants to play one, so there ya go).

    The fluff is the same, but the wording is cleaned up, and the mechanics are much much tighter and much more uniform. On the power curve, it should be somewhere below Tome of Battle stuff but above basic melee stuff, so I think we've done fairly well at tightening it up and making it playably entertaining for all .

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    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    Damn you and your intriguing ideas to the endless wastes!

    A couple of questions about your new improved (*drools*) totem ascendant class.

    1) I seem to remember you saying these classes were slightly stronger than the average, or was I hallucinating again?
    2) Are you planning to add any additional totems, or:
    3) Would you like to open it up slightly to your fans to make their own? I personally would like to see potential totems for animals like the wolf, the bear, the eagle, and the rat in the future, just off the top of my head.

    Of course... not rushing you or anything, brilliance takes time. I just get the feeling that I'll be running a Dustlands game or inspired character soon.

    P.S. I joined the forums because of that horror campaign your brilliant DM ran, and now I find this Campaign world. Your group never ceases to amaze.
    Last edited by loopy; 2007-11-13 at 08:34 AM.

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    Thanks for your interest :)

    Quote Originally Posted by loopy View Post
    1) I seem to remember you saying these classes were slightly stronger than the average, or was I hallucinating again?
    The totem ascendant I would peg as being less powerful than a full caster, tome of battle classes, and less ADAPTABLE than a binder - But more powerful than a fighter or barbarian, probably low-center of the power curve. Certainly nothing you'd ban for power concerns, in any event.

    At least, that's what we're going for. Our goal with the class is to create an unarmed fighter who actually is usefull at what they do (fighting) without the need for cheesy feat combos. Solving the "I hit it with my sword....again" problem with fighters being mechanically uninteresting without turning them into casters.

    So each totem animal winds up giving the ascendant 'gimmicks'. Things they can use that... well, give them something to do. Abilities to affect more than just adjacent squares by smacking them with a metal stick. The same idea went into creating the Tome of Battle, but i think the results we've come up with would more accurately be described as a mixture of tome of battle and tome of magic.

    Quote Originally Posted by loopy View Post
    2) Are you planning to add any additional totems, or:
    3) Would you like to open it up slightly to your fans to make their own? I personally would like to see potential totems for animals like the wolf, the bear, the eagle, and the rat in the future, just off the top of my head.
    Oh yes indeed. In fact, we have a whole list of animals that would potentially make good totems. Traditional totem animals, western flavored animals, ect... Just at a glance at the 'concept list'

    Alligator, Armadillo, Bear, Bull, Great Cat, Chameleon, Eagle, Fox, Horse, Mantis, Owl, Rat, Raven, Spider, Scorpion, Toad, Turtle, Wasp, Wolf.... Kangaroo, Cheetah, Cockroach.
    We also plan on making a seperate list of 'aquatic' totems at some point (Dolphin, Shark, Pirahna, Squid), in case someone would want to use the totem ascendant in a seafarers campaign of some kind.

    The list is huge, and mind you, we don't necessarily plan on making totems for every single thing on the list.... it's just where we skim through to get ideas at the moment.
    We plan on making at least a dozen total, but there's a lot more potential than that. The totem ascendants totem is basically like a clerics domains. There's always room to add another domain, there's always room to create a new totem. In fact, we encourage the idea of making new totems.
    A single animal type might have room for more than one variation on totems. If you want your totem animal to be a king cobra, you could use the snake totem, but if you really wanted to, you could create a new cobra totem as well. Similarily, there's supposed to be a 'Great Cat' totem, but we listed cheetah seperately for a reason... a cheetah totem could be markedly different from a generic cat totem.

    Quote Originally Posted by loopy View Post
    Of course... not rushing you or anything, brilliance takes time. I just get the feeling that I'll be running a Dustlands game or inspired character soon.

    P.S. I joined the forums because of that horror campaign your brilliant DM ran, and now I find this Campaign world. Your group never ceases to amaze.
    Sadly, the dustlands have been in production for a long time. When we don't like something, we're willing to re-do it. Since our DM is a major perfectionist (and we're not exactly sloppy as a group), stuff takes time. Especially because we work around our gaming sessions as well.

    I appreciate the accolades . And I love hearing that people might be using dustlands concepts or themes.... that's why we're working on it after all. To play with.

  29. - Top - End - #119
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SilverClawShift's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Female

    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    Random update post. I'm excited. very very excited. Was just talking with the DM and the biggest advocate of the Folian race, and I convinced them it needed to be re-done with two little words.

    "Desert Flower"

    That's all it took, they agree that the concept of the race strayed too far from what we originally came up with them for, and the fluff (and some mechanics) are getting mondo re-working. Which makes me happy, cause finished or not, I don't like the way they came out.

  30. - Top - End - #120
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Copacetic's Avatar

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    Dec 2006
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    Male

    Default Re: [World] The Dustlands

    Glad you're happy about "Desert flower"

    Also, Dustworlds has got my imagination juices flowing...
    Not forgetting Yldenfrei and the wonderful avatar she made.

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