The Great City of Aeon

Game Master Orelius Lionpaw

psionic campaign.

Alright! I'm going to need to ask you guys to help me build this city and the surrounding area before we actually start. I already have a few ideas...

-City is ruled by a Council, chosen from the noble houses of the city (really more of a city-state, now that I think about it)
-Lower-ranking Legionnaires are Soulknives and Soulbolts. The craftsmen are either Aegii, Fighters, or Metacreative Psions.
-Higher-ranking Legionnaires (Centurions) gain their ranking by showing great prowess and leadership on the battlefield.
-Support classes, such as Tacticians and Vitalists, are pretty much all lumped together in one group, which can make battlefield healing and tactics rather inefficient. One of your jobs could be to fix that.
-Psionic Warriors and Psionic Monks are trained in monasteries - generally, the lower-class people become one of these things.

Humans are the most common citizens, although all the psionic races have found a home in Aeon. There is prejudice against the Maenads, since it is a very lawfully-minded city. Blues are regarded by some as lesser beings, but they are normally left alone.

What I'm going for with this city is that there's a sort-of-not-really hidden caste system. It makes sense, considering the fast differences between Psionic races.

You guys think it'd be good if I went with a late Roman Empire inspiration? So this city would be modelled off of Constantinople, although of course wildly different at the same time.

Ok so the idea is for the party to be attached to the Aeon garrison then? Would the bulk of our missions come from the military itself or outside patrons?

I really like the idea of giving the campaign a Roman feel. Does this extend to a grander empire in the same fashion or is Aeon more of an independent city state?

If Psionic Warriors and Monks exist outside of this military structure, what role in society do they usually play? How does religion factor into Aeon's existence?

while it definitely seems that you want to go with a roman style theme, I would posit a couple of questions:

Is Aeon a part of another nation or an independent city-state? additionally, who is it's biggest rival and who is it's biggest ally? is it the only city in the area, or are there other city-states competing for the same resources?

and here are some ideas for answers to the above questions:

if Aeon is a city-state vassal of another nation, then I would imagine that they are the only part of the "empire" that is local in the area (they may have outposts and forts, but Aeon should be the only real city). The rival in the area could easily be a horde/Gaul style nation that uses magic (both arcane and divine) and spurns the "civilizing" aspects of psionics. That would make this more of a story of man vs. nature.

If Aeon=Rome, then the above horde scenario could work, but you may wish to make them a horde of classic "dnd" monsters(maybe a dragon that leads an army of giants, ogres, orcs, and goblinoids. In this case, I could definitely see Psionics, and the high level of training that the legionaires receive, being the only thing that keeps Aeon from being overrun.

hope that sparks some thought for debate =)

City state or Roman empire size both sound good to me. Really like what Vrog wrote about psionics being "civilized" and encroaching barbarian hordes that use magic. Though I'd change it to divine magic being something both sides use.

While I initially thought the same pwntq, I think it'll make for a more interesting story if the citizens of Aeon are more "internally" focused and the horde (encroaching or otherwise) were "externally" focused. besides, the Vitalist is a spectacular healer.

This is really true, I like the idea that the psionic society of Aeon have turned away from the gods in favor of putting their faith in their own strength.

I was actually just looking over the vitalist class and you are absolutely right, having one in the party would more than take care of any healing issues. Though I imagine we could get along fine without one as well.

and while it's likely that my own pbp is going to be bigger than I initially thought (and thus with the games I'm playing in I probably wouldn't have time to actually play here), I'm still more than happy to offer advice/suggestions for the building of the city/setting (including statting up "standard" squads of npcs if needed), should it turn out that I could traverse the road, as the saying goes, then I would probably want to make a Cryptic who was the child of one of the council/someone important who rebels by studying with the criminal element and getting a lot of tattoos.

As to Aeon's relation to the as yet undefined horde, there are really two ways to go with this :

First the previously mentioned encroaching horde that may well herald the end of Aeon/Rome's prosperity. This puts us all on the defensive and is likely more conducive to a more heroic style campaign we are all familiar with.

Alternatively we could flavor it more as the rise of Rome and concern ourselves with the pacification of the various hordes and "unenlightened" masses. Here we get into far more shades of grey but it also might be easier to run the more sandbox style game you mentioned in this environment.

The real question is what sort of tone are we wanting to set for this campaign? Something on the heroic side or more a band of soldiers/mercenaries finding their own motivations.

