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Author Topic: Panorah: The Age of Winter (Reboot, want input)  (Read 552 times)
Straight Outta Johto
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« on: March 14, 2017, 03:05:33 AM »

In Character

Magris stood upon the fields south of the grand forest Dunwood. Still scarred by the poisonous clutch of ash from the Day of Fire, Magris the Squirrelsire, son of the Warden Ogalo of the Order of Khars, stood in contemplative remembrance of the times when these fields were green with life and beasts roamed through these great grasslands. Creeps could move between the Mountains of the east, and the hills of the west with little trouble. The occasional bandit, or the feral beast would give the tradecreep bother, but that was so simple to mitigate against. But on that cursed day, the ground showed no mercy to anyone in the land of Urthlind, as the mountain Verova had spewed forth it's hideous breath like a foul drunkard upon the peoples of this once great continent. Now the fields lay gray with death. The occasional fruitling of grass appears every once in a while, but the fields still could not sustain the life

As the day closed, Magris and his cohorts veered across the landscape they had spent all their time traversing. Once again in despairing state of nostalgia, they longed for the days of peace and plenty. Wars were everywhere a little while ago, and if there wasn't a war by now yet, it was coming. Magris then snapped back to the goal at hand, and ordered his assistant Harslo, a young mouse who was rather charmless, but was competent at his profession of navigation to make plans for tomorrow. After a short period of time, Harslo came back vindictively and in as much respect as a specialist would commend to a lord of Magris's status, he began to argue. “My lord, we simply don't have the resources to risk traveling through the nighttime at this moment.”

Magris was a patient royal, and he wasn't one to be argumentative, but him and Harslo were not on the best of terms already. Harslo was not a mouse of tactfulness, and Magris had come to verbal blows with him before. However Harslo's redeeming qualities did shine through at the most important of times. More than once had Harslo pulled Magris through dangerous situations using his brilliant navigational sense, and Magris had always kept that in mind when dealing with Harslo's more stubborn, and frankly cowardly moments. However the Squirrel Lord needed to reach the outpost beyond these fields, and frankly, he felt that this was an appropriate time for a... “healthy discussion.”

The rest of the cohorts consisting of a disgraced looking badger, and an Otter with a wild look in his eye were merely sitting there listening to the squabbling of the idiot squirrel and that damned mouse from a distance. The otter Bik was openly smiling to himself, trying to suppress a laugh as the arrogant royal mountain meets the smug, learned ocean. He wasn't too fond of either of those self-assured asses, but at least the rodent knew what in the unholy realms he was talking about. When it came to the two rodents brains, the squirrel was about as a tenth as smart as he thought he was and that was a rather generous estimate on his part. However if there was one thing that Bik loved more than laughing at those two imbeciles, it was eating, and with the way things have been since the old maiden Verova broke her top, food was not a commodity. So he liked the arrangement between him and his royal pain in the ass. He escorts the long tailed fool around, and he gets to stuff his face.

Bik almost turned to Vomos the Badger for a quiet conversation in the midst of the bickering, but his wisdom caught up to him. He knew that ol' Vom was not one for conversation, and he was clearly annoyed by the contentions brewing. Describing the badger as a stoic creep wouldn't do Vomos justice, for stoic creeps strive to be as much like Vomos as possible, and even then they can't replicate the genuine article, which is funny considering Vomos's background. Bik knew better than to ask Vomos details about his life, but it didn't take an inquisitive to uncover the basic details. From the way he fought, he was a former knight of Urthheight, and he was clearly from a great family due to his rather illustrious weaponry. However the details stop there, and frankly this did peak Biks whiskers with interest. The creep that Bik came to know was the living embodiment of a mountain. How did someone this honor bound and strict end up getting kicked out of whatever order he came from. He wasn't even sure if Vomos was thrown out, maybe he left of his own accord. Still Vomos was very... “touchy” on the subject, so Bik just sat there.

Finally the idiotic bantering ended, and the two fools came forward and gave orders. Harlos and Magris both agreed that seeking out a cave they had seen along the way was the best thing to do tonight. Bik didn't argue as he wasn't in any position to, but Vomos looked like he wanted to just throttle those two, but was forced to swallow his pride. Another indicator that at one point, Vom held high status to think he could take such an attitude with a royal. The hike for the cave began, and it was later into the night when they finally reached the damnable cave.

Upon first inspection, the cave didn't seem to be anything special, or at least nothing dangerous. However the more time they spent in the cave, the more that Biks gut began to turn. Bik had been through enough tribulation in his life to know that more often than not, the gut was wiser than the head. A tunnel was discovered leading deep into the ground, but no one seemed interested in expediting the cave anymore than it took to set up a basic camp. This was fine by Bik, as he was hungry, and ready to stuff. Vomos seemed to share in Biks paranoia as he kept his sword by his side the whole time. Magris told Vomos to take the entrance of the cave as his bed site, as he was the strongest, and if someone was going to sneak in by the ways, Vomos was the lightest sleeper. Bik was told to take the tunnel entrance, and while his gut was screaming at him to run out of the cave, even his gut couldn't argue with the filled belly.

