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Author Topic: Crystal Sphere Collaboration  (Read 3803 times)
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Snakes in the Tiki Lounge
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« on: 09 December 2010, 03:24:39 »

A New World

The multiversal setting I used for my campaigns, my own private version of 'The Great Wheel' has enough space for a dazzling, impossible number of different prime material planes and even some degree of conflicting cosmic ordering.

With that in mind, I thought it might be interesting to put together a world slightly differently, just to see how it might turn out. Which is to say, to design it in a collaboration with my players, past and present.

Here's the plan for the first stage -  
  • Design the Gods
  • The Gods choose their people
  • The Gods affect the formation of the world

Designing a God and his Chosen People.

This is two separate steps, technically, but it's probably worth considering them both together.

The God
The Gods form in the endless Astral Sea, to find creation still settling around them. Distantly they perceive a world taking place, ever changing as the Primordials play chaotically with the fabric of reality. The Gods will drive the primordials back to the elemental Chaos, stabilising the world and allowing true life to take hold.

You choose the aspect and general feel of the God, for example their general appearance and what kinds of thoughts or acts they would claim for their portfolio. Keep the design bold, archetypal and preferably short.
For example,
Lolth is a Goddess of shadow, Lies and Spiders. Scheming and Treachery are her commands and her clerics are a constant source of disruption in the otherwise stable society of the Drow. She appears either as a beautiful Dark-Elf, as a Drider, or occasionally as a giant, bloated spider with the face of a fiercely beautiful Dark-Elf.  

You should also choose one or two of the five colours to represent the kind of territory the God favours most strongly, as well as his general psychology. Preferably, pick one, but if you pick two, please choose one to be the God's Primary colour.

His People
You also need to choose the race that your God will place upon the world, and the kind of Civilisation they will create. The only real limitations to this are as follows;

The Race must already exist within D&D. It does not, however, need to be out of the players handbooks, though races chosen from the Monster Manuals I'd prefer to come from the section at the back that also have player-race write-ups (for example, Kenku, Goblins, Kobolds, et cetera, rather than Beholders, Dragons and so on. However, anything not covered by that do ask me about, and we'll see. Also, the races listed in the sticky-thread at the top of this forum subsection should be considered pre-approved also).

The general Cultural identity should be able to be summed up relatively simply. For example, Drow are a Machiavellian matriarchal society with a strong spider motif and a focus on family/noble houses. Similarly, you might prefer to go with a race of Orcs inspired by Ancient Greece, complete with the sporting culture and focus on male bodily beauty. Perhaps you'd rather an Atlantean society of aquatically inclined Yuan-Ti, or a mayan magi-tek culture of Lizardfolk, whose Burly warrior-class ride into battle on Golem-Like metal war-machines designed by their smaller, more gecko-like ruling-class.
If you want to write more about it, that's fine too, as long as it can be summed up like the above.

The society should match their God if possible, in the sense of the territorial and psychological implications of the Five Colour system that I will explain below. However, choose one or two Colours for the Civilisation. If the God has only one colour, At least one of the Civilisation's colours should be the same as their God. If the God has two colours, then both should match the civilisation.

The Five Colours

White
Plains
Order, Protection, Light.
   
Blue
Islands
Knowledge, Manipulation, Illusion.

Black
Swamps
Darkness, Ambition, Death.

Red
Mountains
Freedom, Emotion, Impulse.

Green
Forests
Growth, Instinct, Nature.


The Five Colours, as used in the Magic the Gathering System. The above links provide their current write-up from Wizards own website, as well as some pretty pictures.

The Formation of the World

Once we have some Gods and some Civilisations, I will move on to this step, but it should involve placing the various territories implied by the above choices, and generally nitting a world together from the inevitable interplay of the Gods, their people, and possibly one or two factions/powers I myself will be adding to the mix.

