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Eyclonus Totally Not A Doctor from Down Under
Totally Not A Doctor
Nov 20th 2011 at 5:18:53 AM

[up][up][up] These Mordekai sound better as an NPC race than as a PC race. When you said adopt a culture, I initially thought that they would move to an area and try to impersonate humans, but fail to understand human behaviours, and not grasp the meaning behind words, making the sounds but not the actual word with its meaning and intent. Mostly I picked that up because you closed about them shouting at each as a joke.

Which got me thinking, if Orcs are going to be more relatable then other settings, we need something for when a GM needs a horde of barbarians to ransack some village, fleshing out races is fine, but something is needed to stir a call to adventure, Doomed Hometown style. Fleshing out the throng of bloodcrazed killers requires a fine balance between making them something other than a Ghengis Khan satire/parody/homage/ripoff/clone, but not so far as Leather Pantsing them. So why not have a race that just cannot grasp certain ideas, sort of like a more hostile version of the Prawns in District9 but with more independence and their excuse for culture is an imitation of other races, where like I said above they do all the actions and say all the words but they fail to grasp the meaning, and when they get frustrated they just butcher the offending object and no one really cares, unless say they were holding the object. Somewhat disposable Blue-and-Orange Morality mooks for when your adventurers need some exp before they hunt that dragon/demon/golem.

edited 20th Nov '11 5:21:03 AM by Eyclonus

Sijo from Puerto Rico
Nov 20th 2011 at 5:56:04 AM

We are all just showing off our ideas and then working out what fits in this particular setting as a group.

Btw we need a name for it, even if only a 'placeholder' one, so we don't refer to it as "that setting we are working on over in a Tv Tropes thread". Right now I got nothing better than "Troperia" (I suck at names, I'll admit). Suggestions?

God_of_Awesome Relationship Status: And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Nov 20th 2011 at 11:42:57 AM


I'm not sure if I'm using that one.

Slender King of kings from Somewhere near myself
King of kings
Nov 23rd 2011 at 1:28:22 AM

The tales of the shorn? The book of idolata The setting TV Tropes is making?

Are we coming up with names for the setting or the continent?

Also, I've got an idea for magic, please bear with me here while I dump some text.

When the world was first formed, the wild mana flew hard and fast everywhere. The gods (mortals who tapped into this power) were adepts at using this mana whether through inborn skills or hard work, they understood how this mana worked. They could pretty much rip the mana from the atmosphere and hurl it at things, warping and twisting them as they saw fit. Now, this was all during the periods of turmoil and the world hadn't yet stabilized.

Right now, the world is slowly stabilizing and the gods are finding it harder and harder to do this. They think that it's because the mana is running out, so most gods have taken to using miracles only during dire times of need (maybe there are some authoritarian gods who've made a police force to stop other gods from using too much mana?). The truth is though, that the mana isn't going away, it's just calming down. It's becoming harder and harder to grab the mana and rip it out of its moorings because the moorings are stronger now, but you can still use magic.

The lines of mana that are crisscrossing the setting angle in various ways, I propose that magic works via some sort of ethereal geometry. You figure out the angles you need, activate the ley lines that cause those angles, and then you can reach into the aether that God Of Awesome was talking about and you can pull mana from there. Obviously, stronger magic needs more angles and the more ley lines there are around the stronger the magic you can cast ends up being.

Sound good? Any criticisms?

Sijo from Puerto Rico
Nov 23rd 2011 at 5:38:06 AM

[up]I mean the whole setting's name but the world's often doubles as one anyway.

I like your idea, it works with what I have suggested. The gods might remember days when they rose mountains at will and can now "barely" wipe out armies. However, what do you mean by "angles"? Do you mean something like Ley Lines?

edited 23rd Nov '11 5:40:07 AM by Sijo

Eyclonus Totally Not A Doctor from Down Under
Totally Not A Doctor
Nov 23rd 2011 at 5:54:42 AM

I think that we should name it something relevant to the Wiki, like "Tropes world", but in Latin, so it sounds original and creative.