Later into the night, everyone was snoring as loud as possible. A dragon roaring couldn't compare. This was not what was keeping Bik up though. He and his gut came to a good compromise. The gut allowed Bik to stay at the tunnel entrance, but Bik wouldn't sleep. This seemed fair to both parties. Sure enough... (WIP)

Welcome back to my third attempt at revising my setting Panorah, which i basically as someone on this forum described it "Redwall with slime molds". Simply put, this is a dnd setting with small woodland mammals as races rather than the standard humanoid stock. This time around, i've decided to try and make it more gritty, but not necesarrily "grimdark". This time around I've added in a volcanic eruption that devastated the land of Urthlind, and created a dark age of war and chaos. So things are not bright like in Redwall, but its not necessarily a pitch black age of undeath, demons, and the like. There are still heroic beings in this world, and the bad things that happened are merely natural events that will inevitably pass, but for right now, things are not looking to good.

I've been thinking about systems, and I was thinking about doing a switch over to 5e, but I'm not sure. I'm currenlty running a solo Eberron campaign, and there wouldn't be time to run a 5e game inbetween me playing in his 5e game, and him playing in my PF/3.x game. Just wondering what you guys thought. For a little while I was even teasing myself by looking at 2e since sparkletwist did that 1e game, and Steerpike is going to do a FATE game. Maybe push myself out of my comfort zone a little bit?

Also would throwing steampunk elements in be totally asinine? I think it would be cool for them to be stumbling onto airships right around the time of the volcanic eruption, along with a "clockpunk" vibey culture somewhere.

I apologize for the lack of content. My map got burned when my hard drive died. I'm rebuilding from the top. If there are any suggestions you'd like to make from last time, please be my guest. I'm always looking for constructive feedback. I feel like there were things that needed to be fine tuned.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 04:39:47 PM by LoA » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2017, 04:24:57 PM »

Are they animals? That's pretty cool.

The text is nice and makes me want to see more.

A map or some art would definitely add more feel to the thread, to your setting. I'd definitely like to see that, but I know it can be either time consuming or expensive.

For a playing ''system'', I'm definitely not the guy. PC, sparkle, SP and some others on here are WAY more knowledgeable about this than I am.
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2017, 06:59:25 PM »

Magnus Pym

Are they animals? That's pretty cool.

The text is nice and makes me want to see more.

A map or some art would definitely add more feel to the thread, to your setting. I'd definitely like to see that, but I know it can be either time consuming or expensive.

For a playing ''system'', I'm definitely not the guy. PC, sparkle, SP and some others on here are WAY more knowledgeable about this than I am.

Ack, I'm very sorry for not responding sooner. Long week. Okay, I'm a big fan of the Redwall books by Brian Jacques, and frankly I didn't want to make a standard kitchen sink fantasy, so I decided to take the basic concept of Redwall, but also throw in dragons and standard Dnd monsters. I basically finished the setting, which is presented in my Siggy. But I always had the intention of going back and readjusting some stuff, and add more. Primary thing I'm adding is to give the setting more edge, a volcanic eruption occurred and now the ecosystem has been thrown into chaos. This results in huge wars for resources and the like. The world was once booming with prosperity, and now things have gone bad. Best part is, this isn't anyones fault, its just a natural cycle.

Another thing is that I'm trying to make it feel brutal mechanics wise, without it just ripping off Dark Sun. Also magic has been hanging over my head for a while, but I'll probably figure that out.
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2017, 10:10:54 PM »

I'd do 5E if you're OK with a lot of classes potentially having magic. I know people playing a 5th edition game with a similar premise, i.e. anthropomorphic animal fantasy, and it seems like an OK fit. 2nd edition would be considerably harder to hack into Redwall-accessible form. There is a Mouse Guard rpg out there too, on the off chance you weren't aware.

If you have a rough map sketch, no promises on time, but if you'd like, I could try my hand at a hand-drawn map of the old school Redwall style, if that's of any interest. I am totally unskilled with any mapping software but not-utterly-terrible with pen and ink.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 10:16:16 PM by Steerpike » Logged


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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2017, 02:03:31 AM »

Steerpike

I'd do 5E if you're OK with a lot of classes potentially having magic. I know people playing a 5th edition game with a similar premise, i.e. anthropomorphic animal fantasy, and it seems like an OK fit. 2nd edition would be considerably harder to hack into Redwall-accessible form. There is a Mouse Guard rpg out there too, on the off chance you weren't aware.

