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    Orc in the Playground
     
    GreataxeFighterGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    United States
    Gender
    Male

    Post Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Hello! I am working on a small-scale setting concept that I absolutely love, and I want to fill it out with tons of details! I would appreciate any feedback or constructive criticism. Thank you!

    Introduction
    “They say Last Haven’s not really what it seems. They say we’re all livin’ on one o’ them Judges, killed by one of the gods during the Downfall, but I dunno about all that. All I know is that somethin’ ain’t right about that quarry up on Verdant Rise; now they’re pullin’ out rocks that hum when you touch ‘em, and ol’ Darman’s glyphstone leg keeps actin’ up whenever he goes near the place. I dunno about all that, though; we’ve more than enough to worry about now, what with those grungs ‘round here and harvest time coming up.”
    -Elian Tidefall, a Farmer
    Last Haven is a world recovering from complete destruction. Legends talk about a massive battle, the Downfall, between the Ancient Gods and enormous magical automatons called Judges. This battle of hundred-mile-tall constructs and primal deities ravaged the world. Entire continents were torn up, islands were swallowed up by the sea, and even the moon was pulled from the sky. Civilization was almost totally annihilated, and only a few folks survived, floating on the Endless Sea in makeshift boats. In time, some found their way to a handful of jagged, broken landmasses that they named Last Haven. Slowly, they began to rebuild, and grow, and forget. Now, centuries later, the folks of Last Haven struggle to build up their communities while clinging to the remnants of that which was lost in the Downfall. It is a second chance for this world, full of new adventures and ancient secrets to explore.

    The Basics
    • The World Is Wild And Unpredictable: The islands of Last Haven are largely unexplored and teeming with wildlife of all kinds. A handful of villages and small towns have carved out a place for themselves, but the wilderness is always encroaching. The folks of Last Haven know the land around their own settlements well, but most of the islands’ snow-capped mountains, dense pine forests, and coastal cliffs are uncharted. There’re strange beasts and powerful primal magic in the wilds of this world, and to wander too far into the misty highlands is to put yourself in their grasp.

    • The Ancient Gods Sleep: Long ago, five primordial deities embodied the natural elements of this world. These gods were old, powerful entities, closer to forces of nature than individual beings, and they rarely, if ever, communicated with the mortal races. Nevertheless, the wild magic of the Ancient Gods permeates this world, and mortals have learned to call upon them for power. The five Ancient Gods have had many names, but the people of Last Haven call them:
      The Bright One: Deity of the day, sun, and knowledge
      The Earth Keeper: Deity of the earth, glyphs, and hidden secrets
      The Living Wild: Deity of nature, predators, and prey
      The Night Runner: Deity of the night, moon, and journeys
      The Tide Bringer: Deity of the sea, storms, and battle
      During the Downfall, for reasons now long forgotten, the Ancient Gods fought with titanic constructs known as Judges, laying waste to the entire planet in the process. In the centuries since the Downfall, the Ancient Gods have lain dormant; though their power is still ingrained in this world, they now slumber, resting from their great battle.

    • The World Is Full of Magic: The primal magic of the Ancient Gods that suffuses Last Haven affects the world in mysterious and unpredictable ways. Powerful fey spirits that slipped into the world as it formed whisper to those that stray too far from the beaten path. There are caves full of sparking, floating gems, forests where shadows don’t act right, and lakes that pulsate with eerie light. Before the Downfall, the mortal races found a way to harness this power: glyphs. A glyph is a complex symbol carved into a smooth, rounded stone that can channel Last Haven’s wild magic into a specific spell. Glyphcarving is an ancient craft that requires training and knowledge, and is one of the most important professions in Last Haven. Mages in this world carry their collection of glyph stones with them, charging the glyphs that they plan to use each day.

    • Civilization Is Recovering From Judgement Day: The refugees that found Last Haven came from many different races and cultures; they needed to work together in order to survive in the wake of the Downfall. Laid-back beach dwarves, clever elves, humans of all walks of life, and mighty orcs still live together in most of Last Haven’s settlements, co-existing out of necessity after the destruction of their homelands, as the dangers from the primeval wilds of Last Haven still threaten the fledgling new civilization. Differences between cultures leads to tensions and conflicts on occassion, and in order to keep the peace, the majority of Last Haven’s towns have chosen leaders called Lawkeepers, who act as both marshalls and stewards for their villages.

    • Relics Of The Past Survive: Little is known about life before the Downfall, but artifacts from the technologically-advanced civilization that created the Judges remain. Beneath the surface of the islands of Last Haven lies a vast system of ancient tunnels, and brave adventurers may explore them in search of treasure and knowledge.The refugees that found Last Haven centuries ago brought magical automatons called glyphbots with them. Glyphbots are clunky, robot-like constructs powered by complex webs of glyphs carved on their stone and metal surfaces. They’re capable of following most simple commands and serve as laborers and servants. The people of Last Haven have kept their glyph-bots running for centuries with jury-rigging and scavenged parts.


    The Map
    Spoiler: Map of Last Haven
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    Map Key:
    1. Abeza Town
    2. Sandside Village
    3. The Six Pinnacles
    4. Pinnacle Lake
    5. Ombro Village
    6. Southridge Woods
    7. Grayarbor Town
    8. Rhodan Hills
    9. Ruins of Fore
    10. Verdant Rise
    11. Perna Village
    12. Shellhome Village
    13. Mistpine Rainforest
    14. Pyayan Wilderness


    Spoiler: Geography of Last Haven
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    Last Haven has a temperate, rainy climate similar to the Pacific Northwest, with shady pine forests and lush vegetation covering much of the islands. The rich soil, formed atop the Judge by the magic of the Living Wild that destroyed it, is great for growing a variety of fruits, vegetables, and staples like potatoes. The craggy coasts of the islands are full of fish and marine life, and wild beasts like cougars, elk, and moose roam their wooded hills. The northernmost island of Last Haven, the Judge’s head, has become a lively little town called Abeza, the largest settlement in the islands. In the middle of Central Island, the Judge’s collapsed chest forms a circle of jagged, snow-capped peaks named the Six Pinnacles. In the center of mountains lies Pinnacle Lake, which has covered the Judge’s broken core and the spear that the Living Wild drove into it, both of which still emanate powerful magic. The deep green pines of Southridge Wood cover the southern slopes of the Pinnacles, and another rocky range of hills, Verdant Rise, sits atop a peninsula that used to be the Judge’s leg. Three settlements exist on Central Island: Parna Village, Ombro Village, and Grayarbor Town. To the west of Central Island, the windswept isle of Brazos is the home of Sandside Village’s beach dwarves. To the east lie the ruins of Fore, the refugees’ now-abandoned first settlement. The lower part of the Judge’s legs have broken into several pieces, becoming the islands of Rhoda, Pyay, and the Southern Atolls, which are covered with rocky hills and overgrown temperate rainforests.

    Beneath the surface, hidden from the people that live on top of it, miles of tunnels and chambers exist within the body of the Judge, some of them still glowing with glyphstone-powered artifacts and patrolled by guardian constructs. Other chambers have flooded, and are full of strange deep-sea life, and in some sections, magma from the planet’s crust has seeped into the Judge’s shattered frame, creating harsh, volcanic conditions. The vast, unexplored network of tunnels beneath Last Haven holds lost treasures and terrifying creatures that have long been forgotten.


    The Gods
    “In the beginnin’, there was nothin’ but turmoil, an endless storm of raw matter and magic swirlin’ in space. After a very, very long time, a spirit formed within the storm. It began to grow and take in energy, and after another long, long time, another spirit formed, and began to grow like the first. By and by, there came to be five spirits, and, figuring that more would form in time, the five spirits, the oldest beings there were, started to build something out of the matter swirlin’ around them. We don’t know how long it took them, but sooner or later, the five spirits built our world: Lares. The first spirit, the oldest one, fashioned a sun, while the others formed the ground we walk on, filled the seas, and made all sorts of wild things to live here. The youngest spirit, a curious one, put their eyes up in the sky to watch their new world. That’s right, there used to be two moons; can you believe that?

    By the time the five spirits finished Lares, they were Ancient Gods indeed, and when they looked around them, they saw a black sky full of new spirits. The gods decided to give these new spirits material bodies and put them down here on Lares so they could learn and grow. The eldest, the Bright One, grabbed a few and shaped them into the first humans. The Living Wild made fierce hunters called orcs, the Earth Keeper built stout dwarves, and the Tide Bringer formed wanderin’ elves. The youngest god, the Night Runner, wandered through the sky, gatherin’ spirits for the other gods and helping old souls back up into the sky, brighter than they were before. So that’s where we come from, child: we were stars.”

    -Old Ward, a Disciple
    Spoiler
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    It doesn’t seem like the ancient gods of the planet Lares care about mortals all that much. Of course, there’s not really any question about whether or not these gods exist. In ages past, they used to visit Lares in the form of enormous avatars of nature. Lots of different peoples have stories about what they came to do, but in truth, when the Ancient Gods visited the world, they did so to carry out their own unfathomable plans, not to guide the mortal races, with one notable exception. Some even say that the Downfall was actually the Ancient Gods’ attempt to destroy the world, and that the Judges were actually protecting the mortal races, but few believe such talk. In any case, nobody’s seen them since the Downfall, and most people on Last Haven believe that they are recovering after their battle. Their wild magic still seeps into the world, though, so there’s little doubt that they’re still out there, somewhere.

    Now, about that notable exception: ages ago, when civilization was just starting out, one of the Ancient Gods, a hulking figure of glyph-carved stone and rough gems that identified itself as the Earth Keeper, visited a dwarven mason named Bahr. The Earth Keeper extended its hand and touched Bahr and in a moment, so the story goes, the mason saw everything there was. He saw all of time from the beginning until his own day, and watched the Ancient Gods build Lares. In only a second, he witnessed countless years, and saw all of the gods in their glory. His eyes were ruined by his vision, and he became Bahr the Blind, the First Disciple of the Ancient Gods. Using the understanding of the world’s wild magic that he had received, Bahr began to carve magical symbols called glyphs into small stones, which were capable of channeling the primal power of the Ancient Gods into spells with specific effects. The First Disciple also went to teach the people of what he had seen, and so the world began to learn more about the primordial deities of Lares. Worship of the Ancient Gods is not an organized affair, and every culture has its own way of doing things, but all of them share a few beliefs that have been passed down from Bahr the Blind to the Disciples that watch over Last Haven’s altars today. Altars serve as gathering places for guidance and spiritual festivals, and are watched over by Disciples that seek to understand the Ancient Gods.

    The Ancient Gods of Lares are forces of nature; they have no gender, and bear only titles given to them by mortals rather than true names. There are five of them:

    • The Bright One is the deity of day, the sun, and creation, a being of fiery light and energy. While the order in which the Ancient Gods were created is largely unknown, Bahr the Blind did see that the Bright One was the first, and was the first to begin to create. The Bright One is said to have made humans, who are endowed with its aptitude for creation, and the deity is often revered by farmers and craftsmen.
      Symbol: The red sun
      Domains: Life, Light, and Order
      Holiday: Long Day, a festival of beautiful creations such as songs, dances, and crafts held on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

    • The Earth Keeper is the deity of earth, balance, and hidden knowledge, a colossus of solid, glyph-carved stone and gems. As the only Ancient God to show much interest in teaching mortals anything, the Earth Keeper is venerated by many scholars and mages. The Earth Keeper built the dwarves, who were each given a tiny bit of their creator’s rocky fortitude.
      Symbol: The purple mountain
      Domains: Arcana, Forge, and Knowledge
      Holiday: The Festival of Balance is a time for forgiving grudges and sharing the last harvest in harmony, and to hear the old tales of Bahr the Blind from Last Haven’s Disciples, and is held each Fall Equinox.

    • The Living Wild is a deity of nature, the hunt, and the natural cycle of growth and decay, and is a fierce entity with ever-shifting animal features shrouded by plants growing from its frame. The Living Wild is a god honored by woodsmen, hunters, and shepherds far from home. The orcs were created by this deity, given powerful builds and primal insticts that made them natural hunters.
      Symbol: The green claw
      Domains: Death, Nature
      Holiday: First Harvest is a day of feasts to celebrate nature’s bounty. Farmers and herdsmen release the firstfruits of their flocks back into the wilderness on this day as a show of thanks to the Living Wild.

    • The Night Runner is the deity of night, the moon, and trickery, and manifests itself as a being made of the night sky itself. The Night Runner is the youngest of the Ancient Gods, and is often invoked for protection by those that travel under cover of night. This god did not create a mortal race; rather, it is said to recover the souls of the dead and return them to their place among the stars.
      Symbol: The twin moons
      Domains: Grave, Trickery
      Holiday: The Night of Stars is held on each Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, to honor the Night Runner as guide of the dead. Once the sun goes down, the people of Last Haven light candles to symbolize the souls of the dead and tell their stories.

    • The Tide Bringer is a brutal deity of the oceans, tempests, and battle, whose avatar takes a gargantuan, shark-like shape made of lightning and tempestuous storm clouds. While it is the patron of violent storms and war, the Tide Bringer is also the god of sailors and wanderers on Lares’s seas. The elves of Lares are a race of nomadic seafarers created by the Tidebringer.
      Symbol: The blue lightning bolt
      Domains: Tempest, War
      Holiday: Storm’s Eve is held on the Spring Equinox, honoring the rainstorms sent in that season by the Tidebringer. As the Tidebringer is a god of battle as well, Storm’s Eve is also a time for fighting games and tests of strength.


    The Fey
    “If you’re goin’ along the Shoreline Road, be sure to bring somethin’ to offer the Spirit of the Salt Cliffs. Her altar’s on little point overlooking the sea, you can’t miss it. And remember, don’t stray too far into Verdant Rise, or the Dark Fey might find you.”
    -Darman Crow, a Quarry Worker
    Spoiler
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    During the creation of the world, there were spirits that “slipped through the cracks” into Lares. These spirits, now stuck in Lares, have no physical body, and often reside in places far from civilization where wild magic is strongest.

    Most Fey are tricksters, and try to mess with mortals that come into contact with them. Others, called Light Fey, are benevolent spirits that help the mortal races, often residing in small roadside shrines or mountain altars built by thankful mortals. The Dark Fey are spirits that possess living things to gain power in the material plane. Many of Last Haven’s more intelligent monsters, such as gnolls, grungs, and minotaurs, are Dark Fey that have possessed and corrupted animals.

    When they are not physically in Last Haven, the Fey inhabit a strange spirit “world-within-a-world” called the Feywild. The Feywild is an “echo” of Lares; it mirrors the natural world but turns its features into spectacular and nonsensical forms. A mountain on Lares might be echoed as the bones of a massive giant. Moving to the Feywild from old ruins on Last Haven might put a traveler at the archway of a Dark Fey’s lair. Mortals occasionally may slip into the Feywild in places of power on Lares, leaving their bodies behind as their spirits wander.


