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My Fantasy RPG World, Feedback and Ideas appreciated

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Scalenex, May 17, 2019.

  1. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I might use the idea for something else but not Karakhai. I already wrote a lot on Karakhai mating loosely based on real shark mating which is rare and terrifying.

    Karakhai are not monogamous. Mating is relatively rare, occurring once every three years for a brief window. During this period, it’s not uncommon for Karakhai to have several partners. Karakhai females usually pick their mates and Karakhai females value strong males. A very accomplished male warrior could find himself with as many as a dozen mates in a single mating season.

    Karkhai courtship and mating is very violent and utterly terrifying to outsiders who witness it. There are lots of “love bites” on both partners. The period leading up to the mating season is very dangerous for the rest of Scaraquans. Karakhai tribes that normally avoid each other meet up more often since mating between tribes is encouraged to diversity the gene pool and avoid stagnation. Karakhai are also more aggressive towards outsiders in the months leading up to the mating season, especially males who want to be able to impress females with their martial exploits.

    Karakhai, like most sharks, give live birth. Karakhai females give birth to one (50%), two (40%) or three (10%) pups. Because Karakhai all mate at the roughly the same time, females give birth at roughly the same time. Pups are considered children of the entire tribe. Every Karakhai is considered a brother or sister of the Karakhai born during its tribe's birthing season.

    It is frowned on for a mother or father to show favoritism to their own offspring (and the nature of their mating makes establishing paternity difficult anyway). Adults will all work together to care and feed for the young though they certainly prescribe to notions of tough love. Some tribes encourage pups to fight each other savagely, others repress it. This often depends on the relatively scarcity or abundance of food.
     
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  2. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    The new World Anvil contest is sponsored by Hero Forge and the prize is free Hero Forge models. Presumably, they are hoping that some people will enter the contest, and decide "my hero looks cool, I want to pay money to get him!"

    I doubt I will be able to make Nilen sound really cool because it's hard to make an everyman hero look cool without a very long story, but I'm going to enter Nilen the Cobbler.

    And this is Nilen the Cobbler as what I came up with using Hero Forge's basic editor.

    I am likely to change a lot of details. I am sadly disappointed in Hero Forge's lack of shoe options, very important for a cobbler.

    [​IMG]

    If I could make him holding a pair of shoes instead of a crossbow I would but I didn't want him to be empty handed and I figure crossbows are a good weapon for gnomes given their desire to stay out of the front lines and their lack of upper body strength.

    This is a reasonable approximation for what based on my own guidelines, a two thirds earthy/one third watery gnome would look like. If I can figure out how to make the hair slightly shiny I will make that change. Also, I'm half tinted to put a very mild blue tint to the skin tone but I'm not sure the color editor is sophisticated enough to do.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
  3. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Playtesting suggested that my garden variety goblins are not very threatening or interesting. So I'm retconning that many goblins are mutating in the Third Age. It could be a coincidence, meddling from Greymoria, or spill over effects of the Second Unmaking, but it's happening.

    Goblins that live underground are going to be far more likely to mutate than those living above ground. One of the fastest growing goblin subtypes is Water Goblins, or Sea Goblins, or Scaraquan Goblins. I like the nickname Frog Goblins because they have vaguely frog-like webbed hands and feet.

    Frog Goblins

    Frog Goblins are like ordinary goblins except they have webbed feet and retractable webs on their hands so they could switch their hands for tool use or swimming as need be. They can also excrete a sticky substance on their hands. It's not enough to impair a large target but it does let them snatch fish from the water quite easily and daring Frog Goblins have used this to help pickpocketing.

    Frog Goblins are truly amphibious. They can breathe air or water indefinitely without magical aids though they are highly uncomfortable in arid environments. They also have keen senses to help them navigate the dark waters of the underground homes. I'm not sure if I need to make the weakened by bright light or not. Goblins hardly need to have extra weaknesses piled on when they are already puny and disorganized.

    The Frog Goblins first appeared in underground lakes and rivers with lots of ambient water elemental magic. They didn't stay underground very long deciding Scaraqua was more to their liking.

    In theory, Frog Goblins would be natural mediators between Scarterra and Scaraqua but in practice this is absurd. They are still goblins and they still loath elves and humans, gnomes, and dwarves are too similar to elves.

    Frog Goblins do not get along much better with Scaraquans. They have no ancient enmity but most Scaraquans view the Frog Goblins as outside invaders (which they are). Frog Goblins still speak a variant of Elven and Grauen (Scarterran languages) and they have very little incentive to try to learn Scarquan tongues. Magic is usually required to let Frog Goblins talk to Scaraquans but most Scaraquans would rather kill Frog Goblins than talk to them.

    Frog Goblins would generally prefer stealing things than cooperate with Scarterrans or Scaraquans and they are not above murdering isolated targets if they can get away with it.

