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Azrael
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« on: December 04, 2013, 12:28:47 AM »

So this campaign is set on a few large islands. There are dragons in the setting but they are few in number and mostly on the main island of the draconic lizardmen. The dragons gave them the blessing of their blood making the normal lizardmen extinct. but the draconic lizardmen took their place. This happened because of the dwarves hunting of the dragons with their superior technology. Great cannons, clumsy mechs, and firearms. The dragons were caught off guard. resulting in their now endangered status. The now blessed lizardmen split into nine clans. the six lower class clans. Black(swamp), blue(lake and ocean), green(forest), white(arctic), tan(desert), and grey(mountains). The other three are the noble clans. The silver, gold, and platinum. They guard the now floating mountain of a city. The main temple to the great dragon gods are here. They were not gods when this started but the three elder dragons the oldest. Their colors matching the noble clans ascended before the clans because of the unwavering worship. This also put the war between them and the dwarves to a stalemate. unable to continue the war against the now divine magic infused draconic lizardfolk who were already better at magic then most other races combined. The dwarves lack magic in all forms but runic to enchant their weapons and divine from their god. they are however resistant to magic.

Their are a few races outside this century old war. The elves the guardians of nature in all its forms. from the great forests of their homes to the far stretches of the world. their god telling them of the great crimes against nature. their homes grown of the trees without harming them. all their homes living testimate to their care for nature. they have their allies the animals, the fey folk, and the beast men of the world. though the beast men are less helpful at times.

the humans live on their own island having destroyed all other races and formed an island spaning empire. Their land much like that of the dwarves slashed and burned for their advanced tech. the humans are spreading out to get more natural resources. The elves do not like how the humans have treated the land but seeing the damage was done in such a short amount of time. the elves couldn't do anything for the land. but that doesn't stop them from asking the druids to cause great storms every time they get close to other lands. scuttling their ships.

Undead are frowned upon seeing as immortality is something that can be gained through magic without corrupting their bodies in such ways. The humans don't see it that way some might but with the corruption of the empire being as it is they keep it to themselves. seeing as the current king is a lich. after the attempted assassination. vampires are seen as skum even in the eyes of other undead. hunted almost o the last from all the islands.

The elves have been thinking of assisting the dragons in their war on the dwarves seeing them as the next empire to ravage the world. The dwarves have been secretly sending their experimental subs to talk with the humans seeking an alliance most of the world ignorant of this fact. The humans agreed if only to get a staging area to take over the rest of the world.  The world on the edge of a massive war and in the middle of this a new race suddenly bursts from the ground nearly all over the world. insect like and numbers beyond reason. the war the weakness in the surface races they have been waiting for.... or so it seems as they seem driven as if controlled by some force unknown to the surface.
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2013, 06:24:39 AM »

This sounds like a classic DF shitshow. :]

Some thoughts and constructively-intended criticism:

So this campaign is set on a few large islands.

How large? Like Nantucket? Manhattan? Britain? Australia? They're going to have to either be huge or spread very far apart to incorporate all of the biospheres you mention in the description of the dragon men. If you want to keep the setting relatively small, with the islands close together, you're going to need to either eliminate some of those climate/terrain types, or hand-wave crazy weather with the tired old classic, "A Wizard Did It," excuse.

There are dragons in the setting but they are few in number and mostly on the main island of the draconic lizardmen. The dragons gave them the blessing of their blood making the normal lizardmen extinct. but the draconic lizardmen took their place. This happened because of the dwarves hunting of the dragons with their superior technology. Great cannons, clumsy mechs, and firearms.

What TL are the Dwarves at, ballpark, like 3+2 with spikes of 3+6 or 3+6^ like the mechs? If they're too far above any other culture, and they're aggressive enough to try to genocide the dragons unprovoked, you're going to have to answer the questions, "Why haven't the Dwarves already wiped out and/or enslaved X race, too? Why doesn't everybody else gang up on them as an obvious huge threat?"

The dragons were caught off guard. resulting in their now endangered status. The now blessed lizardmen split into nine clans. the six lower class clans. Black(swamp), blue(lake and ocean), green(forest), white(arctic), tan(desert), and grey(mountains). The other three are the noble clans. The silver, gold, and platinum.

Here's where the setting starts to get really crowded and busy. That's great if that's what you want, but don't feel like you have to include islands with deserts, islands in the arctic, etc just to use all of the classic D&D dragon colors.

