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1  Announcements / News / Re: Preparing to Move on: May 27, 2019, 09:50:36 PM
Awesome. Thanks for all the work that you and Nomadic have done!
2  Announcements / News / Re: The Future of the CBG on: August 13, 2018, 07:10:00 PM
I haven't been very active recently, but as a founder who has been happy to see so many people step up to take the reigns in her absence, I fully support moving to a better (and cheaper) place.

The CBG has weathered moves before. I'm not a Redditer, so I can't speak to how it would turn out, but I do use Discord. It has the ability to make additional sub rooms very easily and could prove useful; but it is also a bit of a pain to scroll all the way to the top of a long thread, so a lot of content would likely need to be posted on a wiki and then linked to. Reddit may be the best way to go about it, though.

I do lament the loss of forums.
3  The Works / The Dragon's Den / Re: What's going on? on: August 11, 2018, 09:40:56 PM
Thanks! Just realized today that I hadn't updated markers here. Hahaha.
4  The Works / The Dragon's Den / Re: What's going on? on: August 05, 2018, 06:57:23 PM
This has still been my homepage for the longest time. I've been super busy with work. I'm gone like 13 hours of the day, so life has been commute, work, commute, and sleep.

I haven't gotten to play a game in a while. I've started a few since moving to Washington State. Played on Roll20 some (still paying for a membership actually). It's tough to keep groups together in adult hood.

It makes me happy that the group is still here.

OH! And in the last five years, there has been one huge change in my life: new name, new gender, same Xeviat.
5  Campaign Creation / Meta / World building from an Editor's perspective on: March 05, 2018, 07:46:49 PM
Hey everyone (summoning Xanthar with my presence), I recently started listening to this YouTube series by Ellen Brock. This particular video stood out and brought me back here:

https://youtu.be/KUjet7Z0S0g

In it, she talks about world building methods and pitfalls, and even has a link to her setting bible template.
6  The Works / The Dragon's Den / Re: What are some official settings worth getting into? on: November 17, 2017, 11:01:11 PM

Steerpike

My favourite setting by TSR/Wizards is Planescape. It's very well fleshed-out, and has some of the most detailed and well-written supplements/setting books I've ever seen. It has a really unique central city (Sigil, shaped like a torus atop an infinite spire) and takes various D&D concepts like Alignment and really elevates them. There's a philosophical tenor to a lot of it that I really enjoy, too; the factions that form the political centre of the setting all have unusual philosophical viewpoints influenced by lots of real-world metaphysical and ethical positions. The art for the setting was mostly done by Tony DiTerlizzi, who is really talented and gave the setting a really distinctive visual style. It also has one of the best video game adaptations around.

Were there ever any novels based on Planescape? I've been reading some of the setting materials and have really wanted to use it instead of fussing with my own setting for a while.
7  The Works / The Dragon's Den / Re: What are some official settings worth getting into? on: November 17, 2017, 10:56:45 PM
I feel like if you like the genre, "The Legend of the Five Rings" has a lot of story and development. I'm not super big on it myself, but I know a ton of people who absolutely love it.
8  Campaign Creation / Campaign Elements and Design / Re: Setting Seeds; Evil Gods on: August 14, 2017, 09:56:20 PM
Some interesting ideas here. The idea of a Lovecraftian pantheon of functionally evil beings (I say functionally because they may be beyond morality) that are akin to gods within a world without true supernatural things.

Without getting too into real world theology, imagine if all the devils, demons, and boogiemen of myths were real, but none of the gods.

But to say that a world with nothing but evil gods wouldn't be able to band together as a civilization is a little harsh. As long as they aren't all powerful and aren't out to simply kill everyone, I think people's intrinsic altruism (at least to their own family/tribe) would win out to an extent. Societies may be brutal and harsh, but nothing is going to get a town to band together like a Balor a'calling.
9  Campaign Creation / Campaign Elements and Design / Re: Setting Seeds; Evil Gods on: August 14, 2017, 09:52:07 PM

Steerpike

Hmm, so how are the devils actually evil? If the devils aren't interested in curtailing human freedom or providing restrictive dogmas, but will reward followers with power... are they especially capital E Evil here? In D&D Alignment terms this sounds a lot like Chaos as opposed to Evil.

Mostly the "it's okay to murder, lie, cheat, steal ..." that they preach makes them evil. These devils are more like the "I'm not going to do what you say" style Satan, not the D&D Lawful Evil type devils.
10  Campaign Creation / Campaign Elements and Design / Re: Setting Seeds; Evil Gods on: August 13, 2017, 08:39:22 PM

Ghostman

To what degree (if any) are gods creators though? That's another vital point to consider. A world that was entirely created by evil deities is likely to look very different from one where they merely make up it's divine residents.

This is a really good point. This question does change a lot. If the evil gods are the only gods left after some big divine war, things are going to be different than if evil gods actually created the world.

As for what I meant by evil, I was purposefully being vague to let people interpret it as they intend.

For me, the question inspires a setting where the forces of good were overwhelmed and defeated. The devils rose from hell and conquered the world. Heaven retreated. The people of the world worship the devils because they give power, because why worship the old gods who abandoned you? The devils don't tell you what not to do, they tell you what you can do. It is ultimate freedom. If you're lucky, they'll even treat you okay as long as you continue to follow them.
11  Campaign Creation / Campaign Elements and Design / Setting Seeds; Evil Gods on: August 12, 2017, 11:28:20 PM
Hi everyone. I'm back after being away again. I'll likely summon Xanthan, since one of us is the other's sock puppet. I still haven't figured out which.