    The Judge
    “What I wouldn’t give to figure out how one of those things worked! I can’t even imagine the glyphs it must’ve taken to make one move, and don’t even get me started on the arcane core. By the Ancients, whoever engineered the Judges must have been a godsdamned master. These days, we can barely keep the old glyphbots running.”
    -Matthias Summersend, a Glyphcarver
    Spoiler
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    Centuries ago, the civilizations of Lares flourished, using glyphstone technology to achieve high levels of comfort and development. All of that was lost in the Downfall, as the world became a battleground between the Ancient Gods and the enigmatic Judges. The folks of Last Haven didn’t manage to take much with them during the Downfall, so records of the civilizations that existed prior to it are nearly non-existent, but first-hand accounts of what happened in that battle have been passed down by the settlers for generations. A group of human refugees told their descendants that they saw the Bright One itself turn a nation to ash in order to destroy a Judge. The dwarves of Sandside Village claim that their forefathers witnessed the Earth Keeper crack open the world’s crust in combat against another of the mechanical titans. However, of all the stories of the Downfall, there is one that is particularly important to the people living on the islands of Last Haven, though they might not know it yet. It is a tale of the clash between the Living Wild and a hundred-mile-tall Judge, passed down by some of the orcs that made it to Last Haven.

    As the orcs tell it, the Living Wild was locked in fierce combat with a Judge, attacking it with claws and horns and entangling vines to no avail. The Judge was raining vicious blows on the nature god, driving it to the coast of the Endless Sea. In desperation, the Living Wild created a weapon, an enormous spear made of the god’s own essence that crackled with primordial magic. With all of its strength, the Living Wild drove its spear into the core at the center of the Judge’s chest, unleashing a blast of arcane energy that destroyed most of the nearby coast. The Judge, with the Living Wild’s spear still embedded in its arcane core, fled into the ocean, defeated. That is where the orcs’ story ends, but they do not know the full story.

    The Judge waded into the middle of the Endless Sea to escape the Living Wild, but its fate was sealed. The spear in its chest, made of the Living Wild’s essence, was eating away at the massive stone construct. The stone around the Judge’s core broke down into earth, and plants and fungi engulfed the automaton with supernatural speed, rooting into the Judge and breaking down its glyphstones. In mere minutes, the titan began to stumble while the arcane glyphs that gave it life were torn up and its stone surface dissolved into soil. It gave a few shuddering steps as it lost power, and its limbs broke apart as it fell backwards into the Endless Sea, hitting the seafloor with so much force that it sank deep into the planet’s crust. The resulting release of tectonic heat further damaged the fallen titan, which was now mostly covered by the sea.

    Even after the death of the Judge, the Living Wild’s spear continued to radiate the god’s primal magic, and soon, the construct’s shattered frame had returned to nature, its stone surface turned into earth, overgrown with pines and plants. The nature god’s power even caused wildlife to appear on the surface of the Judge. However, the energy from the spear and the magic leaking from the Judge’s broken core did not mix well, and strange beasts borne of arcane radiation also began to appear on the former titan’s surface, which now resembled a handful of rocky islands. In time, survivors of the Downfall came upon the Judge and took refuge on it, unaware of the true nature of the “islands.” The people of Last Haven do not know that they are living on top of a Judge.


    The Races
    “In the old days, ‘fore Last Haven, folks kept to themselves, mostly. At least, that’s what they say: the orcs had their lands, the dwarves had theirs, and so on and so forth. It’s not like that ‘round here, though. Not anymore. Different peoples had to work together to survive when they found this place after the Downfall, and I reckon that’s a good thing: we all ought to keep working together.”
    -Lis Evenkeel, a Carpenter
    Spoiler
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    The world of Lares is home to four intelligent mortal races. The Disciples say that the Bright One created the humans, the Earth Keeper shaped the dwarves, the Living Wild made the orcs, and that the Tide Bringer formed the elves. However, despite the fact that each race’s connection to a specificic god lends itself to certain physical traits, their personalities are by no means set in stone, and vary widely. Before the Downfall, the races were largely divided, living on different continents or controlling distinct territories, but the survivors that came to Last Haven came from all races and walks of life. The refugees that founded Last Haven’s first settlements, Abeza and Fore, had to unite in order to survive the untamed wilds of the islands, and so, over time, the different races of Last Haven grew accustomed to working together. Though there are differences, and tension between mortal races is not uncommon, most settlements on Last Haven are home to a diverse population of dwarves, elves, humans, and orcs.

    Dwarves are a sturdy, laid-back race that tend to be firm believers in fate. They are short and generally stocky, with thick beards and skin that resembles polished stone ranging in color from sand-red to granite. They have thick skin, usually walking barefoot, and many have small crystals jutting from their skin; their ears are square-shaped and often pierced multiple times. They are easygoing; most have a strong belief in fate and the plans of the Earth Keeper (after all, they say that the first Disciple was a dwarf), and are content to trust that things will turn out well. Once they have decided that something is fate, they are incredibly difficult to persuade; in truth, it is hard to persuade a dwarf to change his or her mind in any circumstance. Dwarves live just a decade or two longer than humans, but their bodies do not age normally; rather, their skin begins to look more like stone as they get older. Also, they eat rocks sometimes. There are two subraces of dwarves in Last Haven:
    • Beach Dwarves prefer the rocky coastlines of Last Haven, and tend to be calm and easygoing, as their strong belief in fate lends itself to a “go-with-the-flow” attitude. They often put colorful ties in their hair and beards. Beach Dwarves use Hill Dwarf stats.
    • Rock Dwarves are hardy folk that traditionally tend to terraced farms on the slopes of tall mountains. They love order, organization, and records, which they connect to fate. Their beards and hair are often bound in numerous polished stone beads. Rock Dwarves use Mountain Dwarf stats.


    Elves are always moving. Even their physical appearance makes their wandering nature clear; their thin, wispy bodies, blue-tinged skin, feathery hair, and long pointed ears make it seem as if they could drift away at a moment’s notice. They rarely stay in one of Last Haven’s ports for long, and most of the other races (especially the dwarves) see them as wishy-washy and unreliable. They are skilled sailors, and have a knack for sensing changes in the wind, which is said to be a gift from the Tide Bringer. Elves are nomads that go wherever the current takes them, driven by the sea winds and a desire to seek new experiences with their shipmates (often family), to whom they are fiercely loyal. They live several decades longer than humans, and, because they see change as a central part of life, look at death as just another destination in their voyage. There are three subraces of elves in Last Haven:
    • Sea Elves have deep connection to the open seas, and can even breathe underwater. Their skin tones cover a variety of blues, and their hair is usually dark navy in color, as are their eyes. Last Haven’s Sea Elves use standard Sea Elf stats.
    • Storm Elves are charged with a little bit of the Tide Bringer’s power, and are natural spellcasters. Their eyes range from stormy gray to an electric blue, and crackles of electricity arc between their fingers when they use magic. Storm Elves use High Elf stats.
    • Wind Elves often venture farther onto Last Haven’s shores than the other elves, and explore land as well as sea. Their keen, blue-green eyes and large pointed ears help them detect even tiny changes in the winds, and they have excellent senses. Wind Elves use Wood Elf stats.


    Humans are set apart by their burning ambition and desire to control their own fate. The stories say that they were the creation of the Bright One, who imbued them with its passion and creativity. This fiery, passionate nature has made humans the most widespread and diverse race on Lares, as they spread out throughout the world in search of power and opportunity before the Downfall. Humans are a bit of a blank slate as a people, and their appearance varies greatly, as the human settlers of Last Haven came from many different locations; their skin tones range from deep brown to very pale, and their hair comes in a wide range of colors and textures. Humans tend to feel emotions more powerfully than the other races, and sometimes become frustrated with the dwarves’ apparent lack of motivation or the elves’ lack of direction. Still, their powerful drive to create and discover is one of their greatest strengths.

    Orcs are tall, well-built hunters that have a powerful connection to the wild places of this world. Their skin ranges from sage green to teal, and their unruly, mane-like hair is usually black or deep green. Orcs live about the same length as humans. A pair of small but noticeable tusks jut from their lower jaw, and they have flat noses and large, pointed ears. Their somewhat imposing appearance has led many members of other races to believe that orcs are violent people, but that is incorrect. While many orcs love the thrill of the hunt, and they make some of the finest warriors and Lawkeepers on Last Haven, their fierce looks are in fact a reflection of their deep link to the Living Wild. Orcs love the solitude of the wilderness, and many live off the land while striving to remain in balance with nature; quite a few have a knack for nature magic. There are two subraces of orcs in Last Haven:
    • Spear Orcs are more common in Last Haven, and can be found throughout the islands’ settlements. While most of them like to farm or stay on the outskirts of town, close to nature, some have used their natural brawn to become warriors or town guards. Spear Orcs use Half-Orc stats.
    • Forest Orcs tend to stay away from towns, traveling in small groups in Last Haven’s wilderness and living off of the land. They are attuned to the energy of the Living Wild, and use nature magic to protect their hunting grounds. Forest Orcs use Firbolg stats.


    Unique mortals do exist in small numbers in Last Haven due to the wild magic that flows through Lares. These magically-altered individuals are nearly one-of-a-kind, and draw quite a bit of attention in most places.
    • Genasi are members of the four mortal races touched by the elemental power of one of the Ancient Gods (Fire Genasi for the Bright One, Earth Genasi for the Earth Keeper, Nature Genasi for the Living Wild, Water Genasi for the Tide Bringer, and Air Genasi for the Night Runner.
      Spoiler: Nature Genasi Subrace
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      In addition to the normal Genasi traits, Nature Genasi (which are members of one of the mortal races touched by the elemental power of a primordial deity know as the Living Wild; they often have slightly animalistic features like antlers or claws, and many grow leafy, plant-like hair) gain the following racial benefits:

      Ability Score Increase: Your Charisma score increases by 1.

      One With the Wild: You gain proficiency in the Nature skill.

      Nature’s Wrath: You know the Primal Savagery and Druidcraft cantrips. Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the Entangle spell once with this trait as a 1st-level spell, and you regain the ability to cast it this way when you finish a long rest. Constitution is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
    • Aasimar are people that are bonded to a minor Light Fey. This small spirit tries to influence its bonded mortal to do good and grants them special abilities. This Fey influence also changes the appearance of its chosen mortal. Some Aasimar are bonded to a Light Fey at birth, while others are chosen later in life.
    • Tieflings, on the other handed, host a Dark Fey spirit within them. This malevolent spirit physically alters the mortal and gives them magical abilities. The Dark Fey may try to influence its host, causing many of Last Haven’s inhabitants to be superstitious of them.

    The Settlements
    Spoiler
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    Parna Village
    Parna is a small seaside village on the southern peninsula of Central Island. The village sits just south of Verdant Rise, a heavily-wooded range of craggy hills and mossy pines, and many villagers work in the basalt quarry on the edge of the rise. Perna is situated at one of the few good harbors on the rocky coast of the peninsula, and much of the surrounding shore is made up of cliffs. The weather in Parna is overcast and rainy, with frequent thunderstorms and few sunny days.

    Map:
    Spoiler: Village Layout
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    Places
    Spoiler: Map Locations
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    1. Evenkeel Shipyard: This small workshop is where Perna Village’s fishing vessels are repaired and Lis Evenkeel, a beach dwarf carpenter, makes many of the settlement’s wooden furniture out of wood from Verdant Rise. The structure consists of a covered area large enough to house a small boat and a gray stone house where Lis works and lives.
    2. Stormchaser Home: This building houses a pair of beach dwarf fisherwomen named Kat and Sen Stormchaser. The sisters’ home is typical of Parna Village: it is a small structure made out of timbers and dark gray basalt stone from the quarry, with a roof made of reddish clay shingles.
    3. Village Altar: A small altar to the Ancient Gods sits next to Parna’s central square. The shrine is built of rough stone, and houses 5 alcoves containing stone altars to each god, adorned with offerings and dripping candles. Until recently, Old Ward looked after it, but now, that responsibility has fallen to his apprentice, Velia Tidefall.
    4. Matthias’s Workshop: A large building on the northern edge of the village, with reddish clay shingles and a constantly-smoking gray stone chimney. The main room houses Matthias’s glyphcarving equipment, cluttered papers and arcane notes, and disorganized stacks of scavenged glyphbot parts. The glyphscarver’s bot, RED, is usually found within, and Matthias is currently trying to build another construct out of the scraps he collects.
    5. Tarrenstone Inn: Parna Village’s only inn is rarely occupied by visitors; most of the time, the cozy wooden Tarrenstone Inn serves as a tavern and bakery where locals gather after a hard day’s work. The owner, Anais Tarrenstone, is a skilled baker that knows almost everyone in the village, and she’ll gladly trade an extra roll or two for some gossip about the townsfolk.
    6. Branch General Goods: Eliona Branch does the best to keep her store well-stocked despite Parna Village’s isolated location. Her store supplies farmers, miners, and fishers with basic goods, and can order in more specialized goods from bigger towns like Grayarbor. The wooden shelves of the village’s primary general store are extremely organized, but Eliona often categorizes things in odd ways.
    7. Rallin’s Tannery: The tannery on the southeast edge of town is easily recognizable due to the smell of the stretched hides and soaking skins that stand outside its dark gray stone structure. The tannery, which is run by a large, red-bearded man named Rallin, also serves as a butcher shop for Parna’s hunters and farmers.
    8. Lawkeeper Hall: A large, two-stories structure of gray stone and pine wood is the center of what passes for the small village’s government. The Hall is home to Parna’s Lawkeeper, a spear orc names Martin Summersend, who resides there with his wife, Neva. The building has a small jail cell in its basement, a hall used for village meetings, and a small office.
    9. Tidefall Farm: This vegetable farm is one of the closest to Parna Village, and its residents, the wind elves Elian and Lereth Tidefall, bring their vegetables into the village’s center to sell regularly. They’re among the more wealthy families in the hamlet, and even have a glyphbots, GREEN, that helps them around the farm.
    10. Perna Quarry: This quarry produces large quantities of the dark gray basalt that is used to build many of Parna’s structures, as well as a fair bit of clay and a small amount of ores. The workers that dig into the quarry, like old Darman Crow, occasionally find bits of broken stone with partial glyphs on them, but tend to dismiss them as unreadable remnants of whoever lived there before the Downfall.


