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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    This is the thread for working out the world-building for the reptilian campaign.
    Last edited by Palanan; 2021-08-08 at 10:49 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    Okay, I'm starting to work on maps, but it's going to take me a hot minute. Here's an example: sample map.

    Here's a map of the ancient city on the starting island I'm working on (or a site the players encounter soon after journeying down the river) -- Ancient City

    These are the lands of Laoitun, and are major area of the initial campaign. There is a large jungle basin in the middle of the map that is ringed by the ancient empires of the reptile peoples (think dense, Classical Mayan civilization where most of the settlements were in eyesight of the others).

    One hemisphere is going to be better-explored -- that which held the old kingdoms of the warmblooded, and the lost world is going to be in a less explored hemisphere with flying continents.

    One key distinction between the scaly kingdoms of Laoitun and those of the old world of Kravesovaria are that the former had by the time of the five crusades cast off the rule of dragon gods and emperors, whereas these greatest of all the scaled races still rule in Laoitun.
    The refugees fled to the lands of Laoitun by means of the empire arks - enormous, semi living juggernauts of up to a mile or more in length. Each of the four emperor arks was as to a nation by itself. The considerable hulls of the emperor arks are docked at the refugees first site of landing. Large populations remain aboard the vessels still while scouts and diplomats try to arrange for more permanent dwelling places.

    The old kingdoms have been torn apart by the five crusades. They concluded with a massive release of chaos energy by the legions of the warmbloods that devastated most of the old reptilian kingdoms. Several of the great reptilian sages combined their powers in a epochal sacrifice to remove part of the destruction by shifting it into a demiplane that is concurrent with the prime world as is the spirit world, the plane of faerie, and the plane of dreams.

    The refugees of the emperor arks first disembarked in the western hemisphere upon the ancient island of Theratreia.
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-08-04 at 10:18 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    We have some interesting material being posted, but let me give a list of the kinds of things we need to develop for each race being written-up

    -Social organization -- were they distributed throughout the twenty kingdoms that existed previous to the five crusades, or were they mainly organized in one kingdom? What was the social organization of these realms -- alliances of republican city-states, monarchies, mandarinates etc.
    -Naming conventions -- give me a list of common names/appellations, how they construct their names (do they all have epithets or a part of their name related to their patron deity, for example). They should be somewhat distinctive so we can tell apart the different reptilian races partly based on their names.
    -Distinctive cultural traits -- do they eat spices before all major ceremonies, fear corners, etc.
    -Religious beliefs/myths
    -Gender roles, family construction
    -Fashion/dress, weapon styles

    Substances for Laoitun weapons and armor:

    Bone
    Bulette Armor
    Brill (3pp)
    Iron, Primal (3pp)
    Dreamstone (3pp)
    Crystalline (3pp)
    Coral, Chitin, and Sea Shells (3pp)
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-08-03 at 11:19 PM.

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    Default Re: A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    Locations in the Ancient City of Mastisthan

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    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-08-04 at 10:17 PM.

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    Default Re: A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    Lizardfolk

    One of the oldest humanoid races surviving since the dawn of time, lizardfolks are traditional warriors and hunter-gatherers, with their society forming far before any others' has come, they typically live a lifestyle attuned to nature.

    Ecology: Lizardfolks favor warm and humid environments, they most often live in swamps and jungles but can also be found along all sorts of freshwater bodies. These scally creatures are hardy and strong, mostly due to the harsh environment they live in and their lifestyle of hunting and gathering. They come in a variation of colors, most commonly black or dark green which accustoms the natural environment in their natural habitats, however, those who came from other environments can showcase a multitude of colors, typically lighter shades of green or even brownish-yellow for those who lived in oases.

    Society: Lizardfolk societies existed far before the Five Crusades, the Scaled Folk kingdoms and indeed any other humanoid races'. Lizardfolk societies exist in a tribal manner, with most of their population being hunter-gatherers, their social hierarchy is ruled by a chieftain, often the tribe's most powerful warrior, and several shamans and druids acting as advisors, caretakers, healers and prophets. These tribes are scattered throughout the twenty kingdoms but during the First Crusade, forty-seven tribes located right between the Scale Folk kingdoms and the Warmbloods' united and formed Azhaka Tebiu (Union of Tribes in lizardfolk tongue). The union was initially organized by Karakasa "Oracle of Dawn, Foundation of Azhaka Tebiu, Uniter of Tribes" Raa, a lizardfolk oracle who foresee the impending bloodshed of the Crusade and ruled by the Council of Chieftans, each member tribe of the union has their chieftain in the Council, this position only ever changes after either a chieftain has died or has announced their retirement, at which point the tribe of which the chieftain belonged to will select a new chieftain to take their position. Azhaka Tebiu is known as the twentieth kingdom.