    Often in history, goblins find themselves enslaved either outright or enslaved in spirit while being technically "free." That's not feasible for Frog Goblins. They can avoid Scarterran captors by entering the water and they can flee Scaraquan captors by entering the land.

    That is sort of the Frog Goblins response to all problems. They stick to coastal areas and will switch between land and sea depending on where their strongest enemies are.

    All else equal, Frog Goblins prefer Scaraqua over Scarterra. They like moving in three dimensions and their keen senses work better underwater. They are very good at catching fish.

    Scarterrans are also more used to goblins than Scaraquans. Most Scaraquan clans only spend time in Scarterra when they are on the lam from Scaraquan powers. Especially the Oshamni Empire which has essentially adopted the policy of "Kill them all!" with regards to Frog Goblins.
     
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  4. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    This is a good one.

    Maybe the stick substance makes them able to climb otherwise impassable surfaces? Natural climbers/burglars? Combined with the pickpocketing thing, they could be a thief guild...
     
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  5. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I'm all for giving them a climbing bonus (not that it would matter much underwater).

    I'm not sure they could be much a thieves guild. Bunch of thieves, yes. The main purpose of a thieves' guild is to launder and/or fence stolen good and that would provide someone who can at least pretend to be a part of legitimate society. Frog Goblins probably have trouble setting this up.

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, I'm sure some scheming Ojiongo somewhere is already planning on how to set up a Frog Goblin based fencing racket. That would be a good C-list villain for a Scaraquan campaign.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
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  6. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I haven't put the depth of thought into them as I did for Frog Goblins/Water Goblins, but I have a few other ideas. Specifically, Earth, Fire, and Air Goblins.

    Especially Earth Goblins.

    This video link about old goblin legends is interesting, but almost 20 minutes long.

    Anyway the goblins I have now are pretty similar to the goblins of Warhammer, but before Tolkien, goblins were commonly creepy little dudes that lived underground and constantly wanted gold (or sometimes anything shiny).

    I think that fits for a malevolent creature tied to the force of earth. I'm thinking earth goblins would be bigger and stronger than regular goblins. Not much taller but a lot broader and more muscular much like really ugly dwarves. Maybe make them a bit more patient and scheming.

    I don't know if you read any Artemis Fowl, but I would be tempted to make Fire Goblins based on these goblins. The AF series' goblins were fireproof and thick skinned and breathed fire but they were pretty dumb, often either a random belligerent threat or they were manipulated by an evil mastermind.

    If I had water goblins, earth goblins, and fire goblins I feel more or less obligated to have air goblins. I'm not super enthused about my ideas. Either goblins that fly, goblins that glide, or goblins that jump really good. Or goblins with wind or cold based powers.

    IF I ultimately decide not to have Fair Folk (or not have lots of Fair Folk) I would want to introduce red caps as a goblin variant. But if I do have Fair Folk, redcap would be a separate species from goblins.

    Other other ideas for goblins would be Void tainted goblins or sorcerous goblins.
     
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  7. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    What about Air Goblins being those that I've at very high levels, like mountains? They would be hardy, fit, agile, kind of like an Ajax? (not sure on spelling but they are the goats that can climb almost vertical surfaces).
     
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  8. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    That's a good idea. The problem is I have LOTS of mountain loving monsters and not a whole lot of mountains. So I guess if I use this a goblin sub breed they would probably be limited to a very small area, as opposed to the frog goblins who would be very widespread.

    But not every monster or fantasy race needs to have a global presence. Local creatures can interesting stories.



    Lately I have been putting a lot work in Scarterra but not a lot of new stuff.

    I have been editing my previous work. I was focused on speed writing for the month of December, now I'm cleaning up my stuff a bit, fixing spelling and grammar errors and adding or modifying hyperlinks.

    I also am redesigning my entries for the Nine and their worshipers. When I first created their entries I used the myth template rather than the person template which actually has a lot of useful tools for creating gods and goddesses.

    I'm working on transforming my giant block of text articles about the Nine into smaller digestible chunks.

    Of course I still need to work on Nilen's article if I want to participate in the current contest and I need to work on Nilen's novel if I want to actually use Scarterra to create something truly engaging.
     
  9. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    For those who have Hulu, Hulu now has the 2011 version of Thundercats.

    Okay, so I was a fan of the original and I'm a fan of the voice actors so I liked this. Not a lot of people liked this show but I would recommend watching episode 4 "Song of the Petalars." That episode was a masterpiece of writing in my opinion. The episode is self contained, so even you are not familiar with Thundercats you could watch it independently and still understand it. Though I suppose Lustria-Online members might not like that Lizardmen are the bad guys.

    I would really like to create a Scarterran or Scaraquan race based on the Petalars, but I'm not sure how to do it or whom to discuss it with because no one I know has seen this episode but me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
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  10. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    I'll check this out later and let you know.

