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A list of slave prices would be good. Is there anything like that in any of the books? Has anyone here written something like it up?
How much do ordinary laborers cost? Concubines? Tutors?
Of course prices would vary a lot based on the local markets, but the same holds true of many items that the books give 'standard' prices for anyway. It's convenient for gaming purposes to have such lists.
Slave markets offer an incentive for PCs to capture, rather than just kill out of hand, intelligent baddies.
PCs might want to get some human/humanoid baggage carriers for expeditions. Ditto slave labor force for building strongholds.
Hmmm, that’s a lot of clustered rolls. It happens sometimes. Let’s see what I have here…
Okay, this is a Frostfell/Ice Age world.
The dryads are evergreen tree-women who can uproot and move about.
There are two kinds of Uldra. The first are based on the gnome-like race that first appeared in Dragon Magazine and the second are the blue fey of Frostfell and PF materials. They may be cousins.
The Blue Uldra inhabit the cold uplands, and the White Uldra (gnomelike types) dwell in the greenbelts of the lower regions.
The gnomelike race created gearmen/warforged as helpers and laborers—servants but not slaves.
The gearmen/warforged of this setting are made of carved mammoth ivory, cured sinews of wild animals, varnished wood, and beaten plates of copper or iron.
PS-- If I'm thread hoggin, let me know.
I just really love this thread.
Okey-dokey. I'll spin off some vague hints about elf races in the Eddas
Elves= Light Elves
Orcs= Swart Elves. Like the Drow, they are not automatically evil. They are brutish and crude, though. Skilled miners.
Nixies= distant cousins of the elf races, they inhabit both surface world and underworld waters.
Shae= shadow fays, pretty much. See below
Possible creation myth:
FIRST SET OF ROLLS=
94= ooze-based humanoids
Eh, what? Shae based whasis? I need to look these guys up.
Hmmm, those fetchlings/kayal look pretty nifty!
The ooze and insectoid races arrived together, crash-landed in a starship that travelled the aether on waves of "black light." The survivors reverted to a primitive existence, although the xixchil did manage to salvage and preserve some cyberware and medical tech.
The crash spilled waves of black light over the world, creating large swathes and pools of shadow that linger to the present day. The primitive humanoids who adapted to life in these shadow zones became the Kayal as they absorbed shadow stuff into their bodies over generations. The Kayal have learned how to move through hairline fractures in reality that exist in shadows.
The ogres, distant relatives of the Kayal, have developed a rude sort of agricultural civilization and spread over much of the land outside the shadow zones.
Meduase and maedars (FR monster, the male version of the species, does stone to flesh)-
SECOND SET OF ROLLS, NEXT WORLD
Oohhh, man, those poor fauns and Halflings!
I imagine this one as a dark fairy tale setting. Lots of forest, interrupted by lakes , rivers, meadows, and farmland. Jagged mountains, cold dry plateaus, and other forbidding features mark the edges of the known world.
Derro are the menace from below, twisted creatures that dwell in darkness and emerge on moonless nights to kidnap travelers, steal babies, mutilate cattle, poison wells, blight crops...
The Halflings take the place of humans (not present in this setting, or else so rare that they are a legend) as the predominant race. They farm the land, build towns, trade, ply riverboats, and so on.
Fauns dwell in the sylvan glades and wildwoods. Some venture out into the Halfling settled lands and towns.
Grindylows haunt the rivers and lakes.
Vampires come mainly from Halfling stock. I'll use the Ravenloft variant for this.
THIRD SET/WORLD IDEAS
The nymphs and centaurs suggest something Grecian.
Continuing in that vein, Gnolls could be interpreted as a bidepal, talking version of the legendary Crocrotta. That’s pretty close to what they are now. They make a handy barbaric, savage race. Often a threat to civilization, but some people may hire them as mercenaries.
But what about the halfings? Classical Pygmies (not the same as the real peoples of Central Africa sometimes called “pygmies”) may work as a model. Halflings aren’t usually depicted as being that small, but if I toss in some boobries or other giant crane like monsters, the pygmy versus crane image should work just fine.
I’ll give the Bariaurs the role of the main civilized race. Think Greek city-states: contentious, varied, faction-ridden, but sharing aspects of a common culture. Bariaur is the Common Tongue for the setting.
The nymphs fill the “elfy” slot pretty well, as a magical forest dwelling people.
