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OK, Contributors section added. Also spruced the look a bit.
Edit: Whoops! Forgot to double check the links! Turns out a few were wrong. Corrected now.
Also: under what Index should this go?
edited 8th Dec '11 4:45:57 PM by Sijo
We did have some discussion on Undead already
I said a different spin on it, it's more what the people of the verse perceive as undead. Just wait to I finish it up okay :)
I noticed by take on Dwarves wasn't listed.
Are the two takes incompatible?
I, er, missed it while making the list. I'll check it out.
...Later. I'm tired right now. But, the rest of you feel free to work on the page in the meantime.
These creatures are often mistaken for members of the undead but are very much alive and are in fact their own race. Though they usually were dead at one time, as there lives often begin with others deaths.
They can be brought into the world two ways creation from a fresh corpse or being born they same way most mammals are. The ones who are not born of a union are created by taking a recently deceased corpse or dying person of any of the humanoid races and infuses it with a raw magic during a special ritual.
After a few hours the new creature is able to walk, act and think for itself. While they are intelligent and share the same memories it did in life, they're personalities are often radically different from that they had before they were infused with magic. It was originally theorized that the magic altered the mind as well as the body, but many theorize now that the original personality is housed within the soul which has passed from the body and that, their personality is manifestation of the magic within them.
They are coated in a thick secondary skin which ranges from pale gray to light green and is in a constant state of drying out, shedding and regrowing. The skin beneath it is red-ish yet translucent and hyper sensitive to sunlight often burning and pealing after only a few minutes of direct contact with the sun.This layering of skin often causes people to mistake them for the undead when in fact they are living magical beings. They can often be found in heavy clothes by day and light clothes at night.
Another trait is that they are ageless and will not die from aging, but can be killed in any other conventional way thought they have a mild resistance to most forms of magic.
They tend to be shunned by most societies due to them being mistaken for undead or due to their personality changes and often form their own smaller tribes and villages underground or in caves. They are innately magically in nature and often have many mages within their ranks. they cultures vary but is often a melting pot of which ever other cultures are in the area.
The rare type are those born, Shedding men being living breathing creatures, are also cable of normal humanoid births. Those born have a special trait in that they're second skin does not shed-off as easily and that they molt every year and all within a few, there skin is also these varied in color and tends to a be yellowish. Regardless of the parents race, the child will grow up to full maturity in 12 years, unlike those created those born due age where for everyone one human year is five years to someone born a shedding man.
They have existed for ages, and it is not currently known who or what their original creator was or where they even originally started popping up all that is known is that those who were originally human far out number those of the other races.
I kinda blow when it comes to wording things.
I would knock the ageless thing off unless you have a reason as to why their population hasn't exploded outward, seeing as how they can give birth to other Shedding Men. Unless their birth rate is just really, really low?
I figured the needing to survive like normal beings* Eat, Sleep, Breath while being weakened by the sun and hated and likely hunted would be enough. Plus I don't think I implied that they were a rarity or even uncommon. Plus the born ones age be it at fifth of their parent's original race.
Maybe creating a anti-magic hunters order, might be a good idea, I could tie them into my tattering beasts concept, plus whats an RPG without some Knights Templar.
edited 8th Dec '11 7:45:10 PM by Vyctorian
Humans and The Dead Races
Many nations exists made of mostly or entirely of Humans although these Humans identify themselves as a different race entirely. Their were many races, either not prolific or isolationist enough whose gene pool was simply swallowed by the monolithic might of the collective humanoid kind. Dwarf, Sylvan, Orc, do Trolls count?, etc, are races who either by policies of genetic isolationism or prolifery have managed to maintain a relatively pure gene pool.
He who walks within all - There was a man, his name is gone now, being turned into a god tends to do that to your mortal identity. It burns away like a thin paper shell and leaves nothing but your idealization. Some people say his name was Grovich, and that he was a troll without equal in the field of geomancy. This entry isn't about him however. He who walks within all is what happens when something that isn't right achieves terrestrial godhood. He who walks within was an abomination, one of the first, the skin of a dragon stretched across the bones of a dragon and filled with the flesh of three times ten humans.