    The basic social unit in lizardfolk society is a tribe, all tribe members work together with distinctive roles to sustain the community, while males are more likely to work as hunter-gatherers than females, who tend to stay in settlements, they are equally capable fighters, and females often take up the role of guards and defenders of the young, in the case of an invasion from outsiders, all adults contribute to the fight regardless of their roles. Females are also more likely to become spellcasters than males, thus the majority of shamans in a tribe tend to be females, however, it is equally likely for the chieftain to be male or female. Even in Azhaka Tebiu the tribes remain mostly autonomous, the only exception is for its armies, where soldiers from different tribes follows the command of their respective generals assigned by the council of chieftains.


    Names: Lizardfolk names consists of several components, a given name, a tribe name, and up to three aliases. Lizardfolk given names usually simulate sounds in nature and are gender-neutral, some common lizardfolk names emulate the sound of water, the sound of creatures moving through bushes and the sound of animals, just to name a few.

    Tribe names usually no longer than two syllables, represent a core element of the tribe's society, it often reflects the environment around the tribe, the methods the tribe sustains itself or the creatures worshipped by the tribe, and coincidently most tribes would represent these elements by emulating their sounds. For example, a tribe that lives in a jungle might name themselves after the noise of leaves brushing, while a tribe that worships velociraptors as divine beasts might name themselves after the sound made by velociraptors.

    The last component of a lizardfolk's name is their aliases, it is what they are known for among their own kind. Each lizardfolk usually has one to three aliases, the first given to them by the tribe when they are recognized as a capable adult and represents their abilities, training and origin; the second given to them when they take up an important role in their tribe or otherwise society; the last given to them after they have achieved a great deed. The first kind of alias is usually obtained first but the two others can be obtained in any order. Most lizardfolks only ever get their first alias, though lizardfolks with all three aliases are not that uncommon since those with great deeds often take up important roles in their society. While there is no hard rule ruling out the possession of more than three aliases, but even the greatest of heroes in lizardfolk history have only three aliases, those who take up multiple roles tend to only include their most significant or relevant role for their second alias, and those with multiple deeds typically showcase only their greatest.

    As lizardfolk names are unconventional and a lot of them can sound similar to other races, most lizardfolks usually use their aliases when dealing with the other races.

    Example Names: Sha-sha-k (sound of a creature walking through bushes before stepping on a twig), Klaa-kla-klaa (sound of thunder), Gruu-ha-arr (a preditor low growling before lunging for the kill, the "ha" is pronounced with an inhale rather than an exhale)
    Example tribe names: Naa (growl of a tyrannosaurus rex, I don't know how to write that sound down so we will pretend it spells like that, used by a tribe that worships t-rex), Shaaaa (sound of a waterfall)
    Examples of first alias: Leaf Stalker, Fury Claws, Soother of Pain
    Examples of second alias: Chieftan of Shaaa, Grand Prophet of Azhaka Tebiu, General of the First Dinosaur Cavalry
    Examples of third alias: Slayer of a Thousand Elves, Dragon Binder, Titanasaur the Great Saurian Beast's Bane\

    Culture: Lizardfolk culture revolves around nature, a lot of tribes celebrates the changing of seasons, although the exact practices vary from tribe to tribe.

    Due to the harsh environments lizardfolks tend to live in, many lizardfolk tribes are cannibalistic treats the carcasses of the deceased as valuable sources of food and find no difficulties in eating the corpse of other humanoids. Despite this, lizardfolks never kill others of their kind for food and very rarely actively hunt other humanoids for food, corpses are eaten often when they are acquired unintentionally, such as when hunters are killed by wild beasts or when intruders are killed during an invasion.