Just for fun, horses have not evolved to be larger than, say mesohippus. Nobody rides much, apart from the Halflings.
Andrew R wrote:
"Modern standards" leaves a lot open since modern standards differ so much, so that is not the best way to look at it either
Yup.IMO, a far better standard for Good would be the "Love thy Neighbor" or "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Those aren't exactly 'modern' concepts. :)
It's never really come up in play, but I have always assumed that elves IMC have a low sex drive to match their low fertility and long lifespans. That applies to the species as a whole; individuals may prove exceptions to the rule.
Calistria’s roles as a trickster and goddess of vengeance fit my take on elves just fine.
What about her aspect as a goddess of lust? I’d rule that Elves worship her in that aspect not because they are a lustful race—but because they AREN’T a lustful race. They are aware that other races breed faster and in greater numbers. Quite a few of those races are competitors or enemies of the elves. Thus, a goddess who can inspire the healthy lust that leads to babies being born holds considerable appeal as an object of worship.
In many ways, she can be seen as a goddess of things necessary for survival of the race:
That’s how I’d handle the topic. YMMV.
If the DM creates and controls a character, that character is an NPC.
If a player creates and controls a character, that character is a PC.
That doesn’t mean I’m against helpful NPCs who may adventure with the PCs.
YMMV. What works for me may not be what works for you.
If you prefer the happy/flightly elves of the AD&D PHB, Andrew-- why not just use them?
If you also happen to prefer Pathfinder mechanics to AD&D mechanics-- that's no problem. Just combine the 'crunch' of PF and the 'fluff' of AD&D 1E.
YMMV-- And please keep in mind that I'm only offering suggestions.
Fabius Maximus wrote:
A 'long time ago', huh?
http://www.amazon.com/Edition-Premium-Players-Handbook-Dungeons/dp/07869624 37/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1343017897&sr=8-7&keywords=ad+d+1st+e dition+players+handbook
But even without the reprints, AD&D 1E never went away. People have been playing it all along.
In any case, AD&D is relevant to the discussion in this thread(though not necessarily to how any indvidual DM runs his game).
For that matter, so is Tolkien, whom you brought up, Fabius.
All just IMHO, of course.
It's easy enough to change this aspect of the setting. Just rule that Calistria has only a minor following among elves. If you want further contrast with the ‘promiscuous elf’ image you have from reading the published stuff, you could rule that that elves tend to have lower sex drives to go with their long lifespans and low fertility rates.
Desna could take Calistria’s place as a prominent deity among the elves. She’s often portrayed as an elven woman. If your elves lean towards CG, as did most AD&D ‘official’ elves, then Desna may be a better fit anyway.
Maybe some humans portray Calistria as an elf not because that goddess has any special importance among elves, but because the humans in question see elves as vengeful and seductive creatures (rather like the dangerous and tricky fairies of many old European stories).
Sounds like fun, Mikaze!
IMC, long ago the majority of gnomes lived in one city-state and the surrounding hills.
Kobolds were discovered by the gnome miners under the hills near the city. The gnomes systematically captured the little earth devils and then set them to work a menial servants and brute laborers.
The Chaotic gnomes were transformed into the first goblins (I haven’t decided if they did it to themselves with a fumbled ritual, or if it was a curse inflicted by someone else).
Now, the ancient gnomish capital is a partially ruined mega dungeon inhabited by squabbling goblins and kobolds. The monsters often emerge to steal supplies—or children, in the case of the goblins.
I haven’t mapped anything yet, but the city will probably be partly above ground and partly subterranean, with large maze sections. It will have traps galore, as well as hidden passages and secret rooms. If you have seen Labyrinth, you will have some idea of what I envision. Treasures will include books of gnome lore, ancient but possibly still functional machines, gemstones, various pieces of loot gathered by the monsters over generations of brigandage, etc.
This history explains the bad blood between gnomes on one side and goblins and kobolds on the other.
Crimson Jester wrote:
Ah, the 'Lost Tales'? Yeah, I do recall that those dwarves weren't so nice.
Short answer: no.
Long answer: The United States is not a rogue state because 'rogue state' is just a label the US political elite slaps on small and relatively weak states that pose obstacles to US foreign policy goals-- or small states that make for convenient scapegoats.
The US has a number of clients and allies that commit many of the same sorts of human rights abuses that we read about in places like Cuba or Iran.