This particular abomination, being more than a bit human and carrying more than a bit of knowledge about their psychologies, immediately began building a cult of personality. It demanded sacrifice, devoured entire cities across the New Land until a group of Orc martial artists managed to bring it to its knees and imprison it inside of a bronze statue, wherein they planned to break it apart and make sure that it couldn't ascend after death. They, quite obviously, failed. A cultist snuck in and sabotaged the ritual, the dead soul of He who walks within all was supercharged by the node that the ritual was done upon.
A terrestrial god was born. Something sick and wrong that lives in the shadows of its followers, whose voice sounds like the grating of iron files, something that should never have been was twisted into a form that never should have been. He who walks within all has been the cause of untold strife, and currently has his claws, both metaphorical and literal, sunken into the swamps that grace the eastern edges of the new land. He came to this new land upon the armada of a small retinue, one of the few that had yet to be squashed.
Medrilians (Dead race)
They were a race knew in early times for their sophisticated towers and walls by the see that could be seen for miles. They were a beautiful majestic race who seemed to have a utopia far beyond that of any of the other races, but that utopia was only for them records show that they were xenophobic, isolationist, and very paranoid or at least there government was.
They're civilization seemed to me made from an odd form of coral * which died out along with them. which grew on land, was resistant magic and secreted a deadly poison, but they had to have been immune in-order to have survived it. Early men often mistook them for gods and later demons, as man grew more intelligent they grew more wary eventually closing themselves off in a city full of coral towers and surrounded by coral walls with the sea to their backs.
About fifty years ago was when man first noticed the city was safe to enter, arrows no longer flew at anything that moved and the coral no longer killed man with a single touch. Inside of the city they found many writings, cloths, pieces of art work and culture, all in another language. The oddity was all they found remaining was a single body which had already rotted to the bone, and no burial sites.
Many people found them fascinating, their clothing and jewelery was all bright and shiny none of it was dull in any way what so ever. Blues and greens dominated clothing, while silver, pink, and orange dominated their jewelery which was mostly made of shells. From they drawings and sculptures they left behind they appeared to have varied in shade from white to pale blue , and had raised markings along their fore head and eyes that were orange and pinkish. There yes appearing to range from yellow to green but were oddly black where most humanoids eyes are white. They also appeared to have a slight bit of webbing between their fingers and toes but this was most likely vestigial. It is unclear form their art work if they had hair or spines and what is also unclear is the nature of their government or culture out side of their isolationist ways.
They also appeared to raise fish and life stock for food, and had a high respect for birds. Some even theorize they may have had a bird deity that time has now forgotten.
Humans and other races who chose to live as them tend to be hermited and elitist in nature, though some are also show offs and diva attracted to their way of life by the bright colors they left behind.
Is something like this alright?
edited 8th Dec '11 9:30:43 PM by Vyctorian
Hey good work with the trope page idea, I was thinking we needed somewhere to consolidate all the info.
Go A: I think the cultural structure of Dwarves and the biology are a little incompatible, the whole elemental tie thing almost always leads to minor Planet of Hats syndrome in most fiction, its almost always a case where people with fire become hot headed, any one with air is flighty and often an insulting reference to ADHD, and people with water almost always act like The Spock. Not to mention the mechanical issues of the elements, take fire for example, imagine right now, where your sitting, that you're on fire, not like 100% on fire, but say you just drop a flame the size of one on a match, look at the computer, the desk, papers, clothing, its all burning, I mean fire aligned dwarves wouldn't be able to live in confined spaces as their ties to fire will result in burning up the oxygen, asphyxiating them to death. The giants link is also awkward for a society thats effectively Renaissance Italy mixed with Industrial Age England.
However, what is interesting is if you took that elemental tie and applied that to giants as a separate race, or as a subrace of Giants that represent evolutionary throwbacks: Overtime they become like the Furies in Codex Alera, wild semi-sentient embodiments of natural elements.
I suggest we should shift our design method from simply throwing out an idea and then discussing it to a little bit more structured: As if we were writing the Core rulebook for an RPG, I'll use D&D 3.5 as an example. With D&D 3.5 settings the majority of the important information is in a single "Core" book. It contains all the basic info on what low-level characters can do, an outline for higher levels of play, antagonists, geography and a basic overview of each aspect instead of intensely detailed lore.