So, 1/3 of the clans are "noble" and have higher status than the rest. Do they have a similar hierarchy among themselves, or are all three nobles and all six commons equal to the others on their tier? The Blues, for example, could plausibly be much more important than the other commons in an island setting, assuming that they are amphibious or the best of the dragon men's sea-farers or something thematic like that. (Assuming this is for DF) Do the different colors organize themselves into different classes or some other caste system? EG: Are all the Platinums Clerics, all the Silvers Holy Warriors, all the Golds Sages, all the Greys Knights, etc, or can any of them be anything?

They guard the now floating mountain of a city.

"Floating mountain" as in "floating in the ocean," or as in "the thing flies?" In either case, is it mobile?

The main temple to the great dragon gods are here. They were not gods when this started but the three elder dragons the oldest. Their colors matching the noble clans ascended before the clans because of the unwavering worship.

How much worship, for how long, is required to ascend somebody to godhood in this setting? Can its gods lose power or "die" by losing worshippers?

This also put the war between them and the dwarves to a stalemate. unable to continue the war against the now divine magic infused draconic lizardfolk who were already better at magic then most other races combined. The dwarves lack magic in all forms but runic to enchant their weapons and divine from their god. they are however resistant to magic.

If the Dwarves are a homogenous one-race culture, and they all have Magic Resistance, their Clerics aren't going to be very useful to them in the normal Cleric roles of healer and buffer. You're probably going to want to have them specialize in some other force-multiplier that they can't duplicate with high tech, such as Divination, to justify why they bother with magic at all.

Their are a few races outside this century old war. The elves the guardians of nature in all its forms. from the great forests of their homes to the far stretches of the world. their god telling them of the great crimes against nature. their homes grown of the trees without harming them. all their homes living testimate to their care for nature. they have their allies the animals, the fey folk, and the beast men of the world. though the beast men are less helpful at times.

Here's another example of clutter. The Dwarves have a strong role in the setting, and these guys are just kind of hanging out being generic Elves. The one interesting thing they do in this description, scuttling Human ships that approach their islands, is a pretty sensible thing for anybody to do considering that the Humans are a conquering empire run by a lich, and can easily be handed off to anybody or everybody else. Nobody is going to drop your fantasy campaign just because there are no Elves in it; my advice would be to justify their existence or cut them.

the humans live on their own island having destroyed all other races and formed an island spaning empire. Their land much like that of the dwarves slashed and burned for their advanced tech. the humans are spreading out to get more natural resources. [snip]

Undead are frowned upon seeing as immortality is something that can be gained through magic without corrupting their bodies in such ways. The humans don't see it that way some might but with the corruption of the empire being as it is they keep it to themselves. seeing as the current king is a lich. after the attempted assassination. vampires are seen as skum even in the eyes of other undead. hunted almost o the last from all the islands.

Are the Humans the only culture that allows Necromancy? Why would anybody become a lich if there are other methods of magical immortality available? Being a lich would suck. "Oh yay, I get to live forever, but never have sex again!" Yeah, thanks but no thanks. Why eliminate vampires? Sure, I hate Twilight too, but DF vampires are kind of boss and it'd go a long way toward explaining how the humans are able to conquer anybody else in a setting where every culture has some sort of huge unique advantage if some of their guys are immune to swords and bullets, can control minds, etc.  

The elves have been thinking of assisting the dragons in their war on the dwarves seeing them as the next empire to ravage the world. The dwarves have been secretly sending their experimental subs to talk with the humans seeking an alliance most of the world ignorant of this fact. The humans agreed if only to get a staging area to take over the rest of the world.  The world on the edge of a massive war and in the middle of this a new race suddenly bursts from the ground nearly all over the world. insect like and numbers beyond reason. the war the weakness in the surface races they have been waiting for.... or so it seems as they seem driven as if controlled by some force unknown to the surface.

The Humans and Dwarves are, respectively, an empire forged out of conquest with immediate plans for further expansion, and an industrialized genocidal belligerent. There is, frankly, no freakin' way those two groups would have contact and ever do anything but kill the shit out of each other, unless a) They've already fought a murderous war to a stalemate with neither side developing new advantages since then, or b) they have some external existential threat, or better yet c) Both. Making the Dragon Men + Bug Men acting independently from one another that existential threat is probably the easiest option (they respectively have active gods on their side and are utterly alien - what's not to fear and hate?), and even then the Humans and Dwarves would probably be a very uneasy alliance (which is, of course, great for game drama purposes).

General Questions: Are you planning to recruit players here for this, or just looking for comments on the setting..? What is this campaign about? IE: Who are the PCs and what do they do?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 09:43:09 AM by Gold & Appel Inc » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2013, 09:55:13 AM »

This setting has a lot of potential for excitement and awesomeness. Dwarven mechs ... elven Storm-Callers ... Fire-breathing dragon-man priests ... the only problem I could see is figuring out what to focus your attention on, so that you can create an epic campaign that shows off the best features of the setting.