    I was a huge Thundercats fan as a kid.

    Would I be able to see this on YouTube?
     
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  11. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Options are watch it on Hulu, buy it outright, or be creative. I suppose on Youtube you can buy the whole season for $26 or buy Song of the Petalars for $1.99. If you bought the DVD or bluerays I'm sure it would be less than $26.

    Anyway I got tired of HBO Max so I switched to Hulu. I'm sure at some point I'll get tired of Hulu and either go back to HBO Max or temporarily subscribe to Mandalorian+

    I am a completionist. I could never buy one episode.

    Hulu is probably the cheapest. Thundercats 2011 is good but I don't feel the need to own it forever. It also ends prematurely because the writers were setting up a season 2 and didn't get one. Season 1 is 26 episodes so it's kind of like two seasons. It does help that in Thundercats 2011 Snarf talks a lot less.

    Also, Hulu has Thundercats 1985 on it right now too if you want to dip into nostalgia.
     
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  12. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    It looks like I will be able to dip toes my toes in the water of video conference RPGs and resume my Covid suspended campaign.

    In the mean time I am adding a new player, Eron12, the guy who was with me bouncing off ideas since the I started creating Scarterra years ago. Besides myself no one has a greater familiarity with Scarterran lore than him.

    He wanted to create a warrior monk that is part of a holy military order that hunts down destructive wizards and sorcerers ostensibly to prevent a new Unmaking because both the First and Second Unmakings were created by a wizard or sorcerers meddling with forces beyond their kin.

    I have never came up with such a holy order, but that is a very good idea and it fits my lore perfectly.

    He wants to be from Fumaya and associated with Khemra. Since he is based in the City of King's Lake and the previous player character recently had a crime fighting adventure in King's Lake it would make no sense that Eron12's character would not have participated in that. So I need to come up with things for his character to do, but conveniently it would fairly easy for us to meet up and do a solo adventure or two.

    And so this new PC is really interested in hunting dangerous mages and it just so happens that dangerous mages have been meddling in southern Fumaya. The previous PCs were mostly solving problems in northern Fumaya.

    So while waiting for the stars to align to allow the full group to meet, either in person or virtually I will run some solo adventures in southern Fumaya.

    Since Neshik is a high ranking member in Khemra's Keepers and the new player character is a low ranking member of said heirarchy when it's time to bring the group together, someone can say "Hey Neshik the gnome is about to do something insanely dangerous and take on a hostile orc tribe with a band of ragtag militia. Could you head up there and help keep our favorite gnome alive?"

    Once the new PC joins the old PCs they will compliment each other's skill sets well but for the solo adventures it will be fun to see the new guy struggle. He's a great fighter, is very good at protection magic, and has a lot of abilities related to book smarts but he spent most of life in a rigid monastery so he has negligible social skills and negligible wilderness skills. Once he allies with the other PCs, they can fill in his missing character gaps on both these things, but in the mean time he will have very amusing struggles.

    He's in an order dedicated to rooting out nefarious mages. Southern Fumaya has tons of nefarious mages doing naughty things but they are trying to be sneaky about it. I just need to figure out how to stitch my ideas together so it's challenging for new character to catch baddies, but not so challenging that he automatically fails.

    The magical baddies in question are Swynfaredians probing Fumaya for weaknesses for a potential invasion. So that's probably what I'm going to run with.

    While it's not directly related to evil wizards, the noble families in southern Fumaya have a lot of dirty laundry and that might impact things too. So lots of possibilities. :)

    Also, if there are loose ends, I can rope the other PCs into these plot threads once they are done with the orc tribe plot threads.
     
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  13. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    This is the entry for Nilen the Cobbler that I enter in the upcoming Hero's Journey Challenge.

    I feel like it's missing something. I got a few weeks to figure out what to add (or remove).

    In the mean time I need to finish a last minute entry for the current short story contest...
     
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  14. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Well for it's worth, I submitted Nilen as my entry to the Hero's Journey contest on World Anvil.

    Of greater interest. I actually managed to run a game.

    A solo adventure for Eron12. So essentially we are going to try to play a few solo adventures for him while we are buying time to deal with the logistical and technological issues with setting up a web camera based RPG session for the whole group.

    Twas fun. We played about four hours and some change. Covered almost a month of game time (a lot of it was travel time) He caught two Swynfaredian spies. My friend built his character as a holy warrior who hunts down and catches (or kills) evil wizards and sorcerers. He'll do other things. He's not going to refuse to go on an adventure that doesn't involve fighting evil mages.

    But it just so happens that the nation of Fumaya is being probed for invasion by hostile mages. So it was very easy to accommodate my player's wishes.

