Archive for Worlds of Whimsy

Worlds of Whimsy Addendum: Makai Knight and Makai Priest

Where there is light, shadows lurk and fear reigns.

Yet by the blade of knights, mankind was given hope.

So, a while back I got most of my IRL gaming group interested in a live-action show called Garo and it’s sequels.  The concept is basically modern fantasy – if an object becomes infused with enough negative karma, it can act as a gateway for demons from the Makai, which is basically an alternate plane of magic and evil.  These demons then come through and possess or replace people to feed on humans.  There is an ancient order of protectors that then fight them in secret to send them back where they came from: the Makai Knights, who fight them with sword and armor, and Makai Priests, who use magic and hand-to-hand combat.

If the explanation seems confusing, here’s a short music video done using footage from one of the movies and the original opening song, which should give an idea of what goes on:

Side note, the original series was recently licensed by Kraken Releasing so give it a buy when it finally comes out!

Anyways, they were interested in actually making a Makai Knight character and put a bug in my ear about a homebrew class for Pathfinder.  Inspiration struck, and I sat down and worked out the mechanics for the Makai Knight, drawing on all the various series to attempt to cover all the capabilities they’ve shown, and break it down into a meaningful progression, and in an at least hopefully somewhat balanced way.

Like the Black Blade archetype for Magus, a lot of the class’s power are tied into the sword and armor that they essentially get for free – however, there is a time limit on usage of their full power.  In-show, if they wore the armor for over 99.9 seconds, it would attempt to devour them, and I tried to simulate that in-game as well, as a limiter on the power of “free magic items.”

As the Makai Priest is tied so strongly i concept to the Knight, I then worked out a class to try and properly represent the priests as well, borrowing heavily from the Witch, which they were thematically close to already.

For purposes of this post, I’ve put them into PDF form, to preserve formatting and allow for printouts for use at the game table.

Enjoy!

Makai Knight class for Pathfinder/d20

Makai Priest class for Pathfinder/d20

Worlds of Whimsy Addendum: Cybertronians

As promised, here is a writeup of a Transformer-like race for use in Pathfinder!  I borrowed a bit from the IDW background, but otherwise tried to make it fit in a Pathfinder-style universe naturally.  For reference, this was designed around 20 Racial Points(excluding the alternate mode trait) when referring to the Advanced Racial Guide, and the costs of each trait are noted below.  This means that it’s built for higher power campaigns, but not to the level of pure cheese ideally.

 

Cybertronian

Cybertronians are a race of mechanical outsiders that originated when a portion of Mechanus was merged with a portion of the Prime Material Plane. While it is known what happened, the cause has been lost to the mists of time – whether it be a mage’s experiment, or the aftereffect of a clash between deities.

Physically, they appear much like metal men in armor. Each Cybertronian is different however, whether it be in color, or the design of their limbs and body. Some even do not appear to have a normal mouth or face, although in such cases they are still able to speak normally though other components inside their heads.

New Cybertronians are actually born from the ground of their homeland itself. Every so many hundred years, a portion of the landscape will light up with new sparks, which are then harvested and placed into generic bodies that they have nicknamed protoforms. The body will then mold to the unique characteristics of each spark, resulting in a fully formed and cognizant adult Cybertronian.

Currently they are governed by a Senate in name, but the Senate in turn unofficially answers to a faction calling themselves the Functionists. The Functionists argue for a return to the strict caste-based society styled after Mechanus, where every Cybertronian has their place and can never change it, barring exceptional circumstances. There are rumors of a gladiator and former miner beginning to gather an army to oppose them, but others have left for distant lands to escape the Functionists’ oppression.

Basic Racial Traits

– Ability Score Racial Traits: Cybertronians are strong and hardy, due to their mechanical nature, but this also inhibits their ability to relate to a degree. As a result, they gain +2 to Strength and Constitution, but a -2 to Charisma (1 RP)
– Size: Cybertronians are medium creatures by default, granting them no bonuses or penalties.
– Base Speed: Cybertronians have a base speed of 30 feet.
– Languages: Cybertronians begin play speaking Common and Neocybex. Additional possible languages are: Draconic, Elven, Dwarven, Orc, Undercommon, Infernal, Celestial
– Senses: Cybertronians have Darkvision out to 60′. (3 RP)
Other Racial Abilities