Also, considering the scope of doing the cosmology of a setting compared to say fleshing out a nation, why don't we downscope for the moment and focus on the present of the setting. The origin story will be easier to detail when we know what each group views as the real origin. Not to mention that so many ideas are being thrown around that tend to restrict how we can play with things, Gods and Magic being the most sensitive to this issue.

Also because we're going non-system specific, actually trying to specify how magic works is a bad idea, as we're clearly looking at this from different perspectives that are influenced heavily by this RPG or that Video Game RPG, either we leave magic as a generic formless thing for the GM/DM/ST to work on, or we play the card our favourite psychopathic clown offers us so: We offer Multiple Choice origins for Gods and Magic.

I don't mean we create a lot of them, simply we work on the pantheons, the societies and the general "Whos' Who" of Tropeteria and come back to the origin later when we have a firmer grasp on what defines this setting. Having read a fair bit on how Eberron and other campaign settings are designed, this is generally the part which designers care less about, doing it first restricts what can be done later and requires constant to-ing and fro-ing. Instead they work on the various groups that impact the setting, and come back to the Gods when they know what they want from the whole birthing hour of the setting.

I mean I've been writing up some notes for Dwarves in the "Gecko" culture as I've nicknamed it, they're not a unified kingdom of sorts, but a series of city-states that are run by princes who have some link to a King from the past: either an ancient Dwarven Kingdom that ruled over the territory the city-states cover, or (and my favourite) a Dwarf Kingdom from over the seas thats basically fallen into hardship and now has almost zero contact with this new Dwarven culture. While this kingdom was the original home of dwarven kind, its inhabitants are considered to be backwards rustics who follow superstitious beliefs and are often mocked as inbred, if they are even remembered at all. And while relation to the Great King is Serious Business to the running of the city-states, the Crown itself is regarded as a joke at best, and potential military threat/"opportunity for Aggressive Expansion" at worse.

The Traditional dwarves/dwarfs can show up with the Old Country types, allowing use to have our Gimili and sell it for a reasonable profit after sales tax too.

edited 23rd Nov '11 5:57:03 AM by Eyclonus

Slender King of kings from Somewhere near myself
King of kings
Nov 23rd 2011 at 8:38:57 AM

Yeah, Ley Lines. Basically the way ley lines interact is how the magicians/wizards/sorcerers manage to do their wicked mojo. Also, have we talked about whether to do something in the area of demons or somesuch?

God_of_Awesome Relationship Status: And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Nov 23rd 2011 at 10:48:08 AM

So if it is like what I said, then the Aether is another dimension of raw psychoreactive (It responds to thought, is what I'm saying) energy, which can be tapped by ritual and wrote or by gifted individual innately intune with it. Leylines are like fractures between the Material World and Immaterial Aether, large cracks have numerous smaller cracks coming out of them and when small cracks intersect you get a spring of pure energy just pouring out into the world and thosr be magical places.

Legend: Life began (Or was sped up) when those fissures erupted. If their is life in the Aether, then perhaps life (Or at least sentient life) didn't exist there either and it took stimulus from both sides to jump start it all, so both sides live in symbiosis.

eX 94. Grandmaster of Shark
94. Grandmaster of Shark
Nov 23rd 2011 at 11:21:58 AM

I like the idea of celestial and terrestrial gods, however, I would tweak it somewhat:

Originally, there were only celestial gods, but sometimes in past, there was a divine civil war and the losing side was banished to the planet and sealed of from the divine realm, creating two different factions: The more powerful, but distant celestial gods, who are prevent from directly interfering by the very same barrier they used to seal the losers away, and the terrestrial gods, who lost a lot of their original power, but now walk the same realm as their followers.

This had of course also an effect on the churches, creating to rivaling factions as well.

The followers of the celestial gods call themselves collectively "The Skywards", but are often referred to as "loyalists", who traditionally hold a lot more political and social influence, since they are the only way to communicate with the celestials. They resemble your traditional D&D clerics, channeling their patron god's power and doing miracles, having big churches in larger cities and smaller shrines in the countryside, performing rituals for the people (marriages, wakes, etc.).