While working on some D&D stuff today (and seeing the word "Awakened" too much), I ended up listening to just a little too much Metalocolypse. With cartoonish violence and darkness in my head, I thought of a little forum game: Setting Seeds. Rather than posting info on my setting (which has stalled, honestly), the "Setting Seeds" game involves a poster suggesting a single idea to build a setting around. For instance, it could be said Eberron was designed with "what if 3E D&D's magic system were taken to it's obvious conclusion". Each seed should end up being its own thread, so we can flesh out the seed, nurture it, see what grows. If you get an idea from someone's seed, start a new thread. I'll try to collect them here in this first post. So, I'd like to start off the game with this seed:

What if all the gods in a setting were evil?

How would this change the world? I can imagine the good people of the world tiptoeing around as to not anger the gods. A lot of "worship" would be supplications meant to stay the god's wrath. I imagine religions existing following mortal prophets/philosophers who taught people how to act. These people would likely be worshiped, but the constraint of the setting is that these individuals are icons, not gods. Maybe there's no holy magic? Maybe holy magic comes from the goodness within.

What would you do with a setting like this? What would you expect to see, and what would you rather see?
12  Campaign Creation / Campaign Elements and Design / Dwarven Mercenaries, Adventure 2 on: June 19, 2017, 05:19:25 PM
Hi everyone. None of my players frequent here, so it should be safe.

The current campaign I'm running has the party playing as elite members of an all dwarf mercenary band operating independent of the region's Mountain Dwarf kingdom. In the area, the humans and dwarves don't get along, but they're not yet at open war. Both sides are posturing, and the band the PCs belong to is profiting.

The first mission the players went on turned out to be different than what they expected. It was supposed to be simple: they were hired by a village to clear some goblins out of a forest that the village used for boar hunting. It turns out that the forest was full of goblins because human miners felled a dryad's Oak and the forest spirits had turned angry (in my setting, goblins are dark fey). The party was pressed into fixing the mess by reconsecrating the other sacred oaks by a band of eladrin (outsider style; elves in the setting are powerful fey, and player "elf" races are all various half-elves). They may have earned a favor (the players and the eladrin were being jerks to each other), and were also offered substantial payment of they brought back the ones who cut down the dryad's oak.

What was really going on is that the humans were in search of a new mine. They were pointed to the small wood as a place to dig a new iron mine, but the forest would need to be cleared first. That meant the guardians of the forest needed to be taken care of. The humans needed a new mine because the dwarves stopped selling iron to them.

Now that the PCs have returned to their camp, they've found that their captain has gone missing and his lieutenant is concerned. The captain often comes and goes, but his lieutenant is always aware. The players have decided to go after the captain ... but I'm at a loss of what he got himself into. I want it to be tied in with the growing hostility between the humans and dwarves. I kind of want to tie it in with the human's attempt at clearing the woods and starting a mine. Maybe there was more to it? Maybe they took something, or they were purposefully trying to set the eladrin against the dwarves (immortal eladrin aren't known for differentiating members of a race and can be wide spread in their distribution of justice).

Any thoughts? My idea seed mill has gone dry.
13  The Works / The Crossroads / Re: What are some genre rules and good writing tips for creating Settings? on: April 28, 2017, 01:18:28 PM
Since you asked a bit about Fantasy and Science Fiction, I'll share some of my thoughts on the difference. Those differences should, in my opinion, influence how you design and present a setting. Again, Steerpike may have some more nuanced thoughts.

For me, Fantasy is about the journey of the hero. Whatever the trappings of the setting, be it magical wizards or fantastic space opera technology, fantasy is about the heroes and the challenges they overcome. Science Fiction, on the other hand, is about our reaction to The Other. Whether The Other is aliens, super technology, androids, or a gateway to another world, Science Fiction is about how the introduction of this new thing affects people and the world. The two genres, along with Horror, are part of Speculative Fiction, as I was taught.

How does that impact a game setting? Well, in my opinion, game settings really lend themselves more to Fantasy. Star Wars games are most definitely fantasy, even though they're couched in sci fi trappings. Urban Arcana, though, could be presented more as sci fi, depending on the framing of your stories.

Beyond that, there's subgenres and that gets out of my area of knowledge.
14  Campaign Creation / Campaign Elements and Design / Re: Clerics, Druids, and Animism in Endless Horizon on: April 23, 2017, 11:04:12 PM
Since, with a little work, you can see and hear and touch the spirits, no one in the world really doubts their existence. There are some specific faiths that hold some spirits over others, and there are those that don't believe the spirits deserve worship (they're just powerful beings; the king is powerful, we don't worship him), but those wouldn't be quite the same as monotheistic religions.
15  Campaign Creation / Campaign Elements and Design / Clerics, Druids, and Animism in Endless Horizon on: April 23, 2017, 06:05:00 PM
Hi everyone. Since my writing has stalled, I'm primarily thinking of my setting as a D&D game setting again. I want to think on religion in the setting for a while and see what comes of it. The world of Endless Horizons is an Animist world. "Gods" are benevolent spirits that people worship to earn their blessings (or just because they're nice), while "Demons" are malevolent spirits that people worship to stay their wrath (or direct their wrath). I'm currently reading up on Shinto and other more animist religions for inspiration, but I'm questioning what the difference between Clerics and Druids would be in a more personal and regional religious system. Originally, I thought hat clerics would worship ancestral spirits while druids would worship nature spirits, but I'm thinking it would be a little different. There are "greater deities" of the world, things like the spirits of the Knights (the saviors of humanity) and other revered ancestral spirits, as well as major nature spirits like the Five Elements, the spirits of the Sun and Moon, and others. Most spirits, though, would be more local.

An adventuring cleric, then, would either follow one of the world-spanning spirits, or would venerate whichever spirits area in the areas they travel to within their domain.

How do you think Clerics and Druids would be differentiated in an Animistic setting?
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