– Constructed: For the purposes of effects targeting creatures by type (such as a ranger’s favored enemy and bane weapons), Cybertronians count as both Outsider(native) and constructs. Cybertronians gain a +4 racial bonus on all saving throws against mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, and stun effects, are not subject to fatigue or exhaustion, and are immune to disease and sleep effects. (2 RP)
– Metal body: Cybertronian bodies are made of a strange alloy that no smith has yet been able to replicate. Due to this. they gain Damage Reduction 5/magic, as well as Resistance 5 against cold, fire, and acid. However, the nature of their construction also causes Vulnerability to electric attacks. (5 RP)
– Spark: Unlike other construct-like creatures, Cybertronians have a soul, but it is not quite the same as that of most biological beings. This grants them 5 resistance vs negative energy and a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against death effects, energy drain, negative energy, and spells or spell-like abilities of the necromancy school. They also do not lose HP with negative levels gained. (3 RP)
– Arcane Adaptation: Due to their origins in a magical experiment, Cybertronians are sometimes able to shrug off magical effects that would otherwise harm them. They naturally have a spell resistance of 6 + character level. (2 RP)
– Natural Weaponry: Cybertronians are able to tranform their hand and forearm into a powerful weapon as a free action. This allows them the use of “Scorching Ray” as an at-will ability based on their character level. (4 RP)

– Alternate Mode: All Cybertronians have an alternate form they can take. It takes a standard action to change between forms. At creation, choose one of the following options:

  • Vehicle: You take the form of a mechanical vehicle of some fashion. You gain either 120′ ground move, 90′ flight(average), or 120′ swim, chosen at creation, but are unable to attack or manipulate objects. You may carry one passenger of Small size or smaller.
  • Animal: You take on the form of an animal. Treat this as Beast Shape I, except that the choices are made at creation and cannot be changed. Also, all traits of this race are kept in this form except for the Natural Weaponry trait.

– Mode Rescan: On leveling, a Cybertronian may replace their alternate mode with a different one. However, this requires much focus and strain on the body, and takes a week’s time to complete. During this time the Cybertronian will be unconcious and cannot be woken while their body reconfigures itself to its new form.

 

Racial Feats

Additional Alternate Mode: Prereq: Cybertronian, BAB +10 – Gain an additional alternate mode.

Combat Vehicle: Prereq: Cybertronian, Vehicle alternate mode, BAB +5 – You may now use the Natural Weaponry racial trait while in your alternate mode.

 

Race Traits

Stasis Lock – Once per day, when you are dying you may automatically stabilize by entering Stasis Lock.

Beast Skin: Prereq: Animal alt mode – When transformed, you only count as the racial type of your alt mode.  e.g. if you have a leopard alt mode you count as a Beast in alternate mode, and no longer count as outsider or construct for the purposes of spells and abilities such as Bane.

 

Variants

Giant Robot: Increase size to Large, with all benefits and penalties.  Note that while this is closer to the actual Cybertronian concept, it carries with it drawbacks due to living in a Medium-sized world.  It is considered more powerful as well due to the combat benefits it provides.

Pretender: Add an additional alternate mode that must be a standard humanoid.  While in this mode, you lose the Natural Weaponry and Metal Body racials, and you can only access robot mode from this mode.  Similarly, you can only enter this mode from robot mode.

Fuzors: Combine traits from two animals into a single alternate mode.  Gain all applicable movement speeds, taking the best of each type.  Repeat for natural attacks. Note that you must be able to come up with a valid way to combine these, such as combining a wolf and an eagle to get a griffon-like wolf.  The end result must be medium-sized(or large-sized if using the Giant Robot variant above).

Minicons: If a Cybertronian gains a familiar, treat it like the Tumor Familiar discovery for Alchemists. Note that this does not apply to beast companions, which must still follow all standard rules for such.  The Familiar also receives the Constructed and Metal Body racial abilities as above.

Worlds of Whimsy #3 – Transelvenism

The third universe I’ll spotlight was inspired by a comment I’d read elsewhere, about how Tokein-style elves tend to live as if they were in a post-scarcity society.  Said topic also pointed out that elves were sort of the ultimate expression of how a wizard might view himself:  Supremely intelligent and magical, but no one bothered to allocate for strength, and thus the idea blossomed:  a world where (almost) all the fantasy races are actually magically modified humans.

The world of Aureial

It all started with a small magical college hidden away in a forest enchanted for their protection.  Some wizard or other, whose identity was long since lost, finally managed to perfect safely using permanent alteration magic that did not require a pre-existing template, ie. you could actually make someone taller or shorter, without having to copy something else, and it stuck, even through dispels and dead magic zones.