The followers of the terrestrials don't really have a collective name, since they are centered much stronger around their particular god, but called "The Dissent" behind their backs. While the other side still has a global significance, the earthbound god's cults are rather regional, being stronger the closer they are to the god's residence. Because after their fall, each god took a seat of power, all over the world, and their followers flocked to them. In some more rural regions, this basically created new states, while in more densely settled areas, this resulted in secluded cults and a lot of trouble with wordily authorities. The priest of the terrestrial gods have a far lower spiritual power, but actually living alongside their god and their entourage gives them a much more practical understanding of divinity and religion. To use the D&D comparison again, they are the paladins to the celestial clerics.

To close this off, there is another even that majorly reshaped the religious world, and that was the event known as "The Greatest Sin". As said above, there is a lot of friction between the terrestrial gods and worldly authorities, and in this case, it actually led to a war between one nation and an earthbound god and to the shock of everyone, they actually managed to kill him, scattering his followers and creatures.

edited 23rd Nov '11 11:27:04 AM by eX

Slender King of kings from Somewhere near myself
King of kings
Nov 23rd 2011 at 12:47:00 PM

I think that makes the gods a bit too involved in this setting for my taste. Actually, I think we should go ahead and stat out some basics of this world so we don't end up butting heads over trivial topics. On a slightly unrelated note, would you guys mind if I yanked a troll race as my own? Sort of how Eyclonus has unofficially become the dwarfmaster for the thread?

Exelixi Lesbarian from Alchemist's workshop Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Nov 23rd 2011 at 12:59:18 PM


Domhain Scéal. Scéal for short. It's the closest translation for "Trope Land" in Irish.

Sound good?

Mura: -flips the bird to veterinary science with one hand and Euclidean geometry with the other-
Sijo from Puerto Rico
Nov 23rd 2011 at 1:58:34 PM

Precisely the reason I suggested that we worked out the history of the universe first was to make sure that everybody was on the same page on what we wanted to include in the setting. We don't have to plan out everything right now, just make sure we have a setting with a theme(s) as opposed to a bunch of ideas thrown together.

I'll give you an example: magic vs technology. It sounds like most of us want there to be some sort of technology (higher than medieval I mean) on this setting, but why would a world that has magic even need technology? Anything science can do magic can do as well if not better, and with less effort or requirements. In general, the only justification I see for it is that magic is usually available only to those with "the gift" for it, while technological devices can be used by anyone (with a little training that is.)

[up]That looks good, but how do you pronounce it?

[up][up]Given how Our Trolls Are All Different, it would be interesting to see your take on it.

Exelixi Lesbarian from Alchemist's workshop Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Nov 23rd 2011 at 2:56:15 PM

I'd definitely like to see a take on trolls, yes.

Also, "Dome-han skeel."

Also, "Magic versus technology" could definitely be a theme of the setting. As far as magic making everything easier. . . not necessarily. I presume it's much simpler to aim and fire a gun than to recant a seven-syllable word in an archaic language to shoot a fi\reball.

edited 23rd Nov '11 2:58:14 PM by Exelixi

Mura: -flips the bird to veterinary science with one hand and Euclidean geometry with the other-
God_of_Awesome Relationship Status: And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Nov 23rd 2011 at 4:54:53 PM

Well, that's a lot different then how I did Terrestrial vs Celestial (Physical gods vs sentient ideas) but awright.

Vampires Vampires burn up in the sunlight as normal. To counter act this, they wear a very powerful sun screen, a translucent gel that incorporates micro crystals that abosrb and reflect sunlight completely. The end result is that a vampire sparkles in the sunlight.

Exelixi Lesbarian from Alchemist's workshop Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Nov 23rd 2011 at 5:53:09 PM

-Cocks shotty-

Mind repeating that?

In all seriousness, I don't think it's remotely necessary to make our vampires reference not only a teen romance but one of the worst teen romances ever written.