    People:
    Spoiler: Parna Villagers
    Show

    Lawkeeper: Martin Summersend
    Appearance: Tall, bald blue orcish man with a close-cropped salt-and-pepper beard and the typical uniform of a Lawkeeper: a worn navy-blue coat with a high collar and brass buttons
    Abilities: Warrior- Defender
    Personality: Gruff and stern, but protective of those he cares about; he spends much of his time mediating disputes between farmers, and is somewhat bored
    Goal: Maintain order and protect the people of Parna Village
    Bond: Has a friendly rivalry with his brother Matthias; his wife, Neva, is often the only one that can convince him of anything
    Flaw: He uses his knowledge of the law to benefit himself and his friends at the expense of those that he does not get along with

    Disciple: Velia Tidefall
    Appearance: Slight, greenish young wind elf woman with flowing deep green hair and an embroidered white shawl with symbols of the Old Gods
    Abilities: Acolyte
    Personality: Her mentor, Old Ward, recently passed away, leaving her in charge of Parna Village’s Shrine; she is unsure of herself and of her convictions
    Goal: She has noticed some of the flaws in the faith of the Old Gods, and believes that deeper study will resolve her doubts
    Bond: Her parents, Elian and Lereth, run a vegetable farm outside of town, and she feels a great deal of pressure to succeed due to their expectations
    Flaw: She feels that her faith and knowledge are not strong enough to be the village’s spiritual leader

    Glyphcarver: Matthias Summersend
    Appearance: Tall, heavyset orcish man that typically wears a heavy leather apron with a tan henley shirt underneath; a pair of small half-moon spectacles sit on the bridge of his wide nose
    Abilities: Apprentice Wizard
    Personality: Matthias is a bit of a know-it-all, and is as stubborn as his older brother Martin; he genuinely does know a lot about magic and is a capable glyphbot mechanic
    Goal: He is currently building a large glyphbot out of scavenged parts in his workshop; he wants find a way to build new glyphbots rather than simply repairing the ancient ones
    Bond: He and his brother Martin are rivals and friends; he is attempting to win over Eliona Branch, and often lends her his glyphbot, RED
    Flaw: He is extremely disorganized; his workshop and home are messy and cluttered

    Shopkeeper: Eliona Branch
    Appearance: Tall, olive-skinned woman that wears a drab gray coat with many pockets full of random trinkets and small items
    Abilities: Commoner
    Personality: Quiet and awkward; she rarely makes eye contact with others, and fidgets with her trinkets while speaking
    Goal: Eliona genuinely enjoys helping others find what they need at her shop, and wants to improve her inventory
    Bond: She and Matthias get along extremely well together, as both are intelligent and he makes her feel comfortable; she is somewhat oblivious to his romantic feelings
    Flaw: Eliona loves keeping her shop extremely orderly, and cannot stand disorder; she even organizes other people’s belongings, often without their permission
    Innkeeper: Anais Tarrenstone
    Appearance: Short, bronze-complected woman with curly hair held back by a bright yellow swathe of cloth; she usually wears a flour-covered apron over her practical dress
    Abilities: Commoner
    Personality: Anais is outgoing, and knows everybody in the village, making her a good source of gossip; she is willing to let visitors to Perna stay in her extra room above her pub, which is also a bakery
    Goal: Learn as much about others as possible; she loves meeting others, and will trade gossip
    Bond: Anais’s husband, Norrin, and their son, Cadden, work in the town quarry
    Flaw: She occasionally embellishes gossip, and has caused conflicts between villagers in the past

    Butcher/Tanner: Rallin Ward
    A large human in a blood-stained apron with freckled skin and an unkempt dark red beard; he is a loud man that often brags about his strength and the strength of his son, a hunter named Lerren

    Carpenter: Lis Evenkeel
    A tan beach dwarf carpenter with a bright blue bandanna that keeps her sun-bleached hair out of her face; she repairs the village’s fishing boats, and dislikes Anais Tarrenstone, who she believes gets in other peoples’ business too much.

    Fishers: Kat and Sen Stormchaser
    Kat and Sen are a pair of beach dwarf sisters that own a small boat that carries their surname, the Stormchaser; the fisherwomen, usually clad in leather raincoats, are often found in the Tarrenstone Pub. Kat is currently pursuing a romantic relationship with Lis Evenkeel.

    Quarry workers: Darman Crow
    Darman Crow, usually called Dar by his acquaintances, is an old human quarry worker known for his rambling tall tales: he lost his left leg in an accident at the quarry, and has a glyphstone prosthetic

    Farmers: Elian and Lereth Tidefall

    The Tidefalls are the parents of Velia Tidefall, Parna Village’s Disciple, and they are proud of their daughter’s position; they are a large family of small green-skinned wind elves that run a large vegetable farm on the outskirts of Parna Village


    Last edited by Sam113097; 2020-09-29 at 02:11 PM.
    Currently worldbuilding Last Haven: a setting formed on a titan's corpse! If you have a moment, I would love your feedback!

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Some interesting ideas! It looks like Last Haven is literally the body of a titan--how big of a scale are we talking here? And what's the rough population? Right at first I was thinking it looks pretty cramped, but it sounds like there are some pretty large expanses of wilderness on the islands (and I tend to imagine things far more compact than they really are sometimes!)
    I'm playing Ironsworn, an RPG that you can run solo - and I'm putting the campaign up on GitP!

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    A worldbuilding project, still work in progress: Reign of the Corven

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    I don't currently have any constructive criticism to offer, but I wanted to let you know I find your initial description very interesting.

    I, too, would like a scale for the map. I might be able to offer some opinion then.

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Okay....scale wise, if this is a "judge" corpse and judges are 60 miles tall this area is 50 (if withered and not really stretched out but still articulated) to 80 miles if the judge was broken up on impact.
    Get that right?

    I guess my real questions are,
    how linked is this region to other parts of the world?

    What kind of tone are you aiming at? Emotionally, thematically, that kind of thing. (New hope or post apocalypse dystopia)

    What is the base tech level you are aiming at?

    How kitchen sink do you want to make this world and this region (there are a lot races, monsters, class options, etc from the books. And the set up of barely any survivors can make that hard to pull off unless you focus on it...(say all goblinoids were one
    Race but have become various ones since the war due to geographic limitations, repeat for elves etc) you may want to edit what is available to focus theme etc (but make other stuff available with digging into right ruin perhaps)

    How long ago was this war to the "start date" ? Especially as relates to long lived races being able to remember the war, rebuilding rates, etc.

    Is this 5e DnD? Pathfinder? or another system?

    With the deities sleeping are there effects on divine casters? Lack of prophecy or knowledge etc that could lead to temples interpreting things differently and not being able to really know their master's will?

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    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Thank you all for the feedback! I appreciate it! I’ll do my best to answer each question, it really helps me fill in the gaps of the setting!

    Quote Originally Posted by rs2excelsior View Post
    Some interesting ideas! It looks like Last Haven is literally the body of a titan--how big of a scale are we talking here? And what's the rough population? Right at first I was thinking it looks pretty cramped, but it sounds like there are some pretty large expanses of wilderness on the islands (and I tend to imagine things far more compact than they really are sometimes!)
    -From head to foot, the Judge measures 60 miles. It broke as it fell, so with that extra space, the archipelago is 70 miles from the southwestern tip of Pyay to the northeastern point of Abeza. The population is pretty small; my rough estimate is about 10,000 people, mostly on Abeza and Central Island, and they tend to live fairly close together for safety, so there are large stretches of untamed wilds.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    Okay....scale wise, if this is a "judge" corpse and judges are 60 miles tall this area is 50 (if withered and not really stretched out but still articulated) to 80 miles if the judge was broken up on impact.
    Get that right?

    I guess my real questions are,
    how linked is this region to other parts of the world?

    What kind of tone are you aiming at? Emotionally, thematically, that kind of thing. (New hope or post apocalypse dystopia)

    What is the base tech level you are aiming at?

    How kitchen sink do you want to make this world and this region (there are a lot races, monsters, class options, etc from the books. And the set up of barely any survivors can make that hard to pull off unless you focus on it...(say all goblinoids were one
    Race but have become various ones since the war due to geographic limitations, repeat for elves etc) you may want to edit what is available to focus theme etc (but make other stuff available with digging into right ruin perhaps)

    How long ago was this war to the "start date" ? Especially as relates to long lived races being able to remember the war, rebuilding rates, etc.

    Is this 5e DnD? Pathfinder? or another system?

    With the deities sleeping are there effects on divine casters? Lack of prophecy or knowledge etc that could lead to temples interpreting things differently and not being able to really know their master's will?
    -The archipelago is very isolated; as of now, my plan is for the refugees living in Last Haven to have no knowledge of any other nearby landmasses. I may expand the world and make more continents/islands in the future, but I want to keep this one small for now in order to focus on it and flesh it out in more detail.

    -I am going for a hopeful/rebuilding tone mixed with a little bit of frontier/exploration. The first survivors to land on Last Haven has to struggle just to keep the spark of civilization alive, but now, their descendants have re-established society and are now trying to build and expand.

    -Tech level is interesting; prior to the Downfall, this world had a high level of magical technology, probably more advanced than real-life present-day tech. Now, they’ve reverted to a pretty medieval technology level, but the magical glyphs that weren’t lost make a few facets of everyday life easier (like refrigeration, hygiene, and construction), so it’s not a full-blown Dark Age. I don’t think guns were ever a thing in this world.

    -I plan to limit the main playable races to just humans, dwarves, elves, and orcs. As far as monstrous races, I’m leaning towards making grunge and gnolls common (grungs survives because they can swim, and gnolls were scavengers), with tortles as an isolated NPC-only race. I don’t think I’ll limit any classes.

    -I’m thinking of setting the Downfall about 400-500 years before the “start date”! I think I might shorten the life spans of this world’s elves and dwarves (keeping them longer-lived than humans, still).

    -I will run this in 5e!

    -I’m working on some stuff about the gods now; I do think that even prior to the Downfall, the gods weren’t very communicate or particularly interested in mortals, as they’re closer to primordials/forces of nature. Because of this, there’s definitely room for disagreements/ different forms of worship. As far as actual mechanics go, I don’t want to take away the option to play a divine caster from potential players, but I’m sort of leaning towards warning them that, while they can still access divine power, their gods won’t tell them anything.
    Currently worldbuilding Last Haven: a setting formed on a titan's corpse! If you have a moment, I would love your feedback!

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    You've done it. This is a unique setting and not as gross as your pitch made me imagine. This would interest me, but it's really small, so the question for me is, What's next after we explore the islands and discover the obvious? What's the rest of the world like, and what will that campaign be like?

    If that's got a cool angle, I would be excited if my DM ran this.

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    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Quote Originally Posted by HiddenPlane View Post
    You've done it. This is a unique setting and not as gross as your pitch made me imagine. This would interest me, but it's really small, so the question for me is, What's next after we explore the islands and discover the obvious? What's the rest of the world like, and what will that campaign be like?

    If that's got a cool angle, I would be excited if my DM ran this.
    Thank you! I was thinking that the next major landmass could be the shattered moon that was brought down during the Downfall, full of bizarre aberrations from beyond the domain of the Ancient Gods.

    Speaking of the gods, I've completed my write-up on the world's mythology, which I will add to my first post as well!

    Spoiler: The Ancient Gods
    Show

    “In the beginnin’, there was nothin’ but turmoil, an endless storm of raw matter and magic swirlin’ in space. After a very, very long time, a spirit formed within the storm. It began to grow and take in energy, and after another long, long time, another spirit formed, and began to grow like the first. By and by, there came to be five spirits, and, figuring that more would form in time, the five spirits, the oldest beings there were, started to build something out of the matter swirlin’ around them. We don’t know how long it took them, but sooner or later, the five spirits built our world: Lares. The first spirit, the oldest one, fashioned a sun, while the others formed the ground we walk on, filled the seas, and made all sorts of wild things to live here. The youngest spirit, a curious one, put their eyes up in the sky to watch their new world. That’s right, there used to be two moons; can you believe that?

    By the time the five spirits finished Lares, they were Ancient Gods indeed, and when they looked around them, they saw a black sky full of new spirits. The gods decided to give these new spirits material bodies and put them down here on Lares so they could learn and grow. The eldest, the Bright One, grabbed a few and shaped them into the first humans. The Living Wild made fierce hunters called orcs, the Earth Keeper built stout dwarves, and the Tide Bringer formed wanderin’ elves. The youngest god, the Night Runner, wandered through the sky, gatherin’ spirits for the other gods and helping old souls back up into the sky, brighter than they were before. So that’s where we come from, child: we were stars.”

    -Old Ward, a Disciple
    It doesn’t seem like the ancient gods of the planet Lares care about mortals all that much. Of course, there’s not really any question about whether or not these gods exist. In ages past, they used to visit Lares in the form of enormous avatars of nature. Lots of different peoples have stories about what they came to do, but in truth, when the Ancient Gods visited the world, they did so to carry out their own unfathomable plans, not to guide the mortal races, with one notable exception. Some even say that the Downfall was actually the Ancient Gods’ attempt to destroy the world, and that the Judges were actually protecting the mortal races, but few believe such talk. In any case, nobody’s seen them since the Downfall, and most people on Last Haven believe that they are recovering after their battle. Their wild magic still seeps into the world, though, so there’s little doubt that they’re still out there, somewhere.

    Now, about that notable exception: ages ago, when civilization was just starting out, one of the Ancient Gods, a hulking figure of glyph-carved stone and rough gems that identified itself as the Earth Keeper, visited a dwarven mason named Bahr. The Earth Keeper extended its hand and touched Bahr and in a moment, so the story goes, the mason saw everything there was. He saw all of time from the beginning until his own day, and watched the Ancient Gods build Lares. In only a second, he witnessed countless years, and saw all of the gods in their glory. His eyes were ruined by his vision, and he became Bahr the Blind, the First Disciple of the Ancient Gods. Using the understanding of the world’s wild magic that he had received, Bahr began to carve magical symbols called glyphs into small stones, which were capable of channeling the primal power of the Ancient Gods into spells with specific effects. The First Disciple also went to teach the people of what he had seen, and so the world began to learn more about the primordial deities of Lares. Worship of the Ancient Gods is not an organized affair, and every culture has its own way of doing things, but all of them share a few beliefs that have been passed down from Bahr the Blind to the Disciples that watch over Last Haven’s altars today. Altars serve as gathering places for guidance and spiritual festivals, and are watched over by Disciples that seek to understand the Ancient Gods.

    The Ancient Gods of Lares are forces of nature; they have no gender, and bear only titles given to them by mortals rather than true names. There are five of them:

    • The Bright One is the deity of day, the sun, and creation, a being of fiery light and energy. While the order in which the Ancient Gods were created is largely unknown, Bahr the Blind did see that the Bright One was the first, and was the first to begin to create. The Bright One is said to have made humans, who are endowed with its aptitude for creation, and the deity is often revered by farmers and craftsmen.
      Symbol: The red sun
      Domains: Life, Light, and Order
      Holiday: Long Day, a festival of beautiful creations such as songs, dances, and crafts held on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

    • The Earth Keeper is the deity of earth, balance, and hidden knowledge, a colossus of solid, glyph-carved stone and gems. As the only Ancient God to show much interest in teaching mortals anything, the Earth Keeper is venerated by many scholars and mages. The Earth Keeper built the dwarves, who were each given a tiny bit of their creator’s rocky fortitude.
      Symbol: The purple mountain
      Domains: Arcana, Forge, and Knowledge
      Holiday: The Festival of Balance is a time for forgiving grudges and sharing the last harvest in harmony, and to hear the old tales of Bahr the Blind from Last Haven’s Disciples, and is held each Fall Equinox.