With the possibility of transhumanism looking them in the face, they all got together and discussed not whether it should be used, but how.  Being scholars of the magical variety, they considered things like magical ability, intelligence and sharpness of senses, but gave the shortest shrift to physical needs apart from general health and longetivity concerns, eventually by consensus hashing out the template for what would become known as an elf, after the college’s original name.

And so overnight the college wizards and those of their families that were willing became the first elves.

As others interested in the procedure heard, a small town, then a city grew up around the village as more people signed up to be enhanced int he same ways, extending their lives and magical ability.  As the town grew, the council of elders that had been the first converted found they were having trouble keeping up with the demand for raw materials.  There was a nearby mining town that they had friendly relations with who had been able to keep up at first, but the men grew tired and weary faster trying to keep up the pace.  The cramped tunnels also led to issues with injuries slowing things down further.

One of the newer elves then came up with the bright idea of “well if we can improve ourselves for the life we wants, why can we not do the same for the miners?”  So decided, he traveled to the mining town and set up a doctor’s office there, and as he healed the people he examined the nature of the injuries and problems that they ran into.

It took the better part of two years for him to put together the template, whereupon without consulting with the council he took it upon himself to approach the mining company leaders.  Like the elven city, the mines were run by a coalition of elders, each representing a clan of highlander humans who had come here to try and improve their families fortunes.  After listening to the young elf, living proof that his plan was possible, they sent him away without a response.

What followed was a heated argument just short of a brawl among the greying, firey-beared folk.  They were a very earthy and practical folk, but some were uncertain about what they would be giving up in exchange for this “gift” of the elf’s.  Eventually, the decided to send a runner to the elven city, which was already starting to become the capital of a small nation as settlements were already beginning to take shape on the edges of the forest.

The council was at first aghast at what the young prodigal had come up with.  How dare he look at modifying others without permission!  After sending the messenger away they debated it for several days, only taking breaks for the restful meditation they had engineered to replace the waste of time called sleep.  Then, they called the young elf in and had him present his designs before them in each and every detail, follwoed by more discussion, with the designer included this time.  Finally, they came to an agreement that they would provide the changes, but only to the clans that would agree to supply them in turn with the materials for their new towns as payment.

When the messenger returned with this news, he was met with trepidation, as now the decision was firmly in the miners’ court.  Gathering once more in the mead hall, they spent the night in deliberations.  The elves had proved in their success thus far that there was merit in moving beyond the current limitations of the human body, but those who accepted the deal would have to live with the consequences, including this supply deal. In the end, but the time the sun rose to shine on tired faces, they had decided.  A couple clans were going to leave to start anew far form here, but the 8 remaining clans would accept the elven gift; making them stronger, hardier, and more suited to the world of the mines, under the earth itself.  They would become one with the rock in ways no unmodified human would ever know.

And so was created the first 8 Great Clans of dwarves, the ancestors of the modern dwarven race.

And thus the elven empire began to grow apace over the years in a slow but steady expansion, buoyed by the knowledge and magical might of the elves and the sturdy, hard-working dwarves toiling away at mines and forges, shaping metal and stone in the service of the growing nation.  There were even small villages of unmodified humans who sought safety within those borders, protected from the chaos of the human nations warring back and forth.  In a matter of decades however, the elves found their borders pressing up against those of an aggressive human warlord.

At first there were just minor skirmishes, but as the warlord took the measure of his inhuman rivals he began to send larger forces in to ransack and pillage the towns of anything not nailed down.  While the cost in human life grew, even worse in elven eyes were those of their own kind lost. While they were only maybe a generation removed from the first elves at this time, seeing the “base” humans be born, grow old, and die had lent the younger elves a sense of superiority, and the loss of one who would have lived as many as 900 more years was more harshly felt than the mayfly-like 60-year lifespan of their human subjects.  Eventually the local authorities demanded something must be done!

The elder council, mostly still consisting of those original elves, pondered the problem.  These bodies, while ideal in their eyes, did not lend themselves to fighting wars, and while the dwarves were stout and hardy, they were not well suited to quick offensive campaigns of this nature.  Something new was required.

The elf who had designed the dwarves had been awarded a council position for his earlier efforts, and once again was the one who brought up the idea of modification once more.  Just as elves were suited for strategizing and magical might, and dwarves for hardiness and endurance, why not create a design for combat as well?  Create an army that would break the teeth of this human’s offensive, then wash over him in a wave and end his threat to precious elven life?