How large? Like Nantucket? Manhattan? Britain? Australia? They're going to have to either be huge or spread very far apart to incorporate all of the biospheres you mention in the description of the dragon men. If you want to keep the setting relatively small, with the islands close together, you're going to need to either eliminate some of those climate/terrain types, or hand-wave crazy weather with the tired old classic, "A Wizard Did It," excuse.

I forget where I saw it, but a fairly recent fantasy setting incorporated "Planar Islands" ... they resemble islands, but they exist simultaneously in two or more planes of existence. So it's possible to set sail for the Dragon Isles, and reach them by ship, but once you're on the island, it's "as big as it needs to be" (like the TARDIS or something).

Depending on the overall flavor of the campaign, some islands might be in the sky, reachable only by airship or dragon ... others (the Isles of Vampires, where the last blood-suckers have taken refuge) might only be reachable at night, and vanish into mist by day.


There are dragons in the setting but they are few in number and mostly on the main island of the draconic lizardmen. The dragons gave them the blessing of their blood making the normal lizardmen extinct. but the draconic lizardmen took their place. This happened because of the dwarves hunting of the dragons with their superior technology. Great cannons, clumsy mechs, and firearms.

What TL are the Dwarves at, ballpark, like 3+2 with spikes of 3+6 or 3+6^ like the mechs? If they're too far above any other culture, and they're aggressive enough to try to genocide the dragons unprovoked, you're going to have to answer the question, "Why haven't the Dwarves already wiped out and/or enslaved X race, too? Why doesn't everybody else gang up on them as an obvious huge threat?"

From the description, I was picturing Steam-Punk tech for dwarves, maybe something in the general neighborhood of TL5+1, facilitated by Rune-Magic. Or maybe the humans have TL5+1, and the dwarves have a more Clock-Punk feel, TL4+2.


They guard the now floating mountain of a city.

"Floating mountain" as in "floating in the ocean," or as in "the thing flies?" In either case, is it mobile?

I was picturing the latter, as in, "An Island in the Sky." Mobile would be cool ... I cribbed a similar idea from Dragonlance (the "Flying Citadels" in the Dark Queen's army) for use in Empire of Ashes.


If the Dwarves are a homogenous one-race culture, and they all have Magic Resistance, their Clerics aren't going to be very useful to them in the normal Cleric roles of healer and buffer. You're probably going to want to have them specialize in some other force-multiplier that they can't duplicate with high tech, such as Divination, to justify why they bother with magic at all.

Or, they could forgo magic altogether (except for maybe Enchantments, i.e. Rune-Carving, to build their Magical Mecha and Repeating Boom-Sticks), and replace all "Cleric" functions with Divine Favor....


the humans live on their own island having destroyed all other races and formed an island spaning empire. Their land much like that of the dwarves slashed and burned for their advanced tech. the humans are spreading out to get more natural resources. [snip]

Undead are frowned upon seeing as immortality is something that can be gained through magic without corrupting their bodies in such ways. The humans don't see it that way some might but with the corruption of the empire being as it is they keep it to themselves. seeing as the current king is a lich. after the attempted assassination. vampires are seen as skum even in the eyes of other undead. hunted almost o the last from all the islands.

Are the Humans the only culture that allows Necromancy? Why would anybody become a lich if there are other methods of magical immortality available? Being a lich would suck. "Oh yay, I get to live forever, but never have sex again!" Yeah, thanks but no thanks. Why eliminate vampires? Sure, I hate Twilight too, but DF vampires are kind of boss and it'd go a long way toward explaining how the humans are able to conquer anybody else in a setting where every culture has some sort of huge unique advantage if some of their guys are immune to swords and bullets, can control minds, etc.  

Lichdom isn't just "immortality without sex," it's never having to worry about eating, drinking, sleeping, breathing, dating, getting shot or stabbed, etc, ever again. Of course, problems include Corpse-Aroma and the leaving chunks of rotting flesh on the nice furniture....

Maybe there was a war between humans and vampires in the past, and that's why vampires are so hated? Or maybe they're not the modern Sexy Goth Vampires, but the plague-bearing Nosferatu of medieval legend?


General Questions: Are you planning to recruit players here for this, or just looking for comments on the setting..? What is this campaign about? IE: Who are the PCs and what do they do?

