Your people appear in an an unknown land: How do you survive?


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I'm building another game, this one based on the following premise:

We begin with an empty plane. Its physical and magical properties are all average and normal.

You are amongst ten thousand of your race, randomly taken from your homeworld (or perhaps from across multiple worlds where your race exists) and dumped in the middle of an area on this unknown world that mostly matches your race's native terrain. The flora and fauna are familiar, but the landscape is totally new.

You have no equipment. Your divine casters cannot contact their gods or other planes. Sorcery and the like still work, but it's hard for wizards to do much without their spellbooks. The arrivals are more or less a cross-section of your population, so the majority of them are not adventurers or high level.

Pick a race (at random if you like!). How do you get started? What are your initial challenges and how do you overcome them? What forms of culture might survive and what new ones arise?


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I start punching trees until I get enough wood to make a crafting table, then I make some wooden tools. I then start to progress my way up the tech tree until I get killed by an exploding green thing.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Determine a hierarchy of leadership after basic survival needs are met, likely based on examples of effective leadership during the confusion of arriving on a new plane.


Cheapy wrote:
I start punching trees until I get enough wood to make a crafting table, then I make some wooden tools. I then start to progress my way up the tech tree until I get killed by an exploding green thing.

I expected this.

Sovereign Court

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I'm a sorcerer with Plane Shift.

I go home.


The first order of business would be to establish some leaders and identify strengths and immediate needs of the group.

This can be revised later, but in the short term, people need a leader to turn to and to orient the group. The workers should be divided by tasks to look for food, scout/map, build shelter, find water, search for dangers, etc.

Since we are not here by choice and do not know what dangers await, I would also suggest organizing an armed force for defense.

Then, once the immediate needs are met there would need to be a forum to decide upon a manner of governance that is sustainable.


helps to be prepared


Be prepared!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Do any of your wizards have spells in memory? DO NOT CAST THEM UNLESS YOU HAVE WRITING MATERIALS.

Have your sorcerers copy down any spells they know so the wizards can use them.

Get a listing of classes and levels for everyone there, after working out leadership roles.

Your first priorities are water, food and shelter, in that order. Prestidigitation will be a life saver. As will create water. Ten thousand people means that unless you have a lot of casters, starvation will be an immediate danger.

What level are you?

Summon a basilik, cockatrice or gorgon, and petrify everyone who is non-essential for the moment (in other words, everyone you can't keep fully fed.) Store them safely. Use Break Enchantment to bring them out as your food production increases.

Stone Shape can make you some immediate tools and building blocks for things like a forge. Heat Metal can provide a heat source. Wall of fire, lasts for concentration, can get you immediately into smithing, if you can find raw ore. Earth elementals can bring out the ore. Minor Creation can create temporary tools for you, so can summoning up a Djinn or other genie, who can also make long lasting clothing and really help with the food situation.

Call in some Lantern Archons, if possible, and use them to provide you all the Continual Flames you need, as well as unsleeping sentries. Given the level of humanitarian disaster, you should be able to get Good Outsiders to help you for tasks...and some of them will have clerical levels, and thus access to spells you want and need, esp. healing.

Charm spells on local monsters/creatures will create servants you can take care of. Everyone should take animal companions to help with the load of work to be done. Avians will be especially useful as scouts, sentries and spotters.

Once you've made tools of metal, you're on the roll. Start plowing up the ground and gathering seed. COmmune with Nature to find viable areas to set up farms. Depending on how advanced your food raising ability is, you're going to need 4 acres per person or so to keep everyone fed, more if you want meat. Start finding local animals you can domesticate, set up your first farms outside whatever fortified post (probably a log fort, or, if you have access to Walls of Stone, something better).

Rock to Mud can provide you with a great deal of easy stone. Simply transmute an area, insert molds, and dispel. Instant stone blocks of whatever pattern desired. Walls of Stone provide those molds, if all you want to do is whip up walls and pour stuff in between them.

Fabrication allows you to create tools from raw materials like leather, so you can make leather and wooden goods very quickly, subject only to spell slots. However, the volume area affected will be small and slow, and is probably best with specialty goods, like saddles and the like.

Your biggest challenge will be getting access to raw metal, i.e. iron, copper mines. With Summons, getting the ore out will not be that hard, and once you have a functioning smeltery, proper tools will help things take off fast.

You will have to rule as to what constitutes 'components' for purposes of making magical items. Do they actually need to find/spend gold and gems, or can they sub other things? If the latter, a whole subset of people should be focused on finding those components so the artificers can make magic items to alleviate the load. One Decanter of endless water provides drinking water for your entire population, and you can make a cornucopia to feed 9 people literally every 9 days, or a Ring of Sustenance every day.

Rings of Sustenance allow you to maximize your working hours, and free the powerful from the need to hunt, time to eat, most of sleep, and even going to the bathroom, and will be your greatest time leverage devices in the early days. Consider that each one gives the wearer eight more hours a day to do what they need to get done, for the rest of their lives. Thus, getting such Rings on people's hands should be a priority. It is especially useful for freeing Casters from needing 8 hours of rest to regain spells.