    • The Living Wild is a deity of nature, the hunt, and the natural cycle of growth and decay, and is a fierce entity with ever-shifting animal features shrouded by plants growing from its frame. The Living Wild is a god honored by woodsmen, hunters, and shepherds far from home. The orcs were created by this deity, given powerful builds and primal insticts that made them natural hunters.
      Symbol: The green claw
      Domains: Death, Nature
      Holiday: First Harvest is a day of feasts to celebrate nature’s bounty. Farmers and herdsmen release the firstfruits of their flocks back into the wilderness on this day as a show of thanks to the Living Wild.

    • The Night Runner is the deity of night, the moon, and trickery, and manifests itself as a being made of the night sky itself. The Night Runner is the youngest of the Ancient Gods, and is often invoked for protection by those that travel under cover of night. This god did not create a mortal race; rather, it is said to recover the souls of the dead and return them to their place among the stars.
      Symbol: The twin moons
      Domains: Grave, Trickery
      Holiday: The Night of Stars is held on each Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, to honor the Night Runner as guide of the dead. Once the sun goes down, the people of Last Haven light candles to symbolize the souls of the dead and tell their stories.

    • The Tide Bringer is a brutal deity of the oceans, tempests, and battle, whose avatar takes a gargantuan, shark-like shape made of lightning and tempestuous storm clouds. While it is the patron of violent storms and war, the Tide Bringer is also the god of sailors and wanderers on Lares’s seas. The elves of Lares are a race of nomadic seafarers created by the Tidebringer.
      Symbol: The blue lightning bolt
      Domains: Tempest, War
      Holiday: Storm’s Eve is held on the Spring Equinox, honoring the rainstorms sent in that season by the Tidebringer. As the Tidebringer is a god of battle as well, Storm’s Eve is also a time for fighting games and tests of strength.

    Currently worldbuilding Last Haven: a setting formed on a titan's corpse! If you have a moment, I would love your feedback!

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    A few issues come up dealing with scale.....and this is getting long I'll have to come back on a desktop to edit this into spoilers.

    So if the space is (to be generous and make a solid block) basically 60 miles by 25 or 1500 sq miles (and I think I'm being generous here) that is really small. So at max that is Oahu (1583 sq miles) but even Kauai (1435 sq miles) or Rhodes (1410) are on a large side of a comparison. And your whole campaign world may be closer to Martinique (1167 sq miles) or Grand Bahama (1036) in TOTAL land area. So imagine looking at a map of Grand Bahama and saying that is all the world....think of how that will effect how people see the world and act.

    Firstly even with 10K PC race population. That is still 7 ppl per square mile. Plus Gnolls etc. Say 10 ppl per sq mile. This is going to also run into your "great wilds still exist" issue. As basically no place is more than 5-7 miles from the ocean and even the core chest region is maybe a three day walk. The word "remote" may not exist in the local version of common. Where would monsters who need significant prey to eat hide in numbers high enough to raise their own young? Wouldn't the human population drive them off? Now even if the population has only been near that for a century or so it asks why the place has not been totally explored. At least the areas that starting characters can safely work through would have been explored already.
    This especially true if the PC's have access to adventurer skill training.

    Why would ppl need to train as a wizard, warmage, marshal, or fighter in this society? After 400 years and a much smaller scale would those skills see enough use to be passed down culturally and to a level where people can train others? If you only have villages of a couple hundred people max what skill specialties does the society need? And why? And you imply they do need it if the PCs can get that training. And if the training has been passed down or developed during this last century or three then there have been several 1st level characters of that type over the year looking for the same jobs your PC's are now...so why are there any easy ones left for your PC's?

    This also asks how many ppl survived to start this whole place. i ask because I'm assuming some population growth has gone on since then. And you need minimum of 4 starting/base (if populations shrank for the first generation or two) populations each large enough to forge a functioning society. So say 250-500 minimum? And what kind of skills and knowledge did these people have? Lots would have likely had skills that were totally useless in a post fallen world (say insurance broker or levitation lorry driver). So finding lots of PC useful skills from the prefallen world is going to rare. And post fall you have to ask why and how they would be developed..not so say they can't but it will radically shape how various classes, groups, tools are used socially (like who needs a greatsword? What use is it and if not very useful who would have any for sale or would even know how to make one? Its not impossible for them to be useful but you won't get much in the way of standing armies here so that will shape how people fight regardless and thus what is available) plus what goods need lots of specialists to back them up? How much fuel, different resource collections, time, facilities go into making the precursors of a given item? And how often are those used? Often enough to dedicate specialist labour to it? for example who needs paper in this setup? No government big enough really to call for it, which raises questions for spell books, scrolls, and the like.

    Also in such a small population society is going to be different. Smaller groups (particularly around 150) tend to work very differently than larger groups. In smaller groups everyone knows everyone else and reacts to people as individuals. In larger groups we start to see people acting in social roles. Players are generally going to look for "roles" to engage with (priest, king, guard captain) that would often not exist in smaller groups. While small groups of a larger society will hold to the larger system 400 years of isolation will bring out the classic organizational pattern seen in tribal life, Mennonites, business organizations et al. Look up the rule of 150 for some interesting research that has been done in the field or even just how social organizations of different sizes differ in how they organize internally.

    Have you thought about this place being a refuge of a refuge? Like survivors of the war set up some place and only a generation ago came to the judge for some reason? Magic, Lost a war to the horrors of fallen world, their island sank, etc....could solve a lot of the above issues really.
    Last edited by sktarq; 2020-03-16 at 02:02 PM.

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    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    A few issues come up dealing with scale.....and this is getting long I'll have to come back on a desktop to edit this into spoilers.

    So if the space is (to be generous and make a solid block) basically 60 miles by 25 or 1500 sq miles (and I think I'm being generous here) that is really small.

    Firstly even with 10K PC race population. That is still 7 ppl per square mile. Plus Gnolls etc. Say 10 ppl per sq mile. This is going to also run into your "great wilds still exist" issue. As basically no place is more than 5-7 miles from the ocean and even the core chest region is maybe a three day walk. The word "remote" may not exist in the local version of common. Where would monsters who need significant prey to eat hide in numbers high enough to raise their own young? Wouldn't the human population drive them off? Now even if the population has only been near that for a century or so it asks why the place has not been totally explored. At least the areas that starting characters can safely work through would have been explored already.
    Okay, thank you for the critique, let's see if we can fix it! I'll make the Judge larger (after all, this was an automaton strong enough to punch out Ancient Gods and throw islands, who cares if its head exited the atmosphere). The Judge will have stood a nice, even 100 miles tall prior to shattering.

    As far as population goes, I can adjust that as well. Here is what I had in mind as far as approximate numbers:
    • Abeza Town: 4000
    • Sandside Village: 500
    • Ombro Village: 750
    • Grayarbor Town: 2000
    • Perna Village: 250
    • Shellhome Village: 500

    That cuts the population down to 8,000 total inhabitants, and significantly increases the square mileage of the Judge, hopefully allowing me to maintain some unexplored wilderness for my players!

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    Why would ppl need to train as a wizard, warmage, marshal, or fighter in this society? After 400 years and a much smaller scale would those skills see enough use to be passed down culturally and to a level where people can train others? If you only have villages of a couple hundred people max what skill specialties does the society need? And why? And you imply they do need it if the PCs can get that training. And if the training has been passed down or developed during this last century or three then there have been several 1st level characters of that type over the year looking for the same jobs your PC's are now...so why are there any easy ones left for your PC's?

    This also asks how many ppl survived to start this whole place. i ask because I'm assuming some population growth has gone on since then. And you need minimum of 4 starting/base (if populations shrank for the first generation or two) populations each large enough to forge a functioning society. So say 250-500 minimum? And what kind of skills and knowledge did these people have? Lots would have likely had skills that were totally useless in a post fallen world (say insurance broker or levitation lorry driver). So finding lots of PC useful skills from the prefallen world is going to rare. And post fall you have to ask why and how they would be developed..not so say they can't but it will radically shape how various classes, groups, tools are used socially (like who needs a greatsword? What use is it and if not very useful who would have any for sale or would even know how to make one? Its not impossible for them to be useful but you won't get much in the way of standing armies here so that will shape how people fight regardless and thus what is available) plus what goods need lots of specialists to back them up? How much fuel, different resource collections, time, facilities go into making the precursors of a given item? And how often are those used? Often enough to dedicate specialist labour to it? for example who needs paper in this setup? No government big enough really to call for it, which raises questions for spell books, scrolls, and the like.
    Those are all great points. I would say that about 800 or so refugees landed on Last Haven, but population growth has been slow due to the harsh conditions (as you noted, many of the survivors would not have many relevant skills). Additionally, the destruction of one of their initial settlements, Fore, about a century ago would further slow growth. Honestly, as I see it, you are correct: martial training and wizardly academies would have been lost in the Downfall, and acquiring things like greatswords and plate armor will be not be easy, and books will be rare. As far as spellbooks go, while they will functionally be the same in play, the idea is that instead of books, wizards carry around bags or satchels full of small carved glyphs. This ties in to how I plan to run a game in Last Haven: PCs will be largely unique, and will have to brave the wilds and tunnels to find pre-Downfall tech and equipment. For example, a fighter might be stuck using a blacksmith's hammer and a makeshift wooden shield until they find a pre-Downfall glyphblade

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    Also in such a small population society is going to be different. Smaller groups (particularly around 150) tend to work very differently than larger groups. In smaller groups everyone knows everyone else and reacts to people as individuals. In larger groups we start to see people acting in social roles. Players are generally going to look for "roles" to engage with (priest, king, guard captain) that would often not exist in smaller groups. While small groups of a larger society will hold to the larger system 400 years of isolation will bring out the classic organizational pattern seen in tribal life, Mennonites, business organizations et al. Look up the rule of 150 for some interesting research that has been done in the field or even just how social organizations of different sizes differ in how they organize internally.

    Have you thought about this place being a refuge of a refuge? Like survivors of the war set up some place and only a generation ago came to the judge for some reason? Magic, Lost a war to the horrors of fallen world, their island sank, etc....could solve a lot of the above issues really.
    Society will definitely be different and more small-scale, and that is one of the Old-West style themes that I am going for! You're right, there won't be kings or high priest, though each town will have a de-facto marshal/leader (Lawkeeper), and followers of the Ancient Gods (Disciples) will be fairly common. I am currently working on writing up the village of Perna, and I do intend for those small-scale interpersonal relationships to be a potential hook/interesting role-play opportunity for the players.

    As far as being a refuge of a refuge, the survivors' original settlement, Fore, was overrun (not sure by what yet) several generations ago and its population was driven out. For some of Last Haven's people, looking for refuge and rebuilding from scratch is not that far in the past
    Last edited by Sam113097; 2020-03-16 at 02:23 PM.
    Currently worldbuilding Last Haven: a setting formed on a titan's corpse! If you have a moment, I would love your feedback!

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam113097 View Post
    ....I'll make the Judge larger ...
    That cuts the population down to 8,000 total inhabitants, and significantly increases the square mileage of the Judge, hopefully allowing me to maintain some unexplored wilderness for my players!
    Well I'm not sure it will get you "unexplored" but remote enough that people don't talk about it or forgot since nobody has been here in a while except that one wander-y guy and he's a loon.
    But the basic population figures have a couple questions about them. Firstly is this an economic area population or a town's population? because those are very different things. Most people from the tech level you are describing are still going to be in the resource collection business. Farming being the/a main one, and that takes space. Many may live in town and walk to their fields but that is generally a pretty short distance that people will put up with that and need a good reason (law, threat from night creatures etc). Same with quarries, logging, and other activities that need to be done at particular locations that may be away from the town. Thus a community may be a "town of 2K" may have 1200 in the town, 2 300 person out villages a 1/2 day walk away and 200 people in various homesteads, a logging camps, military posts, and quarry (and some of the latter may be seasonal). Because if you really want to have a town of 2K you have to ask how they eat and get their raw materials....which would imply a larger total population. Up to you how yo want to play this. and actually brings up the questions what is the climate of this place? Because that does kinda matter to the feel of the game..and what people do with their days.
    You may want to give people a reason to be homebodies if yo want to push both the specialness of the PC's and the idea that few if any people see much of the archipelago


    Quote Originally Posted by Sam113097 View Post
    ... martial training and wizardly academies would have been lost in the Downfall,...For example, a fighter might be stuck using a blacksmith's hammer and a makeshift wooden shield until they find a pre-Downfall glyphblade
    Goodstuff. This is what i meant by limiting and culling player options though. If there are not greatswords around nobody will be training you how to handle one and thus it leads to questions of exotic weapon proficiency, allowed starting equipment, and the like. If you are going to be building each PC with your players it shouldn't be a problem to help keep them on theme but that will need to be explained to them upfront. If your players are going to be bringing PC (or near completed PC's) to the table I'd recommend you make a list of no's before they have a chance to start work to prevent hard feelings later. Also having a rough "in stock", "can be custom ordered", and "nope" lists covering the main equipment lists ahead of time would probably be a good idea. Basically I'd just keep splatbooks to a "no, with exceptions" that thematically match. But even asking what certain alchemical items are good for in this kind of society and thus if they are available is a valid question.



    Quote Originally Posted by Sam113097 View Post
    Society will definitely be different and more small-scale, and that is one of the Old-West style themes that I am going for! You're right, there won't be kings or high priest, though each town will have a de-facto marshal/leader (Lawkeeper), and followers of the Ancient Gods (Disciples) will be fairly common......
    yeah sounds really good. but the Lawkeeper or Disciple is also likely to have a lot of "normal" life duties. The lawkeeper may be a farmer who is well off, respected for his/her wisdom, has a large family that can act a posse, or other advantage. I would suspect a lot "council of elders" type leadership with headman syle in the larger places.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam113097 View Post
    As far as being a refuge of a refuge, the survivors' original settlement, Fore, was overrun (not sure by what yet) several generations ago and its population was driven out. For some of Last Haven's people, looking for refuge and rebuilding from scratch is not that far in the past
    Actually this could be really useful. If Fore's refugees make up a lot of the smaller settlements then that could explain a lot of the "unexplored" regions etc. If the vast majority of people lived on the island of Fore for the first 300 years and there were only a couple other communities then it would explain how large areas stayed pretty wild. Would also encourage a level of specialization that would keep a lot of the tech level up. Then when the Fore survivors flooded out they built new places or greatly expanded hamlets (blending their cultures) diverged in weird ways etc. Could also lead to links/rivalries in the daughter groups (say two lines of magic users who each consider themselves the true line of apprentices from the "Archmage of Fore" or whatever). So I'd recommend playing this angle up...leaves more plot hooks from PreDownfall, increases verisimilitude, and provides a bunch of plothooks itself.