You may wish to reconsider positions of government based on classes. This would likely lead to a quick revolution. Same with shoehorning classes into the social structure.

While it may make sense to say that divine and/or arcane casters are considered of high society, or low, this belief stems from their rarity. If everyone in Aeon is psionic, then social wars will likely ensue along those class lines.

Init. +10; AC 33, T 20, FF 27; F+13, R+16, W+18 HP 31/107; Spell Effects: Detect Scrying, Endure Elements, Fly, Nondetection, Mindblank, Magic Aura, Planar Adaption, Arcane Sight, Blur, Haste

A psionic society could certainly have a meritocracy. Unless telepathy is very limited.

What percentage of the population is psionic?

A)many races, a higher than normal percentage of psionic individuals. Non-psionics might be considered 2nd class citizens.

B)One race, all psionic. Anyone not of the race is an outsider, if psionic, tolerated to some degree.

Are psionics transparent? To maintain the mystique between magic and psionics, this should be no.

I actually like the idea of a society that is ordered based along the lines of psionic power: the more powerful you are, the high in society you could reach. would make for some interesting stories (the kid of a member if the council is a low powered soulknife). the other thing to look at is that maybe psionics aren't inherent, but something that can be learned. that would make more sense if you think that legionaires are trained in the basics of "never be without a weapon" combat, the medics are trained vitalists, the combat leadership are trained as tacticians, and the senate is full of members of the noble houses who each have a lockdown on a specific type of psion (for example, one house would be the kineticist house, one would be the telepath house, and so on). the only (pardon the pun) wildcard would be the wilder.

makes me wonder where the non-psion would fit into this culture.

perhaps the members of the council would be made up of representatives of the various houses plus the Primus Centurion (first centurion; highest ranking non-officer) and the head of the crafter's guild (which could be the only non-psion organization in the city).

just some musings while I watch the snow drop outside my office =)

The whole 'shoe-horning' concern people have is kind of unfounded. Your position is not determined by your class; The class reflects your psionic training, and is based on your position.

Also, I'm going with separation of magic and psionics.

The 'encroaching horde' idea can definitely be used - and in fact, it would make sense, given how I'm designing the city's backstory.

To the question about non-psions, there aren't any, at least within the city. Since anything with a mental ability score can learn psionic abilities, according to its most basic fluff, it would make no sense to say that certain people can't learn it.

The crafters are of the Aegis class, btw - Aegii(I believe that's the plural) actually gain bonuses to crafting over the course of their levels.

Also, guys, while this is certainly a Roman-inspired society, it doesn't have to follow them exactly. I've been batting around the idea that the Legions are actually just a guard for a wall surrounding the city - it would explain how there are no arcane casters, since the arcane magic users would not be let in to the city and pretty much killed on sight.

I might add some rules for casting arcane magic while making it look like psionics (perhaps a Caster Level check...).

I'd recommend against separating magic and psionics. Such a rule stops either side from being able to defend itself against common threats. Suddenly, a Golem's supposedly fearsome magic/psionic immunity can be pierced by even the weakest enemy apprentice; And it becomes impossible to ward locations or people against enemy divinations. It makes little sense to say that magic and psionics are at war, yet powerless against one another.

Anyr wrote:
I'd recommend against separating magic and psionics. Such a rule stops either side from being able to defend itself against common threats. Suddenly, a Golem's supposedly fearsome magic/psionic immunity can be pierced by even the weakest enemy apprentice; And it becomes impossible to ward locations or people against enemy divinations. It makes little sense to say that magic and psionics are at war, yet powerless against one another.

Oh. Right.

this is why I asked you all to help me.

well, you could just go with the magic/psionics transparency. that way, your golems would be magic proof, your locations could be shielded from scrying, and your enemy casters could counter your psionic abilities (and vice versa).

Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
well, you could just go with the magic/psionics transparency. that way, your golems would be magic proof, your locations could be shielded from scrying, and your enemy casters could counter your psionic abilities (and vice versa).

Exactly. Transparency is the default for good reason.

My original premise was that the psions would NOT be able to shield themselves from magic, and vice versa; this would be one of the reasons for the conflict.

There could just be parallel spells dealing with protecting from the 'other', but that's already accomplished by the transparency.