Preserving spells can be done using Stone Shape to make slates, or bargaining for raw materials from Planar Allies brought in for this purpose, or soft goods made by Djinnis (which would include paper and writing materials).

The other magic item to make will be anything that can Fabricate once or more a day, because each use of it will save days and days of labor on larger projects, accelerating the establishment of your new realm. Something as simple as large saw blades and bigger tools, as soon as you've the raw metal, will be of immense help and leverage time considerably.

and, of course, you'll be able to make arms and armor to hunt and guard more effectively.

As a partial alternative, a nomadic culture requires less set up, but vastly increases the amount of land you'll need. You'll also require mounts for everyone, and you'll still have to be bringing people out of 'stone storage'.

==Aelryinth


That's a pretty comprehensive answer. Magic really does define the gameworld if you build it from the ground up. What if we say that while magic users may have arrived, none of their magic has. So, while they bring with them the theory of magic, everyone has to learn magic from level 1 again?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Umbral Reaver wrote:

I'm building another game, this one based on the following premise:

We begin with an empty plane. Its physical and magical properties are all average and normal.

You are amongst ten thousand of your race, randomly taken from your homeworld (or perhaps from across multiple worlds where your race exists) and dumped in the middle of an area on this unknown world that mostly matches your race's native terrain. The flora and fauna are familiar, but the landscape is totally new.

You have no equipment. Your divine casters cannot contact their gods or other planes. Sorcery and the like still work, but it's hard for wizards to do much without their spellbooks. The arrivals are more or less a cross-section of your population, so the majority of them are not adventurers or high level.

Pick a race (at random if you like!). How do you get started? What are your initial challenges and how do you overcome them? What forms of culture might survive and what new ones arise?

For the most part, you simply die, while Robinson Crusoe tech may be great for solo survival stories. There simply is no way to feed a mass number of people who arrive all at once in a given area, with no supplies and for all intents and purposes buck naked. While some may thrill at the idea of Competitive Cannibalism D20, there's nothing in your question that gives me any reason to flog myself through the sessions of a campaign like this.

Fact of life is that colonizers considerably more prepared than what you surmise generally met horrible nasty ends, unless they received either supplies or aid from the natives.


Starting pc level and random level distribution of the population is really important to this discussion. Starting gear (are they buck naked) is also fairly important. As Aelryinth demonstrated, magic can solve a lot of problems.

An interesting book/movie might be Riverworld, which has a similar premise.

Unless the pcs are very high level, they can only deal with a small fraction of the population. I imagine leader types will organize smaller group.


Establish a system of laws and property ownership. Let resource allocation be determined by a competitive market mechanism.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Valandil Ancalime wrote:

Starting pc level and random level distribution of the population is really important to this discussion. Starting gear (are they buck naked) is also fairly important. As Aelryinth demonstrated, magic can solve a lot of problems.

The OP has specified that they pretty much have nothing but the clothes on their backs, and that the prepared spellcasters have been stripped of all but their first level spells. This also means no spell pouches OR divine foci.


Okay, so the initial idea is too harsh to enable any reasonable survival barring massive use of magic.

New plan: People show up wearing clothes and carrying their basic equipment and tools and stuff. Say the mysterious effect brought in people plus any loose objects within a small radius of them, so many (but not all) arrived with the tools of their trade plus some miscellaneous junk. I think I still want to 'reboot' magic so that it doesn't just become 'wizards rule everything' from day one.

The idea is that I'm going to run a game of cooperative worldbuilding, where the players each pick a race that determines the starting races that appear on this world, and have some influence in determining how well their fledgeling nation begins. The campaigns will be fairly short, each one taking place probably a few generations after the previous ends, with the new party being descendants of the previous party. There will be new gods emerging, based on the actions of the players. This does mean no divine casters for the first game, but they will be available later.


Umbral Reaver wrote:

Okay, so the initial idea is too harsh to enable any reasonable survival barring massive use of magic.

New plan: People show up wearing clothes and carrying their basic equipment and tools and stuff. Say the mysterious effect brought in people plus any loose objects within a small radius of them, so many (but not all) arrived with the tools of their trade plus some miscellaneous junk. I think I still want to 'reboot' magic so that it doesn't just become 'wizards rule everything' from day one.

They still starve to death within six months. Hell, the settlers at Plymouth Rock almost did that, and they brought a whole shipload of supplies specifically selected for colony formation. How many people are going to be standing in the seed aisle of the local general store when they were picked up? How many people are going to be standing next to a blacksmith's anvil, or a forge for smelting steel? How many people are going to be standing next to a thousand doses of penicillin when it turns out that the local water has an unfamiliar bacterium in it?