    Remember in Scarterra that magic use can accidentally create random elementals. The first clue was a random elemental in a rural area. He combed the area for clues and eventually found a suspicious traveling storyteller oozing with illusion magic.

    He got off on a technicality (he didn't cast any damaging spells and he technically acted n self defense and it could not be proven he was a Swynfaredian spy), but is bodyguard (a Swynfaredian knight or Talon Warrior) ended up getting put on trial for assaulting a nobleman/holy warrior. He got away after paying a very large fine.

    But most enticing of all, the spy apparently was canvassing villages and collecting names and birthdays of hundreds of villagers. It's unclear why he is doing this.

    The other spy was kind of bumbler who used his magic with no subtlety. He was poorly disguised as a commoner and essentially would use charm spells to shake people down for information about troops numbers and positions until he event he triggered a massive man hunt.

    My friends character was able to pick up his trail and eventually corner him. It took a while because the guy moved around a lot, but it wasn't super difficult because there were wanted posters everywhere and he kept having narrow escapes from law enforcement.

    In exchange for a royal pardon, his spilled his guts. He was an ambitious knight to a low status noble house. He was acting on his own accord to obtain tactical information to try to trade it for a promotion back home.

    He couldn't really rat anyone else out but he did manage to confirm that yes, the Queen of Swynfaredia is interested in invading Fumaya and a new fact that the various Swynfaredian houses are not acting like a unified bloc.

    Hopefully we'll get to play again on the 22nd.

    Eventually when the two spies make it back home in disgrace, Swynfaredia will be alerted that Fumaya is alerted to them, and the next spies will be more careful. Also, one of the spies he caught, while he was a good fighter and a powerful mage, he was not very clever.

    My friend took a one-point version of the "Distinctive Appearance" flaw. He has heterochromia. His left and right eye are different colors. The vast majority of the time this doesn't matter, but when you are a professional investigator, it does not help to look memorable.

    News will spread among Swynfaredia with distinctive eyes is hunting down Swynfaredia spies. Also, he fights with a two handed sword which is somewhat unusual. It fits his character well. His main forte is being able to cast protective magic and if you have lots of protective magic, it's less necessary to carry a shield.

    Any Swynfaredia spies already in Swynfaredia are probably not aware of the guy hunting them, but in a few weeks of game time a few Swynfaredians in Swynfaredia will be on their guard. Not a lot know. Though but the more spies he catches, the faster his fame will spread which can be good and bad.

    Until this new character joins the original PCs he is probably going to stick in the southern provinces of Fumaya. Fumaya has a lot of problems but thus far the PCs have dealt with the northern problems.

    Eron12 is a member of Lustria Online, and might read this thread. If you want to give me advice on what to include, please a spoiler tag (though I'm not 100% sure he is reading this thread, he mostly prefers the World Anvil wiki).

    So right now, I'm out of spy ideas, though I'm sure there are more floating around.

    The southern lands of Fumaya have a bunch of subplots that are not directly related to Swynfaredian spies that my friend can easily stumble on to while looking for Swynfaredian spies.

    So my friend is operating around the Duchy of Nerozik (Heel) the Duchy of Wiern (Arch) Duchy of Palbuc (Toe).

    My friend is focusing on Fumaya's Arch because that's where the Swynfaredians are massing troops at the border.

    Duke Wiern is a very competent leader and is very loyal to the king. The problem is Duke Wiern is not a very good father. He shows blatant favoritism to his eldest daughter (26). His eldest daughter married the king and Wiern is thrilled to be the king's father in-law. The Duke lavishes so much attention


    Duke Wiern's eldest son, Bohdan (24) and heir is lazy and entitled. He will probably be a lousy duke some day. There is not much the player characters can do to fix this.


    Duke Wiern's second eldest son, Tacitus, (21) is plotting to sell out to the Swynfaredians but he is playing the long game. He discovered that the duaghter of one of Fumaya's lesser nobles is a budding sorceress. She is not of marrying age yet. He arranged to become her mentor. His hope is that Swynfaredia does not invade quickly but when they do he is going to try to marry off his ward to a Swynfaredian noble for leverage.

    A noblewoman sorceress native to Fumaya would extremely valuable for the Swynfaredia. Marrying such a woman provide legitimacy to any Swynfaredia trying to claim the land.

    My friend might be able to find out that

    The Duke's youngest daughter, Felicja (18), has secretly joined an underground Maylar cult, the Decadents. Basically she throws debauchery filled parties and commits crimes and atrocities and uses her noble status to shield her from being caught or punished.

    She would be relatively easy for my friend to thwart because she is kidnapping and murdering vagrants and other low level people for thrills. Eventually the steadily mounting pile of dead bodies might accidentally attract the attention of a dogged investigator looking for Swynfaredian spies.