This conflict could, perhaps, be caused by the recent development/advancement of arcane magic among the barbarians. For example, maybe the horde had sorcerers before for the most part which, while a problem, weren't usually too much of a threat for one reason or another (too few and far between due to the need to be born with sorcery, too weak due to a lack of any systematized training, focused on more "brutish" and less subtle magic, etc.), but now Wizardry is emerging among the barbarians, which allows the horde to rely more heavily on magic (training increasing the numbers of magicians and increasing their potency, ability to discover more subtle spells and use a variety of spells, etc.) making it a problem again.

Something similar could be done with divine magic too, potentially. Either way, having the city coming to terms with this new game in town which can match their psionics all of a sudden could be interesting.

might also be interesting if the horde recently developed the worship of a deity. the deity grants them divine magic, and now they have access to the more potent healing spells (let's pretend that they don't entirely trust witches, and bards would probably be an oddity at best, which means that pre-deity, the infernal healing line and fractions of heal and harm woulda been it for their healing).

Also, I'm planning for this city to be completely and totally screwed up politically, although that might come later, since it would be an awesome intro adventure to fight the barbarians.

So, Aeon was originally two cities, their names long forgotten. Now, there are four sections of Aeon: The Western City, the Capital, the Eastern City, and the Maenad Islands. There are two Noble Houses in each city, and one President Elect, selected by the four Houses. He serves as a tiebreaker.

The Western City is poorer, having been the city-state that was conquered. The Eastern City has need of the crops that only grow in Western Aeon.

The Cities are essentially at war with one another

The Maenad Islands are essentially a vassal colony. They lie a day's journey by ship to the north of the Western City. They pay taxes, but refuse to do much else, seeing as they fundamentally disagree with the lawfulness of Aeon. They make good pirates and wilders, though, so there is a section of the Western Legion which employs them.

More later.

sounds like Aeon is a massive city. makes sense though: Rome ended up being fairly large as well.

expounding on things I posted earlier, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of the different noble houses each specializing in different psionic disciplines. With that in mind, allow me to present the following:

House Dethan: The seers of house Dethan are reknowned for their ability to predict the outcome of unfolding events with astounding accuracy. Lead by the feared Matriarch Auriana Dethan (a woman well feared throughout the city for knowing people's secrets), this house also boasts the most spies; it's an open secret that House Dethan has an academy dedicated to espionage.

House Lean'sith: The telepaths of House Lean'Sith are widely sought after as psionic bodyguards, rooting out spies and protecting their clients from (mainly) the divinatory abilities of House Dethan. At one point engaged to Auriana, patriarch Acastus Lean'sith is oft quoted as having said about her during their engagement: "I'd sooner marry a viper; at least you know the when the viper will bite you." The calling off of their marriage was the cause of the current strife between the two great houses.

House Colgar: The nomads of House Colgar run the lucrative docks of the city, ensuring that goods flow into and out of the city, while taking a healthy profit. The only house whose patriarch, Dorin Colgar, does not fill the council seat provided by his family (Dorin believes that it's more important to make money than "play at running the city"), Dorin's son Alenth currently holds the position on the council.

House Atiges: The kineticists of House Atiges specialize in the development and testing of psionic weapons and other magic items. Lead by matriarch Kalistril Atiges (A well-loved figure who held the position of Primus Centurion for over 40 years before stepping down to lead her house on the death of her father), Kalistril has refocused her house from being simple "demolitionists" into an economic powerhouse within the city, which also employs the majority of the city's Aegii.

will post the other two houses in a bit. need to do some work.

House Alindas: the shapers of House Alindas were the largest house overall until the death of the patriarch of House Antiges, employing 99% of the city's Aegii and other craftsman, and having a stranglehold on the manufactured goods trade in the city. All of that changes when the exceptionally popular Kalistril Antiges took over her house. Wooing away the best craftsman of House Alindas, House Antiges has seen unparalleled growth in the past few years. Unable to attack Lady Kalistril directly, matriarch Caocuri Alindas has taken to hiring industrial spies and assassins to take out key parts of the House Antiges infrastructure. So far Caocuri has kept the war to the shadows, but it seems to be only a matter of time before it spills over into the light.

House Maoril: the egoists of House Maoril secretly run almost all of the inns and taverns in Aeon through a tangled web if shell companies and proxies. specializing in performance art, House Maoril prides itself on being the "soul" of the city. Lead by the vivacious patriarch Thorig Maoril (widely considered the most eligible bachelor in the city since the death of his wife), House Maoril enjoys a (for the most part) well deserved reputation of charity. Recently, however, dark rumors have begun to spread about the death of Thorig's wife, which he has been unable to quell.

while you could get more detailed, I think that should be a good starting point for hanging the framework of the relationship between houses. I'll start posting my ideas about Maenad Islands later on today.