Starting a colony is difficult, even if you do it deliberately. And you're doing it on "hard mode" in at least three ways

* Nobody planned for it (and stockpiled supplies in advance)
* There are way too many people; 10,000 people will eat about 20 tonnes of food each day. That's basically a cargo container's worth of food each day. Alternatively, it's eighty cows worth of meat each day.
* There's no way to get resupplies. You can't call home to the mothership; if a shovel breaks, no one digs any more holes.


Cheapy wrote:
I start punching trees until I get enough wood to make a crafting table, then I make some wooden tools. I then start to progress my way up the tech tree until I get killed by an exploding green thing.

I did that once (actually many times) with a monk.

After a major battle he had one hit point left. On his way home he stopped to try and make a shelter out of wood by punching trees.

He rolled a nat 1 and killed himself

Best moment of my pathfinder career.


If it helps put things into perspective, remember that both Robinson Crusoe and Swiss Family Robinson had an entire shipwreck to plunder for materials that they needed.

Quote:


And, first, I found that all the ship’s provisions were dry and untouched by the water, and being very well disposed to eat, I went to the bread room and filled my pockets with biscuit, and ate it as I went about other things, for I had no time to lose. I also found some rum in the great cabin, [...]

My raft was now strong enough to bear any reasonable weight. My next care was what to load it with, and how to preserve what I laid upon it from the surf of the sea; but I was not long considering this. I first laid all the planks or boards upon it that I could get, and having considered well what I most wanted, I got three of the seamen’s chests, which I had broken open, and emptied, and lowered them down upon my raft; the first of these I filled with provisions—viz. bread, rice, three Dutch cheeses, five pieces of dried goat’s flesh (which we lived much upon), and a little remainder of European corn, which had been laid by for some fowls which we brought to sea with us, but the fowls were killed. There had been some barley and wheat together; but, to my great disappointment, I found afterwards that the rats had eaten or spoiled it all. As for liquors, I found several, cases of bottles belonging to our skipper, in which were some cordial waters; and, in all, about five or six gallons of rack. These I stowed by themselves, there being no need to put them into the chest, nor any room for them. While I was doing this, I found the tide begin to flow, though very calm; and I had the mortification to see my coat, shirt, and waistcoat, which I had left on the shore, upon the sand, swim away. As for my breeches, which were only linen, and open-kneed, I swam on board in them and my stockings. However, this set me on rummaging for clothes, of which I found enough, but took no more than I wanted for present use, for I had others things which my eye was more upon—as, first, tools to work with on shore. And it was after long searching that I found out the carpenter’s chest, which was, indeed, a very useful prize to me, and much more valuable than a shipload of gold would have been at that time. I got it down to my raft, whole as it was, without losing time to look into it, for I knew in general what it contained.

My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There were two very good fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two pistols. These I secured first, with some powder-horns and a small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords. I knew there were three barrels of powder in the ship, but knew not where our gunner had stowed them; but with much search I found them, two of them dry and good, the third had taken water.

And then the second trip:

Quote:


I got on board the ship as before, and prepared a second raft; and, having had experience of the first, I neither made this so unwieldy, nor loaded it so hard, but yet I brought away several things very useful to me; as first, in the carpenters stores I found two or three bags full of nails and spikes, a great screw-jack, a dozen or two of hatchets, and, above all, that most useful thing called a grindstone. All these I secured, together with several things belonging to the gunner, particularly two or three iron crows, and two barrels of musket bullets, seven muskets, another fowling-piece, with some small quantity of powder more; a large bagful of small shot, and a great roll of sheet-lead; but this last was so heavy, I could not hoist it up to get it over the ship’s side.

Besides these things, I took all the men’s clothes that I could find, and a spare fore-topsail, a hammock, and some bedding; and with this I loaded my second raft, and brought them all safe on shore, to my very great comfort.

And some more

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I thought I ought to get everything out of her that I could; so every day at low water I went on board, and brought away something or other; but particularly the third time I went I brought away as much of the rigging as I could, as also all the small ropes and rope-twine I could get, with a piece of spare canvas, which was to mend the sails upon occasion, and the barrel of wet gunpowder. In a word, I brought away all the sails, first and last; only that I was fain to cut them in pieces, and bring as much at a time as I could, for they were no more useful to be sails, but as mere canvas only.

But that which comforted me more still, was, that last of all, after I had made five or six such voyages as these, and thought I had nothing more to expect from the ship that was worth my meddling with—I say, after all this, I found a great hogshead of bread, three large runlets of rum, or spirits, a box of sugar, and a barrel of fine flour; this was surprising to me, because I had given over expecting any more provisions, except what was spoiled by the water. I soon emptied the hogshead of the bread, and wrapped it up, parcel by parcel, in pieces of the sails, which I cut out; and, in a word, I got all this safe on shore also.