    This practice has been largely abandoned by the members tribes of Azhaka Tebiu and other tribes that worked closely with the other scaled races throughout the Five Crusades as it is generally frowned upon by other races, although some isolated tribes still exercise the practice. The tribes that do abandon the practice now commonly use the corpse of lizardfolks as fertilizers, the corpse of the warmblooded to feed their beasts of war, and returns the acquired carcasses of other scaled races back to their own kingdoms.

    The practice, however, has evolved into a ritual the is practiced among lizardfolk armies, a rite of passing that is used to put lizardfolk warriors who fought to their end into their final rest. The flesh of the dead will be divided into small portions among his comrades, and in the symbolism of which the living would continue the fight for the dead, and that their sacrifice to contribute to the final triumph, the portions are consumed by his fellow lizardfolk brethren, and the skeleton will be returned to their tribes’ ancestral ground for burial. There are two parts of the body reserved for specific individuals, the fingers and the blood. The blood is reserved for the commander or chieftain of the fallen warrior, lizardfolks believe that the blood of the fallen carries their spirit, and only a chieftain can bare the weight of the souls of his loyal warriors. The eight fingers of a lizardfolk soldier is reserved, for his closest and most trusted allies, designated by the dead themselves, for this reason, lizardfolks who participate in the war often carry a piece of carved bone on themselves, each carved with names of their eight most entrusted comrades. These fingers are the only part of the body where the bone is required to be swallowed directly as well as the flesh and returned, as the dead no longer needs fingers to hold weapons, those who survived shell hold them on their behalf. To be promised a finger is considered the greatest honor in modern lizardfolk society, and the phrase “I would promise you my finger” is used by lizardfolks to express their trust on someone.

    Religions and Myths: Due to the tribal nature of lizardfolk societies, lizardfolk faiths and legends varies greatly across regions. It is common to find tribes referring to reptilian predators as guardian animals or divine beasts, this includes various kind of crocodiles, alligators, carnivore dinosaurs and sometimes dragons.

    The most notable myth among lizardfolks however, is that of the origin of the most powerful tribe in Azhaka Tebiu, the dragon worshipping tribe of Raa. They claimed their ancestor to be Klaa-kla-klaa "Hunter of Titanic Monstrosities, Ancestor of Raa, Slayer of Ha-aar" Raa the Devourer Beast. In the legend, Ha-aar is a monstrous reptile that has feasted on the essence of nature and grew into a titanic beast nearly divine which threatens to consume the whole world. Klaa-kla-klaa was said to have taken down the beast with claws and teeth alone by himself, ate the heart of the beast and released the essence of nature back to the world. He then established the tribe of Raa and created several offspring before ascending into a dragon. The shamans of Raa believes that the Hunter of Titanic Monstrousities has been watching over the tribe of Raa from beyond the sky till this day.

    Interestingly, variations of this legend exist in a lot of tribes, even those far away from the Twentieth Kingdom, with different names for this lizardfolk hero, his monstrous prey and vastly different godlike reptilian creatures he ascended as. Some believed that Klaa-kla-klaa is in fact a common ancestor of all lizardfolks due to this.

    Fashion, Armor and Weaponry: Most lizardfolks find clothing unnecessary outside of protecting them from the cold of the night or winter, even when dealing with other races formally they often don only the most basic clothing made of animal skin. Clothing decorated with colorful feathers are sometimes used by shamans in ceremonies and rituals but those are uncommon on other occasions.

    Most lizardfolk tribes use weapons and armor made of animal and plant materials like bones, leather and shells, the more civilized Azhaka Tebiu tribes, however, have adopted metallic weaponry and armor. Lizardfolk warriors favor spears, clubs, shields, various polearms as well as bow and arrow, although some rely solely on their natural weapons. Members of the Dinosaur Cavalaries have slightly different weapon choices, those who ride smaller, more agile dinosaurs sometimes favor longsword and double-bladed swords, while many Vanguards of the Second Dinosaur Cavalary have picked up a lance to empower their charges. Metal armors have also been used in the armies of Azhaka Tebiu, although most shun the cumbersomeness of plate armor and other variations of heavy armor, some rides of heavy herbivores have started finding them valuable in the midst of clashes.

    Obsidian and bone daggers are commonly used in lizardfolk rituals and ceremonies, and some soldiers bring their own obsidian daggers with them shell such an article becomes needed for a ritual.
    Last edited by Photon; 2021-08-05 at 05:25 AM.

