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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Gender
    Male

    Lightbulb Air Pirates and Ogres oh My!

    So, I'm attempting to pull together a coherent air-pirate setting, taking a lot of inspiration from Skies of Arcadia. I'm retweaking the races (removed Halflings, Goblins replaced them, and Our Orcs Are Different), as well as using the Pathfinder rules for vehicle construction, and adding on some elements from the Skybourne splatbook for construction of the airships.

    I'm basically looking for help workshopping ideas on possible locations, plots to drive things forward, how to flesh out the pantheon I've created... basically I'm looking for anyone that's interested in helping. I've got a Gdoc set up HERE that people can make suggestions on, and of course anyone that would like to can make use of the setting, and elements thereof themselves.

    One thing that I'm having a bit of trouble with is how to fit non-elemental Outsiders into the mix, since this is a world of flying landmasses suspended over a roiling, raging eternal sea, thanks to taps into the Elemental Planes having been overloaded and exploding, creating the world as it is now.

    Past that it's a matter of populating the world with cities, kingdoms, guilds, towns, and points of interest.
    You want me? Come and get me!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Air Pirates and Ogres oh My!

    For some more context on what I'm working towards, here's the Races section that I've put together so far.

    Tribal but organized and generally honorable Orcs travel with herds of Pegasi to carry their warriors and clans as they move from place to place. They're good trading partners, but if you make an enemy of them you'd better hope you wipe out the entire tribe, because otherwise you and everyone associated with you will be marked for life. They specialize in archery, and have perfected it into an art form, to the point that they've created specialized arrows for different scenarios and prey, as well as bows that pass down through the generations and are constantly having the enchantments upon them improved. They're also jealously guarded; and in some kingdoms are considered valuable prizes.

    Half Orcs are known to happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a Tribe rescues people that were being attacked by Black Sails, and one or more of their rescuees bonds with a member of the tribe, to the point that they leave their old life behind. Other times, when a Tribe lands to trade with a large enough settlement, proper precautions may not be taken while tribe members mingle with the citizenry during such revels and meetings. Generally a Half-Orc can only be told from a full-blooded orc by their less prominent tusks, and the lighter shade of their skin. Their ears also tend to be more rounded and shorter, though their senses remain highly acute.

    • Use Half-Orc stats for this race.
    • Weapon Familiarity, replace Falchion and Greataxes with Composite Shortbow and Scimitar
    • Herd-Borne: Replace Intimidating with a +2 to Handle Animal checks

    The Elves are... Old. And they wear the weight of their years poorly. Their interactions with one another are carefully coordinated and choreographed dances of subtlety and double-speak. They put up with the antics of the Young Races due to the fact that their own breeding rate is glacial, and if the other races felt so inclined, they could rise up and crush them with ease. However, their Shieldback armored Air Turtles are one of the heaviest defensive domesticated air beasts in the known world; with each Air Turtle raised from hatching by a specially selected and schooled Shieldmaster.

    Half-elves exist, but are generally folded under the Elf umbrella as the elves are desperate to bolster their numbers whenever they can. Many of them chose to serve in the military or as diplomats to other kingdoms and polities, especially non-elven ones.

    Dwarves are masters of the forge, though a clannish race; and will sell their wares at dear prices indeed. There is a bit of a racial rivalry between the Orcs and the Dwarves as to who the greatest craftsmen are, and if one should meet their opposite number in a bar or some other public space, an argument is almost certain to be in the offing. Occasionally this will lead to fists and words being exchanged in equal measure, but more often than not will instead turn to grousing about commissions from idiots that don’t know the first, second or third thing about metallurgy.

    Gnomes are cheerful, perpetually bright individuals who follow their own personal codes and ways. They tend to be nomadic, hooking up with other races as they travel, and learning a variety of skills and trades. Gnomish settlements tend to be loud, colorful affairs, where one can often find a good meal, a great weapon, and really whatever entertainment your heart could desire. One only has to look hard enough.