The next day I made another voyage, and now, having plundered the ship of what was portable and fit to hand out, I began with the cables. Cutting the great cable into pieces, such as I could move, I got two cables and a hawser on shore, with all the ironwork I could get; and having cut down the spritsail-yard, and the mizzen-yard, and everything I could, to make a large raft, I loaded it with all these heavy goods, and came away. But my good luck began now to leave me; for this raft was so unwieldy, and so overladen, that, after I had entered the little cove where I had landed the rest of my goods, not being able to guide it so handily as I did the other, it overset, and threw me and all my cargo into the water. As for myself, it was no great harm, for I was near the shore; but as to my cargo, it was a great part of it lost, especially the iron, which I expected would have been of great use to me; however, when the tide was out, I got most of the pieces of the cable ashore, and some of the iron, though with infinite labour; for I was fain to dip for it into the water, a work which fatigued me very much. After this, I went every day on board, and brought away what I could get.

I had been now thirteen days on shore, and had been eleven times on board the ship, in which time I had brought away all that one pair of hands could well be supposed capable to bring;

... and that's for one person.

Quote:


I had the biggest magazine of all kinds now that ever was laid up, I believe, for one man.


Okay. So it seems like the initial idea is fraught with too many problems to work.

I wanted to build a story about the preservation of old culture in the face of overwhelming loss vs the creation of new.

New plan:

A patch of rural homeland about 25 miles in diameter gets dumped in this unknown world. Magic doesn't work and magic items become mundane; magic must be re-learned from scratch. Otherwise, you still have all your land, farms, supplies and tools.


Umbral Reaver wrote:

Okay. So it seems like the initial idea is fraught with too many problems to work.

I wanted to build a story about the preservation of old culture in the face of overwhelming loss vs the creation of new.

New plan:

A patch of rural homeland about 25 miles in diameter gets dumped in this unknown world. Magic doesn't work and magic items become mundane; magic must be re-learned from scratch. Otherwise, you still have all your land, farms, supplies and tools.

That might work.

One subtle change in this situation is that the village arrives with a social structure and culture intact. The village blacksmith is still the village blacksmith, the priest is still the priest, and the reeve is still the reeve (although whom he serves is an open question).

The first question is whether the old culture will work. For example, if it turns out that the local growing season is too short for corn (or there's not a good source of water for irrigating the rice paddies), that would be a serious issue.

I expect that the value of land would drop dramatically as all of the sharecroppers and serfs working other people's lands would say "the hell with it" and try to claim more, untilled land. The value of labor, concomittantly, would go up, because there wouldn't be as many people willing to pick my grapes if they could grow and pick their own.

The Black Death in Europe, oddly enough, might be a good model for what would come next. Sudden disappearance of half the labor force with a good bit of land suddenly falling fallow, labor prices skyrocketing, and the development of a New World Order as the people who lived off other people's labor suddenly need to find a new way to make a living.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

So, first level spells and cantrips.

You can use a cantrip or craft check to make a holy symbol. A craft check can make a 1st level spell component pouch, or you train in Eschew Materials.

Then you simply add up ranks in survival. Each rank in survival feeds approximiately one person, if you rule there's food available. 10,000 people will deplete a huge area of food every day. You also have no weapons to actively bring down game, so you will be relying on basically sling stones and snares to hunt for you.

You must immediately separate and disperse your population as much as you can, across literally thousands of square miles.

Prestidigitation, Light, Mending, and spark will be your go to cantrips, with Dancing Lights usable for signaling, You also have cantrips to bring down small birds if you get close enough.

First level spells, there's more ranged attack ones for bringing down medium sized game, at least one to help craft checks, Unseen Servant for an extra pair of hands, and Floating Disc for a 'wagon'. Mage armor gives at least some lasting defense.

I don't see how you're going to restrict a spon caster or divine caster to 1st level spells. Wizards without spellbooks will have to probably have the sorcs use spellcraft to carve their spells known onto slates carefully to build an initial library.

For divine casters, create water, purify food and drink, detect poison, stabilize, mending and continuous blessings for minor bonuses for cantrips.

Bless Water still makes holy water.
Cultural adaptation will be key if you run into locals, as will comprehend languages.
Deadeye's Lore is a nice bonus on survival checks.
Diagnose disease will be important for heal checks.
Know the Enemy will provide monster knowledge even if you've never seen something before.
Restore Corpse + Purify food and water can allow you to literally eat a creature more then once.
Read Weather should be cast every day so you know what to expect and can plan for it.
Shield of Faith is an excellent long lasting defensive spell.
and of course you will have healing magic and channels if combat does erupt.
Reinforce armaments should be usable on tools to turn an improvised tool temporarily into a masterwork one to get some work done.

Druids,
Charm ANimal, commune with birds, speak with animals.
Detect animals and plants can locate edible plants and game.
Good berry can feed 1-2 people a day, plus heal some damage, if youc an find some berries.
nature's path allows you to guide people through the easiest overland route, helping travel.
Feather step allows easy navigation of rough terrain, and higher level druids can ignore vegetation, letting them scout otherwise impassable locations.
shillegah makes an oak branch into a greatmace.
+ some of the cleric spells above.

Without higher level magic, you will have a devil of a time making tools, but you can use craft checks to make improvised weapons out of wood and stone. Without magic, they will be frail but serviceable for hunting.