I personally like your take on deities very much, God.

edited 23rd Nov '11 5:57:00 PM by Exelixi

Mura: -flips the bird to veterinary science with one hand and Euclidean geometry with the other-
Sijo from Puerto Rico
Nov 23rd 2011 at 6:34:58 PM

I think GoA was being funny. (And "cocks shotty"? Is that a real phrase? [lol])

But hey, since we mentioned vampires: should they exist in our setting and if so, what kind? Undead? Specific race? Transmissible disease? I personally don't like vampires at all, but hey, it's a group effort and you just know it's going to come up sometime.

edited 23rd Nov '11 6:48:00 PM by Sijo

God_of_Awesome Relationship Status: And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Nov 23rd 2011 at 6:43:34 PM

You mean?:

Terrestrial Gods Beings more akin to the totems spirits of Native Americans or the Norse gods, who have somewhat ascended, their being reaching up into the Aether like a massive beacon, attracting further reverence and drawing strength from those who worship them. They are mortal, capable of dying and folly but are not distant but very much there and involved with mortal affairs.

Celestial Gods The ideas, the creeds, the hopes and dreams of mortals reaching into the Aether, coalescing or sparking into a sentient being with a name and a personality, singularly and purely devoted to its cause, lacking any secret agenda. They are almost savant in their inborn dedication and otherwise distant from this world, especially being that they exist in the Aether, rarely if ever or not at all manifesting amongst us.

It may happen that a Terrestrial God dies and his worship continues, the idealized memory of him birthing a Celestial God who will sincerely believe himself to be the Terrestrial God Ascended and may actually have inherited some skewed form of his memories.

Of course, that was my idea.

Slender King of kings from Somewhere near myself
King of kings
Nov 23rd 2011 at 7:26:24 PM

This is the general history I've got so far

  1. There is nothing but the twisting chaos of unreality.
  2. The chaos began to slowly calm down, coagulating and creating our universe and the Aether.
  3. The Celestial Gods appear, wrought from pure Aether by the devotion of humanity and the first few Terrestrial Gods begin to realize their powers.
  4. An explosion of Terrestrial Gods occurs, with almost every tribe having their own totem pole God.
  5. Magic begins to calm down a little, and the Terrestrial Gods find it harder and harder to affect the world with their brute force style of magic.
  6. The common folk, the ones who could perceive the Ley Lines at least, figure out the mathematical secrets of magic and become more and more powerful.
  7. ???
  8. Profit.

Is there anything else?

God_of_Awesome Relationship Status: And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Nov 23rd 2011 at 7:49:03 PM

Origin Of Dragons Long time ago, their is a sort of Cold War being fought by several Terrestrial Gods. The territories they control have a similiar culture and language. Drakes are huge, winged, firebreathing lizards, for which the local word is 'dragon'. The fire god takes some and creates a bigger, meaner, smarter version, like several magnitudes more of each, going from a beast to a hyperintelligent sentient being and similarly scaled in the size and ferocity department. The other gods jump on that and start modifying their own drakes, making most of them just as smart but drawing resources from size and ferocity department to align them with their element. Eventually, the power of those gods dissolved under the weight of their own infighting and outside interference and these modified drakes, called dragons for the local tongue, freely spread out.

Since the gods never went to open war with each other, the dragons were never programmed to fight each other outright. Instead, they operate against dragons of different elements via subterfuge, antagonize each other with petty competition. They were programmed though by a treaty that forbade a god from gathering his dragons in one spot, lest they mobilize, so dragons of the same kind generally draw apart. Conversely, dragons of different kinds attract one another, as one dragon cannot be alone lest he propagate the interests of his element unopposed. If one dragon is in roost, it is a solid wager several more will be about competing without a goal, only driven to somehow, someways one-up the other in the name of ancient and over war between long dead gods.

Sijo from Puerto Rico
Nov 23rd 2011 at 9:08:22 PM

[up][up]Nice summation. smile

I think the only things we need to add now are a) the origins of the races and b) the history of technology.

[up]I like that origin, it combines several Draconic tropes effectively.