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Thank you so much for all of your input! This is really helping me make decisions and shape this world! I really appreciate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    Well I'm not sure it will get you "unexplored" but remote enough that people don't talk about it or forgot since nobody has been here in a while except that one wander-y guy and he's a loon.
    But the basic population figures have a couple questions about them. Firstly is this an economic area population or a town's population? ... what is the climate of this place? Because that does kinda matter to the feel of the game..and what people do with their days. You may want to give people a reason to be homebodies if you want to push both the specialness of the PC's and the idea that few if any people see much of the archipelago
    Definitely an economic area, including surrounding farms, etc. I'm imagining a climate similar to the Pacific Northwest, with frequent rains and fairly abundant marine life. I'm no expert, but from a few quick searches, it appears that this type of climate is good for growing a variety of fruits, vegetables, and staples like potatoes. While they do have to spread out a bit for farmland, I feel like it would make sense for people to cluster together as much as possible for defense against the monsters that roam the islands. Those monsters would also make exploration more difficult than it is in real life.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    Goodstuff. This is what i meant by limiting and culling player options though. If there are not greatswords around nobody will be training you how to handle one and thus it leads to questions of exotic weapon proficiency, allowed starting equipment, and the like. If you are going to be building each PC with your players it shouldn't be a problem to help keep them on theme but that will need to be explained to them upfront. If your players are going to be bringing PC (or near completed PC's) to the table I'd recommend you make a list of no's before they have a chance to start work to prevent hard feelings later. Also having a rough "in stock", "can be custom ordered", and "nope" lists covering the main equipment lists ahead of time would probably be a good idea. Basically I'd just keep splatbooks to a "no, with exceptions" that thematically match. But even asking what certain alchemical items are good for in this kind of society and thus if they are available is a valid question.
    I'll have a little "world intro" for my players eventually, and I'll definitely let them know that starting equipment will be limited. Things like inventory and available equipment in each town are details that I do eventually want to have written down! I don't want to take away any background or class/subclass options, or mess with proficiencies though, as I feel like I can fit them all in somewhere.


    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    Yeah sounds really good. but the Lawkeeper or Disciple is also likely to have a lot of "normal" life duties. The lawkeeper may be a farmer who is well off, respected for his/her wisdom, has a large family that can act a posse, or other advantage. I would suspect a lot "council of elders" type leadership with headman syle in the larger places.
    For sure!


    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    Actually this could be really useful. If Fore's refugees make up a lot of the smaller settlements then that could explain a lot of the "unexplored" regions etc. If the vast majority of people lived on the island of Fore for the first 300 years and there were only a couple other communities then it would explain how large areas stayed pretty wild. Would also encourage a level of specialization that would keep a lot of the tech level up. Then when the Fore survivors flooded out they built new places or greatly expanded hamlets (blending their cultures) diverged in weird ways etc. Could also lead to links/rivalries in the daughter groups (say two lines of magic users who each consider themselves the true line of apprentices from the "Archmage of Fore" or whatever). So I'd recommend playing this angle up...leaves more plot hooks from PreDownfall, increases verisimilitude, and provides a bunch of plothooks itself.
    Alright, thank you for the idea! I'll figure this out now!
    Let's say that Fore and Abeza were the first two settlements. Perna Village, the smallest settlement, is made up mostly out of refugees from the destruction of Fore, as is Ombro Town. Grayarbor Town already existed, but it took in a lot of survivors, including many of Fore's leading citizens, so that might be a bit of interesting conflict there between the groups. Shellhome and Sandside Village will have existed before the destruction of Fore. Now, I need to decide what wrecked it!
    Currently worldbuilding Last Haven: a setting formed on a titan's corpse! If you have a moment, I would love your feedback!

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    So after reading your posts yesterday I was thinking about this for a bit and started having a few thoughs about this 100 mile tall robo-jeager-god-hunter-magic-robot....basically I tipped him onto his back mentally and realized it would still be REALLY tall. Mountain range sized tall....which started to get me to think about depth in general...how much does this corpse come out of the water? how about soil depth? if it is PacNW inspired region then I'm gonna assume big conifers are on you list of wants for image and theme. But lots of really big trees are more than 400 years old and so wouldn't have had time to grow even if there was soil available to start. Plus where would they get the seeds for all this if they so far out in the ocean. . . and the soil has to be thick enough to support farm pretty quick with the survivors landing on Fore and other parts....

    So some thinking on Depth and its consequences and possible useful mitigations/solutions.

    Spoiler: Judge Depth
    Show
    How "thick" is this Judge? If it is built similarly to slim-to-normal human probably 12 miles front to back and double that for a more stout build. which starts to give us ideas of effects. We don't want the main land masses to be too far up into the atmosphere or is going to start to effect the game in weird ways and will be more Tibet or Altiplano than PacNW so lets focus on going deeper than shallower. If it lands in an Abyssal Plain part of the ocean that ocean is going to be 2-4 miles deep. That would also account for it's remoteness. I like that things building off each other in logical ways. Now on earth oceanic tectonic plates are about 4 miles thick. A blast big enough to blast this thing could be excused for forcing this thing into said crust hard enough to break the crust and as I'm proposing that the Judge is harder and thicker than the crust fragments (especially the thicker bits like the torso and thighs/legs) those would sink into the upper mantle a ways. Also could be where the various parts of the judge broke up and dis-articulated. So if we take that as the basis for how the top of Judge is pretty flat around sea level sloping up to a couple miles about sea level in that mountain torso ring area what other effects does that have and what opportunities does that give?
    Well ripping up the floor, lots of recent volcanic activity, lots of deep dramatic cliff faces, and civilizations already there ruined but deeper ones may have subterranean ruins may have been exposed. But it sounds like a great place for abboleths, sub surface civilization ready type place. With cracks from imperfect fits of the crustal fragments or edges of the judge pieces going much deeper than usual next to volcanic plains of infill and vents. Lots of adventure hooks here.
    The sinking of parts of the Judge below the level of the normal crust....huh. heated from the mantel but presumably too tough to melt or collapse under that pressure. Parts of the access system may have climate control still working, but a lots of it will be super hot and stifling. Some parts may be slow sublimating causing weird smells. Well that sounds hellish. In fact you have totally reasonable pseudo "Hell" below the main parts of your region. This sounds like another place that could be interesting adventure wise. What would end up living down there? Would things from the plane of Hell or Fire plane start making their way in? Anyway it could be another setup for plot hooks, good reason to use more of monster manual, and the like.

    Next issue
    Spoiler: Soil Depth, Generation, and possible solutions
    Show
    Soil issues. Okay this not an easy one because it would normally take quite a while to build up soil on a dead robot. Then have that soil be thick enough to support trees the size you probably want. Very hard in time for the refugees to start farming when you want. So I think you'll need to short circuit this somehow. Fortunately I see two options that already feed into your stories.
    First is that the judge was built of something that included an outer living layer. this comes up with issues of it moving from climate to climate and a bunch of others plus may ruin the idea of what you want the judge to look and feel like. Perhaps more Jeager robot covered in glowing magic writing is what I had from the stuff you had written but I may have been wrong.
    Second (and my more favored option)....well these things hunted and fought gods right? and you have a God-o-nature (the Living Wild) already on your list. So perhaps this deity was involved with the Judges death. Maybe not alone but it helped in the battle that busted this thing up. And those blasts from the Living Wild deity being associated with a living attack could have included the way living moss and life attack things like stone weakening it. So the Living Wild tried to coat the judge in a living attack film filled the generative energy of the god itself. Now handwaving that this attack both busted up the outer layer (possibly disrupting the glyphs) creating soil and also generated a ton of plant, microbial, animal and even monstrous life as the energy settled down doesn't seem entirely implausible. Kind of a weaponized smaller scale Genesis effect/device from the old Star Trek movie. So ready to have a forest on day 1 then. Also solves how various monsters got there. Why weird illogical monsters even exist, etc. Also such widespread surface attacks on the Judge could excuse tunnels being dug by say a giant root like effect which has since rotted away and left a weird branching tube like series of caverns. Which sounds like a good dungeon exploring adventure if something interesting moved in after. Plus weird "lasting effects" could have the rules of life work very different in places where the magic didn't quite settle down...maybe this is what druids tap that is different than clerics, or t just causes life to thrive in places that it should be just microbes and bugs (like a deep underdark system-perhaps this combines with the still fading energy of the judge's animation to provide the energy for deep underdark fungi at the base of a food chain) or animated trees (treants, quickwoods,etc) etc.

    Just some musings use what parts you like.

    EDIT:
    Spoiler: argument on not kitchen sinking again
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam113097 View Post
    I'll have a little "world intro" for my players eventually, and I'll definitely let them know that starting equipment will be limited. Things like inventory and available equipment in each town are details that I do eventually want to have written down! I don't want to take away any background or class/subclass options, or mess with proficiencies though, as I feel like I can fit them all in somewhere.
    Okay by this site the official list of subclasses is 85. That is 85 lines of training. If each averages 10 people that is basically 10% of your population. So if you want an important Cavalier's for example you may be talking about picking one a half dozen people around the entire game world. Some of this is more mutable than others but that is at least 7 monasteries to spread around? and how small are they? If you say they range from 4-12 people and average a smidge over 7 then you'll still have 50 and you basically have about seven communities total too start. Some like Purple Knights, Samurai, Crown (or Conquest) Oath Paladins, and Bladesingers seem like they could be adjusted but each will be taking from a very limited population and I'm not sure WHY they would be needed or what they would add to your world. And some like Scouts or Horizon Walkers may activly hinder your wish for things to be unexplored. Have an even small tradition of horizon walkers in such a small place and it will be explored in under a century I bet.

    If you focus on say the PHB You are looking at 37 (22+7 domains+8 schools) and most of them fit pretty well. You can have populations of a 15-25 of something without it being a big deal. Again scattered across the entire archipelago. And sure add some more in from Xanathar's Guide, or maybe Eberron Artificers (who may make good links for Gylph work) but be selective and see how they work in your setting. This is what I mean by not Kitchen Sinking it.
    Last edited by sktarq; 2020-03-17 at 04:50 PM.

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    So after reading your posts yesterday I was thinking about this for a bit and started having a few thoughts about this 100 mile tall robo-jeager-god-hunter-magic-robot....

    ... well ripping up the floor, lots of recent volcanic activity, lots of deep dramatic cliff faces, and civilizations already there ruined but deeper ones may have subterranean ruins may have been exposed. But it sounds like a great place for abboleths, sub surface civilization ready type place. With cracks from imperfect fits of the crustal fragments or edges of the judge pieces going much deeper than usual next to volcanic plains of infill and vents. Lots of adventure hooks here.
    Thanks for taking depth into consideration! You are correct, the Judge isn't sitting miles above the sea level; the Six Pinnacles, its caved-in chest, jutting out the highest as the widest part of the titan. Those are some great ideas about what is happening within the Judge. I think that the deepest, most sunken parts of the Judge could have a really cool environment and make for an awesome dungeon setting. Parts of the Judge could still be functioning, with climate controlled, glyph-lit chambers patrolled by guardian constructs, other parts could be volcanic, with lava beginning to seep in and magma-dwelling creatures like salamanders, fire elementals, and magma mephits coming in through the plumes. Some parts could be flooded, full of strange deep-sea life and things like abboleths! I'll definitely make sure to include that.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    Soil issues. Okay this not an easy one because it would normally take quite a while to build up soil on a dead robot. Then have that soil be thick enough to support trees the size you probably want. Very hard in time for the refugees to start farming when you want. So I think you'll need to short circuit this somehow. Fortunately I see two options that already feed into your stories.
    First is that the judge was built of something that included an outer living layer. this comes up with issues of it moving from climate to climate and a bunch of others plus may ruin the idea of what you want the judge to look and feel like. Perhaps more Jeager robot covered in glowing magic writing is what I had from the stuff you had written but I may have been wrong.
    Second (and my more favored option)....well these things hunted and fought gods right? and you have a God-o-nature (the Living Wild) already on your list. So perhaps this deity was involved with the Judges death. Maybe not alone but it helped in the battle that busted this thing up. And those blasts from the Living Wild deity being associated with a living attack could have included the way living moss and life attack things like stone weakening it. So the Living Wild tried to coat the judge in a living attack film filled the generative energy of the god itself. Now handwaving that this attack both busted up the outer layer (possibly disrupting the glyphs) creating soil and also generated a ton of plant, microbial, animal and even monstrous life as the energy settled down doesn't seem entirely implausible. Kind of a weaponized smaller scale Genesis effect/device from the old Star Trek movie. So ready to have a forest on day 1 then. Also solves how various monsters got there. Why weird illogical monsters even exist, etc. Also such widespread surface attacks on the Judge could excuse tunnels being dug by say a giant root like effect which has since rotted away and left a weird branching tube like series of caverns. Which sounds like a good dungeon exploring adventure if something interesting moved in after. Plus weird "lasting effects" could have the rules of life work very different in places where the magic didn't quite settle down...maybe this is what druids tap that is different than clerics, or t just causes life to thrive in places that it should be just microbes and bugs (like a deep underdark system-perhaps this combines with the still fading energy of the judge's animation to provide the energy for deep underdark fungi at the base of a food chain) or animated trees (treants, quickwoods,etc) etc.
    I like this idea! Honestly, my solution was a little more brutal: I was thinking that one of the Ancient Gods had literally just thrown an island/continent at the Judge, knocking it down and burying it under millions of tons of earth. However, you've got a point: that would wreck most plants, and destroy the animal life. Here's what I'm thinking: the Living Wild threw an island at the Judge to take it down, and then drove its hunting spear into the core in the center of the construct's chest, where it stuck. That means that there's a spear made of wild magic at the bottom of Pinnacle Lake, right in the middle of the islands, acting as a source of nature energy that helped plants to quickly re-grow on the soil over the Judge and bringing wildlife to the islands. The Judge's arcane core is also broken open, and still leaking magic into the environment. Between those two sources of magic, there would be a lot of weird monsters getting formed, and some pockets of strange magical effects!

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    EDIT:
    Spoiler: argument on not kitchen sinking again
    Show


    Okay by this site the official list of subclasses is 85. That is 85 lines of training. If each averages 10 people that is basically 10% of your population. So if you want an important Cavalier's for example you may be talking about picking one a half dozen people around the entire game world. Some of this is more mutable than others but that is at least 7 monasteries to spread around? and how small are they? If you say they range from 4-12 people and average a smidge over 7 then you'll still have 50 and you basically have about seven communities total too start. Some like Purple Knights, Samurai, Crown (or Conquest) Oath Paladins, and Bladesingers seem like they could be adjusted but each will be taking from a very limited population and I'm not sure WHY they would be needed or what they would add to your world. And some like Scouts or Horizon Walkers may activly hinder your wish for things to be unexplored. Have an even small tradition of horizon walkers in such a small place and it will be explored in under a century I bet.

    If you focus on say the PHB You are looking at 37 (22+7 domains+8 schools) and most of them fit pretty well. You can have populations of a 15-25 of something without it being a big deal. Again scattered across the entire archipelago. And sure add some more in from Xanathar's Guide, or maybe Eberron Artificers (who may make good links for Gylph work) but be selective and see how they work in your setting. This is what I mean by not Kitchen Sinking it.
    I think what I'll do is fully flesh out the setting with factions, etc. and then see what doesn't make sense once everything takes shape.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    Just some musings use what parts you like.
    Thanks again! I really value your feedback!
    Currently worldbuilding Last Haven: a setting formed on a titan's corpse! If you have a moment, I would love your feedback!