The key is being able to mine ore and then smelt/purify it so you can make tools. Once you can do that, you can start rapidly processing raw materials, refine them, and start crafting them.

However, in the meantime, without enough hunter/gatherers who are trained in an area, thousands of people are going to die of starvation. Even with Plant Growth and similar things, a harvest is not going to be possible in time to feed them all even if you had the seeds to plant and could control the weather to help.

Thus, you will have to violently disperse everyone as much as possible to maximize the area you can gather food from nomadically, keep a core group of people sustained by magic there to start develop the kernel of crafting, OR you need to summon something up that can petrify them so they don't die, and release them as you have the resources to support them, or need the extra labor.

The latter has the benefit of not straining your resources with non-productive people who might have valuable skills, but simply don't have the tools to use them yet, and will die in the meantime. You are going to need tons of smiths, but smiths don't farm or hunt, and will die unless they can be supported by a population.

If you have higher level magic, the rebuilding process gets accelerated quickly via help from outsiders and summoned creatures, some of whom, like, say, a friendly hound archon, could simply teleport home and get you sets of tools to re-establish yourselves, knowing you'll repay him in the future.

Note that simply leveling up entitles you to new spells, even if they are scratches on pieces of bark. Prepared mages start pooling them, they can build a respectable library quickly. Add in the sorcs, and they should have a shared library VERY quickly. It should actually be the first priority...in literally a few days, one sorcerer should be able to get a bunch of wizards up and running, probably by using blood to dye their clothing in the spells he carries for a group spellbook.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Even dumping in a village will not benefit the case, without there being access to raw iron, copper, tin and bronze for metals somewhere. Stuff will break and can't be replaced.

Now, you can go searching for it, and Mending spells and the like can keep things going for a while, but eventually stuff just plain wears out.

It doesn't really change the paradigm. Things will endure at the tech level you want IF you have access to the raw resources required to make the things you want. Note that most villages do NOT have a means of processing raw ore, although likely the smith could rig up a crude furnace to start the process. They also likely won't have mining tools, and would have to melt down farm implements and recast them to make their first ones.

Magic will make all the difference. One Archon who can teleport can shuttle tons of supplies, a few pounds at a time, from his home plane to you. So the fastest way to help people is to gain levels in magic so you have access to the best way to leverage your time...Fabricate spells, and summoned monsters with SLA's that are the most useful.

You can basically presume that minor magic can keep a transplanted setting going for long enough for adventurers leveling desperately to get to the levels where they can truly make things happen (9th level will be so key for this! As will 5th, for Lesser Planar Ally.)

But 10,000 people, the first thing you have to do is petrify most of them so you can make the infrastructure to keep them alive. Without magic, that is going to take years, if not decades, to make happen, unless they literally scatter in all directions and are skilled enough at survival to provide for themselves as they do.

The problem with the pilgrims is that it takes time to clear land and make a harvest, and they had tools, but not knowledge, and didn't have black earth just waiting to be planted. They had to survive at least a full growing season without their own supplies, and establish a reserve.

That's deuced hard to do.

Note that being close to a major river or sea can make things easier, as such won't run out of fish...but you are still going to need to disperse the people in order to be able to get the fish to them, and they'll have to use nets or very crude hooks to catch their meals. It would take a herd of hundreds of thousands of herd animals to supply enough meat for such a population, too, but herd animals provide a wealth of raw materials for everyday use if you know what you are doing.

So, ideally what would happen would be:

A core group stays to keep to keep the transplanted community's agriculture and craftsfolk sustained and intact.

A group skilled in survival goes nomadic to live off the land. This will also help scout and provide security. they provide extra meat and things to the central community, who fixes their gear and helps keep their metal intact.

A significant group will go waterside to live off fish or seafood. They will be limited initially in how many boats they have or can make for themselves, but dried fish and oil can drive a lot of industry, and feed a lot of people.

A central group works to get access to the resources the craftsmen need to sustain the people and resume building, both magical and mundane. This probably entails moving the crafting population to a mountain valley with farmland, water, wood, stone and raw ore within a day's travel of one another. In the meantime, there's going to be a lot done with horn and bone until new metal can be secured.

==Aelryinth


I like hitting stuff!


Umbral Reaver wrote:

Okay. So it seems like the initial idea is fraught with too many problems to work.

I wanted to build a story about the preservation of old culture in the face of overwhelming loss vs the creation of new.

New plan:

A patch of rural homeland about 25 miles in diameter gets dumped in this unknown world. Magic doesn't work and magic items become mundane; magic must be re-learned from scratch. Otherwise, you still have all your land, farms, supplies and tools.

That is the problem with your idea.

For a culture and civilization that uses magic, you effectively got rid of 1/2 half the classes. You turned everyone into Barbarian, Fighter and Rogues.