    Goblins are a secretive race that often use giant bats as personal mounts. They've acquired a stereotype for being rogues and thieves of the worst sort, and such aspersions can color many an encounter, leading to young goblins deciding to live down to the expectations of the other races, perpetuating the problem. They're clever though, with a knack for clockwork and a penchant for music that is often surprising. Some of the greatest songs of all time have been attributed to Goblin ghostwriters.

    • Use Halfling statistics for Goblins
    • Replace Halfling Luck with Speedy (add +10 to overland movement)
    • Replace “Fearless” with “Shadow and Song: Goblins get a +2 racial bonus to Stealth and Perform: Music checks”
      Remove Weapon Familiarity and Sure Footed.


    Humans tend to cover the entire spectrum, with interests and passions that can make them feel at home among even the Elves, who often see human courtiers attempting to intrude on their games as foolish young pups. They can be just about anything, and if there is a high or low that another race has risen or sunk to, one can be assured that there are humans that have reached the same levels if not more-so.

    Beyond the more numerous races, there are clans of Giants that hole up within ancient edifices, dragons that cruise the seas and skies alike for treasure, challenge, or simple conversation. Tieflings are the descendants of slaves that were willing to broker deals with sealed demons and devils in order to survive The Breaking... not realizing that it would mark their bloodlines for eternity. Other creatures lurk in dark spaces, waiting for the cover of night to perform darker still deeds.

    And like stars in the sky, airships ply the way between all of them.
    Last edited by Tempest Kitsune; 2020-02-23 at 07:35 PM.
    You want me? Come and get me!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Air Pirates and Ogres oh My!

    Merfolk would start off like fish, but since there is little water, they would eventually turn into frog/toadlike people that spend more time on land, but can still breath and swim in water. They worship a gargantuan intelligent toad king, and are nomadic, with their leader and people always on the move.

    They are now called Phrynians (latin rood for toad-ish) statwise, they can jump farther, and aren't dependant on moisture as much. They are tough but also wise. Typically True Neutral

    Their homes are very natural, often green and brown, and their ships look like giant flying tadpoles.
    Last edited by D&D_Fan; 2020-03-05 at 10:23 AM.
    No comment.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Mar 2020

    Default Re: Air Pirates and Ogres oh My!

    As another race idea, maybe have taers or bugbears as kind of an arboreal group, I was thinking animalistic beastmasters and raiders emerging from cloud forests on tamed beasts and/or small leviathins to raid passing vessels

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
     
    GreataxeFighterGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    United States
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Air Pirates and Ogres oh My!

    I like the concept! I just have a few questions to learn more!
    • Outside of massive Leviathans and some floating islands, your write-up mentions kingdoms- how large are the floating landmasses that they are built on top of?
    • Where do people get food? Are there places stable enough to farm?
    • Are there mines? I imagine that a mine built into the bottom/side of a hanging island could be interesting!
    • Are dragons still around in this world?
    Currently worldbuilding Last Haven: a setting formed on a titan's corpse! If you have a moment, I would love your feedback!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Yakk's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Air Pirates and Ogres oh My!

    So the airship setting I'm kicking about is also post-apocolyptic.

    One thing I did, to avoid the "fall off the ship and die" problem, is I made gravity elemental in nature.

    Gravity is caused by the Element of Earth. If you aren't above (and above is a direction that is constant and consistent) relatively nearby a source of Earth, you don't fall. Well, you do fall i. You float. And get blown around by winds. But you don't fall.

    This gravity field extends "upwards" more than it does downwards or to the side.

    Now this sucks, because you float in the air and die of exposure.

    Airships have enough wood to generate a downward gravity field (wood contains elemental Earth).

    Floating on water is a similar elemental thing (not based on gravity / boyency like on our planet). Taking off from water is a bit easier than doing it from land, as the water shields you from gravity to some extent.

    So your islands either have large docks hanging off the side, or ships fly in and land on rivers/lakes with good approaches. Finding a good approach to land on a non-dock is hard and dangerous; you have to know how the gravity twists and turns above the island.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Nov 2019

    Default Re: Air Pirates and Ogres oh My!

