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Tabletop Game / Humblewood

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Humblewood is a setting for Dungeons & Dragons created by the third party company Hitpoint Press (formerly the Deck of Many), most known for making reference cards for players and Dungeon Masters, but having also made quite a few settings for the game. Humblewood foregoes the typical humanoid races of D&D in favor of allowing the players to play as Funny Animals straight out of old fables, and focuses on themes of classical fairytales and adventure.

In the distant world of Everden, hidden between the swamps of the Mokk Fields and the mountaintops of the Crest Mountains, there lies a great forest that thrums with the Great Rhythm of Life and Death. This is a magical place, where intelligent beasts and birds take the places of the humanoids of other worlds. Two peoples live in this wood, the Birdfolk and the Humblefolk, and have done so in peace for generations, under the peaceful rule of the Birdfolk who inhabit the Great Tree City of Alderheart. For centuries, the Woods have endured thanks to the industry and compassion of its people. Recently, however, this peace has been threatened by conflict and catastrophe.

Spreading from the Scorched Grove, where a great wildfire once raged, forest fires have taken root across Humblewood. Those struck by these fires often seek out new means of survival, some taking up weapons and turning their gaze towards Alderheart. In the crag mountains, the ancient Bandit Coalition has reformed, and is once again raiding the peaceful towns on the outskirts of Alderheart territories. In these troublesome times, tensions between Humblefolk and Birdfolk flare up once again, threatening to reduce this peaceful era to ashes.

The Woods call out for brave heroes to quell the flames, restore peace, and once again restore balance to Humblewood. Will you answer the call?