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam113097 View Post
    I like this idea! Honestly, my solution was a little more brutal: I was thinking that one of the Ancient Gods had literally just thrown an island/continent at the Judge, knocking it down and burying it under millions of tons of earth. However, you've got a point: that would wreck most plants, and destroy the animal life. Here's what I'm thinking: the Living Wild threw an island at the Judge to take it down, and then drove its hunting spear into the core in the center of the construct's chest, where it stuck. That means that there's a spear made of wild magic at the bottom of Pinnacle Lake, right in the middle of the islands, acting as a source of nature energy that helped plants to quickly re-grow on the soil over the Judge and bringing wildlife to the islands. The Judge's arcane core is also broken open, and still leaking magic into the environment. Between those two sources of magic, there would be a lot of weird monsters getting formed, and some pockets of strange magical effects!
    I generally like this but have a few points

    Where did this island/continent chunk come from (last check you were in middle of ocean and very isolated)?

    Wouldn't such a big mass be mostly rock anyway? The soil would be a thin skin on only the topside?

    Why would it stick to the Judge?

    Where did the rest of the island weapon go that didn't stick to the judge?

    As for brutal have you seen what plant roots, or fungi, or bacteria can do to stone? It is brutal as all get out just on a different sense of scale in size and/or time. Think about a small plant growing in a crack breaking a cement or stone flag sidewalk as it grows. Now just scale up and speed up via the divine energy. And brutal would be beyond an understatement.


    Spoiler: so blend the stories? why not do both? and lean brutal-I think I can do that
    Show

    How about LW (Living Wild) grabs a big chunk of island or continent.

    Then LW charges this chunk of earth and stone with its own energy so that microbes, fungi, burrowing animals, vermin, and plant roots all start eating it away, faster and faster, evolving by the second, turning on parts of its own living form as the original mass of stone shrinks second by second consuming it until LW has a giant clump of loam and soil in what passes for its hands teaming with life that is hungry to consume more magical energy and stone...to eat it away like acid and trillion stone masons.

    The LW throws this mass at the Judge; hitting it pretty square on. Much of its fibrous mass clinging to the immense figure and starting to attack it. (As an aside, what happens to the rest of this weapon hitting the ground (the parts that don't stick to the judge) could be an interesting late game setting somewhere else. Perhaps a forest where everything is try to eat everything else in an almost Abyssal way. The trees, moss, soil loam, vines, mushrooms, giant venus flytraps, etc are all capable of dissolving,splitting, growing through (think of Bamboo Torture for inspiration), and eating everything else while infested with fungal monsters and giant vermin to boot.)

    This turns the tide of the battle and the Judge turns to flee. Slowly being eaten from the mass of hungry living coat sticking to much of its front side and quickly growing around it, the judge tries to purge itself of the problem. It scrapes some of it off but it starts growing back, tries to wash it off in the sea, who knows what else but in trying to have the time to fix itself it must withdraw from the battle.

    Some of the great glyphs start to loose definition and the Judge is weakened further (think someone who gains power from magic tattoos being hit with gangrene or flesh eating bacteria (actually imagine a flesh eating bacteria ball being thrown at a person for an equivalent attack on a human to this whole idea)) and so it flees across the sea striding far from any land where that could happen again. Perhaps it was seeking deeper water (to possibly suffocate/drown its problem?). Perhaps it had a plan that could only work on the other side of sea. Perhaps a fungal thread had burrowed deep into the great glyph network that created its artificial intelligence and like Ophiocordyceps turned it into a zombie like state. Only the gods now know, for only they were there and survived.

    Now LW (or perhaps the Tide/Battle God or Earth God if you want to tag team it) catches up with this weakened Judge. And while the battle is fierce the deity makes short work of the weakened construct. Knocking it backwards and then finishing it by driving its spear/trident/pickaxe deep into its chest. This causes a massive blast of energy breaking up the body of the great construct and driving much of the massive robot so deep into earth that molten stone rises around the now shattered corpse and rubbelized the nearby crust like the planet itself is bleeding from the wound. Part of the resulting blast of released energy breaks off part of the deity's weapon leaving it forever entwined with the place as the judges core spins wildly out of control tossing wildmagic effects for miles but unable to dissipate from the divine weapon interaction which itself changes and shapes much of the magic coming off the area. At first at epic scales as broken corpse settles in churn of shattered rock on a bed of molten stone like driftwood in slush ice, all surrounded by storm of toxic steam but eventually calming to levels seen today in the archipelago and more strongly within the circle of the Six Spires.

    With the death of the Judge the deadly parasitic mass also starts to die with it loosing much of its hungry edge but still teaming with life energy and what appears to be almost a will to live on it starts to turn, evolve, and change into forests, fields, animals. Some will say this the LW's truer nature reasserting itself once the battle was over, letting its more obvious and aggressive magic fade away. But some parts still flicker with more of the old energy...drawing up great life bearing trees, magic groves, mutagenic nectar in giant flowers, trees that act like animals, insects that act like plants, moss that hungers for blood or steel or glyph energy. Worse sometimes the soil itself retains its dark past....born from the magically imbued substance of a Judge and corrupted and broken down by the magic, rage, and desperation of a god the soil holds magic in some parts of Last Haven and sometimes that magic gets up and starts walking around...a deep monstrous experimentation/evolution/curse (there is debate) with creatures that should or could not be (Gorgons, displacer beasts, take you pick of killer plants and magical beasts) that seem to be birthed from dark patches of soil and the islands ill will.
    Last edited by sktarq; 2020-03-18 at 01:24 AM.

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Thanks, Sktarq! I've got a write-up on the formation of Last Haven that incorporates those elements! Here it is, and I'll also add it to the main post!

    The Judge
    “What I wouldn’t give to figure out how one of those things worked! I can’t even imagine the glyphs it must’ve taken to make one move, and don’t even get me started on the arcane core. By the Ancients, whoever engineered the Judges must have been a godsdamned master. These days, we can barely keep the old glyphbots running.”
    -Matthias Summersend, a Glyphcarver
    Spoiler
    Show
    Centuries ago, the civilizations of Lares flourished, using glyphstone technology to achieve high levels of comfort and development. All of that was lost in the Downfall, as the world became a battleground between the Ancient Gods and the enigmatic Judges. The folks of Last Haven didn’t manage to take much with them during the Downfall, so records of the civilizations that existed prior to it are nearly non-existent, but first-hand accounts of what happened in that battle have been passed down by the settlers for generations. A group of human refugees told their descendants that they saw the Bright One itself turn a nation to ash in order to destroy a Judge. The dwarves of Sandside Village claim that their forefathers witnessed the Earth Keeper crack open the world’s crust in combat against another of the mechanical titans. However, of all the stories of the Downfall, there is one that is particularly important to the people living on the islands of Last Haven, though they might not know it yet. It is a tale of the clash between the Living Wild and a hundred-mile-tall Judge, passed down by some of the orcs that made it to Last Haven.

    As the orcs tell it, the Living Wild was locked in fierce combat with a Judge, attacking it with claws and horns and entangling vines to no avail. The Judge was raining vicious blows on the nature god, driving it to the coast of the Endless Sea. In desperation, the Living Wild created a weapon, an enormous spear made of the god’s own essence that crackled with primordial magic. With all of its strength, the Living Wild drove its spear into the core at the center of the Judge’s chest, unleashing a blast of arcane energy that destroyed most of the nearby coast. The Judge, with the Living Wild’s spear still embedded in its arcane core, fled into the ocean, defeated. That is where the orcs’ story ends, but they do not know the full story.

    The Judge waded into the middle of the Endless Sea to escape the Living Wild, but its fate was sealed. The spear in its chest, made of the Living Wild’s essence, was eating away at the massive stone construct. The stone around the Judge’s core broke down into earth, and plants and fungi engulfed the automaton with supernatural speed, rooting into the Judge and breaking down its glyphstones. In mere minutes, the titan began to stumble while the arcane glyphs that gave it life were torn up and its stone surface dissolved into soil. It gave a few shuddering steps as it lost power, and its limbs broke apart as it fell backwards into the Endless Sea, hitting the seafloor with so much force that it sank deep into the planet’s crust. The resulting release of tectonic heat further damaged the fallen titan, which was now mostly covered by the sea.

    Even after the death of the Judge, the Living Wild’s spear continued to radiate the god’s primal magic, and soon, the construct’s shattered frame had returned to nature, its stone surface turned into earth, overgrown with pines and plants. The nature god’s power even caused wildlife to appear on the surface of the Judge. However, the energy from the spear and the magic leaking from the Judge’s broken core did not mix well, and strange beasts borne of arcane radiation also began to appear on the former titan’s surface, which now resembled a handful of rocky islands. In time, survivors of the Downfall came upon the Judge and took refuge on it, unaware of the true nature of the “islands.” The people of Last Haven do not know that they are living on top of a Judge.


    I've also got a little paragraph solidifying some of the information about Last Haven's geography:

    Spoiler
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    Last Haven has a temperate, rainy climate similar to the Pacific Northwest, with shady pine forests and lush vegetation covering much of the islands. The rich soil, formed atop the Judge by the magic of the Living Wild that destroyed it, is great for growing a variety of fruits, vegetables, and staples like potatoes. The craggy coasts of the islands are full of fish and marine life, and wild beasts like cougars, elk, and moose roam their wooded hills. The northernmost island of Last Haven, the Judge’s head, has become a lively little town called Abeza, the largest settlement in the islands. In the middle of Central Island, the Judge’s collapsed chest forms a circle of jagged, snow-capped peaks named the Six Pinnacles. In the center of mountains lies Pinnacle Lake, which has covered the Judge’s broken core and the spear that the Living Wild drove into it, both of which still emanate powerful magic. The deep green pines of Southridge Wood cover the southern slopes of the Pinnacles, and another rocky range of hills, Verdant Rise, sits atop a peninsula that used to be the Judge’s leg. Three settlements exist on Central Island: Perna Village, Ombro Village, and Grayarbor Town. To the west of Central Island, the windswept isle of Brazos is the home of Sandside Village’s beach dwarves. To the east lie the ruins of Fore, the refugees’ now-abandoned first settlement. The lower part of the Judge’s legs have broken into several pieces, becoming the islands of Rhoda, Pyay, and the Southern Atolls, which are covered with rocky hills and overgrown temperate rainforests. Beneath the surface, hidden from the people that live on top of it, miles of tunnels and chambers exist within the body of the Judge, some of them still glowing with glyphstone-powered artifacts and patrolled by guardian constructs. Other chambers have flooded, and are full of strange deep-sea life, and in some sections, magma from the planet’s crust has seeped into the Judge’s shattered frame, creating harsh, volcanic conditions. The vast, unexplored network of tunnels beneath Last Haven holds lost treasures and terrifying creatures that have long been forgotten.
    Currently worldbuilding Last Haven: a setting formed on a titan's corpse! If you have a moment, I would love your feedback!

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Here is a small town that I've fully mapped and filled out! How does it look? I feel that I'm starting to see a need for factions in the setting, and am open to suggestions!

    Parna Village
    Parna is a small seaside village on the southern peninsula of Central Island. The village sits just south of Verdant Rise, a heavily-wooded range of craggy hills and mossy pines, and many villagers work in the basalt quarry on the edge of the rise. Perna is situated at one of the few good harbors on the rocky coast of the peninsula, and much of the surrounding shore is made up of cliffs. The weather in Parna is overcast and rainy, with frequent thunderstorms and few sunny days.

    Map:
    Spoiler: Village Layout
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    Places
    Spoiler: Map Locations
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    1. Evenkeel Shipyard: This small workshop is where Perna Village’s fishing vessels are repaired and Lis Evenkeel, a beach dwarf carpenter, makes many of the settlement’s wooden furniture out of wood from Verdant Rise. The structure consists of a covered area large enough to house a small boat and a gray stone house where Lis works and lives.
    2. Stormchaser Home: This building houses a pair of beach dwarf fisherwomen named Kat and Sen Stormchaser. The sisters’ home is typical of Parna Village: it is a small structure made out of timbers and dark gray basalt stone from the quarry, with a roof made of reddish clay shingles.
    3. Village Altar: A small altar to the Ancient Gods sits next to Parna’s central square. The shrine is built of rough stone, and houses 5 alcoves containing stone altars to each god, adorned with offerings and dripping candles. Until recently, Old Ward looked after it, but now, that responsibility has fallen to his apprentice, Velia Tidefall.
    4. Matthias’s Workshop: A large building on the northern edge of the village, with reddish clay shingles and a constantly-smoking gray stone chimney. The main room houses Matthias’s glyphcarving equipment, cluttered papers and arcane notes, and disorganized stacks of scavenged glyphbot parts. The glyphscarver’s bot, RED, is usually found within, and Matthias is currently trying to build another construct out of the scraps he collects.
    5. Tarrenstone Inn: Parna Village’s only inn is rarely occupied by visitors; most of the time, the cozy wooden Tarrenstone Inn serves as a tavern and bakery where locals gather after a hard day’s work. The owner, Anais Tarrenstone, is a skilled baker that knows almost everyone in the village, and she’ll gladly trade an extra roll or two for some gossip about the townsfolk.
    6. Branch General Goods: Eliona Branch does the best to keep her store well-stocked despite Parna Village’s isolated location. Her store supplies farmers, miners, and fishers with basic goods, and can order in more specialized goods from bigger towns like Grayarbor. The wooden shelves of the village’s primary general store are extremely organized, but Eliona often categorizes things in odd ways.
    7. Rallin’s Tannery: The tannery on the southeast edge of town is easily recognizable due to the smell of the stretched hides and soaking skins that stand outside its dark gray stone structure. The tannery, which is run by a large, red-bearded man named Rallin, also serves as a butcher shop for Parna’s hunters and farmers.
    8. Lawkeeper Hall: A large, two-stories structure of gray stone and pine wood is the center of what passes for the small village’s government. The Hall is home to Parna’s Lawkeeper, a spear orc names Martin Summersend, who resides there with his wife, Neva. The building has a small jail cell in its basement, a hall used for village meetings, and a small office.
    9. Tidefall Farm: This vegetable farm is one of the closest to Parna Village, and its residents, the wind elves Elian and Lereth Tidefall, bring their vegetables into the village’s center to sell regularly. They’re among the more wealthy families in the hamlet, and even have a glyphbots, GREEN, that helps them around the farm.
    10. Perna Quarry: This quarry produces large quantities of the dark gray basalt that is used to build many of Parna’s structures, as well as a fair bit of clay and a small amount of ores. The workers that dig into the quarry, like old Darman Crow, occasionally find bits of broken stone with partial glyphs on them, but tend to dismiss them as unreadable remnants of whoever lived there before the Downfall.