While a few of the council who still remembered where they had came from dithered, the majority agreed with a minimum of discussion.  But where would they create this army from?

They put out a call for volunteers, but most elves were not willing to give up their gifts in defense of their homeland.  In fact, it was one of those rejecting the call to arms that brought up the solution:  convert he criminal!

Despite having been “improved” elves still had that core of humanity in them, try as they might to deny it, and so there were criminals.  Not as many, given that imprisonment and execution were far harsher to folk that may live hundreds of years, but they existed.  As well, the human population had those among them who would fight and steel jsut to put one up on their “betters” wherever they could.

With an actual source of manpower now, a small committee was formed to come up with the template for their new soldier.  Strong and quick on their feet, but ultimately not as intelligent to reduce the risk of them reverting to their original tendancies.  An inclination to loyalty would be helpful there as well, and given the terrain, a green skin would help with camoflauge.  They had to be tough, but should also mature fast, to replace losses quickly in any future wars.  It meant a reduction in their overall lifespan as well, but that would also help them to forget their origins quicker in favor of serving the empire.

A fortnight later, the first orcs exploded from the elven empire and wiped the uppity human warlord from existence, his name forever lost to history.

And so the great elven empire grew, displacing and absorbing the human nations surrounding it.  A ruling class of elves ruled over all, and under them the dwarves toiled and the orcs patrolled to serve their elven masters, while normal humans eked out an existence in the smaller farming villages and towns between the cities.

In the capital however, progress marched on, and further discoveries were made.  Over time, fewer and fewer elves were seen outside the great magical cities dotting the landscape as teleportation was perfected, as was the magical creation of materials from the ether itself.  The vilages along what had once been thriving trade routes found themselves in a increasingly dangerous situation as the flow of good and traffic dried up; eventually taking up trade directly with the dwarves in their underground homes.  With the absence of elven oversight, the orcs began to demand tribute from the villages as well for “protection,” more often from themselves than from any outside threat.  And the elves were oblivious to it all, in their figurative ivory towers of plenty.

It only took a couple human generations for the empire to collapse down to several major cities, protected by legions of orcs and swerved by dwarves, connected only by teleportation while small human fiefdoms sprung up between them of the former farmers and servants.

Ultimately it was the daughter of the elf behind the orcs and dwarves that shook things out of the tentative balance that had been maintained for a couple hundred years.  It was she that uncovered the secret of not just binding spirits to inorganic shells, but the actual creation of new life to inhabit it.  Her research had begun as a way to repair an old golem that had been created ages ago as a guard for the estate.  It had been badly damaged protecting her from a rogue orc, and she had been trying to repair it to it’s original state.

She was tired and getting sloppy near the end of her work however, and when she misspoke a word, instead of just energizing the dormant form, it awoke it as well.  When it spoke its first words, her fatigue was suddenly gone, replaced with wonder and a bit of fear of what she had just done.

The two spend the next several weeks sequestered as she ran every test she could think up, and finally could only come to the conclusion that she had somehow created life within it.  Troubled, she brought it before the city councilors, unsure of what to do with her discovery.

After sending her and the golem away, the council spent several more days debating what to do next.  The original elves had all finally passed, and the new ones were of a more manipulative bent.  Each had taken whatever measures necessary to place themselves on the council, as they’d all seen themselves as better than the rest.  As such, the first discussion was whether it would be feasible to move their selves to new bodies like these that never wore down and could always be repaired.

After another presentation by and dismissal of the creator, they decided against this, as it also meant a loss of the simple pleasures of the flesh, and they were too enamored of their current luxurious lives to risk giving it up yet.  However, another idea was then presented.  Rather than depending on the increasingly unreliable orcs for protection, they could replace them with an army of these golems, forged for war.  In addition, while most of the dwarves had left with the replacement of their services by magical means, eliminating the orcs meant the cities could be pure of all non-elves, and reach a perfection hitherto unimagined.

Thus decided, they brought the creator back in and charged her with creation of a great forge to create a race of these new “warforged” for their protection.  While she was hesitant at first to create a race of permanent servants, they played with her fear of orcs from that day long ago, and before long the green-skinned soldiers were forced out into the wilderness by crystalline and metallic bodies.

While some of the orcs form the satelite cities went full bandit, the orcish general of the Capital army managed to keep most of her army under her command.  Angry and prideful, she marched her forces to the gates of Dwarvenhome, the great underground city that had once in ages long past been a small mining town of highland folk.  To the dwarves’ surprise however, rather than attach she sent an emmisary, offering a truce.