Exelixi Lesbarian from Alchemist's workshop Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Nov 23rd 2011 at 9:15:36 PM

We need to come to a decision about the nature and function of the gods. I myself like the first idea proposed- gods began as normal being who got ahold of a massive amount of magic.

Mura: -flips the bird to veterinary science with one hand and Euclidean geometry with the other-
Slender King of kings from Somewhere near myself
King of kings
Nov 23rd 2011 at 11:59:53 PM

Trolls, and their symbiosis with natural fauna and flora

If someone were to show you a newly born human, and an adult human you would be able to tell that they came from the same species. The same for the dwarf, the elf, the drake/dragon, and almost every other race that does not go through metamorphosis. The adult troll (Gender is not included seeing as how all trolls are hermaphroditic) can range from between a full ten to fifteen feet tall, weigh up to a ton and a half and have been known to take on small dragons in single combat. A child troll is a small polyp growing from its mother's back for the first two to eight months of gestation, after which the polyp becomes heavy and swollen and then the infant troll has to tear through the membrane so it can take its first few gasps into the world.

Each troll mother has several children, although usually only two or three manage to pop from their enclosures and escape, the rest are carefully cut out from the mother and prepared in a ritual banquet to honor the ones who made it. The unborn are then messily devoured by those present, saving the most fully developed one for the mother. Trolls also happen to be composed of plant matter. Trolls see a large woman as a healthy woman, because her children have to tear and claw at her as they gestate in order to create their own fragile shells before they come out to the real world.

Trolls keep their children under parental guidance for their entire lives. In fact, the only times that a troll is not beholden to their mother is when a group of trolls goes out on a colonizing trip. Otherwise, troll society is built like some sort of ancestral Ponzi scheme. Troll plant matter decays at a rather slow pace, around one-tenth of the rate that it would in normal conditions but it still decays. So a troll will during the course of their day, go harvest some leaves, bark, seaweed, etc. and hide it in their homes in case of an emergency. three-fifths of what they harvested would go straight to their parent. Three-fifths of what their parents harvested plus got from their child would go straight to their parent, and etc. up to the oldest troll in the tribe.

Trolls, like zombies, can only be killed or incapacitated by hitting it on specific spots and those spots are where ever the original troll, a small sickly little clump of eyes and teeth with enough psychic ability to move the plant matter that's coiled about their sickly frame, is situated. That's the secret to trolls, they're not these plant matter monsters like most people see them, they're just meat creatures covered in plant. Of course, a troll's physic power is constrained to organic flora.

  • I had more to write, but I got tired. I'll see about saying other things later.

God_of_Awesome Relationship Status: And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Nov 24th 2011 at 1:08:39 AM

[up][up]Exelixi: Well that's Terrestrial Gods all over it, except Gods Need Prayer is thrown in there too.

[up]Slender: The meaty form of a troll is situated near the correlating spot from where they spawned from their mother. IE, A troll that spawn from his mother's right shoulder will have his true body located in his shell's right shoulder.

edited 24th Nov '11 1:13:23 AM by God_of_Awesome

Sijo from Puerto Rico
Nov 24th 2011 at 6:25:41 AM

Re the gods: one thing I've noticed from studying mythology from around the world, is that the concept of exactly what makes a "god" varies a lot. The classic Greek god is just an immortal with great powers; while the Japanese ones are more akin to Anthropomorphic Personifications of natural forces. And that's not even getting into the Judeo-Christian concept of divinity.

So, I propose this: the Physical Gods are mortal creatures somehow empowered; the more metaphysical ones are Personifications. From the POV of the mortals in the ground though there's probably little difference.

[up][up]Interesting, but kinda gruesome. Can we tone it down a little? No cannibalism please.

edited 24th Nov '11 6:29:01 AM by Sijo

Slender King of kings from Somewhere near myself
King of kings
Nov 24th 2011 at 8:57:48 AM

@Sijo: I can tone it down if you want me to, but I never planned for Trolls to be a player race. Their society isn't really designed to create adventurers.


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