Worst of all, you are now playing reality.
Not a Fantasy game, were people have magic as there version of Technology. Even 1-3 level spells, can be viewed as modern teck, 4-6 level spells are future teck, and 7-9 level spells are gods/ancient/alien teck.

....

To put it another way .. If you like playing a full caster character, would you really want to play in a dead magic world, as a player.

If you can relearn it quickly, why bother taking it away. If you can not relearn it quickly, why play in such a world.


Should I just not bother at all? :I

The Exchange

I have to recuse myself from going over this topic, because I've read Heinlein's Tunnel in the Sky - and Farnham's Freehold. Both of which provide valuable resources for a GM intending to pursue a plot like this.


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Should I just not bother at all? :I

Frankly, I'd say "no." For the same reason I'd not use Pathfinder to play a James Bond espionage game.

You're taking a system with an awesome, powerful magic system, and putting it in an environment where there's no magic. You're taking a system that has always been dreadful -- and I do mean DREADFUL -- at economic issues and using it as the base of a primarily economic game. You're invalidating half the choices people would be making at character generation time, and forcing them to fall back on one of the less well-designed sections of the rules (the skill system) in support of an economic model that's outright broken.

It's an imaginative conceit, but Pathfinder's almost exactly the wrong tool to use.


It wasn't 'no magic at all'. Players would be allowed to start at level 1 as casters.


Lincoln Hills wrote:
I have to recuse myself from going over this topic, because I've read Heinlein's Tunnel in the Sky - and Farnham's Freehold. Both of which provide valuable resources for a GM intending to pursue a plot like this.

Or Malevil, or Robinson Crusoe, or Emergence, or Alas, Babylon,... or for that matter, Atlas Shrugged. It's a very rich mine to work.

Or Deus Irae, or A Canticle For Liebowitz, or The Day After, or ...


Umbral Reaver wrote:
It wasn't 'no magic at all'. Players would be allowed to start at level 1 as casters.

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough.

It's an imaginative conceit, but Pathfinder's almost exactly the wrong tool to use.

I wonder what happens if you try to nest the "bigger" tags?... I can't believe it's been this long before that question occurred to me.


I suppose that marks the end of this fleeting burst of motivation.


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Should I just not bother at all? :I

I'd take it from the opposite approach. Take your players' favorite character or two of all time [compatibility required], and shove them into the "You are Adams and Eves" scenario (keeping in mind the survival stuff necessary) with "only your cantrips/orisons work".

Seasoned characters, if they don't kill each other off, with players buying into the premise could get entertaining. :)

Edit: I know I'd have fun with it.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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You can do it, the whole displaced in time/place is a common trope in literature.

The problem is that if your people come from a magical society, there will be SOME higher level casters there, even if it's only an adept or three and the village priest.

Now, maybe magic has to be rediscovered, and your 5th level wizard only has level 1 spells, and that goes for everyone as they scramble to work out the new rules, even being higher level.

However, the divine casters can directly interact with summoned beings as they go up in level to find out how things now work. Any summoned creature with spellcraft can easily serve as a teacher on the changes.

So, what you have is a very temporary scramble to find out how magic works again, as opposed to hving it all immediately available.

But at some point,magic will be back, because they will be driven to find it by hook or by crook, and then you go from 'reclaiming technology' straight into 'kingdom-building'.

Your difficulty seems to be that you don't want to make the transition, OR you want to severely limit magic, for a period of time or absolutely.

So, decide what you actually WANT to happen, and present a new idea.

==Aelryinth


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For coolness/creepiness, have them arrive in a world where all the structures of a vast empire are still present but all of the people are gone. Every last one. Still have roman roads, aqueducts, huge buildings, et al, but no people there.

Massive ancient ruins to explore, mysteries for a party of intrepid adventurers to try to figure out, possible stashes of resources that could be used ...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Aelryinth wrote:
I don't see how you're going to restrict a spon caster or divine caster to 1st level spells. Wizards without spellbooks will have to probably have the sorcs use spellcraft to carve their spells known onto slates carefully to build an initial library.

Sorcerers do not have any class features that allow them to scribe spells into a spellbook. Their magic is innate, not learned.

And they don't take scribe scroll as a feat either.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Umbral Reaver wrote:
I suppose that marks the end of this fleeting burst of motivation.

Too bad if you actually had an aim.

The mistake you're making is that you're putting the horse before the cart. As a campaign world maker, you make your world backwards. You start with what you want as a present, and make your past evolve towards it.


If, you are starting all the player off at 1st level, then Yes, the idea could work.

But, No one will play a wizard = They will play Sorcerer's because they would not be depended on finding spell, which you have said no longer exist. They would just have them granted to them as they level, which is why people would play sorcerers.

Would Cleric (( or druids )), be able to gain magic, thro there gods ??
If yes, then people will play them, if not, they wont.
(This will also effect Ranger/Paladins as well).

....................

As for the world = You will have mass Starvation, plague, famine, war, and Death.
.. Until the population reaches a point were they can survive on the supplies give to them on the 25 mile area... and while this may sound large, it really is not. Trade between citys, has always allowed citys to grow large... without other citys to trade with, a 25 mile radius area, would not sustain 10,000 humanoids for very long.