While orc lives were typically short, she had heard tales form her father’s father’s father’s time of how the dwarves had been phased out in favor of magical appliances that ran themselves, forcing them to leave long-held craftsman positions and make a life for themselves away from the great elven cities.  This general was also more intelligent than most other orcs, a fact she had hid form her elven superiors, and now she envisioned a world where it was the elves and orcs who enjoyed the fruits of the elven society that they had been denied.

In the end, only about half of the Council of Ten Hammers agreed, but it was enough.  Deep below, arcane forges belched ash and hammers sung out the song of war approaching, as alloys the elves had never known were molded into sword and axe, honed to an edge fine enough to slice the remaining puppet strings dangling from elven fingers.

The war that followed of elf and orc, warforged and dwarf, was so destructive that any remaining records of it were wiped form living memory; even that of the long-lived elves and dwarves.  Int eh end, the great cities fell, and the magical knowledge that had allowed them to exist was likewise lost to sword and fire.  The very ground itself rose up, rearranging the face of the world. Dwarvenhome was likewise lost to the depths, taking with it most of the knowledge of dwarven forging, leaving the remaining dwarves with the hows but not the whys to allow them to advance any further until they could rediscover everything once more.

The orcish general’s daughter led the remaining orcs in the final battle of the war, her mother long since lost to old age.  When the dust settled, not a thing there stirred, the landscaped scarred and paved with bones and metal, unchanging to the present day.  Without a strong leader, the remaining orcs broke up into nomadic tribes, while the dwarves sought out new homes under mountains that had not existed a hundred years before.  The elves, shaken and traumatized as a people sought the forests and a more natural lifestyle, albeit enhanced by magic to present a shadow of their former luxury.

The warforged themselves were supposedly all destroyed in the great war, but about a human generation later new ones began to appear.  They had no memory of where they came from other than a masked humanoid of some type and a great forge, but as they seemed to have no ties to the old elven empire, they were gradually accepted by most of the other races.  Orcs were the one exception, as like the elves the war had traumatized the entire race, leading them to blame the warforged for everything wrong with the world as it exists now.

In the aftermath of the Great War other, new races also began to appear, possibly created by the fallout of the strength of the magic used and destroyed in that war.  The enigmatic gnomes, snivling kobolds, and the more compact halflings and goblins that originated from an area of humans and orcs caught in the backwash from a sudden release of great magical energy.

Other animals and creatures were changed as well, resulting in the magical menagerie that confounds modern magical scholars.  But history and life moves on, as it has a wont to do.  Groups of explorers now travel a changed world, following rumors of ancient elven fortresses that escaped destruction or tantalizing hints of magical artifacts from that lost age.

 

Yeah, I know, there’s no explicitly defined origin for Dragonborn or Tieflings, but it’d be easy enough to work in an origin if one was needed beyond “magic fallout” – especially if kobolds are tied to dragons.  Still, a Pathfinder/D&D-based world that explains some of the tropes without destroying the setting by following them to their logical conclusion – by the fact they already did once, and look where that got them!  The war also acts as a good place to slip any additions in, since it can act like the Black History of Turn A Gundam in terms of “this exists” without having to explain why.

Either way, I hope it was an interesting read, and someone somewhere gets a good campaign out of it!

Worlds of Whimsy #2 – World of the Oldest Magic

The world I’d like to discuss this time is more fantasy-oriented this time in the classic sense.  I crafted this one out in more detail than the previous one as I actually thought of it in game terms from the start.  I actually had several stories planned, but after I wrote the first one I found out trying to plot the second I didn’t have a good feel of where it was actually going.  Still, this is a world I’d hate to see go to waste.

Obviously given the name, the first thing I’d like to cover is the way magic works here.  From a high level it’s like what’s called Vancian magic, aka the way magic worked until 4th edition D&D, with daily limits and all.  The way it works however is much less abstract.

In this world, most spells take a long time to cast from scratch, like several minutes at least.  The way casters work around this is they go through most of the cast, but leave a crucial piece out, such as a certain word or gesture.  Doing this right allows them to “hang” the spell mentally and complete it at any time with the missing piece.  The higher level the spell, the harder it is to master and prepare, and there’s only so many “attachment points” to hang spells off of, which gives the effect of Vancian magic, while allowing a few ways to bypass it for story reasons.