    The Duchy of Nerozik (Heel) has one ongoing subplot. A lot of the lesser nobles in Fumaya's Heel really hate and fear the Swynfaredians. They are split in a paralyzing political debate. Some nobles want to avoid a war with Swynfaredia at all cost and others others are eager to go to war with Swynfaredia and collect the heads of some sorcerers.

    This region has a lot of patriotic wizards, so Swynfaredian magical spies are in for a tough time in this region, but the region sees a lot of traffic from the Border Baronies. In Fumaya's Heel, the Swynfaredia are probably more likely to hire spies from the Borderlands than to send their own. It's unlikely my friend will decide to go hear unless I have something very noisy occur him to cause him to want to move here.

    I think these kind of stories would be more up the alley of the entire group of player characters once the group unites.


    My friend visited Palbuc, better known as the province of Toe. The fugitive spy he was chasing tried to flee Fumaya through Toe.

    Fumaya's Toe is pretty rugged and sparsely populated so there is less for spies to do here, but the Swynfaredians probably want to invade Toe fairly soon. Toe has a lot of magical fonts and reagents which is something Swynfaredia would be interested in.

    Toe's main subplot is that the sixteen year old Duke just succeeded his father who died in an accident (probably a hunting accident, I need to flesh this out). He doesn't know that his uncle assassinated his father. He actually trusts his uncle and treats him like a mentor.

    His uncle wants to be duke, but he realizes people with be suspicious if both his brother and his nephew die in accidents. He is playing too strategies and is gaslighting his nephew. On one hand, sixteen is too young, practically a boy. He is far too young to worry about getting married and siring an heir.

    On the other hand, sixteen is the age of majority. He needs to be ready to lead his troops in battle directly if and when the Swynfaredians invade.

    This is a nasty evil plot, but I am not sure if and how I want to rope the PCs into this.


    As for more Swynfaredian spies. I don't have any specific ideas yet. The Queen of Swynfaredia actually wants to drag things out and isn't in a hurry to invade. She wants to set up Fumaya as an external enemy to Swynfaredia to give them a common enemy to focus on so the Swynfaredians stop trying to scheme against each other (and so they stop scheming against the queen).

    If Swynfaredia was truly unified, they have the numbers and power to utterly crush Fumaya. The problem is that Swynfaredia is like a nest of vipers. The various nobles all want to secure as big of a piece of the spoils of war that they can while exposing their rivals to the risks and costs associated with war.

    Once my friend catches a few more spies, the Sywnfaredians are probably going to respond and try some counter espionage. Either they will try to assasinate a PC (a dicey prospect) or try to frame some innocent Fumayans for being Swynfardian spies. I think it would be fun to have courtroom dramas where a PC has to exonerate a framed innocent man (or woman)


    House Grufflyl is not the most powerful house in Swynfaredia, far from it. But they are probably the most ruthless and evil house. Their ultimate goal is to figure out an artificial way to breed sorcerers faster.

    The spy from an unknown house that my friend caught that they had to release was from House Gruffyl. His plan was to case the border areas by their zodiac birth sign. Their working theory is that people with cosmologically significant birthdays are more likely to bear or sire sorcerer children. When Swynfaredia invades, they plan to use the chaos of the invasion to "disappear" peasants they think will make good breeding stock for sorcerers.

    I have an idea, though it might be too melodramatic. My friend's character is the bastard son of a minor noblewoman and an unknown man.

    It just so happens that the unknown man is a Gruffyl sorcerer with heterochromia who thought that a noblewoman with her unique birth sign had a chance of bearing a sorcerer child. Unfortunately for him it did not work.

    But the spy my friend thwarted knows his name and that he is of noble birth. He probably noticed the coincidence that this man has the same eyes as one of his feudal superiors. Eventually word will get back to him and he'll find out that one of his bastard sons not only failed to develop sorcery (that's pretty common) but grew up to be a man who specialized in taking sorcerers down.

    That will be an exciting confrontation to set up later if the PCs ever get in a conflict with House Gruffyl.

    In the meantime, once his father suspects that the mage hunter is secretly his son, curiosity will make him send a spy to tail him for information.
     
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  15. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    Great world building here Scalenex. Nice one.
     
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  16. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I created a splash page with short descriptions for my Swynfaredian houses.

    Swynfaredian Houses Index Page
    Founding Houses
    The founding houses were named after the legendary dragons, Numaness the Mystic, Goirsonad the Wise, Kovenoth the Builder, and Fremiss the Vibrant and their half-dragon descendants.

    House Numaness
    : The most influential house. The majority of the kings and queens of Swynfaredia have been from this house, including the current Queen. Originally they focused on magical excellence, now they push their house members to be excellent at everything.

    House Goirsonad: The second most influential house and a constant contender for the royal throne. Their motto is "Knowledge is power." Originally they were a house of sages and scholars. Now they are a house of spymasters in addition to sages and scholars.