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    Default Re: A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    Well, I suppose I will save the space for kobold here. I will begin working on it tomorrow.
    Thanks to linklele for the amazing avvy.
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    Default Re: A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    Originally Posted by Marcarius5555
    Here's a map of the ancient city on the starting island I'm working on (or a site the players encounter soon after journeying down the river)….
    That’s an excellent map, very impressive indeed. But is there way you can post a reduced version? At least for me it takes a very long time to load, and it’s difficult to get a sense of the entirety of the map at its current size.

    Originally Posted by Marcarius5555
    These are the lands of Laoitun, and are major area of the initial campaign.

    …Substances for Laoitun weapons and armor:
    Are these the only materials available, or can we also draw from the standard materials in the CRB, Ultimate Equipment, etc.?

    Originally Posted by Marcarius5555
    Social organization -- were they distributed throughout the twenty kingdoms that existed previous to the five crusades, or were they mainly organized in one kingdom? What was the social organization of these realms -- alliances of republican city-states, monarchies, mandarinates etc.
    Can you give us a sense of where the original twenty kingdoms were on your map, and where the surviving kingdoms are? And can you give a sense of the location of mountains, highlands, broad-brush ecosystems, etc.?

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    That’s an excellent map, very impressive indeed. But is there way you can post a reduced version? At least for me it takes a very long time to load, and it’s difficult to get a sense of the entirety of the map at its current size.



    Are these the only materials available, or can we also draw from the standard materials in the CRB, Ultimate Equipment, etc.?



    Can you give us a sense of where the original twenty kingdoms were on your map, and where the surviving kingdoms are? And can you give a sense of the location of mountains, highlands, broad-brush ecosystems, etc.?
    The map I posted is going to be the new world area -- I'm still working on the other areas. The resolution is sort of what it is w/ the program -- if I shrink it you won't be able to see anything, which defeats the point. It's the minimum resolution to make the map usable.

    The armor types are for this new area.

    Also, we're all going to be contributing the design of the 20 kingdoms, so they can have any kind of biome you might want imagine.
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-08-04 at 10:19 PM.

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    Default Re: A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    Kingdom of Isgartusk

    The furthest, and, in the estimation of many, most unusual realm of the Compact of the Clutch of Twenty which reigned before the Five Crusades was the icy realm of Isgartusk. This northern realm was separated from the southern domains of the people of the scale by the dangerous reaches of the Icefang Sea. The majority of the population were composed of kobolds who derived their lineage from the white dragons of the north. Though the ancient rule of the dragons had abated in Isgartusk as it had in the other nations of the Clutch, the veneration of these entities continued to a much greater degree than in the southern lands. The ancient druids of the ice kobolds, who call themselves the tu'uluuwaq gather in deep caves under the ice to sing to the sleeping half-corpses of their elder draconic progenitors.

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    Default Re: A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    Azhaka Tebiu, the Twentieth Kingdom, the Union of Tribes

    Reserved for later

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    Default Re: A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    I'm working on the world maps right now -- it takes hours for the hexmapper to run, but once they're done, I'll have a set of ginormous maps for all the major continents. My current view is that the world is not circular -- perhaps it is an hourglass or some other strange shape. This isn't apparent to those who live on the surface. The entire world will not be mapped, only a few significant areas that the inhabitants are not absolutely certain about relative position and relationship.

    I have some other ideas:

    -mages and other spellcasters belong to institutions known as 'wand guilds' that are the remnants of several ancient mageocracies deposed in an ancient war. Spellcasters were thereafter forbidden from ruling.
    -For the Twin Kingdoms of Settar and Ulnaris, there were 'sword guilds' -- mercenaries hired to fight wars for brief periods, as well as serve as police and expeditionary forces.

    Half of the twenty kingdoms are the remnants of a draconian empire made up of the domains of the ten chromatic god dragons: red, blue, green, black, white, brown, grey, orange, purple, yellow. These dragon monarchs were, according to some traditions, the brood of Tiamat.

    Though legend remembers ten of these draconic rulers, there were in fact twenty, a queen and king for each domain, both which were held to be the daughter and son of one of Tiamat's children. The kings were known as the Fathers of Wrath, and queens as the Mothers of Fury.