Humblewood provide examples of the following tropes

  • Angel Unaware: In the tale of Hanera, the Provider, she is visited by a family of travelers who need help and healing. Though Hanera had planed to save some of her harvest as a gift for great Ardea, she saw that these travelers needed them more. After taking care of the travellers for months, she presented Ardea with what little she had left. Ardea then revealed that she and her divine servants had been the travellers.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Flush with them, each race's hat is based on one of these.
  • Bandit Clan: The Bandit Coalition is a coalition of bandits operating out of the Crest mountains. They engage in Rape, Pillage, and Burn (minus the rape), making them one of the greatest threats to Alderheart.
  • Celestial Body: Hath, Amaranthine of Secrets, is described as a racoon-shaped constellation brought to life by the influence of Tyton.
  • Clever Crows: Corvum, the most crow-like of the birdfolk, gain a natural bonus to their intelligence stat, and their patron god, Gesme, is associated with inspiration and creation.
  • Creepy Crows: Corvum are often seen as this, and disliked by other folk. They are, indeed, often found in positions near power and are quite clever, but the setting guide also notes that they may be disliked because they act creepy, or they may act creepy because they are disliked.
  • Cunning Like a Fox: The Vulpin are stereotyped as this. It can be true, but doesn't have to be.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Tyton, as the god of night, represents The Sacred Darkness more than anything bad.
  • Deity of Birdfolk Origin: Each of the Birdfolk Amaranthine were originally normal Birdfolk who participated in a contest to present Ardea with the greatest gift. The Jerbeen Amaranthine Gaspard is widely believed to be hero-turned-god.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: Tyton is the god of death, but he is also a kind deity who usher the souls of the deceased under his wings.
  • Elemental Embodiment: The Aspect of Fire, a massive Fire Elemental who once threatened to bring ruin to all of Humblewood, until it was sealed beneath the Scorched Grove. Even today, it occassionally stirrs in its slumber, causing forest fires around the woods.
  • Ethnic God: Downplayed. Each of the ten lesser Amaranthine are associated with one race of the woods each, but they aren't necesarrily worshipped by that race more than they are by all the races. Hanera, being the goddess of bounty, has worshippers of all races, not just Gallus, while Kren, the Vulpin god, only has very few worshippers of any race.
  • Fantastic Racism: Birdfolk tend to be seen by humblefolk as elitists who rule the woods without knowing or caring for the concerns of those beneath them. The Humblefolk are seen by Birdfolk as backwards fools who know nothing of the finer things in life and only wallow around in the muck.
  • Fire Stolen from the Gods: Gesme is the goddess of fire and knowledge, and Patron God of the Corvum. Legends say that, like Prometheus from Greek Mythology, she gifted fire to the folk of the Humblewood by stealing a burning branch from the Sun Goddess Ardea, staining her wings black with smoke in the process.
  • Funny Animals: The main selling point of the setting. Rather than the standard Demihuman races of typical D&D settings, Humblewood offers ten races based on various races of birds and mammals.
    • The Birdfolk are, as the name suggests, based on birds;
      • The Corvum are based on Corvids, like crows, magpies and ravens. They can be the more colorful kinds too, but all Corvum have at least one black feather.
      • The Strig are based on Owls of any kind.
      • The Gallus are based on wildfowl, chickens and roosters.
      • The Raptors are based on take-a-guess.
      • The Luma are based on doves and pigeons.
    • The Humblefolk are based on forest critters;
      • The Vulpin are based on wild canines, like foxes and wolves.
      • The Hedge are based on hedgehogs.
      • The Mapach are based on racoons.
      • The Cervans are based on Deer of all kinds, although they rarely have horns.
      • Jerbeen are based on small rodents.
    • Elurans, based on cats, and Tilia, based on reptiles, are exotic travellers from beyond the Humblewood.
  • God of Knowledge: Gesme is the goddess of knowledge and invention, as well as being the God of Fire. Her dogma encourages her worshippers to see fire as a spark that can inspire and create as well as destroy, and to recognise that sometimes, delving into the unknown is worth the risk of being burned.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: While the Bandit Coalition would normally be an antagonist faction, it has only recently become more than just scattered groups of bandits into an actual danger and it's that way because its new leader feels like the Alderheart Council is ignoring the Humblefolk despite the worsening forest fires. Her intention is to force change through bloodshed, though the heroes can talk her down.
  • "Just So" Story: The tales of the Amaranthine tend to be this.
    • The stories of how the Birdfolk Amaranthine presented gifts for Ardea, for instance, explain the various traits of the Birdfolk.
    • One story tells that the Crest (and possibly every other mountain) was made when a rock giant challenged Altus to a strength contest. Altus won by lifting up the earth, to which the frustrated giant demanded a rematch, rinse and repeat.
  • God of Fire: Gesme, patron Amaranthine of the Corvum, gifted fire to the folk of the Humblewood by stealing a burning branch from Ardea, staining her wings black with smoke in the process. She represents fire as a spark that both inspires and destroys, and is one of the only amaranthine able to grant her worshippers the "Forge" domain.
  • MacGyvering: The Mapach's Scroungecraft racial trait lets them build simple items out of whatever resources they can scrounge from their surroundings.
  • Noble Bird of Prey: Clearly the intention with the Raptors, who have abilities focused around hunting.
  • Our Gods Are Different: The Amaranthine each represents one of the ten races, with the exception of Tyton and Ardea, the highest gods of death and life and night and day. While the five Birdfolk Amaranthine have concrete creation myths involving a contest to give the best gift to Ardea, the five Humblefolk Amaranthine are more varied and mysterious.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Literally in the case of Ardea and Tyton, Amaranthine of Light and Darkness, Day and Night, Life and Death.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Kren, patron of the Vulpin and god of cunning and predation, is this to the rest of the Amaranthine. She isn't often directly worshipped, instead appearing in cautionary tales about how no creature is so wise and mighty that they cannot be taken advantage of, and sometimes forms pacts with warlocks.
  • Tree Top Town: Very common, especially among the Birdfolk for understandable reasons. Alderheart is the largest, but most towns with a large birdfolk population is at least partially built on branches. In-Universe, such towns are referred to as Perches.
  • Walking Ossuary: Cobblefrights, undead made from the bones of various birdfolk and humblefolk, knitted together through some unhinged necromancy.
  • Wizarding School: The Avium, to the east of Alderhearth, is a school of the arcane built into a magically petrified tree, and the seat of magical learning in the woods.