« Last Edit: 09 December 2010, 03:31:56 by Snakes in the Tiki Lounge » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: 09 December 2010, 04:46:12 »

[Example Follows, Oophaga and the Mayan Magitek utilising Lizardfolk Mechriders]

Oophaga 'the Egg-Eater'
Black
A cruel but ingenius deity, Oophaga was 'born' amidst a clutch of similar gods. Oophaga, however, awoke first, and devoured his nascent brothers before they could emerge and oppose him. Fearful of the reprisal of the other Gods, Oophaga took the remains of his many siblings and fashioned them into a facsimile of himself, only much larger and more obviously fierce. He filled the creature with life, but left only gave it a portion of his cunning, so as to insure it was no threat to him. He rode the Great Beast which he named Corzoid in the Dawn War against the Primordials.

With the primordials driven away, Oophaga created a race to serve and honour him. Once again, he based his creations upon his own form, changing certain features so that his creations could not grow to rival him. He first created them small and frail, short lived but cunning and quick to learn. He then took some of these small, nimble creatures and gave them great size and ferocity in place of their powerful minds, to take the place of his first creation (Corzoid the Great Beast), in protecting their smaller relatives. 

Oophaga venerates overcoming ones enemies by mixing both Cunning and Brute force. His colour is Black as he is values himself before others and is willing to both take big risks and do unspeakable things in furthering his cause and keeping himself fat, comfortable and safe.

  • He commands his people to create ingenius things, to spread their glorious Empire and further his own Glory by doing so.
  • Both mind and body are weapons, and you should use them against your foes without mercy.
  • Only an idiot fights fair. Use everything around you to your advantage, all that matters is that you succeed.


Mayan Magi-tek Lizardfolk
,
Black/Green

The Lizardfolk that Oophaga created are seperated into two castes. The warrior caste (represented by the Lizardfolk as presented in the monster manual and my homebrew races thread) and the smaller ruling cast. The smaller ruling caste are nimble of finger and mind, capable of creating wonderous, terrible things to further their own society. They are, however, physically frail in comparison to most races, and tend to rely quite heavily upon the Warrior caste for everything from manual labour up to fighting in the military so as to protect them and expand their territory.

Following the example of their cruel but cunning deity, the Noble caste Lizardfolk have utilized some very dangerous magical techniques with which to create large fighting machines to transform the already fearsome Lizardfolk Warriors into terrifying War-Machines. They strongly resemble metallic Golems, usually cast in the general shape of a Lizardfolk Warrior and inscribed with glowing runes and markings across the surface. In addition, rather than being automatons like traditional Golems, they are piloted by the Lizardfolk Warriors, granting the huge metallic soldiers all the cunning and martial capability of their Pilots. As the creation of these war-machines mirrors so closely the Myth of Oophaga and the Great Beast, they are called Zoids.

The Lizardfolk spawn communally in great hot pools. Most eggs hatch as Warriors, reguardless of the parents, with a relatively small percentage being born as the smaller Nobles, destined for a life of prestige and comfort. Likewise, the children are raised communally by their respective castes and it is nearly impossible to trace their heritage due to the communal nature of the spawning-pools that incubate the Lizardfolk Eggs.

Their cities are large, stone structures that thrust lazily from their swampy, forested homeland. Vast stepped pyramids dominate, with many large communally-purposed buildings for recreation and religious ceremony. The cities are carefully laid out, centrally designed and constructed and often elaborately decorated with intricate carvings depicting their Myths and Tribal Histories.

Whenever possible the Lizardfolk take slaves, rather than slaying defenceless civilians or wounded enemies in battle. These slaves are then taken back to the grand cities, but after their initial 'Training' in the dark slave-pits beneath the Temples, they reside either in the residences of their owners or in large subterrainian slave-pens beneath the city.

They frequently sacrifice live captives to Oophaga, (preferably young ones) at the top of the pyramid shaped temples. Actual violence between Lizardfolk varies however. Amongst the Noble caste, any conflict is usually political in nature. The Warrior-Caste are often violent amongst themselves, but it's very rare for the violence to escalate as far as to slay one-another, though many are left with horrendous injuries or scarring. Violence between the Noble-Caste and the Warriors is unthinkable.
« Last Edit: 09 December 2010, 21:04:46 by Snakes in the Tiki Lounge » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: 13 December 2010, 02:02:01 »

Sarahek:
black/red

Sarahek is a god of ambition, war and death. He has created a physically & mentally twisted race who crave power over all else
and will not let anyone stop them achieving their goals. He is depicted as the one true king, a withered humanoid form adorned
in a robe and crown atop a crow-like mask. He often holds a knife in one of his outstretched arms, inciting his followers to
kill for what they believe in.