    House Kovenoth
    : The least influential of the original founding houses. Their strategy was always to play kingmaker but a series of scandals and poor decisions has left the house low in prestige and strapped for coins, though they are still holding an impressive arsenal of priceless heirloom magical items and constructions.

    House Fremiss, original
    : House Fremiss was based on the principles of being kind to commoners, being brave in battle, and having a general zest for life. They were very fertile and a lot more nobles today bear the surname Fremiss than any other founding house. Unfortunately they were too zesty and the house fell into a lot of infighting over the centuries. Now there are three offshoot houses of Fremiss.

    House Fremiss A
    : Fremiss is the most political powerful offshoot of House Fremiss, but they have given up most of their original houses ideals (though they still have a bit of a hedonistic streak). They are now ruthless and power hungry, hoping to cement their place as the power behind the throne in Swynfaredia. They are seeking to strengthen ties to all the priesthoods, especially the Children.

    House Fremiss B
    : Fremiss B has taken the bravery ideals of their original house. They have cultivated a warrior culture, both among the nobles and their low born subjects (who they treat well in the hopes of receiving patriotic service in return).

    House Fremiss C
    : The smallest and least prestigious of the Fremiss offshoots. They are trying to shore up their political power by shoring up their magical power. They are far less picky in marriage partners as long as their marriage partners are powerful sorcerers and have bestowed a number of honorary titles and positions on non-human sorcerers to win their loyalty.

    New Houses
    Over the centuries, as Swynfaredia grew and recruited more sorcerers, various sorcerers were given ennoblement as reward for their exemplary service creating new houses.

    House Gareth
    : House Gareth was the first new house recognized in Swynfaredia as a reward for their years of faithful military soldiers. Originally the soldiers of this house were loyal to the realm as a whole but they are now essentially loyal sidekicks of House Numaness.

    House Manasch
    : A group of merchant sorcerers who bought their official house recognition. Their power is in economics, especially through dominating Swynfaredia's reagent trade.

    House Selwyth
    : A group of flamboyant schemers and Machiavellian cutthroats. They have allied themselves to House Goirsonad hoping to ride their coattails to power.

    House Gruffyl
    : A mercenary minded house that seems to be playing neutral in the feud between Numaness and Goirsonad waiting for an edge.

    House Cefnor
    : A mercantile minded house that is hoping to build their fortunes through controlling Swynfaredia's sea trade.


    I probably have enough Swynfaredia houses, but a voice in my head is telling me that I should make more. Though I don't have to make new houses, I could create political divisions and differing strategies within the same house.

    Anyway, each of the Houses is going to have a different strategy involving Fumaya.

    House Numaness: The Queen (who is of this house) basically wants to invade Fumaya because she thinks her people needs a common enemy to unite them though she has only told this to her closest supporters. Her strategy is to drag out the espionage and saber rattling phase of the invasion. Her plan is to provoke Fumaya into firing the first shot, then weave it into a propaganda event to paint the Fumayans as being the bad guys. Her spies are acting to subtly provoke the Fumayans.

    Numaness' patriarch who does not always agree with the queen. He is more concerned with wealth and wants to secure Fumaya's reagent producing lands and install House Numaness lords and ladies in charges of these lands. His spies are scouting out Fumayas magic fonts and the defenses around them.

    House Goirsonad: House Goirsonad wants to displace House Numaness as the politically dominant house of Swynfaredia. There are probably two factions.

    One faction wants to see the invasion of Fumaya fail and then blame the Queen and House Numaness for the failure. Most of their spies are probably spying on the other Swynfaredian spies.

    The other faction wants the invasion to succeed, but they want to make sure their house gets the dragon's share of the spoils, so their spies are mostly focusing on obtaining conventional military advantages.

    House Kovenoth: They want to regain their house's loss stature and prove they can be good team players. Their plan was to obtain useful tactical information and sell it to the other houses to the highest bidder (in money or favors)

    But unfortunately for them, one of their spies was caught, utterly humiliated, and sent back home in utter disgrace. This is not reflecting well on the house.

    House Fremiss A: About a hundred and fifty years ago, Swynfaredia conquered the nation of Talama. A lot of the nobility of Talama escaped to Fumaya and intermarried into the Fumayan nobility. Their descendants hate and fear Swynfaredia.

    A lot of Fremiss A died in that war and they want vengeance too. But mostly their ruthlessness means they don't want to leave enemies alive. More than other Swynfaredia, they want to wipe out the Talaman noble blood lines. But they don't want to do it for free. They want to make sure their house is holding new land when the dust settles.

    Logically, their spies are going to focus on the Fumayan lands with Talaman bloodline nobles in them.

    House Fremiss B: They probably have two faction. They are militaristic and they gain status and wealth helping the Swynfaredian war effort. They also care about the commoners under their banner, so some of these nobles may oppose the war, or at least want to keep it short and simple.