If everyone is 1st level = They would not survive in the wild for very long (unless the world is void of danger's creatures). Which makes for a boring world, latter on. once they get past level 5.

.....................

It can be done, but you will keep finding weird problem keep cropping up.

How are you going to effect = Incorporeal creatures without magic weapons ?? Shadows are going to be a real pain.

Will there be any other Humanoid race on the planet, do they have magic, if so: Do they have magic items, spell books, etc. (( if they have magic, and the pc only have access to 1st level spells, what is preventing them from invading and re-enslaving the PC race )).

If there are no other humanoid races = Were do the first Vampires, Lycanthrope, and other undead like mummy come from. ?


I dunno, all that is necessary at first (which is enough!) is the map, which can expand with the passage of time. In essence, this strikes me as cooperative world building. One in which the "gods" (PCs) don't know everything (unlike the GM).

This is why I suggested previous PCs with the caveat that the players were willing to "go with the flow"/ buy into the premise.

There's more than one way to undergo apotheosis!

^_________^


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

if anyone has fabricate prepared/spells known, use it to fabricate spell books from trees, then fabricate everything else.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Umbral Reaver wrote:

Okay. So it seems like the initial idea is fraught with too many problems to work.

I wanted to build a story about the preservation of old culture in the face of overwhelming loss vs the creation of new.

New plan:

A patch of rural homeland about 25 miles in diameter gets dumped in this unknown world. Magic doesn't work and magic items become mundane; magic must be re-learned from scratch. Otherwise, you still have all your land, farms, supplies and tools.

you know you could just go the alien observation route, people are randomly dumped but they have a stockpile and some tools and such to get them started. occasionally items just show up when they're needed, but this dwindled as resources grew and productions occurred. any magic knowledge was mind blanked, but the rest of their noggin is fine.

they remember how magic works, but not specific spells, and therefore can still do spell research and all casters become level 1.

like they remember the theories of electricity, magnetism, and mechanical principle, but don't remember what an electric generator/motor is but remember there was something that did it's job.


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Should I just not bother at all? :I

Having had this idea myself, I think you should run with it, but start with a smaller population.

Remember that humanity went from ape-like beings little more than animals without agriculture or tools, to the civilizations of today. Starting naked with nothing is not an impossible task, it is just difficult. And while the arguments against a large group are valid - we were able to achieve such large groupings precisely because of agriculture and the ability to feed so many - a smaller group is still sustainable. Couple this with the fact that they at least have the knowledge of technology, if not ready access to it, and they have a distinct advantage.


Hooray! Despite feeling like crippling depression was going to overwhelm me and shut down this project entirely, a bit of energy has come back to me. I can't do much about it, but my depression makes my will to work on a project unbearably dependent on what others say about it. I wish it were otherwise.

Oliver McShade wrote:
Until the population reaches a point were they can survive on the supplies give to them on the 25 mile area... and while this may sound large, it really is not.

That's only the starting area. They can expand beyond that. Note that 10k people in a 25 mile diameter circle is under the average population density of Europe in the middle ages.

To begin with, there will be six or so races that all start out in the same situation, each dropped in the middle of a land suited to them. After a certain period of time (probably as part of the second campaign), some more will be added to the world. It helps that the geography is an infinite flat plane of varied Earthlike terrain, where the starting races begin fairly close to each other.

There are no other mortal races on the planet. There are monsters, but none that are organised or build things in any meaningful way. The average strength of natural or magical dangers increases further from civilisation. There's no worry of the starting settlements bordering on dragon territory.

After a long time (if I run enough campaigns in this setting), this world will have a cluster of ancient civilisations around the centre, with rings of younger nations further out.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Umbral Reaver wrote:

Note that 10k people in a 25 mile diameter circle is under the average population density of Europe in the middle ages.

Again, that's a Europe with a fully developed agriculture and trading systems with all of the incremental technology in place over thousands of years of development. It didn't just spring up overnight.


Umbral Reaver wrote:

Okay. So it seems like the initial idea is fraught with too many problems to work.

I wanted to build a story about the preservation of old culture in the face of overwhelming loss vs the creation of new.

New plan:

A patch of rural homeland about 25 miles in diameter gets dumped in this unknown world. Magic doesn't work and magic items become mundane; magic must be re-learned from scratch. Otherwise, you still have all your land, farms, supplies and tools.

The opposite strikes me as better. I love your rebuilding a society plot hook. I would keep that, but I would avoid removing magic. It's almost necessary to rebuild a new society from scrap and sure seems like a fun adventure.

And there's something to do for all the players. I think that could be a very fulfilling story if done right.


LazarX wrote:
Umbral Reaver wrote:

Note that 10k people in a 25 mile diameter circle is under the average population density of Europe in the middle ages.