    These dragon rulers were overthrown in a great conflict in which the kobold priests and slave overseers of the other scaled peoples who formed the lower castes of the empire. The only remnant of this former regime is a cult devoted to the dragon gods and Tiamat. The members of this cult seek the restoration of the ancient draconic empire.

    The ancient dragon gods are also known as the Ten Sovereigns. The secret society that perpetuates their worship is the Society of the Ten Sovereigns or the Sacred Society of the Ten Sovereigns. The kobold priests of the Ten Sovereigns are also shepherds of deep spawn which are caretaken as the center of regional cells, which are believed to be emissaries of Tiamat, the Mother of Monsters.

    The Ten Sovereigns were overthrown by a psionic alliance backed by gem dragons. Because of this history, psychic disciplines hold a special place within the former domains of the dragon empire. They are viewed as the saviors of the dragon's former slaves. The psions still maintain a secret police force that tries to uproot the Society of the Ten Sovereigns.

    Both the psionic inquisition and the Society of the Ten Sovereigns both exist on the five emperor arks which departed from the old world.

    Five of the other ancient kingdoms were founded sorcerers who are widely believed to have been the children of the Ten Sovereigns who subsequently broke away. All of these five were originally provinces of a single empire of magic users that was overthrown after many conflicts with the realms of the Ten Sovereigns.
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-08-05 at 09:37 PM.

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    Default Re: A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    Originally Posted by Marcarius5555
    I also had an idea for the warfare culture of the twenty kingdoms -- none had standing armies.
    This is interesting, but would conflict with what I’ve been working on for the nagaji, who have a strongly martial culture and a deep tradition of knights and crusading orders.

    Originally Posted by Marcarius5555
    Instead, there were 'sword guilds' -- mercenaries hired to fight wars for brief periods, as well as serve as police and expeditionary forces.
    I'm not sure if this approach would be adopted by all the kingdoms, or even most of them.

    There are three main problems with relying on mercenaries to fight your wars. First, as soon as the current war is over, the mercenaries start raiding and looting on their own, which means that your own people are being robbed and murdered, and your own tax base is being stolen.

    Second, by definition mercenaries can always be bought by the highest bidder. That doesn’t make for long-term security for any given kingdom if their neighbors can outbid them.

    And third, if a wealthy city-state or kingdom depends on mercenaries to do their fighting for them, pretty soon the mercenaries start wondering why they’re taking orders from people who can’t defend their own wealth, and after that it’s not long before the mercenaries take over.

    So, for all these reasons, there will be a tendency for kingdoms to raise their own armies rather than relying on swords for hire. I could see something like sword guilds being used for small city-states without the rural population base to support an army, but I'm not sure that all twenty kingdoms would use nothing but mercenaries.

    Originally Posted by Marcarius5555
    My current view is that the world is not circular -- perhaps it is an hourglass or some other strange shape.
    No idea how this would work, and I’m not sure why we wouldn’t just have a typical spherical planet.

    My working assumption is that the nagaji ships that have been exploring the Great Ocean were making extremely long voyages before discovering the new lands—equivalent to the Spanish galleons crossing the Pacific—and they would have been taking daily sextant readings for latitude and using dead reckoning for longitude. That would give them a good understanding of the curvature of the world—and if it isn’t an ordinary sphere, that will show up in their readings.

    A non-spherical planet raises a whole swarm of other issues, and it just feels like a major complication thrown in at random. Designing a campaign on something like a Rocheworld could be interesting, but I feel like that’s a difference so fundamental it needs to be the central concept of its own campaign.

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    Default Re: A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    This is interesting, but would conflict with what I’ve been working on for the nagaji, who have a strongly martial culture and a deep tradition of knights and crusading orders.



    I'm not sure if this approach would be adopted by all the kingdoms, or even most of them.

    There are three main problems with relying on mercenaries to fight your wars. First, as soon as the current war is over, the mercenaries start raiding and looting on their own, which means that your own people are being robbed and murdered, and your own tax base is being stolen.

    Second, by definition mercenaries can always be bought by the highest bidder. That doesn’t make for long-term security for any given kingdom if their neighbors can outbid them.

    And third, if a wealthy city-state or kingdom depends on mercenaries to do their fighting for them, pretty soon the mercenaries start wondering why they’re taking orders from people who can’t defend their own wealth, and after that it’s not long before the mercenaries take over.