Sarahek is primarily Black in nature, valuing his resourcefulness, ambition, and murderous nature. He seizes opportunities
with both hands and trusts no-one other than himself.


His People:
black/red

Sarahek created his peoples to better themselves by having only the most ruthless and conniving amongst them survive. He
crafted them in his image, Humans full with intelligence and resourcefulness.
To manufacture a constant struggle for power, Sarahek gave his people a city-castle known as The Keep. The biggest secure
fortress in the land, it is also a temple to his worship. Its' power and religious significance inspires envy and lust among
all settlements who live outside it. The current rulers of The Keep command their vast armies to patrol the wilderness that is
the unending forest beyond its walls. The Keep has many 'noble' families who all vie for power. All originated from the forest
but some arrived more recently than others through the numerous secret passages and breaches that litter the city.

Those unlucky enough to live in the forest dwell in crude wooden fenced battlements small in size and constantly guarded.
Living simple lives, they are subject to The Keeps patrols who demand food and slaves. Resistance is erased and dissenters
silenced. These settlements are never allowed to reach large proportions and growing, productive ones are soon cut down to
size.

It is the constant death in Sarahek's realm that also provides its' other contingent - the revenants. Some say the hells were
filled up a long time ago, others say that Sarahek infused his people with an undying desire. Whatever the reason, the dead
often come back to life if they died a violent enough death. Often seeking others of their kind, they wander the forest in
packs planning their collective revenges together on all that wronged them in life. All living citizens try to dispose of
their dead, but their swampy environs discourage fires and provide plenty of moist soil for the digging of deep pits.

Religious rites to Sarahek invariably involve bathing the hands in the blood of enemies, before washing them in the swamp
water to symbolize sarahek removing the enemy from their way when he took them.

_________________________________________________

- here's something of a macbeth inspired, zombie filled swamp-forest world. Just hacked it out because i wanted something to do. Suggestions?
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« Reply #3 on: 13 December 2010, 21:44:07 »

Sounds good.
Some questions; Would the general culture of the Keep, and surrounding barricades be generally Scottish to boot, or something else? Ie, We have a noble-houses shaped society, but of what flavour? What do their houses look like, etc?
Also, in a land with many free-minded, vengeful undead, what is the situation like in reguards to the regular types of undead?


Thinking about it, it almost reminds me of Gormenghast, actually.
[Believe it or not, this is the only trailer I could find for the excellent BBC miniseries version. Somehow weirder even than the english language version.]
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« Reply #4 on: 20 December 2010, 19:49:21 »

Gah! Can i just talk this out instead of writing it? I find it hard to entirely understand what you mean.
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« Reply #5 on: 05 January 2011, 00:01:37 »

The Deity: Minos

Minos (Pronounced Me-nos) is the god of Duty, Loyalty & Freedom. He is most often depicted as a large grey furred Minotaur with broken chains at his wrists and ankles.  Sometimes he appears in battle as a lowly soldier with a horned helmet, who helps a loyal soldier in battle before disappearing in to the crowd.

His People: The Minotaurs.

In legend it is said that Minos was a slave who led a revolt against there masters (the Titans).  He enstilled a sense of duty and loyalty in to his fellow slaves leading to them gaining there freedom.

The Minotaurs have build a small but strong empire that estoles a sense of duty and loyalty to one another, but also makes them fierce warriors if their freedom is threatened. They are keen on educating there people and being vigilant of threats to their way of life.

Their empire is build up of half a dozen labyrinthine city united under the rule of the emperor.  Everyone in the empire has there duties to perform (but anyone can potentially become the emperor).

Minos' primary colour is White (with a secondary colour being Red).
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