    Given that the house is so straight forward, they are probably not likely to bother sending spies to Fumaya.


    House Fremiss C: I'm not sure what they would think of the invasion. I'm thinking the house as a whole is not that interested in the war, but a few eager individuals are hoping to make names for themselves in the coming war. Maybe one or two of these nobles want to make their mark as a spy, if their magical talents lean in that direction.

    House Gareth: For generations, House Gareth have based their fortunes on being on the queen's (or king's) good side and they are not rocking the boat now. They want to support the queen's agenda.

    If they have any spies in Fumaya, they are probably trying to provoke the Fumayans like the queen wants.


    House Manasch: House Manasch probably has two factions regarding Fumaya. House Manasch is very Ferengi like. From Star Trek lore, Rule of Acquisition 34, War is good for business. Rule of Acquisition 35, peace is good for business.

    They probably don't have any magical spies to send to Fumaya, but they could easily have some mundane spies via their trade networks.

    House Selwyth: House Selwyth is secretly directed by a lich. Their ultimate goal is to make lichdom legal and respectable in Swynfaredia, but their leader is very patient.

    Before that, they want to legitimize the use of undead troops in Swynfaredia but even then, their leader still doesn't want to push the effort. If hypothetically, Fumaya really pulls an upset victory and sends the Swynfaredian army running with it's tail between it's legs, then they might suggest using undead troops, but they are not planning to sabotage the war effort just to set this up.

    Their short term goal is help House Goirsonad seize the throne of Swynfaredia and become the power behind the throne for House Goirsonad. So their plan for Fumaya is to do whatever Goirsonad asks them to do. They can worry about their necromancy based plans later, though they could have a few magical enslaved ghosts to help with their espionage.

    House Gruffyl: As mentioned before. They want human tests subjects for their obscenely evil eugenics experiments and want to use the chaos of war to cover the disappearances up. Their spies are cases border areas for useful test subjects to "disappear."

    A PC has already caught a spy (who ended up getting off on a technicality but had to pay a hefty ransom to save his loyal bodyguard), but the PC wasn't sure why he was taking a detailed census.

    House Cefnor: So House Selwyth and House Gruffyle are secretive houses that are hiding nefarious things. House Cefnor is a secretive house that is not hiding anything nefarious. They are essentially red herrings.

    Nearly all members of House Cefnor are against an invasion of Fumaya. Not for any moral reasons but because they believe House Cefnor's (and Swynfaredia's) futures lies with the sea, so they don't want to get in a protracted war with a land locked nation.

    I guess the two differing responses to how to deal with the war are those in the house who are vocally opposed to the war, and those who are pretending to support the war, just to avoid drawing the ire and suspiscions of the other houses.
     
  17. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I don't know if it will serve any story purpose but just for fun I took the entries I wrote a while back for all eighteen of the half-dragon children of Fremiss the Vibrant.

    I copied and pasted the eighteen short biographies into World Anvil and plugged it into Fremiss' family tree.

    Originally Fremiss' had six unnamed wives/lovers. I have named them: Cadella the Human, Glenda the Human, Treasa the Human, Owena the human, Iola the human, Lynette the human.

    I got to say the family tree function is very good.

    If you click on Fremiss' family tree icon it will show all eighteen of his children. His wife icon has all six names and a scroll bar. If you select the wife icon and scroll it will filter the family and only show that woman's children not all of Fremiss' brood.

    If you select one of the family tree icon's for one of Fremiss' sons or daughters, it will show a special icon for half sibling and no icons for full siblings. It shows a blood drop with a line through it for step mothers.

    If I get bored and have free time on my hand (this happens a lot), I may plug in the more Swynfaredian dragon bloods just to put the family tree program through it's paces.

    EDIT: Here is the link to Fremiss' article complete with family tree and thus all his kids can be viewed
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
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  18. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I rolled a die or flipped a coin to determine the sex of every child. I made up everything else but I used a luck dice whenever I was stuck to guestimate did this person have lots of kids or few kids. Did they live long or die young. If the character is brave, "long life" is relative. Same thing if the character is cautious.

    You can check out Fremiss the Vibrant, most prolific of the founding dragons here. He had nine sons and nine daughters.

    Not just per my luck dice, but Fremiss was not an active parent and his family line is known for being risk takers so his kids were more likely to die young.

    I just finished the children of Numaness the Mystic, least prolific of the founding dragons here. She had four sons and two daughters.

    Numaness was an active parent and encouraged her children to be cautious and thoughtful. None of her children died super young. Numaness' eldest child holds the record for longest lived half-dragon ever. Oddly enough, the unluckiest member of this brood is the one that became king! But he didn't die really young making it to about 150. Considering his older sister survives to 411 that's bad. I need to figure out if he died in battle, was assassinated or maybe the stress of rulership aged him prematurely (he was king for 70 years which any human monarch would be delighted with).