There’s another piece to the nature of magic that calls back to old school D&D too.  Metal can ground magic, like a Faraday cage, preventing it form being used on armored targets in a lot of cases, and obviously preventing casters from having a significant amount of metal covering them.  There is an exception however, a type of magic user called a warlock.  They can still use magic even while in armor, but it’s a rare hereditary gift, and those who can are usually feared by the mundanes and full casters alike.

Magic is also not too uncommon at the lower levels, but becomes rarer at higher levels.  Most towns for example may have access to level 1 spells and cantrips – think town healer with “Cure Light Wounds” or streetlamps with the “Light” spell.  Level 2 and 3 spells are typically only found in larger cities and are fairly rare outside that.  There’s little publicly known of level 4 or 5 spells, other than nationwide heroes are typically the only ones capable of such feats, and the spell libraries supporting them are typically kept in kingdom libraries or by royal magisters, away from those who would use them against the kingdom.

The highest and oldest magic however is fertility-based, and requires lovers who are willing to give fully of themselves to each other.  At the time of the story, this had been lost among the younger races, and only the dragons still held the secrets of such magic.  This would have been part of the twist in the end.  As such however, it’s not anything that need ever come up in a game due to its rarity, unless your game is already inclined in that direction of course.

While dragons are something that will be covered in the timeline, there is another side to all this.  The world at the time of this writing is on the cusp of a scientific and technological expansion, and age of exploration.  The smaller towns are still at the typical Fantasy tech level, but as you enter bigger populations, you’re more likely to see tech working in tandem with magic, leading more towards a steampunk level of things.  Guns exist, but are still fairly crude, and mostly in use among the kobolds.

Speaking of which, the intelligent races on this world aren’t necessarily the Tolkein defaults.  Well, some do start that way, but with little twists.

  • Humans are fairly similar to humans everywhere, as usual, but they are improvisers and are the most likely to mix technology and magic
  • Elves are all dark-skinned and are the survivors of an ancient magical empire that was lost in a cataclysmic event that shaped the world they know today.  They are not a forest people, and live in the remains of their crumbling cities.
  • Dwarves are still very traditional and clannish, but they don’t care about gems and other shinies.  They live for metalworking, and like their creations, they are very slow to change.
  • Orcs in the “modern” day can best be likened to gypsys.  They travel the land, calling no land their home, living out of wagons and making their way through life as they will.  There may be a few marauding tribes out there still, but they have little relation to the wagon-traveling orcs.
  • Kobolds in this world are tinkers and inventors.  Think tinker gnomes, except their inventions actually work!  They are the ones primarily driving the technical revolution, as spellcasters of their race are few and far between, much like dwarves.

The last and juciest bit is the timeline, which stretches back 2500 years from the modern day.

  • -2000 CE(Common Era) – A golden age of magic-as-tech. Elven empires spanned the world, with draconic advisors to guide them. Dwarves were isolationist and buried deep beneath their mountain, using the natural iron to keep elven magics out.  With nothing left to conquer or explore, the elves began to focus their vision outward, to other stars and planes.
  • -1000 CE – So far most worlds or planes visited have been barren of intelligent life. Elven advancement in most fields ceases, apart from entertainment, as they begin to lose the motivation for further advancement
  • -500 CE – An unknown elven mage stumbles onto a planet with beings much like themselves, but with rounded ears, and a lifeforce that burns brighter than theirs, but faster in equal measure.

    They send an envoy using magic to hide his ears. He lives among these “humans” as they call themselves for a time, and helps found a kingdom to spread the elven ways. Things go wrong and he is forced to flee back through the gate, but not before taking as many folks as he can from the kingdom before it was destroyed, using mists to hide his escape. The elf’s name was Myrlyn.

  • -250 CE – The small foothold of human civilization quickly expands into a small kingdom on this new(to-them) world. However, they are also reckless with the new knowledge they uncover. With elven and draconic help, most of the arcane disasters were kept on a small scale. Dragons on the other hand have begun to retreat back over the sea to their homeland, as if they sense some great disaster approaching.
  • -100 CE – A particularly gifted human is born. Recognizing his potential, the elves take him fully under wing and guide his studies. While still young however, he stumbles across the old portal used to bring humankind to this world. He hides this fact from the elves, but begins to focus on dimensional studies
  • -50 CE – Curious, the mage took all his knowledge and attempted to open the portal himself, secretly, although last time it had taken a full council of elves. He almost succeeds, but as the elves arrive to try and stop him, the energies go out of control and instead a portal is opened to a desert land. Before they can close it, a ban of green-skinned marauders rides through, slaughtering the mage and his elven teachers. Before long, more come through as the marauders hold off the elven warriors, unused to hard battle after centuries of peace, and the first elven-orc war begins
  • 0CE – In a last ditch effort to close the portal, the most learned elven mages take the ley lines that run through the portal and forcibly relocate the nexus. As the ley lines chaotically re-arrange themselves, magic goes wild. The mountain underneath the dwarven capital erupts, wiping out the city and the royal family. Cities that had been floating found themselves rocketing into space, or crashing into the ground below. Persistant spells and magical effects themselves vanished, to reappear elsewhere, or in some rare cases even took on a life of their own.