If you have a rough map sketch, no promises on time, but if you'd like, I could try my hand at a hand-drawn map of the old school Redwall style, if that's of any interest. I am totally unskilled with any mapping software but not-utterly-terrible with pen and ink.

That's really nice of you to offer, but I was using a program. I just started over from scratch, and I'm satisfied with my current map.

I dunno how I feel about 5e. I've been testing the waters and playing with friends, but I'm not quite feeling it. The same problems still occur, even with the streamlined mechanics. Still having fun, but even today, we ran into massive clogging issues just by introducing a new character.

 Honestly, I've been wanting to get better with just drawing maps, rather than being beholden to the map making programs.
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2017, 08:45:33 PM »

Alright, so here's the deal, I've decided to keep the same basic premise of the setting, but I've decided to update a couple of cultures. From the beginning, I've wanted the weasels core culture in this setting to revolve around death, and ancestor worship. I've had the urge to use Deathless from Eberron in a setting, and I've been fauning over Ancient Egyptian imagery recently. Why not make a race of weasels that are basically Egyptians who bring their ancestors back from the dead, and Live in great big Ziggurats and ancient looking cities from ancient times?

Then I thought, why not make the rats quasi steampunk and are on the verge of profound discoveries? And then I thought, "I love canal cities. The otters could have a Canal city, so why not base them off of Rennaisance Italy?" Then I thought, "You know my concept for mice, is basically 'Riders of Rohan' but with insects, so why not role with that?"

Then I thought, "Is blatant inconsistent kitchen sink multiculturism really, really stupid?" So that's the question I pose to all of you.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 08:48:03 PM by LoA » Logged


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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2017, 09:15:08 PM »

LoA

Then I thought, "Is blatant inconsistent kitchen sink multiculturism really, really stupid?" So that's the question I pose to all of you.

No, I don't think so. I certainly have elements of that in my settings, and I think it's a nice way of creating a point of reference for new players. "This land is kind of modeled after Soviet era Russia" is going to be a lot more helpful than trying to explain a new culture from scratch. I think the intricacies lie in finding out what little quirks prevent it from being a whole-cloth copy of said culture, which can help distinguish it a bit.
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« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2017, 12:30:34 AM »

Weave

LoA

Then I thought, "Is blatant inconsistent kitchen sink multiculturism really, really stupid?" So that's the question I pose to all of you.

No, I don't think so. I certainly have elements of that in my settings, and I think it's a nice way of creating a point of reference for new players. "This land is kind of modeled after Soviet era Russia" is going to be a lot more helpful than trying to explain a new culture from scratch. I think the intricacies lie in finding out what little quirks prevent it from being a whole-cloth copy of said culture, which can help distinguish it a bit.

Ok, I really like that last part. Here are some ideas.

The basic idea behind magic in this world is that all magic comes from the same source, but it manifests itself differently in each race overall.

Badgers are a culture that feel like a weird fusion of medieval european sensibilities mixed with Japanese Shintoism and Clan Culture. They have a rigid family structure, and are devoted to their Kinlords, but have a medieval feel to them if that makes sense. They have incredible ties to the earth, and are amazing at forging magic metals and jewels.

Rats are inventive but off putting, resembling early industrial Britian. They use magic to create clockwork wonders and primitive machines.

Hares have a near psionic ability to socialize with and manipulate people. They resemble, I almost want to say, aristocratic France.

Mice have a weird connection with Insects and Fey (Basically Highly magical insects), and are highly adaptable. The basic core culture is like a nomadic "Riders of Rohan" culture only big insects instead of horses. Kind of.

Squirrels are kind of the elves" of the setting. More work later, my computers getting buggy. needs to rest.
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« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2017, 03:10:28 PM »

I like where you're going with this. I second Weave's point: a point of reference makes it easier for players to connect. Way back when, I was changing races in my setting just to change them, until someone said "these are basically elves?"  Use what people recognize.

Using animals gives you a lot to run on. They have their own connotations and assumptions that you can play off of. Are dogs loyal? Are cats aloof (and afraid of things). Are weasels weasely, or is that a slur? You have a lot you can work off of.
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2017, 06:19:00 AM »

Okay, so I'm going to cut off one axis of the Alignment system. Should it be law vs. chaos, or good vs evil? I'm leaning towards Law vs Chaos, but what do you guys think?

Also, I'm trying to think of an insteresting way to make a squirrel culture without turning them into elves, or into ADHD nutjobs. Any thoughts?

Xeviat

Using animals gives you a lot to run on. They have their own connotations and assumptions that you can play off of. Are dogs loyal? Are cats aloof (and afraid of things). Are weasels weasely, or is that a slur? You have a lot you can work off of.