    People:
    Spoiler: Parna Villagers
    Show

    Lawkeeper: Martin Summersend
    Appearance: Tall, bald blue orcish man with a close-cropped salt-and-pepper beard and the typical uniform of a Lawkeeper: a worn navy-blue coat with a high collar and brass buttons
    Abilities: Warrior- Defender
    Personality: Gruff and stern, but protective of those he cares about; he spends much of his time mediating disputes between farmers, and is somewhat bored
    Goal: Maintain order and protect the people of Parna Village
    Bond: Has a friendly rivalry with his brother Matthias; his wife, Neva, is often the only one that can convince him of anything
    Flaw: He uses his knowledge of the law to benefit himself and his friends at the expense of those that he does not get along with

    Disciple: Velia Tidefall
    Appearance: Slight, greenish young wind elf woman with flowing deep green hair and an embroidered white shawl with symbols of the Old Gods
    Abilities: Acolyte
    Personality: Her mentor, Old Ward, recently passed away, leaving her in charge of Parna Village’s Shrine; she is unsure of herself and of her convictions
    Goal: She has noticed some of the flaws in the faith of the Old Gods, and believes that deeper study will resolve her doubts
    Bond: Her parents, Elian and Lereth, run a vegetable farm outside of town, and she feels a great deal of pressure to succeed due to their expectations
    Flaw: She feels that her faith and knowledge are not strong enough to be the village’s spiritual leader

    Glyphcarver: Matthias Summersend
    Appearance: Tall, heavyset orcish man that typically wears a heavy leather apron with a tan henley shirt underneath; a pair of small half-moon spectacles sit on the bridge of his wide nose
    Abilities: Apprentice Wizard
    Personality: Matthias is a bit of a know-it-all, and is as stubborn as his older brother Martin; he genuinely does know a lot about magic and is a capable glyphbot mechanic
    Goal: He is currently building a large glyphbot out of scavenged parts in his workshop; he wants find a way to build new glyphbots rather than simply repairing the ancient ones
    Bond: He and his brother Martin are rivals and friends; he is attempting to win over Eliona Branch, and often lends her his glyphbot, RED
    Flaw: He is extremely disorganized; his workshop and home are messy and cluttered

    Shopkeeper: Eliona Branch
    Appearance: Tall, olive-skinned woman that wears a drab gray coat with many pockets full of random trinkets and small items
    Abilities: Commoner
    Personality: Quiet and awkward; she rarely makes eye contact with others, and fidgets with her trinkets while speaking
    Goal: Eliona genuinely enjoys helping others find what they need at her shop, and wants to improve her inventory
    Bond: She and Matthias get along extremely well together, as both are intelligent and he makes her feel comfortable; she is somewhat oblivious to his romantic feelings
    Flaw: Eliona loves keeping her shop extremely orderly, and cannot stand disorder; she even organizes other people’s belongings, often without their permission
    Innkeeper: Anais Tarrenstone
    Appearance: Short, bronze-complected woman with curly hair held back by a bright yellow swathe of cloth; she usually wears a flour-covered apron over her practical dress
    Abilities: Commoner
    Personality: Anais is outgoing, and knows everybody in the village, making her a good source of gossip; she is willing to let visitors to Perna stay in her extra room above her pub, which is also a bakery
    Goal: Learn as much about others as possible; she loves meeting others, and will trade gossip
    Bond: Anais’s husband, Norrin, and their son, Cadden, work in the town quarry
    Flaw: She occasionally embellishes gossip, and has caused conflicts between villagers in the past

    Butcher/Tanner: Rallin Ward
    A large human in a blood-stained apron with freckled skin and an unkempt dark red beard; he is a loud man that often brags about his strength and the strength of his son, a hunter named Lerren

    Carpenter: Lis Evenkeel
    A tan beach dwarf carpenter with a bright blue bandanna that keeps her sun-bleached hair out of her face; she repairs the village’s fishing boats, and dislikes Anais Tarrenstone, who she believes gets in other peoples’ business too much.

    Fishers: Kat and Sen Stormchaser
    Kat and Sen are a pair of beach dwarf sisters that own a small boat that carries their surname, the Stormchaser; the fisherwomen, usually clad in leather raincoats, are often found in the Tarrenstone Pub. Kat is currently pursuing a romantic relationship with Lis Evenkeel.

    Quarry workers: Darman Crow
    Darman Crow, usually called Dar by his acquaintances, is an old human quarry worker known for his rambling tall tales: he lost his left leg in an accident at the quarry, and has a glyphstone prosthetic

    Farmers: Elian and Lereth Tidefall

    The Tidefalls are the parents of Velia Tidefall, Parna Village’s Disciple, and they are proud of their daughter’s position; they are a large family of small green-skinned wind elves that run a large vegetable farm on the outskirts of Parna Village
    Last edited by Sam113097; 2020-08-26 at 11:39 AM.
    Currently worldbuilding Last Haven: a setting formed on a titan's corpse! If you have a moment, I would love your feedback!

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    The only thing is... with like.. weapons and armour being rare... this may make the sorcerer kinda a little OP.
    Also, I'm guessing no Artificers. Because of the general technological level.
    Also do you have any kind of patrons for warlocks?
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    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard_Lizard View Post
    The only thing is... with like.. weapons and armour being rare... this may make the sorcerer kinda a little OP.
    Also, I'm guessing no Artificers. Because of the general technological level.
    Also do you have any kind of patrons for warlocks?
    Thank you so much for the feedback! I really appreciate it. Well, things might be a bit scarce, but they’re still available to players! I feel like, even though an apocalypse happened, the survivors were able to preserve enough civilization (with the help of magic) to avoid falling into a Dark Age, so things like smithing and glyphcarving are still around. I feel like artificers could be flavored as glyphcarvers- the Steel defender could even be reflavored as a scavenged/repaired glyphbot

    As far as patrons go, that’s something I’m still thinking about! I don’t have anything concrete, but I had thought of an “Engineer” type patron that is the spirit of the creator of the Judges, and a “Sixth Spirit” patron that is the oldest spirit after the Ancient Gods, and is trying to gain power in the material plane (Great-Old-One, possibly)
    Currently worldbuilding Last Haven: a setting formed on a titan's corpse! If you have a moment, I would love your feedback!

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam113097 View Post
    As far as patrons go, that’s something I’m still thinking about! I don’t have anything concrete, but I had thought of an “Engineer” type patron that is the spirit of the creator of the Judges, and a “Sixth Spirit” patron that is the oldest spirit after the Ancient Gods, and is trying to gain power in the material plane (Great-Old-One, possibly)
    Love the setting! The fey 'patron' could be drawing power directly from the spear of the Living Wild that still sits at the heart of the island, or learning to harness the ambient energy it still emits. Similarly, the Oath of the Ancients paladins could be dedicated to protecting or perhaps understanding that spear.
    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.
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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Quote Originally Posted by PoeticallyPsyco View Post
    Love the setting! The fey 'patron' could be drawing power directly from the spear of the Living Wild that still sits at the heart of the island, or learning to harness the ambient energy it still emits. Similarly, the Oath of the Ancients paladins could be dedicated to protecting or perhaps understanding that spear.
    Thank you so much for the support and for the suggestion! I really like that idea - that spear and the power it emits would be a great source of power for a bunch of different nature-based subclasses. I had also thought of it as a potential hexblade patron, but fey sounds interesting as well.

    I am a bit stuck on where/if to fit demons into this setting. I would like to include them, if possible, as they factor into a number of spells and class abilities.
    Currently worldbuilding Last Haven: a setting formed on a titan's corpse! If you have a moment, I would love your feedback!

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam113097 View Post
    Thank you so much for the support and for the suggestion! I really like that idea - that spear and the power it emits would be a great source of power for a bunch of different nature-based subclasses. I had also thought of it as a potential hexblade patron, but fey sounds interesting as well.

    I am a bit stuck on where/if to fit demons into this setting. I would like to include them, if possible, as they factor into a number of spells and class abilities.
    Glad you like the idea!

    Fiends, let's see. That's tricky, because their alignment is a pretty core part of their identity, but they're not related to the opposition of the gods on Judgment Day and apparently weren't able to take advantage of the gods' slumber to conquer the world. Perhaps parasites on the gods? That would both explain why they were also hurt pretty badly by Judgment day and give them an investment/interest in Haven. That works a lot better if you don't need an angelic counterpart to fiends, though, since pure good servants of neutral gods would be a little weird (though definitely workable).

    Or approaching angels and demons from an entirely different direction, maybe they're kind of like (very) minor gods themselves, sustained by belief in them. Demons need negative beliefs and feed off superstition and paranoia, becoming the very things people think they hear going bump in the night, while angels need positive beliefs and grow stronger when people believe in karma, good luck, and are generally optimistic; both are essentially a supernatural positive feedback loop on human faith. That would do a good job of explaining different varieties of each, why they're in opposition, why they're so strongly associated with good/evil, and why they're relatively invested in mortals and mortal servants.
    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.
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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam113097 View Post
    I am a bit stuck on where/if to fit demons into this setting. I would like to include them, if possible, as they factor into a number of spells and class abilities.
    Well, the obvious hole into which you can stick fiends (and celestials and other outsider types) is the Judges. How were they built, and what were they built to Judge?

    Focusing on the "how" part, perhaps the only power source strong enough to power such a ridiculously large automaton was bound fiends, and lots of them. Alas, when you power your hundred-mile-tall deathbot with physical incarnations of evil, something is bound to go haywire, and when the Judges snapped and started killing everyone the gods had to step in and put them down...but when they did, the bound fiends were let loose. Now, fiends are still around, and in considerable numbers (how many demons does one Judge take to power, hmm?), but are all incredibly weak after being used as giant magical batteries for years or decades or centuries; they require servants like warlocks to empower them with sacrifices and such to help them regain their former strength.

    Focusing on the "why" part, perhaps fiends were a common and growing threat in the mortal world that required the creation of the Judges to deal with, and they basically succeeded...but once the fiends were gone, well, no nation is just going to dismantle such potent weapons when they could use them against their enemies instead, and the gods had to step in to stop mortalkind from destroying itself. Now, there are still a small handful of fiends around, but the remaining ancient magitech includes plenty of anti-fiend wards left over from the early days of the wars; they require servants like warlocks to act as their eyes and hands in areas where they couldn't otherwise go without being smitten.

    Alternately...

    Some even say that the Downfall was actually the Ancient Gods’ attempt to destroy the world, and that the Judges were actually protecting the mortal races, but few believe such talk.
    Flip it around, and say that the Ancient Gods were keeping the ancient mortals down, afraid of the mortals growing too fast and too far in their knowledge and power and feeling threatened by the mortals' might. The mortals, frustrated with the gods' stonewalling and refusal to provide glyphs capable of certain effects, turned to the fiends, who were more than happy to teach them certain glyphs that would draw on the gods' power in the desired way without the gods' knowledge or approval. When the gods had finally had it with the arrogant mortals and stepped in to squash them, the Judges were there to meet them. Now, the fiends are still around and still doing fine, but the gods bear a grudge and mortals have forgotten then contributions through the passage of time and lots of religious propaganda; they need servants like warlocks to slowly acclimate the people to the truth so they don't just reject it out of hand as they would if the fiends interacted with them directly.
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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam113097 View Post
    Thank you so much for the feedback! I really appreciate it. Well, things might be a bit scarce, but they’re still available to players! I feel like, even though an apocalypse happened, the survivors were able to preserve enough civilization (with the help of magic) to avoid falling into a Dark Age, so things like smithing and glyphcarving are still around. I feel like artificers could be flavored as glyphcarvers- the Steel defender could even be reflavored as a scavenged/repaired glyphbot

    As far as patrons go, that’s something I’m still thinking about! I don’t have anything concrete, but I had thought of an “Engineer” type patron that is the spirit of the creator of the Judges, and a “Sixth Spirit” patron that is the oldest spirit after the Ancient Gods, and is trying to gain power in the material plane (Great-Old-One, possibly)
    That sounds really cool! I really like the way you're going with artificers! I like the idea of the sixth spirit.
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  24. - Top - End - #24
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    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Thanks to everyone that has replied! This feedback is great. I'll try to respond to each of your comments

    Quote Originally Posted by PoeticallyPsyco View Post
    Glad you like the idea!

    Or approaching angels and demons from an entirely different direction, maybe they're kind of like (very) minor gods themselves, sustained by belief in them. Demons need negative beliefs and feed off superstition and paranoia, becoming the very things people think they hear going bump in the night, while angels need positive beliefs and grow stronger when people believe in karma, good luck, and are generally optimistic; both are essentially a supernatural positive feedback loop on human faith. That would do a good job of explaining different varieties of each, why they're in opposition, why they're so strongly associated with good/evil, and why they're relatively invested in mortals and mortal servants.
    I think this idea has a lot of potential! When I was trying to settle on this world's mythology, I had an idea for weak local demigods called Saints that were old spirits (formed after the gods, but before the spirits that the gods put in mortals) that had managed to work themselves into the world of Lares while the Ancient Gods were building it. The benevolent ones could be Saints - weak, friendly little nature spirits, and the malevolent ones would be demons - power-hungry beings trying to gain influence in the material plane. How does that sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Well, the obvious hole into which you can stick fiends (and celestials and other outsider types) is the Judges. How were they built, and what were they built to Judge?

    Focusing on the "how" part, perhaps the only power source strong enough to power such a ridiculously large automaton was bound fiends, and lots of them...

    Flip it around, and say that the Ancient Gods were keeping the ancient mortals down, afraid of the mortals growing too fast and too far in their knowledge and power and feeling threatened by the mortals' might. The mortals, frustrated with the gods' stonewalling and refusal to provide glyphs capable of certain effects, turned to the fiends, who were more than happy to teach them certain glyphs that would draw on the gods' power in the desired way without the gods' knowledge or approval. When the gods had finally had it with the arrogant mortals and stepped in to squash them, the Judges were there to meet them. Now, the fiends are still around and still doing fine, but the gods bear a grudge and mortals have forgotten then contributions through the passage of time and lots of religious propaganda; they need servants like warlocks to slowly acclimate the people to the truth so they don't just reject it out of hand as they would if the fiends interacted with them directly.
    That's a great idea! As of now, I'm leaning towards making the Judges the "good guys." Most of this will be largely unknown to the inhabitants of Last Haven, and it would be something that players could discover as part of an adventure, but these are the key points of the Downfall, currently:
    • The Earth Keeper showed Bahr, the first Disciple, that the Ancient Gods planned to destroy the world and build a new one. I think that Bahr kept this hidden to "protect" Lares's inhabitants from the truth
    • A powerful glyphcarver learned about the coming judgement somehow, the general populace ignored them, and so they tried to find a way to stop it
    • I think that, in their search for power, this person became a lich. As of now, I am calling them the Engineer. The Engineer built the Judges.
    • In order to construct and power the Judges, the Engineer captured/dealt with hundreds of saints and demons to use as power sources.
    • The Judges managed to beat back the Ancient Gods and stop Judgement Day, but much of Lares was torn up in the process

    How does that sound? I really like the idea of demons as the power source of the Judges! Perhaps the shattered arcane core at the center of Last Haven used to hold several demons, including a particularly powerful fiend that, though heavily wounded by the Living Wild's spear, is still around somewhere on Last Haven. I'm not sure what I'll do with the Engineer, but I think that they could be an interesting patron as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard_Lizard View Post
    That sounds really cool! I really like the way you're going with artificers! I like the idea of the sixth spirit.
    Thanks! I don't think the Sixth Spirit will be particularly evil, either. I sort of like the idea of a neutral or maybe even good Great Old One
    Last edited by Sam113097; 2020-05-06 at 02:08 PM.
    Currently worldbuilding Last Haven: a setting formed on a titan's corpse! If you have a moment, I would love your feedback!