North Korea might be a special case. I get the impression that even the Chinese don't much like the North Korean regime-- but they have to deal with it and they don't want us fooling around in their corner of the world.
BigNorseWolf-- I agree with you about the possibility for a society to become broken/severely dysfunctional.
In a fantasy setting we can get a little weirder with social structure, reproduction, child-rearing, etc.
I’ve gone for the unnatural or alien approach in my current game. I don’t need to worry about massacres of cute baby goblins. :)
IMC orcs are organized sort of like naked mole rats or some hive insects. I borrowed that from Harn. They have no babies unable to defend themselves, just half-grown ‘runtlings’ that pop out of the cave=-mothers multiple wombs, ready to fight from birth. Orcs have genetic memory (this is taken from Harn) which ensures that they all have a roughly similar culture. It’s violent and savage, with strong tendencies towards what most people would call evil. The cave mother can to some extent control her hive with pheromones, so society can function without imply exploding. The orcs don’t work well together when not under the control of a cave-mother. The control range is limited. They go rogue, berserk , blind, or die if the cave-mother is slain (this is inspired by a scene in Return of the King).
IMC, goblins reproduce by possessing and transmogrifying the infants of other humanoid races. Yes, that’s inspired in part by a certain movie with David Bowie.
Trolls reproduce by fission, and are not very social creatures. Their grasp of language tends to be minimal. When a troll goes into ‘heat’, other trolls sense it and chase it down, then rip it apart and scatter the pieces. The pieces grow into new trolls.
Kobolds might actually be little earth devils. I'm not fully set on this. New kobolds are mined from toxic ore veins and set to work for the older kobolds.
(I should note that I run Basic/Expert D&D, with just three alignments.
Sure, although I do wonder how any race so devoid of empathy, altruism, and loyalty could survive. "All evil" doesn’t seem like a very good survival strategy for most species.
CE seems very unlikely for a thinking race that breeds in a fashion similar to humans or most other mammals.
NE is pretty dubious. “Bleah, I don’t care about babies. I just want stuff for myself. Babies are a waste of my time and energy.”
LE I could see, if children are slaves/slaves in training. That’s possibly going to be hard to sustain, though. I’d expect a lot of runaways. Maybe if the whole race is owned by an arch devil…
Have you read up on the Harnic orcs, or 'Gargun'?
My Thunder Rift game borrows some elements from the ancient Hebrews for the dwarves. They are a pastoral race, with many young dwarves guarding the flocks from orcs, goblins, and wolves. They worship at a holy mountain. The dwarf priests wear jeweled breastplates. Dwarves sometimes have Hebrew inspired names like Zadok, Isak, Aksel, and so on.
I may have another set of dwarves with some cultural elements based loosely on Appalachian mountaineers/hillfolk. Yes, they'll have fiddles and moonshine.
Oh, I quite agree that whole races of evil monsters can be problematic. Races of 'always' evil monsters are part of the game as written, but they don't have to be part of a given campaign. That's up to the DM.
IIRC, Tolkien struggled a bit with evil nature vs evil nurture in regards to his orcs.
One way to handle 'always evil humanoids' is to rule that they are evil spirits given flesh, perhaps
Another approach is to assume, as Mikaze seem to do, that the evil ways of these monster folk are mostly cultural in origin. That's an interesting approach. It does beg the question: if the monsters can choose not to be evil: why aren’t there more good and neutral goblins, orcs, trolls, etc. Maybe her setting does have more neutral or good aligned members of those monster types?
YMMV, of course! Some players and DMs will not be bothered in the least by this stuff.
BTW, I see no problem at all with the N cleric torturing the undead baddie. N guys exist in the gray zone, and are often rather pragmatic about such things.
The CG guy might end up as CN or even CE if he makes a habit out of torturing monsters and villains. CG is still good. One moral lapse doesn’t merit an alignment shift, IMO, unless it’s a doozie. This one isn’t enough. If he appeared to enjoy the torture, I’d note that and keep a very close eye on any future acts of cruelty.
As I noted, I hold paladins to a higher standard. I think a quick destruction would be more in line with a paladin's ethos-- even one who hates undead.
If the paladin’s player wants to be a pragmatic, ruthless, but essentially good guy—he might consider the ‘grey guard’ prestige class from 3.5.