Take for example Dwarves, we have a fair bit of content for them, but we need to break it up a bit, work on stuff that is needed now, and save the rest for when we have Design space. No offence God Of Awesome, but while you're creating neat ideas at a fantastic pace, they needed to be work-shopped and tuned first before we can move on, some of them are definitely good but are bit raw and could lead to say a "''WorldOfWarcraft'' Lore Facepalm" paradox every time you add more, it leads to more things to work at makes it hard to filter between "What We need done so we can get something workable" and "What we would like to include in the future but isn't currently compatible with things we don't want to alter".
Maybe we should at some point halt producing any new content and enter an editorial phase just to clear up what we have and establish goals for use to meet with new input etc.
As one example of a way to pace our working, using Dwarves:
We can mention in the core book their heavy favouring of commerce, the principles of their "unique" form of ancestor worship, the basic rules for prosthetics, a few sample organisations including a rough outline of the Dwarven mage guild equivalent including what basic mechanics are needed/gained to role-play a member, and the basic geography of their lands.
Supplement: The Dwarven League: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Contracts And Stock Portfolios
In the splatbook for Dwarves we can go onto detail their traditions in full, the distinctions between city-states, the cultural differences and fashions (eg city-state close to the sea has a tradition of wearing a rubber sheaf over their prosthetics to prevent corrosion, while another which has a more decadent upper class will have more precious metals in their prosthesis and lots of unnecessarily tiny and complicated gears with maybe even a glass case to show off the intricacies of the design), more advanced prosthetics that offer more choice (eg a recent innovation has lead to a firmer rubber allowing for prosthetics that look like real flesh limbs which lets assassins sneak throw weaponized limbs, maybe even a fighting style reliant on having all four limbs being mechanical and capable of rotating 360 degrees allowing for one to fight like Mugen from Samurai Champloo). Not to mention basic info about the original dwarven homeland, the basics of a homeland character arriving in the "New World", a full description of their own mage guild with more info on what a member does in dwarven society and interactions with other magic groups and prestige class equivalents for their cultural cleric/monk, mages in their guild, mages opposed to the guild, non-dwarf members of their guild, non-dwarves who are citizens of the region and the clocksmiths that build and maintain the prosthetics.
Supplement: The High King And Other Eccentricities Of The Dwarven Old World
This is where we would work on adventuring and fleshing out the homelands of Dwarvens, providing more info for adventuring etc. Their monarchy and essentially all the traditional stuff about dwarves that isn't played straight in the above.
(Oh god theres a part inside of me thats facepalming at the idea of describing Fire as an element and not reaction.)
EDIT: Does anyone have anything to say about the Mage Guild ideas I posted? I'll add them to the trope page in a day or so unless someone feels we should adjust them?
edited 8th Dec '11 9:59:01 PM by Eyclonus
I was trying to make Dwarves something other then short humans though.
The Core book describes the basic culture, the Lake, etc.
Then there's the Book of Schools, which describes the Mabin School system and includes Mabin-only classes. Are there race-only classes? It also includes a much more in-depth discussion of Mabin culture, and possibly goes into further detail about the Mabinari.
Maybe there's an Etchings of the Jungle, which describes the jungle Mabin cultures, and goes into detail about their ways of life and relationships with other races, as well as their open-ground cousins.
Sometimes in design "Less Is More", by simply shifting the most stagnate aspect of Dwarves, their culture, I've created a very unique take on them.
Elves on the other hand need to be shaken up differently, they get interesting unique takes in different settings, but their biology is almost always "Like human but better", in the case of elves, the narrative and design stagnation is their race, not their culture.
Orcs are new to this level of analysis and design, they haven't really been pidgeon-holed despite their appearance in Lot R, I mean what are the major depictions of them? Warcraft where they're an honour based society with deep spirituality and a frontier mentality. Warhammer FB/40k where they're like an illiterate version of Ledger's Joker, as an entire race... In Eberron Orcs are a race of unsung heroes, being responsible for keeping some major Sealed Evil in a Can staying sealed, they have a shamanic nature, but are also interacting with other races as something other than a Ghengis Khan Ersatz.