Again, that's a Europe with a fully developed agriculture and trading systems with all of the incremental technology in place over thousands of years of development. It didn't just spring up overnight.

I did say a 25 mile diameter patch of rural homeland. They have farms aplenty and could support a much higher population. Now, this does mean they are lacking in the secondary and tertiary industries, and may not have mines at all.


Survival rules wrote:
Get along in the wild. Move up to half your overland speed while hunting and foraging (no food or water supplies needed). You can provide food and water for one other person for every 2 points by which your check result exceeds 10.

Let's assume everybody is a level 1 commoner with 10 wisdom and no ranks in survival. If everybody takes 10, they will all find exactly enough food and water to feed themselves. But if they all roll, then statistically, the group will find 1.8x as much food in total. No equipment of any kind is needed.

I'm not good at math, but from this figure, you could calculate how many people it would take, rolling survival checks, to provide enough food for the group so that other people can do craft checks to make tools and buildings instead. Eventually, people would craft masterwork tools for a +2 on survival checks, increasing the yield of food from survival checks.

Pathfinder rules are pretty lenient for surviving in the wilds.


If you want to have some severity be felt, but not at first, have one of the groups (if you have a group of five, there's a sixth group) that arrives in extraordinarily unfortunate proximity to a large field of gympie gympie. Whatever race you have a mad-on for, take it out on them. They'll die screaming.

The players can't appreciate a dangerous situation if there isn't any danger. ;)


(This rambles a bit - sorry, but it is a big topic)
It's not impossible, but there are a number of story and practical considerations. Don't be put off by the difficulties mentioned by the above posters. Use them, they certainly know more about it than I do.

It sounds to me that the main challenge for the first lets say five years will be minimising loss of life. You will lose a scary amount of people as you explore the new area and establish a stronghold. People will need to spread out to ensure there is enough food without decimating natural resources, but the more you spread out the more vulnerable you are and the less your culture survives as everything changes to adapt to the lack of all the old luxuries. You'll need a solid foundation before people can even think of supporting essential research. Maintaining strong leadership in the face of 75% loss of life will be a massive challenge. Maintaining strong leadership over a large spread out population with everyone struggling just to survive, and very few having the luxury to provide for others will be more of a challenge.

Deities for clerics: how will they contact/discover the local deities? Will their old prayers work to catch the attention of the local gods (who will then teach them the correct rituals), or will they need to experiment. How will the changes in rituals (if any) affect the new culture?

How are you going to make this an interesting story for your players? Are they the new leaders deciding what the priorities are? It seems very "civilisation" so how will you minimise decision points while making them relevant? This route seems quite intense mechanically as each decision can have massive knock on effects? There is very little Pathfinder in this kind of game unless you draw heavily on ultimate campaign kingdom building rules.

or are they advanced scouts looking for resources and protecting the new tribe? How will they impact the new culture? How do they stay relevant to the story you want to tell?

Anyways, that's just some initial thoughts, hopefully some that will focus and inspire.


LazarX wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
I don't see how you're going to restrict a spon caster or divine caster to 1st level spells. Wizards without spellbooks will have to probably have the sorcs use spellcraft to carve their spells known onto slates carefully to build an initial library.

Sorcerers do not have any class features that allow them to scribe spells into a spellbook. Their magic is innate, not learned.

And they don't take scribe scroll as a feat either.

Making wizards far more valuable to the burgeoning society struggling to survive than the typical sorcerer. Wizards teach magic to those who have even a basic capacity to learn and often build libraries and other repositories of information to survive their deaths. I'd not be surprised to see a heavily multi-classed society born from this calamity as cantrips and orisons are invaluable, as so well demonstrated above.

Witches will also be invaluable being the only healing-capable arcane casters of note besides bards. I believe both are taught, not born with their abilities, although I'm not 100% on this.

When the Gods they knew provide no miracles, they will find new Gods. Some are likely to be very unpleasant in such a time of austerity, deprivation, desperation and strife.

If they're coming from Golarion, Druids of the Green Faith should prosper and thrive as their beliefs are beholden to no deities.

In a population of 10,000 souls, the odds of everyone being all cooperative is small, especially past the relative short-term of a year or two. The RP dynamics to be had are staggering.

A fascinating scenario to be sure.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

LazarX wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
I don't see how you're going to restrict a spon caster or divine caster to 1st level spells. Wizards without spellbooks will have to probably have the sorcs use spellcraft to carve their spells known onto slates carefully to build an initial library.

Sorcerers do not have any class features that allow them to scribe spells into a spellbook. Their magic is innate, not learned.

And they don't take scribe scroll as a feat either.

You're conflating scribe scroll with spellbooks. That is not the case. PFS wizards don't have scribe scroll...are you saying they can't make spell books?

Go look at the rules for making spellbooks. It's a spellcraft check. Sorcs can easily write down and teach their spells to others who also have spellcraft.

They cannot, however, make scrolls that people can cast off of without a feat.

So, your initial library will be populated by the spells of sorcs.

==Aelryinth

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