Vrog, do you want to co-DM? Perhaps you could run a campaign as characters on the barbarians' side of things, and we could PM each other about developments or something.

And yeah, I like your ideas about the Houses. We need a tie breaker house in Aeon, though. Perhaps a Generalist house that resides in the Capital, and also runs the Elan society in the city.

Aeon is less a city and more a walled-off country.

Each city holds 3 noble houses. The Western City holds houses Atinges, Lean'Sith, and Colgar. The Eastern City holds houses Maoril, Alindas, and Dethan. House Alphonse (Generalist house) is based in the Capital. House Alphonse rules the city through a tangled web of informants within each of the other houses.

I would be certainly willing to do support for your game, as I said earlier. I think that the wildcard on the council could be the leader of the Maenad Islands representative (perhaps they agreed to representation during their surrender negotiations, perhaps they've earned it since). I think it could be interesting to have the Maenad Islands rep be more powerful psion-wise than the others on the council, so they're afraid to move against him or her directly, but they pool their resources to counter votes that the rep. puts forward about equality for his/her people.

as an aside, I definitely have a few ideas about the leader of the horde. feel free to pm me and i'll share them orelius.

That is a very interesting idea.

A generalist house could instead be a citizens council. Since everyone is psionic, normal people could just have a few power poiints and level 0 psionic knacks. That makes you a civilian. Then if you train or show aptitude, i.e. level 1 in a psionic class, you become a full citizen. Most psions are generalists, while a minority specialize. Houses are houses because they tend to breed psions of a certain type or hire them. The citizens council elects a leader

That... actually makes sense.

Let's go with that.

Wow, this is coming together really quickly. Should be really amazing, I'll have a little more time to put towards the idea machine this weekend.

EDIT : Oh, I'm also curious where you believe Wilders would fit into the social structure of Aeon? I imagine due to their undiciplined nature they may be shunned as a general rule. Perhaps many of them work outside the law, possibly as part of some sort of underground organization?

otm-shank, my thoughts are currently that they are mostly found in the area known as the Maenad Islands.

A kind of overview of what we have come up with so far:
Aeon is a Large city that is actually comprised of two different cities and a capitol area that have merged into one massive metropolis, as well as a nearby colony of Maenads and outcasts known as the Maenad Islands. It is ruled by a council (really, the council needs some sort of name like the freedom council, the protectorate, or something along those lines) which is made up of the representatives of the 6 different noble houses (each of which holds the key to a different discipline of the psion class), the leader of the Vox populi (voice of the people or citizen's council; also unofficially the 7th house), the representative of the Maenad Islands, and the Primus Centurion, the head of the legions.

Aeon is currently involved in open hostilities with a horde of people who have so far refused the politic civilizing influence of the great nation of Aeon. Orelius and I are discussing a couple of backstory things about the horde and the various houses.

have I missed anything so far?

Not at all.

thoughts on to the Maenad Islands:

early on during the war with the horde, House Alindas shapers managed to create a new race of psionic super-soldiers, the Maenads. Changed from normal humans using a ritual (which has since been more or less lost to the houses) into Maenads, they were initially incredibly successful on the battlefield: able to channel psionic might into their body, making them faster, stronger, and tougher; as an unexpected benefit, Maenads began manifesting psionics in a way that had never been seen before. At first, House Alindas was thrilled. They would be able to muscle into the lucrative bodyguard industry and also have access to a unique style of psionics.

As time went on, however,Alindas began to see just how hard to control their new creations were. in addition to being prone to uncontrollable outbursts, Maenads were quickly shown to have another major issue: their ability to quickly breed with humans, half-giants, and even some of the captive members of the horde. any children from such a mating always ended up being Maenad. Alindas knew that they would have to act quickly, or all of Aeon would be overrun with MAenads, who would breed out the remainder of the races in the city within a couple of generations.

Fortunately, it appeared that the process by which someone ascended to being an Elan prevented them from producing a Maenad. instead, the product of all such upbringings were stillborn.

After presenting their findings to the Council, a decree was passed unanimously within the council that stated that any Maenad female that wished to have a child must first serve 3 consecutive terms in the legions. In an effort to quell what they knew would be a tide of uprising, the Maenads were given their own colony and a seat on the council.

Alright! I'll put this in the campaign description and add some stuff.