I’m not a fan of that prestige class. I prefer paladins IMC to be clearly defined as Lawful Good and heroic.
Another possibility is to construct some sort of LN undead hunter/crusader class and offer that as a multiclass/prestige option. If you want an easy transition, you could structure it like the blackguard in that paladin levels may be ‘cashed in’ for class levels in the new class. The undead-hating hero can still perform all sorts of good acts and think of himself as “good.’’ He can still serve a LG deity. When confronted with evil villains, especially the undead, he can get downright nasty.
I'd give most good guys a little leeway in roughing up a vampire for information. Neutrals? Sure, under the right cirumstances they might use torture. Getting sadistic or just too brutal is a good way to end up shifting towards evil-alignment. Strong-arming him? Sure. Creative and nasty tortures...ehhhh, maybe your PC is beginning to slide towards neutrality.
I hold paladins to a higher standard. As another poster noted, these guys are supposed to be shining examples of Lawful Good. I'm okay with a paladin (truthfully) telling a vampire who stands before him ''give me the information or I will throw this holy water on you.'' I'm not okay with him gleefully doing in the restrained/subdued vampire by rigging up a Chinese water torture device filled with holy water.
If a paladin, good-aligned cleric, etc. is about to do something that may cost him his powers; I might roll a Wisdom or Knowledge: Religion check behind the screen. If the roll is a success, I will advise the player “your PC’s code/the teachings of your deity forbid or condemn that sort of thing.” I won’t try to talk him out of it. That’s not my job. If he doesn’t take the hint, so be it. It’s not fair to sucker the player, though, or constantly place him in “no-win” moral dilemmas.
Sounds cool to me, Ringtail.
I use monotheism and a host of saints in my Thunder Rift game.
(That's the Lawful religion for the humans. The Neutral tradition is a druidic faith with some 'wandering friars' and Moorcockian elemental/beast gods elements. The Chaotics are witches, renegade demonologists, and Gnostic heretics).
Just for fun, I'd include a wizard with a coatimundi or an armadillo as a familiar. Wheee!
Lord Fyre wrote:
I'd argue that peace with monster evil monster races is not usually desirable, unless the evil races can be cowed-- or driven so far away that they cannot work much mischief.
We are talking about whole races of evil monsters. Orcs, goblins, ogres, etc. are portrayed in most of the PF material as pretty nasty characters, frequently engaged in violent and cruel crimes against other races. They are bad guys. Ask yourself how the good faith in question would encourage their followers to handle known pirates, child-stealers, sadistic torturers, bandits, rapists, and wanton arsonists. That should give you your answer.
I could see a LG faith teaching its followers to respect the claims of evil monsters—grudgingly so—while at the same time keeping a very close eye on them. I seriously doubt any paladin worth the name is going to have an issue with trespassing in a goblin-lair in order to slay or capture some gobbos who have been raiding local farms, or bashing down an ogre’s front door to save the kidnapped women he keeps in his dungeon.
Are the monsters evil by nature or by nurture? Can they be redeemed? Can they choose not to be evil?
If the answer is yes, they can choose to be good, and then things may get more complicated. Maybe monsters form a ‘suspect class’; treated with a lot of suspicion by most good-aligned religious organizations/traditions, but not automatically seen as incarnate evil. Maybe LG faiths send paladins to capture and try monsters, instead of just slaying them out of hand. Are there pacifist clerics who try to convert orcs to the ways of weal? Are any of these idealists successful?
If the monsters are evil by nature, basically irredeemable, then things are simpler. How would you deal with a race of serial killers? I’d wipe ‘em out if I could, or at least drive them far, far away. Orcs, demons, evil dragons—all these things are basically menaces to everything good and decent, and they have to be stopped. D&D/PF materials often assume something close to this, with a little wiggle room.
I like it!
Spanish names for dwarves aren’t strange-- dwarflike creatures show up all over European mythologies.
Maybe the ‘Spanish’ dwarves migrated (or came as conquerors) from another region, and have built their nation atop the ruins of an older civilization—one complete with strange idols, buried caches of gold, step pyramids, and ancient bloody rituals?
Hernan Cortes was quite an adventurer! Are/were there any dwarf-conquistadors in your setting?
Do the dwarves rule over non-dwarves (0or over a less advanced culture of dwarves)? Is there anything like the castas system that developed in New Spain? Is there a hierarchy of cultural groups?