Theres also Tolkein style Orcs but no one really gives it credit because they had less depth than 1 ply sheet of toilet paper, we're expected to believe they're a credible threat to Middle Earth when the spends much time saying they're clever and cowardly, its odd that the most innovative race happens to be the one with no culture, no agriculture, no depth, not even names.
Humans are hard to do, most people would agree that humans are important, in fact Wot C did market research and found that the majority of their customers being human responded positively to the inclusion of humans in M:tG. In short, designing a setting without humans is not easy, designing a setting with humans is not easy, all because Humans Are Bastards, Humans Are Special etc... When you write a human race into something you need to give it culture, and that leads to nit-picking, like is it satire of Medieval France because you have lots of knights and nobles with peasants living in horrific poverty? Are you saying its good, are you saying its bad? At least with Bretonnia I know its a joke because GW is British and wrote their own land as a mud-covered island of no significance.
EDIT: Marr, you don't have to imitate the above, I was just showing how Wot C would handle this project, but essentially for the moment work on the stuff you think should be in the core, not the two splat books.
edited 9th Dec '11 4:21:39 AM by Eyclonus
Keep in mind that, by the end of 3.5's life, it was was is commonly known as an "enormous clusterfuck". It creates a more holistic world to put everything on the plate in the beginning. What does it matter if it takes a while? As far as I know, none of us are on the brink of death.
I'd like to remind you of Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit".
There is a difference between making a standard fantasy race distinctively different from the norm and creating an entire new race an merely calling it by an established name.
If our elves would actually be slug like creatures that take over animal brains and use them as host, they aren't a unique take on elves, they simply aren't elves* They'd be Yeerks .
Hence we shouldn't make their presentation different. Not just another forest dwelling race of immortal demi-gods who are good at archery, not just another bunch of conservative miners, not just another mindless Mongol stand in.
Also, God, I think you are overdoing it a bit with this "combining two races into one". We know have Elves who become Gnomes, Dwarves who become Ogres and Titans, and Goblins who become Orcs. Granted, the last wasn't your idea, but I nevertheless have the feeling that this is overdoing an interesting idea.
edited 9th Dec '11 1:37:35 PM by eX
Lake Mabinari is the largest lake in the known world; it is, in point of fact, so large as to be an inland sea (think Caspian Sea style of thing). It is entirely fresh-water, due to the power of the Terrestrial God that has made its home there: the Mabinari. There are several Mabin settlements on and around the Lake, but the largest and most important of all Mabin settlements lies at the base of the Mabinari: The Shrine of the Mabinari.
The Shrine of the Mabinari
The Shrine of the Mabinari is the largest Mabin settlement anywhere in the known world. It is currently theorised that it could hold up to an eighth (!) of the total Mabin population of the known world at any one time, and could even hold more in times of trouble. (Yeah, Absurdly-Spacious Sewer, I know, but there's good reason.)
Every Mabin attempts to make a pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Mabinari at least once in his/her lifetime, on order to bathe in the purest waters originating directly from the Mabinari, their god.
The main structure of the Shrine (the walls, floors and such) is composed of woven reeds, but copper rods are used to reinforce the structure, and large plates of copper cover the outside, so the effect from the outside is something like a huge glittering green (verdigris) hill squatting in the middle of the lake, with a jet of water originating from the centre.
The centre of the Shrine is also coated with copper, which has small holes with topless tubes emerging from them. These gutterings carry and distribute water throughout the Shrine.
The Mabinari appears to be, for all intents and purposes, an enormous waterfall. The top of the Mabinari has not yet been detected, and may never be. However, the Mabinari is not, in fact, just a waterfall. It is the manifestation of the power of a Terrestrial God, a spirit of water which now purifies Lake Mabinari and watches over the Mabin, although the farther they stray from the Mabinari, the less its power can aid them.
I'm thinking.... giving Dwarves an almost idiot savant focus on a particular subject to the point of gadgeteer genius. Their obsessive focus make them unwashed and especially unshaven.
I like the combo races it seams to fit very well with our setting and the whole "similar yet different" theme very well.
Folks, I have a problem. My Pc has apparently died (I'm posting this from a friend's house) and I'm not sure I can afford a new one right now. Worst case, I might not be able to post more than once a week for a few months.