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    PairO'Dice Lost's Avatar

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam113097 View Post
    • I think that, in their search for power, this person became a lich. As of now, I am calling them the Engineer. The Engineer built the Judges.
    Perhaps instead of a lich, the Engineer became a construct, like a 3e Renegade Mastermaker (replacing parts one by one to become a pseudo-cyborg) or Green Star Adept (incorporating starmetal into one's body to transform into living metal). That fits better for the creator of massive golems (since someone with the necromancy chops to become a lich would probably have made a massive necromantic construct instead) and a process of gradual self-improvement to become a construct feels more "engineer-y" than performing a single grand ritual to become undead.

    Perhaps the shattered arcane core at the center of Last Haven used to hold several demons, including a particularly powerful fiend that, though heavily wounded by the Living Wild's spear, is still around somewhere on Last Haven.
    Perhaps the tip of the spear is actually still thrust through the fiend's body, greatly weakening it but letting it just barely survive. An powerful-but-wounded fiend that's literally pinned in place in the heart of the island is easier to deal with as a setting element than one that can wander freely (more need for minions on its part, less of a chance of the locals discovering it too easily, etc.)...and that lets you say that removing the spear would swiftly restore it to its former power, giving you a nice hook for "save the whole archipelago" plots if you later decide you want one.
    Better to DM in Baator than play in Celestia
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    Spoiler: Sig of Holding
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    Darn you PoDL for making me care about a bunch of NPC Commoners!
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  26. - Top - End - #26
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    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    It's been a while since I've been able to work on this, but I have some faction ideas I'm working on.
    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Perhaps the tip of the spear is actually still thrust through the fiend's body, greatly weakening it but letting it just barely survive. An powerful-but-wounded fiend that's literally pinned in place in the heart of the island is easier to deal with as a setting element than one that can wander freely (more need for minions on its part, less of a chance of the locals discovering it too easily, etc.)...and that lets you say that removing the spear would swiftly restore it to its former power, giving you a nice hook for "save the whole archipelago" plots if you later decide you want one.
    I absolutely love that idea, and I'm definitely going to incorporate the Trapped Demon as one of my factions!

    Here's the faction that I have fully written-up, an order of wandering paladins called the Iron Marshals

    “Dammit, it looks like we’re gonna have to call in the Marshals.”
    -Martin Summersend, a Lawkeeper
    The Iron Marshals
    Each settlement in Last Haven is home to a handful of Lawkeepers charged with keeping the peace, but sometimes, situations get out of hand. When things get complicated, Last Haven’s Lawkeepers call in help from the Iron Marshals, a circle of eight paladins that exists to maintain law and order in the islands. The organization was formed by a small group of warriors that were among the first refugees to settle on Last Haven. For generations, the circle’s eight members have been the only form of overarching “government” over the scattered villages and towns on the archipelago, acting as judges, arbitrators, and occasionally, executioners.

    The Iron Marshals receive their power from their oath to uphold the law no matter the consequences. Due to their strict adherence to this Iron Oath, their strictness often frustrates Lawkeepers and others that have to interact with the Marshals. The eight members of the circle elect their leader, the High Marshal, who is usually the most experienced among them, and the High Marshal oversees the archipelago’s Lawkeepers from the circle’s Bastion in Abeza and selects new Iron Marshals.
    Objective: Uphold the law, no matter the cost

    Prominent Members:
    Spoiler
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    High Marshal Reina
    Appearance: Older human woman with close-cropped white hair and brown skin; wears a fine purple coat over intricately-crafted armor
    Abilities: 7th Level Oath of the Crown Paladin
    Personality: The High Marshal is a cold, strict person that has little patience for foolishness; she is much warmer to the other Marshals
    Goal: Keep the peace in Last Haven; Reina is particularly worried about the revolutionary Firebrands, who she sees as the biggest threat to Last Haven’s governmental status quo
    Bond: Reina cares for the other Iron Marshals. She is particularly fond of Julian, the newest member of the circle.
    Flaw: High Marshal Reina is overly trusting of the other Marshals, and fails to recognize their flaws
    Marshal Julian
    Appearance: Julian is a young, non-binary Spear Orc with curly hair pulled back into a bun and a purple Marshal’s coat over their armor
    Abilities: 3rd Level Oath of the Crown Paladin
    Personality: Marshal Julian is eager to prove their worth as an Iron Marshal, and frequently volunteers to travel to sites all over the islands; They are somewhat overzealous, which tends to rub the Lawkeepers that Julian works with the wrong way
    Goal: Prove themself to the High Marshal
    Bond: Julian used to be Ombro Village’s Lawkeeper, and they care deeply for Ombro’s inhabitants
    Flaw: Julian’s desire to prove their lawfulness and strictness makes them insensitive
    Marshal Orielle
    Appearance: Orielle is a middle-aged sea elf woman with long dark hair and blue skin; she is clad in a purple coat and fine metal armor
    Abilities: 5th Level Oathbreaker Paladin
    Personality: On the surface, Orielle is calm and reasonable, and is generally well-liked by Last Haven’s Lawmakers; however, she has secretly betrayed the Marshals and is working with the Firebrands
    Goal: Overthrow the High Marshal and create a monarchy in Last Haven
    Bond: Marshal Orielle has a hidden hatred for High Marshal Reina, but she tolerates the other Marshals
    Flaw: Lord Ephraim, leader of the Firebrands, has convinced Orielle to join his cause, and she has broken her Iron Oath


    The other faction ideas that I have right now are:
    • The Jacks: the thieves's guild of Last Haven, with cells in most towns, run by a legendary thief called the Jack of Lanterns
    • Levant Trading Co.: One of the first shipping companies to form after the refugees began to branch out in Last Have, Levant Trading Co. is particularly influential and may or may not be working with the Jacks and the Firebrands to create a situation that will benefit the business.
    • The Unseeing Servants: A group of religious extremists/cultists that want to emulate Bahr the Blind and recieve more guidance from the Ancient Gods. The more zealous members have willingly blinded themselves.
    • The Mapmakers: A loose organization of wilderness explorers that attracts a number of monster slayers and treasure hunters. Potentially a source of competition or allies for adventurers.
    • The Firebrands: A faction of political insurgents led by a wealthy Abezan human named Lord Ephraim that is attempting to overthrow the loose government of the Iron Marshals and create a monarchy over Last Haven.
    • The Relic Institute: A collection of scholars and mages working to find and explore the vast network of tunnels beneath Last Haven and recover magical items from them.
    • Servants of the Trapped Demon (Name Pending): Cultist and minor demons that seek to further the aims of the powerful demon impaled by the Spear of the Living Wild beneath Pinnacle Lake (I am still working on a motivation for this faction)
    Currently worldbuilding Last Haven: a setting formed on a titan's corpse! If you have a moment, I would love your feedback!

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam113097 View Post
    Servants of the Trapped Demon (Name Pending): Cultist and minor demons that seek to further the aims of the powerful demon impaled by the Spear of the Living Wild beneath Pinnacle Lake (I am still working on a motivation for this faction)
    Servants of the Spearbound/ Spearbound Servants?

    There's two ways I can see this group going, as far as motivation. Either they genuinely want to free the demon, or merely see it as a particularly dangerous resource to be exploited for their own ambition, trading favors with it but with no intention of ever actually setting it free. (Or maybe they want the spear for their own purposes so their goals align with the demon). There're probably some of each among the Spearbound.

    If removing the Spear is a genuine goal, then obviously it's pretty difficult, or else it would have been done already. Probably if it's got enough raw power to hold a demon lord in check simply as a byproduct of sitting there, it's also got enough raw power to vaporize anyone that tries to touch it to pull it out. Removing it takes something special, be that a ritual, another artifact like a gauntlet or a pair of tongs to handle it safely, or maybe a special someone in tune with the power of the Spear so it doesn't hurt them.

    If removing the Spear isn't a genuine goal and removing the Spear is easy, then all those strategies probably still exist, but as misinformation to prevent any fanatics from doing something the leaders of the Spearbound would regret. The ritual is just an elaborate message spell to the leadership; the tongs/gauntlet/oven mitts channel the Spear's power into anyone that tries to touch it with them, vaporizing them instantly; the chosen one is really a spy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darths & Droids
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  28. - Top - End - #28
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    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    Quote Originally Posted by PoeticallyPsyco View Post
    Servants of the Spearbound/ Spearbound Servants?

    There's two ways I can see this group going, as far as motivation. Either they genuinely want to free the demon, or merely see it as a particularly dangerous resource to be exploited for their own ambition, trading favors with it but with no intention of ever actually setting it free. (Or maybe they want the spear for their own purposes so their goals align with the demon). There're probably some of each among the Spearbound.

    If removing the Spear is a genuine goal, then obviously it's pretty difficult, or else it would have been done already. Probably if it's got enough raw power to hold a demon lord in check simply as a byproduct of sitting there, it's also got enough raw power to vaporize anyone that tries to touch it to pull it out. Removing it takes something special, be that a ritual, another artifact like a gauntlet or a pair of tongs to handle it safely, or maybe a special someone in tune with the power of the Spear so it doesn't hurt them..
    I love the name Spearbound! The demon itself could have a proper name but be only known as the Spearbound One or the Spearbound Foe, and Servants of the Spearbound are Fiend Warlocks (or their associates) looking to benefit from the Spearbound Foe's magical knowledge or set it free.

    On the topic of fiends, I am leaning toward having fiends and celestials as minor spirits that sort of "snuck into" the material world while the primordial Ancient Gods were creating it, (the good ones would be extremely minor, helpful spirit deities, while the bad ones would seek to gain influence possess physical creatures to gain power in the material world). Fiends/Celestials (whose names are still subject to change) don't have physical bodies, so they can only influence the world by whispering to mortals or attempting to possess/control them (one potential way to free the Spearbound Foe could be granting the fiend a new host to possess, as their current body is destroyed and trapped). This could work well with what Pair O Dice Lost suggested!

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    The mortals, frustrated with the gods' stonewalling and refusal to provide glyphs capable of certain effects, turned to the fiends, who were more than happy to teach them certain glyphs that would draw on the gods' power in the desired way without the gods' knowledge or approval.
    I am open to suggestions, what do you think?
    Currently worldbuilding Last Haven: a setting formed on a titan's corpse! If you have a moment, I would love your feedback!

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    I’m working on fitting Celestials, Fey, Fiends, and a few more races in (including a homebrew 5th Genasi subrace):

    The Fey
    During the creation of the world, there were spirits that “slipped through the cracks” into Lares. These spirits, now stuck in Lares, have no physical body, and often reside in places far from civilization where wild magic is strongest.

    Most Fey are tricksters, and try to mess with mortals that come into contact with them. Others, called Light Fey, are benevolent spirits that help the mortal races, often residing in small roadside shrines or mountain altars built by thankful mortals. The Dark Fey are spirits that possess living things to gain power in the material plane. Many of Last Haven’s more intelligent monsters, such as gnolls, grungs, and minotaurs, are Dark Fey that have possessed and corrupted animals.

    When they are not physically in Last Haven, the Fey inhabit a strange spirit “world-within-a-world” called the Feywild. The Feywild is an “echo” of Lares; it mirrors the natural world but turns its features into spectacular and nonsensical forms. A mountain on Lares might be echoed as the bones of a massive giant. Moving to the Feywild from old ruins on Last Haven might put a traveler at the archway of a Dark Fey’s lair. Mortals occasionally may slip into the Feywild in places of power on Lares, leaving their bodies behind as their spirits wander.

    This will be added to the races section:

    Unique mortals do exist in small numbers in Last Haven due to the wild magic that flows through Lares. These magically-altered individuals are nearly one-of-a-kind, and draw quite a bit of attention in most places.
    Genasi are members of the four mortal races touched by the elemental power of one of the Ancient Gods (Fire Genasi for the Bright One, Earth Genasi for the Earth Keeper, Nature Genasi for the Living Wild, Water Genasi for the Tide Bringer, and Air Genasi for the Night Runner.

    Spoiler: Nature Genasi Subrace
    Show
    In addition to the normal Genasi traits, Nature Genasi (which are members of one of the mortal races touched by the elemental power of a primordial deity know as the Living Wild; they often have slightly animalistic features like antlers or claws, and many grow leafy, plant-like hair) gain the following racial benefits:

    Ability Score Increase: Your Charisma score increases by 1.

    One With the Wild: You gain proficiency in the Nature skill.

    Nature’s Wrath: You know the Primal Savagery and Druidcraft cantrips. Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the Entangle spell once with this trait as a 1st-level spell, and you regain the ability to cast it this way when you finish a long rest. Constitution is your spellcasting ability for these spells.


    Aasimar are people that are bonded to a minor Light Fey. This small spirit tries to influence its bonded mortal to do good and grants them special abilities. This Fey influence also changes the appearance of its chosen mortal. Some Aasimar are bonded to a Light Fey at birth, while others are chosen later in life.

    Tieflings, on the other handed, host a Dark Fey spirit within them. This malevolent spirit physically alters the mortal and gives them magical abilities. The Dark Fey may try to influence its host, causing many of Last Haven’s inhabitants to be weary of them.
    Currently worldbuilding Last Haven: a setting formed on a titan's corpse! If you have a moment, I would love your feedback!

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: Last Haven: A setting formed on a titan's corpse

    If I may make an economic suggestion.

    I like towns, they are full of fun stories. I also like wilderness. The problem is that with middle-ages/ancient tech, you need a LOT of farmland for each village or town. The area basically needs to be pacified. And that is boring.

    To get around this, we can cheat; with magic.

    The wilderness is dangerous, especially at night. Monsters of all sorts prowl.

    There are two ways to deal with this.

    The "civilized" races have developed the magic of the threshold and hearth. They ring their settlements with magic that keeps the night out. And, they use fertility magic to make their crops and food animals grow fast, using less land. This requires tapping into ley lines, especially at junctions, so carpeting the world with such settlements doesn't work well.

    The "wild" races have worked out pacts with the "monsters" of the night and wild. They live under the protection of some allied primal, fey, or shadow spirit, whose wandering they follow, and whose territory they can inhabit.

    ---

    This permits a town of 1000 people to not have 10,000 farmers around it covering many square KM of land.

    ---

    Another idea is, what if the settlement of Haven was on an arm of a judge, and the nearby body of the judge is too dangerous to settle? Or, at least, it has proven to be too dangerous.

    That could provide you with a frontier. A kick-off event could even be the first fort on the mainland that survived a year.

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