Is silver mining a big deal?
How similar to Catholicism is the dwarf religion?
Will you make use of monsters like the ahuizotl or those Aztec vampires who turn into turkeys or balls of fire?
Those are all good ideas.
She could also simply rule that there is nothing within reach beyond the solar system. Everything else is just too far away. If the magic ships cannot fly faster than light, and distances are roughly similar to the real universe, she doesn't need to worry about extra solar colonies and such. Either they explorers/colonist cannot ever reach any of those places, or else going to another system would be a one way trip that might takes centuries.
Murlynd's spoons would be useful. Of course, that means a lot of folks will be living on cardboard-flavored gruel!:)
As Chaoseffect suggests, we may see urban 'wilderness.' In addition to the buried stuff he notes, think about using aboveground areas like big vacant lots overgrown with brambles, derelict parks, and swampy canals or reservoirs.
Abandoned sections of the ecumenopolis could become, in effect, large dungeons. Animals, plants, and monsters move in as people move out. Stuff left behind (or collected by monsters) becomes hidden treasure. Unstable structures form 'trapped' areas.
I really like Mikaze’s notion of clockwork districts and buildings.
Joriandrake—Since you placed ''good reasons'' in quotation marks, I suspect that you were making some reference to my post. I’m not sure if I made my meaning clear to you. Allow me to elaborate. I'm not suggesting that there will be zero economic exploitation of extraterrestrial resources, or no further scientific or technological advances in space-related industries or research. A "base" isn't a self-sustaining, viable colony. Robots aren't human settlers. Spin-off technology does not equal terraforming. The things that I am suggesting are very unlikely to come to pass are terraforming, full-fledged colonies, large human populations living permanently off the Earth, etc.
I like your idea about druid magic transforming a dust-ball into a garden. Given D&D /PF rules, this is likely going to take a whole lot of druids over a long period of time. Of course, it depends on how high-magic the setting happens to be.
Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
There's arguably no good reason for us, now, in the real world to expend resources colonizing anything outside the Earth. No other world has anything close to a hospitable environment, and terraforming would require almost inconceivable technology and economic resources. Maybe in the distant future… But I doubt it. The safe bet is that humans will never live off-planet in significant numbers. Space colonization may turn out to be one of those charming 20th Century fancies that is never going to happen.Are the other planets in your fantasy solar system habitable? If so, that’s a huge difference from the lifeless and hostile worlds of our real solar system.
Throw in some unique resources, factors like distance from enemies, ancient ruins worth exploring, etc. and fantasy space colonization seems plausible. You aren’t writing hard sci fi. It doesn’t have to be rigorous. It just needs to make sense in the context of the game. The players have to buy it.
This is all just IMO. YMMV, as always.
Well,it depends upon the character.
I always give some thought to the 'pre-adventuring' background of my PCs. Often I'll take a skill or two to represent a former apprenticeship, professional experience, etc.
A few of my former PCs
D&D, Ravenloft setting
Ephraim Marot was a planter. His farm produced fruit trees and indigo. He was involved in directing the slaves in farm tasks, as the family didn't employ a fulltime overseer. His free time was often taken up with hunting with his dogs and bodyservant in the woods around his farm.
His brother ran the mercantile side of the family business, operating a riverboat.
Tristan Appleman was the son of an alchemist. He helped his father about the shop, making matches, soap, small quantities of black powder, etc.
Edmund Hastings was a game-keeper on 17th century England, ebfore being transported to the Dread Realms by the Mists.
Call of Cthulhu:
Alisdair MacGregor was a moderately successful children's book author, who also wrote for the pulps under a nom de plume. He had a wife, but she killed herself early in play.
'The Spectre' grew up in the walled slums of Detroit. All his schooling was from old braindance tapes. He watched a lot of Miami Vice reruns. He fell into crime at a young age, showing a real talent for burglary. At 14, he escaped the slums by climbing over the neighborhood walls and running the gauntlet of police, his baby sister strapped to his back.
Robert Hawkshaw wrote:
Swallows and Amazons looks cool. Thanks!
The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:
Check out the 'five things to do as PotUS' thread.
I've reported you for stalking and harassing me, Moorluck.
Oh, and my request was that your gang cease flaming me, not cease replying to any thread of which I might be a part. There's a big difference.