What would the fluff be for Blues and Dromites? Xephs would be fully integrated within human society, like elves.

give me the weekend to mull it over and i'll post something on Monday.

on the Blues:

long before the formation of Aeon, deep in the hidden subterranean tunnels and hidden nooks and crannies of the world, the mighty Aboleths had an empire that stretched the world; and while they had many a servitor race, none were quite as prominent as the race that would become the blues; a race of fleshcrafted Giants that they used as their elite psionic shock troops.

Eons passed, and the Blues found themselves without an enemy to fight. Eventually, Blue, the Servitor for which the race would later take it's name, discovered a horrible truth: his race was slated for extermination by the very race that it had so faithfully served for so long. Psionically contacting others of the more powerful members of his people, Blue (his people at the time did not actually have names, they were named after concepts or abstracts) put together a plan to deal death to those who would kill them. recruiting an army in secret, the more high ranking Blues began to foster mistrust amongst the various aboleth lords, convincing each that the other lords were going to attempt to kill them, while simultaneously confiding in them that they had contacts amongst their people in the other lords' camps which had warned them of this treachery.

Given that Aboleths are by their very nature a fractured and untrusting race, it didn't take all that much for the duplicity to become a self-fulfilling prophesy: once again, the Aboleths and their servitors engaged in war, only this time against each other. It was during the chaos of the first massive battle that a new style of practicioner of psionics was unveiled by the servitors: the slayer. appearing amongst the leader tents, the slayers killed the aboleths and then left.

as the last Abolethic high lord fell, however, he saw the treachery of the Blues for what it really was, and so levied his death curse against them, which twisted their current form into something small, shriveled, and blue, which he considered a fine bit of irony.

the curse removed much of the gifts that the blues had taken for granted, including increased physical abilities, superior health, and long life.


the modern day blue has little knowledge of the history of their people, as they have lived on the surface for so long that they have evolved past the ability to breath water or speak Abolethic.

Found during the early days of Aeon, they were taken in and made a part of the empire.

I'll post on the dromites in a little while.

thoughts on the dromites:

so I was thinking that they are a subterranean race that uses their energy ray to dig tunnels, kinda like psionic ants; some sort of...something...forced them to come to the surface several generations ago (like 2 or 3), and there's a split between those who want to return and those who want to stay on the surface.

Mind if I work up something on Ophiduans over the next few days (or could one of you, mebbe)? I have a vested interest since I'm planning an Ophiduan Vitalist.

Posted something to that effect a few days ago, apparently the server issues ate my post. *facepalm*

gimme a min to look at the race and i'll post my idears; feel free to post your own and we'll judge your worth as a human being based on it, so no pressure! (j/k)

my thoughts on the ophiduans:

Ophiduans come from prisoners captured from the arcane horde that were experimented on a long time ago and who ended up being a viable species. genetically descended from orcs, Ophiduans were modified so thoroughly that they are for all intents and purposes unrecognizable by the people that they are descended from. this probably happened earlier on in the history of the war between the horde and Aeon.

Hnnnnh. Sounds good to me. I'll tweak up a background based on that.


null sweat.

notes/what players will know about the arcane horde:

The horde, which in it's tongue (sylvan) is called The Convocation of The Wise (or simply, The Convocation), is lead by The Skyreaver, an immortal shape-changing hero of countless battles, who is known for his ability to control the weather and shape it to his will.

Made up mostly of the more "savage" races: Orcs, Ogres, Giants, and the occasional "other" thing, like dragons, the horde believes that Aeon is far too expansionist and isolationist; they take what they want from the land and ignore it's pleading. This, and the continual taking of slaves (amongst the horde, slavery is viewed as worse than murder, as the slaver is stealing the freedom and choice from their slaves) from the horde, most recently one of The Skyreaver's scions, an elf named Torauk.

after an emergency meeting with his councilers and the high priest of Auronis, The Skyreaver wisely determined that the only course was to destroy these defilers and heathens. Thus, the march to war.

Religiously, The Convocation is largely animistic/shamanistic; there has, however, been the recent introduction of the worship of Auronis, Lord of the sun and peerless warrior. Many have flocked to his doctrine of the responsibility of the strong to rule, and that the heretics of Aeon have turned their backs on the world around them, so consumed are they by their petty greed for power. The Church of Auronis is lead by a Worgen (Werebear) named Kathandrax.

While Kathandrax and The Skyreaver have not always seen eye-to-eye, in the war against Aeon they stand united.

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