    The portal is destroyed, but at the cost of most of the elven civilization, and those that remained were shaken by what they had done. It had changed them all on a fundamental level; the skin of every elf alive had turned a dusky color, as if covered in ash.

  • 100CE – Within a few human generations or one elven generation, the fallout from the ley line changes had settled, leaving much about magic changed in its wake. The arcane was no longer as easily accessible, requiring great precision and concentration to mold even the simplest of effects, compared to the marvels that were once experienced daily.

    Dwarven society had broken up along clan lines, and for their own survival had reached out to the neighboring human settlements, providing worked iron tools in exchange for supplies and food.

    While orc raiders were still a problem, humanity had brought their science to bear and started looking for non-magical solutions, even as the elves who were only now entering the prime of their life bemoaned their lost society.

    The elves themselves had remained behind the walls of the cities that had survived up until this point, but as they felt the ley lines settle they began to venture out again into the changed world, making contact once more with the humans. They found a less-than hospitable welcome from most dwarves however, as they (rightly) blamed the elves for the destruction of their former capital.

  • 150 CE – A particularly frustrated human mage discovers how to “prepare” spells by leaving them unfinished, and nearly blows up his own home. He shares this discovery and founds a magickal college in the capital of the human Terian Empire, Duskhold. This starts a magical renaissance of sorts over the next century as human and elf explore the limits of this technique.

    Orcs begin to “settle down” into caravans as their most aggressive are weeded out over and over, and become a race of nomadic travelers, travelling the land in wagon caravans trading(and stealing) what they need.

  • 200 CE – A particularly ambitious human king attempts to re-unite the continent in his name, using this new magical knowledge. He nearly succeeds, but the dragons, not having been seen in nearly a hundred years, return in force and raze his stronghold to the ground. His son, much wiser and less ambitious takes his place and the empire fragments into several kingdoms and Fiefdoms. Most of the dragons return to their homeland across the sea, but a small group stays behind, settling among the mountains.
  • 350CE – First appearance of kobolds among the worldly races. Even more energetic and short-lived than humans, they combine that with the touch for metal that dwarves have. Great inventors, but not great at refining ideas. They kick off a small scientific renaissance not unlike the magical one earlier. While the elves longed for their magics, and the dwarves were too stubborn to take advantage of most of the new tech, humans combined it with their magical knowledge and began to explore the world once more.
  • 547CE – Present day.

And there began the story of a human warlock and his dragon lover-to-be.  That story series would not have had huge repercussions outside the barony the warlock had been near to inheriting.  In the end, in the other portion of the twist, the magics would have changed him as well and he would have become fully dragon in both body and soul as the price for what he had asked.

This one would make a fairly good campaign setting I think.  And who knows, maybe it will someday, on the game tables of the folk reading this, or maybe even my own!

Someday.

Worlds of Whimsy #1 – Free Traders Universe

Well, what do ya know!  I didn’t notice until I was going to write this that this was going to be the 50th post, but that’s a rather auspicious start.

Anyways, I’ve noticed lately I haven’t had much to write about, as life is continuing on without major changes, I haven’t had any grand ideas to ponder, and art’s pretty much on hold pending the new reference sheet.  It just so happens I was pondering a world design mixing up dragons with Star Trek and maybe Spelljammer and Shadowrun, and it hit me that I tend to do this on and off sometimes.  I’ll come up with this grand new idea of r a world or timeline or something, maybe start to write a story(or even finish it!) and then end up dropping it.  I don’t really want to be a GM so the only way I can really bring them to life usually would be via story or art.  Art usually isn’t that great for something like this without a bunch of it(which would get rather expensive) and with writing I’ve found I tend to work best with short stories, and I would need a strong story idea to get myself to finish it.