Weasels are... complicated... They have an ancestor worship complex, and use shamanism to make it possible for their dead ancestors to come back to their corpses. But they are very brave, and nearly fearless. But they can also be sneaky sometimes.
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2017, 07:55:38 AM »

Why not ditch both axes then, and make up an entirely new alignment meter? For example, you could place cosmic forces behind (steampunk)technology and primitive nature, and base character alignment on affinity to these forces.
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2017, 10:11:16 AM »

Ghostman

Why not ditch both axes then, and make up an entirely new alignment meter? For example, you could place cosmic forces behind (steampunk)technology and primitive nature, and base character alignment on affinity to these forces.
Thing is there isn't really "steampunk" technology. The rats utilize magic just like everyone else, and they use it to animate Clockwork, and other primitive engineering feats. It's really more "Clockpunk".

But I do like what you said about primitive nature. Maybe it's more like Civilization vs. Barbarity? More advanced civilizations such as rats, badgers, and the like up against wild peoples, pirates, tribal societies, etc, etc.

EDIT: But that would be Law vs. Chaos dressed up differently wouldn't it?

Also, does this iteration of Hare make sense as a race, and what should I tweak about this?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 01:46:34 PM by LoA » Logged


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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2017, 02:49:59 PM »

Okay, I'm not the biggest fan of tiny animal settings in general, even though I made one once - it's just not my thing. So take this with a grain of salt. I'm interested to see how it shapes up, but wanted you to know the angle I'm coming from.

One thing I'm not clear on: are we going by Redwall rules or Zootopia rules in terms of size? Are mice the size of actual mice compared to everything else, or are mice just the smallest race, but more like kobolds small compared to hares?

Quote

Okay, so I'm going to cut off one axis of the Alignment system. Should it be law vs. chaos, or good vs evil? I'm leaning towards Law vs Chaos, but what do you guys think?

I'd always favor cutting off good vs evil. Law and Chaos are more objective - it's a way of judging the likelyhood someone has of following the rules laid out to them. It's hard to argue whether or not someone does that. Good vs. Evil, on the other hand, is much more subjective except when you're talking happy huggy vs. super awful.

Hares: Just on a first brusth, waaay too many bonuses on diplomacy. I'd totally play one, make it a bard, and go full diplomancer - which isn't as broken in Pathfinder as DnD, but still can get pretty stupid. Especially powerful is the "Shift up to 3 steps" part - they can take a hostile creature to friendly pretty quick. I'd keep Urbanite, that's a nice situational plus 2.
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2017, 03:49:25 PM »

I'd also favour Law vs Chaos over Good vs Evil. The reasoning that shapes up my preference is pretty simple; what is good? At first it seems easy to answer; to help others, to be selfless, etc. But then, these acts beg further questioning; am I helping another commit evil? Am I putting all my energy and care into a purpose that is evil? Or maybe the purpose the character feels he is working for/towards is good, but really is evil (Think Palpatine the puppet master with Anakin, aka Darth Vader).
Whereas you can say if something is orderly or not. If someone is naturally inclined to defy authority or not. Etc.

Don't know if that made any sense?
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2017, 05:18:09 PM »

Xathan

Okay, I'm not the biggest fan of tiny animal settings in general, even though I made one once - it's just not my thing. So take this with a grain of salt. I'm interested to see how it shapes up, but wanted you to know the angle I'm coming from.

One thing I'm not clear on: are we going by Redwall rules or Zootopia rules in terms of size? Are mice the size of actual mice compared to everything else, or are mice just the smallest race, but more like kobolds small compared to hares?

So the perspective for this setting is set from the perspective of the animal races. A Panorahn Badger would probably be roughly small sized in stature from our perspective, but from theirs, they are actually quite large, and would be on the higher end of the medium spectrum. Mice are really the only "small" race in this setting, and they are larger than normal house mice. I would say they are roughly 6" tall from our perspective on average. Magic has a huge role in the evolution of these creatures, and the world around them, so that's why things are different.

Xathan

I'd always favor cutting off good vs evil. Law and Chaos are more objective - it's a way of judging the likelyhood someone has of following the rules laid out to them. It's hard to argue whether or not someone does that. Good vs. Evil, on the other hand, is much more subjective except when you're talking happy huggy vs. super awful.

This is too true. I think good vs evil works in more lighthearted fantasy, but when you're going with a more mature setting, you should probably just dump it. Not that I think that evil doesn't exist, but there is always a gray area, and if you're not mature enough to understand that, then the whole situation just turns cartoonish.

Xathan

Hares: Just on a first brusth, waaay too many bonuses on diplomacy. I'd totally play one, make it a bard, and go full diplomancer - which isn't as broken in Pathfinder as DnD, but still can get pretty stupid. Especially powerful is the "Shift up to 3 steps" part - they can take a hostile creature to friendly pretty quick. I'd keep Urbanite, that's a nice situational plus 2.

Yeah, you're right. I noticed this before posting them. Still I like the idea of a "diplomancer". There aren't any traits for improved hearing, or else I would've taken that.
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