    So, for all these reasons, there will be a tendency for kingdoms to raise their own armies rather than relying on swords for hire. I could see something like sword guilds being used for small city-states without the rural population base to support an army, but I'm not sure that all twenty kingdoms would use nothing but mercenaries.



    No idea how this would work, and I’m not sure why we wouldn’t just have a typical spherical planet.

    My working assumption is that the nagaji ships that have been exploring the Great Ocean were making extremely long voyages before discovering the new lands—equivalent to the Spanish galleons crossing the Pacific—and they would have been taking daily sextant readings for latitude and using dead reckoning for longitude. That would give them a good understanding of the curvature of the world—and if it isn’t an ordinary sphere, that will show up in their readings.

    A non-spherical planet raises a whole swarm of other issues, and it just feels like a major complication thrown in at random. Designing a campaign on something like a Rocheworld could be interesting, but I feel like that’s a difference so fundamental it needs to be the central concept of its own campaign.
    For the idea of the sword guilds, we'll confine that to a couple of the kingdoms to avoid conflicting with your fluff.

    On the issue of the planet shape -- I'd rather come up with weird magical ideas than rely on approximations of Age of Sail concepts -- like the idea of navigating by sextants sounds very mundane, as well as the concept that exploration was undertaken in essentially the same fashion with this kind of mundane technology -- I'd rather have an order of mages that operates mana magnets that seek out mana poles located at the 'hinges of the world', and the navigation occurs through communion with these objects, or something similarly arcane and flavorful; maybe the age of exploration occurred when the first mage navigator communed with a forgotten deity that kept these mana magnets in a celestial or chthonic storehouse -- I've already established that the flagships of the migration are a set of five, miles-long semi-organic magical ships that are more like floating cities than normal vessels (I imagine them covered with enormous scale like plates), so that would fit with this trend.

    In general, I'd much rather a setting that tries to come up with distinctive ideas that don't completely rule out DnD assumptions rather than just have, for example, a quasi viking culture that's basically like every other quasi viking culture in every other basic fantasy setting from Mystara to Forgotten Realms to Golarion to Greyhawk. It's much easier to come up with plot ideas and setting detail with more unusual, provocative concepts. For instance, the concept of the mana magnets makes me think of piracy being focused around procuring these items and the spell weavers that can operate them. They'd send out forces to kidnap or enslave the mages, or try to create their own guilds or traditions. There'd be means of disrupting their signal. This would also confine far-reaching sea-faring to those groups which have mage-navigators to move beyond sight of the shore, and since the mages, at least for certain kingdoms, are multi-national guilds, they can have a significant hand in any naval disputes. There's really also no reason to bother doing a bunch of worldbuilding to write out details for not-France, not-Spain etc. -- we can just have reptilian people on Earth if we're going to do that (and I'm also not interested in running such a setting, so I'll cede the gamemastering duties to someone else if that's what everyone's set on doing).
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-08-05 at 09:44 PM.

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    Default Re: A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    Originally Posted by Marcarius5555
    I've already established that the flagships of the migration are a set of five, miles-long semi-organic magical ships that are more like floating cities than normal vessels (I imagine them covered with enormous scale like plates), so that would fit with this trend.
    I must have missed this part. Can you fill me in on these?

    Originally Posted by Marcarius5555
    On the issue of the planet shape -- I'd rather come up with weird magical ideas....
    Well, two difficulties here.

    First, everything I've been working on is fairly grounded in terms of real-world effects, and radical departures from that assumption may undercut much of what I've written.

    And second, if there's a continuing series of unexpected changes like a non-spherical planet, it's going to be extremely difficult for me to know how to work with that, because anything I come up with may be negated by the next weird magical idea.

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    Default Re: A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I must have missed this part. Can you fill me in on these?



    Well, two difficulties here.

    First, everything I've been working on is fairly grounded in terms of real-world effects, and radical departures from that assumption may undercut much of what I've written.

    And second, if there's a continuing series of unexpected changes like a non-spherical planet, it's going to be extremely difficult for me to know how to work with that, because anything I come up with may be negated by the next weird magical idea.
    I don't want to get tied up in real-world effects and physics -- I'm perfectly happy to have things operate because they're magical. Like gravity is the will of the sky deity or something like that. Think more Glorantha than Harn. There's no reason to spend a ton of time rewriting Golarion or Forgotten Realms as reptiles -- I want it to have some distinctive concepts that are not just retreads of settings like that. We can work around different ideas, but I'm not interested in being constrained by making a world which has to be earth sized and have all essentially the same features as Golarion or Faerun. I'm not interested in just making a reptilian version of the great wheel -- I want to come up with some distinctive cosmology ideas that still incorporate all the major elements of the Great Wheel or Outer Spheres.