    I haven't written anything for the children of Kovenoth the Builder or Goirsonad the Wise yet. Kovenoth had 3 sons and 9 daughters. Goirsonad had 6 sons and 2 daughters.

    I did the math and the four founding dragons (by dumb luck or statistical probability) produced 22 half dragon boys and 22 half dragon girls. Parity!

    At this early stage Swynfaredia was patriarchal so male heirs were especially valued but a few centuries later, Swynfaredia becomes egalitarian (along sex lines at least, they are very classist).

    Once I have a name and a short bio for everyone I can figure out who marries whom.
     
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  19. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Should I clean my apartment? Nah

    Should I fulfill my other adult responsibilities that I have been procrastinating on? Nah

    Should I buckle down and work on my novel about Nilen the Cobbler? Nah

    Should I fill out the family tree of Swynfaredia more and come up with bios and names for all 36 children of the four founding dragons? An emphatic yes.

    Using the table of contents to sort through the 50+ historical dead nobles I created is not very friendly but if the family tree is a nice navigation tool. On any entry, you can scroll a person's family tree embed to find their parents, siblings (and for the few I've made articles for) their children. I made sure the founding dragons Fremiss the Vibrant, Numaness the Mystic, Goirsonad the Wise, and Kovenoth the Builder are on the top of their respective category.

    All of the first generation children have names, birth years and death years. Most have a short bio. Some have their children and marriage partners included. I'm doing a few new entries each day so it's growing fairly fast.

    You can check the link here to browse the Swynfaredian dragonblood family trees as I expand them.

    My original idea is that the Founding Dragons set up a up a hereditary king making the first king earn the crown through a series of (mostly magical) trials. Each House selected a champion and the Numaness champion won.

    My plan is that by modern day House Numaness and House Goirsonad are fierce rivals. Both sides had to learn to play politics, especially Numaness who historically focused on magical power before their people skills.

    Originally I was going to have the crown of the realm pass back and forth between House Numaness and House Goirsonad but now I like the idea that the first King Numaness got manipulated by his smarter wife. The first king died fairly young and his wife ended up ruling by proxy influencing her son the new king and than ruling from behind the scenes when her grandson was king. To ensure her legacy, she tried to arrange her grandson to marry a House Numaness girl that she mentored.

    I arbitrarily chose which nobles had long life spans and which died young and I arbitrarily decided how many children they had but I used dice to guide me for "relatively high" and "relatively low" numbers.

    I was pretty arbitrary with dates of death too, but now that I have this timeline, I will modify some dates of death to correspond with historical events.

    The number on the left is the common calendar date. The number on the right is the Swynfaredian calendar.

    I'd paste it here, but it came out wonky so here is the link.

    Here is a different Link.

    [​IMG]
     
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    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Runesmith my favorite D&D Youtuber just released a short video on Kenku. So this is how D&D 5th edition does Kenku.



    The ancient legends of tengu of Japanese folklore vary considerably. I basically took very little from them except the name and a vague trickster theme.



    So my Tengku use Kenku as a baseline, but I smoothed the rough edges to make them less annoying.

    Tengku are skilled mimics of sounds, but unlike kenku, they can talk and they don't use sounds in place of speech.

    Tengku, unlike Kenku, did not have their creativity removed. Given that corvids are so hyper intelligent, it seems a weird thing to impose on them.

    Tengku are greedy and have a reputation of being untrustworthy and greedy. I gave them a lot of Ferengi traits. I have considered giving them a code of conduct similar to the Rules of Acquisition, but opted not to do that. Though I'm sure Scarterran Tengku teach their children similar values.

    Tengku, like Kenku have a vague unsubstantiated legend that in the distant past they had the ability to fly and lost it somehow creating a deep longing. I melded into the corvid fascination with shiny things. They lost their ability to fly because they were literally grounded for their greed.

    Tengku have no homeland and wander around many places. I could draw parallels to some real world ethnic groups in a similar vein, but I hadn't made it a big deal of it. Scarterran Tengku want to fly almost obsessively. Most Tengku would like their people to have a homeland, but it's not a priority to them.

    I didn't make Tengku wanderers because they are homeless outsiders (they are homeless outsiders). I made Tengku wanderers because a nomadic lifestyle is them subconsciously trying to fly around.

    Tengku strengths are a bonus on all commerce rolls, mimicry, enhanced Dexterity, and enhanced eyesight.

    Weaknesses are fragile bones, they take extra damage from blunt trauma. Unofficially they have the weakness of being disliked and distrusted by the more human-looking humans but flaws related to their reputation and background are encouraged but not required. They have a small freebie point cost because on the whole their powers are greater than their weaknesses relative to humans.
     
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