    Interesting world idea, with lots of potential and challenges to figure out.

    Some questions or ideas:

    1) what keeps the islands afloat? Is there a specific type of rock/mineral/ore that causes it to float? Can that be used in airship construction to help it float in the air? Or is it more of an anchor that keeps the land masses fixed.

    2) can smaller landmasses be moved? say if tugged by those shield turtles the elves have... this would let kingdoms conquer other floating islands before dragging them closer and attaching them together.

    3) creatures that fly would have a huge advantage in this scenario. Flying fish, dragons, birds. How about a flying whale or giant turtle who’s back is a landmass. Or floating islands that are only inhabited by birds.

    4) is there anything alive in the roiling sea? Some deep dark ancient evil that threatens the future of civilization. Or is a chaotic area of broken space with rifts opening randomly that would shred anything in its way.

    5) is there a way of salvaging or recovering remains of broken airships that fall into the sea?

    6) ideas: a floating kingdom that consists of several medium/large sized islands that float at different heights but are connected to each other artificially. Upper island for the wealthy, the nobles, temples etc. middle is farmers, military, middle class. Lower level, which is often in the shade due to the other 2 islands is for the lower class, factories, mines, etc. it’s hard to move from one level to another for those on the lower levels.

    7) goblin clockwork focused fleet of airships. Large motherships with either a bat cave, Or a hangar for short range clockwork flying machines (think mini helicopters or fighter planes just big enough to carry one goblin and some sort of repeating crossbow or other weapon. In combination with a few smaller faster airships. And a few cargo/merchant airships.

    8) maybe due the historic cause of the current situation being rooted in magic, magic in general is feared and considered evil. Maybe due to the collapse of the elemental planes, destructive evocation Magic, or elemental magic has all but disappeared, thus leading the rise of technology. Artificers, tinkerers, and those involved in alternatives to “dangerous magic” have gained importance, wealth and/or recognition.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Default Re: Air Pirates and Ogres oh My!

    Ah, I love sky pirates. Have ever since I read The Edge Chronicles as a kid.

    With physics being so elementally driven, I'd definitely use that as inspiration for some cool locations.

    Rivers that flow through the air, making convenient pathways between islands for smaller, less durable/airworthy ships... as well as allowing monsters incapable of true flight to travel to previously safe regions as the rivers twist and change.

    A perpetual storm moves unpredictably among the inhabited islands, and strange phenomena occur wherever it passes; some say there's an island hidden at the eye of the storm, others claim the 'storm' is more akin to a mobile sea, shedding water when it encounters gravity in a facsimile of rain. Everyone agrees that as it passes, glimpses of airships long thought lost can be seen within the inclement weather.

    The sky pirates should have a neutral meeting place that's difficult or impossible to reach without a detailed map of the hazards on the approach, some of which are never printed, only memorized, to mitigate the damage such a map falling into the wrong hands would do. Being acknowledged and taught the hazards by an existing sky pirate is the only way to make it there. Alternatively, such a place used to exist, but all who knew the secret hazards perished long ago... however, ships and magic have both improved since then, and being the first to make it through the traps, natural barriers, and wrecked ships of those who tried before you would ensure both fame and fortune from the long-lost sky pirate treasure. Or you could combine the two; over the generations, many such hideouts have been formed and lost; surely successfully plundering an earlier one would prove your worthiness to join the current one!
    Last edited by PoeticallyPsyco; 2020-04-30 at 09:03 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darths & Droids
    When you combine the two most devious, sneaky, manipulative, underhanded, cunning, and diabolical forces in the known universe, the consequences can be world-shattering. Those forces are, of course, players and GMs.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Realism, the natural predator of D&D mechanics.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    The material plane (duh?)

    Default Re: Air Pirates and Ogres oh My!

    Oh YES! YES! this sounds so cool. The edge chronicles has always been one of my favourite book series.

    I love where this whole thing appears to be going. I like the mechanics of the gravity elementals, and that could potentially be used in combat? making a big force that makes the ship drop?
    We're all just humans who like other humans... or we don't...
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