    We can definitely start by setting the most important geographical etc. assumptions, and agree not to introduce any other significant elements that might overrule previous material, but I'm not agreeing that we've already decided this is an earth-sized planet with Newtonian physics and approximately the same land/earth ratio etc.

    I definitely don't want you to start with just mundane standard fantasy assumptions -- like make up some not-Viking reptiles, and some not-Egyptian reptiles, and some not-Indian reptiles, and so forth. I'm not going to run a Age of Sail with reptiles campaign and just have not-Maya reptiles fighting not-Spanish and not-Portuguese reptiles. That's not interesting to me as a setting or campaign concept, and I'm not going to run that. If that's the goal -- just get someone else to run a Paizo AP but make all the characters reptiles.

    The refugees fled to the lands of Laoitun by means of the empire arks - enormous, semi living juggernauts of up to a mile or more in length. Each of the four emperor arks was as to a nation by itself. The considerable hulls of the emperor arks are docked at the refugees first site of landing. Large populations remain aboard the vessels still while scouts and diplomats try to arrange for more permanent dwelling places.
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-08-05 at 10:07 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    Originally Posted by Marcarius5555
    I don't want to get tied up in real-world effects and physics -- I'm perfectly happy to have things operate because they're magical. Like gravity is the will of the sky deity or something like that. Think more Glorantha than Harn. There's no reason to spend a ton of time rewriting Golarion or Forgotten Realms as reptiles -- I want it to have some distinctive concepts that are not just retreads of settings like that….

    I definitely don't want you to start with just mundane standard fantasy assumptions -- like make up some not-viking reptiles, and some not-egyptian reptiles, and some not-indian reptiles, and so forth. I'm not going to run a Age of Sail with reptiles campaign and just have not-Maya reptiles fighting not-Spanish and not-Portuguese reptiles. That's not interesting to me as a setting or campaign concept, and I'm not going to run that.
    It would have been especially helpful to have clarified this preference right at the start, before we began working on our individual races. There was no mention of this approach in the recruitment thread.

    As it is, I think we’ve been working on very different ideas of what the campaign world should be, as well as how to approach world-building in general. I don’t know how the others may feel, but I’m definitely feeling that my contributions so far aren’t appreciated, and won’t be a good fit for your design preferences.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Default Re: A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    It would have been especially helpful to have clarified this preference right at the start, before we began working on our individual races. There was no mention of this approach in the recruitment thread.

    As it is, I think we’ve been working on very different ideas of what the campaign world should be, as well as how to approach world-building in general. I don’t know how the others may feel, but I’m definitely feeling that my contributions so far aren’t appreciated, and won’t be a good fit for your design preferences.
    Well, that's why we're discussing it; no one should have assumed that before we actually got to designing things -- Kobold Press' Midgard and Glorantha are 'classic fantasy trope' worlds which are very different from Golarion, as is Scarn from Scarred Lands. There's no reason one prospective player should have assumed their assumptions are going to be everyone else's and that these assumptions would guide all setting development. Especially since I didn't agree to that and I'm the one who's offered to run this, which is going to be a lot of work.

    So far, I feel like I've made a lot of attempts to incorporate different preferences in rules and setting concepts, without a lot of appreciation for that -- I was originally interested specifically in the Stone Age concept but agreed to incorporate some additional elements to be accommodating. If this is just going to be ceaseless attempts to force me to do this or that, then I don't find this project interesting either and someone else should DM, and I also feel like my contributions are being not appreciated.

    And really, if the goal is to do Rise of the Runelords with reptiles -- just do that with a different DM, and don't waste time and energy typing thousands of words on a cut and paste version of that.
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-08-05 at 11:21 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Default Re: A Song of Scale and Claw: World-Building for A Reptilian Campaign

    I've come up with a setting concept that satisfies me -- everyone can go here and decide if they're interested: https://forums.giantitp.com/showthre...1#post25154531

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