So please don't think that I have lost interest, I'm just having technical difficulties. I'll be back! :P
Btw, here's another point I wanted to make: how do we determine what is "official" for the setting? Voting doesn't seem too factible since we are not all always here at the same time. I propose that: any idea posted in the thread is official (or at least semi-official) if at least two people like it, and no one has a problem with it. Good?
Someone else is going to have to add the entries for Lake Mabinari, the Mabinari and the Shrine to the trope page, as my editing seems to be utterly screwed up.
That sucks sorry to hear that.
I'm thinking about doing some animal-based creatures next.
I was gonna have something about someone infusing animals with "Essence of Humanoid" to create "Instant Nation and Army, Just Add Magic".
Also known colloquially as leeches, unholy abominations, and several far less pleasant names, Wraiths are not truly a race of their own. It is estimated that one in every thousand humanoids has the potential to become a Wraith (note, however, that Trolls, not being made up of anything remotely similar to other species, are immune).
Statistics aside, what exactly is a Wraith? They are commonly assumed to be a variant of vampires, but this is incorrect, though they operate on a similar mechanism. Wraiths absorb metaphysical energy from their prey, typically starting with magic and working their way towards more base and necessary components. The menu includes emotions and the capacity to feel them, memories, mental ability, and even the soul itself. (Note that, with very few, very powerful exceptions, the animating force of the soul cannot be destroyed; once it gets to that point, the victim will typically die instantly, which is a much nicer fate than the alternative.)
Wraiths look mostly like the race into which they were born, with a few notable characteristics: their irises are grey or green, their pupils are larger than normal, and their hair is grey or white. When their energy reserves are low, they gain an emaciated appearance, their skin becomes too pale for any living thing, and their eyes turn a solid shade of black.
Wraiths do not need to drain either often or deeply, one or the other; a Wraith that drains once a week or so needs not take much, leaving their prey with only minor fatigue. Alternatively, a Wraith need not consume anything for years at a time, absolutely obliterating a living humanoid every three years or so. (The former approach tends to be taken by Wraiths that have come to terms with their condition and wish only to live a mostly normal life; the latter by those that consider themselves monsters and fight off the hunger until instinct overcomes them completely- and, when they wake up next to a corpse or a vegetable, their self-image is reinforced, a vicious cycle)
Most, however, take more than the bare minimum, for reasons of power. The excess energy a Wraith absorbs is converted into a usable form. Many (about thirty per cent of) Wraiths are magicians, and can use the essence of mortal beings to fuel spells. In addition, all Wraiths have the inherent skill of the Juggernaut* I'll type up what exactly is a Juggernaut in a bit .
Not all Wraiths that take a little more than they need are monsters. Some are, quite simply put, heroes, using their unnatural power to destroy threats to their community or the world at large. In game terms, Wraiths are "player character" appropriate- especially since sentient evil beings have the same energies about them a humanoid does, which can be consumed just the same.
A well-fed Wraith is effectively immortal, but their conflict-sparking nature means most live around fifty years; the older a Wraith is, the stronger, faster, and more clever it usually is, and, as such, declaring your age is a boast in and of itself amoung them.
Like anything else, Wraiths congregate in masses of like thought. "Heroic" wraiths will form monster-hunting covens, "normal" wraiths become a circle of trust and support within a community, and plain-out psychopathic wraiths form covens that tear a trail of destruction across a countryside.
Wraith-hood works like a recessive gene, excepting that it is never weeded out of a bloodline; as such, the child of two Wraiths is a Wraith, the child of a human and a Wraith has a fair chance of being a Wraith, and a child of two humans has a very small chance of being a Wraith. The latter group usually does not survive long, unless they stumble upon a mentor to teach them how to control and use their power.
She Who Walks Without Sound, She Who Watches Over, the Silent, the White Lady, et cetera
The matriarch of the Wraith people as a whole, She is as enigmatic as she is powerful. Her agents roam the world, watching over Wraithkind, locating and training mortalborn Wraith children, and enforcing the White Code. The Code is long and incredibly complicated, and does not enforce mortal morality; instead, it establishes a convention of honesty and courtesy amoungst Wraithkind, and forbids Wraiths from Draining one another unless energy is volunteered.
edited 11th Dec '11 9:04:53 AM by Exelixi
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