Then it hit me that I could put them out here!  Write out these fancy ideas and flesh them out, and while I may not be able to give them life, maybe someone else later will come along and build off that in their home games, and make it live!

I’m actually torn on what to show off for the first posting though.  I think I’ll start off with one of my more recent world-building attempts, although techncially I suppose it’s actually a couple worlds.

The Free Traders Universe

This was actually the setting(s) for an aborted story series based in the Spelljammer ruleset and setting.  It was supposed to follow the adventure of a small 4-man crew of a spelljamming vessel. They were rather unique though, especially a couple of them that I basically had to (or wanted to) create their own worlds because of them.  First, the ship!

Lazy Sue

Swordfish-class
4xStandard room = 2 tons
Helm room = 1 tons
Galley = .5
basic Engineering = 1.5 tons
5 tons + cargo
10% rigging
10% frame

12 tons
9.6 tons internal
4.6 tons cargo

Heavy Frame – Dark Wood
Dark Woof Hull
Pyre Iron plating
Pyre Iron piercing ram

Maneuver C
AC 25
hardness 12
345 HP

 

I never got as far as making deck plans apart from a general idea of what was where.  She was crewed thoguh as I said by four folk:

The Captain was a standard womanizing rogueish half-elf.  Nothing special at first, though more may have been revealed later.

The navigator was a dragonwrought kobold, giving them a mini-dragon on the crew.  She likewise wasn’t supposed to harbor much in the way of dark secrets, but had been doing this a while at the start. Her homeworld would have been based in the Council of Wyrms setting.

The weapons master on the other hand was one of those two special cases.  He was basically a warforged in game terms, but he was ultimately a proxy Transformer.  So, one of the few worlds I somewhat fleshed out is:

Forged Homeworld
(Cybertron of Universal Stream Draconix 313.16 Iota)

The history of this world mirrors the Primax 984.17 Alpha(G1 cartoon) history, after a fashion, given the presence of magic.  Forged were created to be warriors, like Eberron, and laborers.  The countries that gave birth to them however went to war with one another, and practically destroyed the planet.  The Forged finished the job, and left, their creators and their entire homeworld having been seemingly lost.  They started blaming one another and the war-restarted among the stars, with the Forged taking sides in part based upon their old loyalties, while others left to find their own way.  The other spelljamming races don’t look at the “out-of-control machines” with kindness, needless to say, though their reception could be anywhere from a cool neutral stance, to outright jailing, which would have been a plot point at one of the worlds they would have visited.

 

The artificer and ship’s engineer was the newbie, and the initial audiance perspective member.  She was also rather out of the ordinary, in that she was a felitaur.  In other words, like a centaur except her lower half was fully feline and her upper half was a humanized feline, in typical furry fasion.  Similar to chakats, but without being a herm or any of the baggage that term brings.

I didn’t flesh out her world much, other than it was a Realms-like world, but with more taurs and fewer bipeds.

I did put some thought into the first part of their story, which I originally planned to be from the Transforged’s PoV.

Giasin

This world was intended to borrow from a mix of La Gias(SRW), Panzer World Galient, and Turn A Gundam.  The world itself was meant to parallel the Forged homeworld just before its final war, except instead of self-aware mechanoids they’d uncovered ancient giant piloted mecha and tried to copy it with their magitek technology.  The Lazy Sue would have been seized to be used in their war, but the Transforged character would have broken the “PCs” out and helped them escape onto their next stop.

 

The next stop would have been the Council of Wyrms setting, and there would have been little change if any.  The story would have been told form the kobold’s PoV as she had run away form this world, and was now returning to it, though not entirely of her own accord.

There would have been one more intermediate stop, likely at a space station equivalent, before returning around to the taur’s PoV and their final destination.  I didn’t get far enough along to flesh out this world either, other than the story here would play with a plot along the lines of “Yesterday’s Enterprise” from Star Trek, mixed with a quarantined planet and a dying or dead Spacejammer.

I lost interest as I was trying to start the second chapter, and as no one else seemed really interested either, I let it die at that point and moved on.  I’d still like to plat a Draconix stream Cybertronian at some point, if a GM will let me though.

 

The next entry will probably also be a revival of an old story setting, but unlike this, it’ll be a single world as such.  Like this setting, I only got one story and the start of another written before I lost the thread of the story, though it was more I knew what I wanted in the ending but couldn’t see a good way to get there.

Also, as a reassurance this isn’t replacing any other ideas I might write about.  This will simply be something else I write about or for now and then in addition to posts about art, life, philosophy, and so on.