Those are the big questions that need to be answered ... a cool setting is all good, but it needs an "entry point" for the PCs.
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2013, 10:36:52 AM »

What TL are the Dwarves at, ballpark, like 3+2 with spikes of 3+6 or 3+6^ like the mechs? [snip]

From the description, I was picturing Steam-Punk tech for dwarves, maybe something in the general neighborhood of TL5+1, facilitated by Rune-Magic. Or maybe the humans have TL5+1, and the dwarves have a more Clock-Punk feel, TL4+2.

TL 4+1 with occasional TL 4+5 spikes would be ideal, IMHO. I'm more partial to the clockpunk aesthetic than the steampunk one, especially for fantasy settings in which it's the high-end outlier, but that's just personal taste evident in all my work. The gaps between effective TL 5 and 6 and between TL 6 and 7 are huge from a military perspective, however, and you've already got "gunboat diplomacy" at equivalent 5... Any higher than that, and it becomes difficult to justify the Dwarves not being the 18th-century England of the setting, wrecking everybody's shit everywhere just cuz.

If the Dwarves are a homogenous one-race culture, and they all have Magic Resistance, their Clerics aren't going to be very useful to them in the normal Cleric roles of healer and buffer. You're probably going to want to have them specialize in some other force-multiplier that they can't duplicate with high tech, such as Divination, to justify why they bother with magic at all.

Or, they could forgo magic altogether (except for maybe Enchantments, i.e. Rune-Carving, to build their Magical Mecha and Repeating Boom-Sticks), and replace all "Cleric" functions with Divine Favor....

+1.

Are the Humans the only culture that allows Necromancy? Why would anybody become a lich if there are other methods of magical immortality available? Being a lich would suck. "Oh yay, I get to live forever, but never have sex again!" Yeah, thanks but no thanks. Why eliminate vampires? Sure, I hate Twilight too, but DF vampires are kind of boss and it'd go a long way toward explaining how the humans are able to conquer anybody else in a setting where every culture has some sort of huge unique advantage if some of their guys are immune to swords and bullets, can control minds, etc.  

Lichdom isn't just "immortality without sex," it's never having to worry about eating, drinking, sleeping, breathing, dating, getting shot or stabbed, etc, ever again. Of course, problems include Corpse-Aroma and the leaving chunks of rotting flesh on the nice furniture....

Maybe there was a war between humans and vampires in the past, and that's why vampires are so hated? Or maybe they're not the modern Sexy Goth Vampires, but the plague-bearing Nosferatu of medieval legend?

I happen to enjoy eating, drinking, sleeping, and dating, and some people make a pretty big deal about breathing. Not worrying about shortages in the above or getting shot or stabbed is admittedly a plus, but that may not be an issue with the setting's other forms of magical immortality for all we know...

My comments regarding vampires are meta. Sure, you can justify it IC, but I think they'd be more useful than not to the setting and that you might as well if you're featuring undead at all.
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2013, 12:37:57 PM »

Any higher than that, and it becomes difficult to justify the Dwarves not being the 18th-century England of the setting, wrecking everybody's shit everywhere just cuz.

Maybe they are wrecking everybody's shit, or they're at least getting ready to, and that's the "ignition point" for the campaign. If the PCs aren't dwarves, then the Dwarven Empire becomes the Big Dickin Bully of the setting ... even if they're not 'evil' per se, they're an Empire, and Empires push others around as a matter of course.

Come to think of it, that's one thing that might be problematic in this campaign ... since all of the various races are at war with one another, mixed parties are harder to justify -- unless they're all united against a Common Foe.


I happen to enjoy eating, drinking, sleeping, and dating, and some people make a pretty big deal about breathing. Not worrying about shortages in the above or getting shot or stabbed is admittedly a plus, but that may not be an issue with the setting's other forms of magical immortality for all we know...

Yeah, lichdom isn't for hedonists... it's a very austere 'life' (such as it is).... Wink


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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2013, 12:51:57 PM »

Any higher than that, and it becomes difficult to justify the Dwarves not being the 18th-century England of the setting, wrecking everybody's shit everywhere just cuz.

Maybe they are wrecking everybody's shit, or they're at least getting ready to, and that's the "ignition point" for the campaign. If the PCs aren't dwarves, then the Dwarven Empire becomes the Big Dickin Bully of the setting ... even if they're not 'evil' per se, they're an Empire, and Empires push others around as a matter of course.

This is kind of one my "default assumptions" for this campaign: The Dwarves and Dragon Men seem to be very-heavily featured, so I tend to assume that the campaign will center on one of them, but I get the feeling from the OP text that we're meant to sympathize with the Humans and/or Elves, hence confusion.

Come to think of it, that's one thing that might be problematic in this campaign ... since all of the various races are at war with one another, mixed parties are harder to justify -- unless they're all united against a Common Foe.

Mrr. Harder, yes, but not impossible enough to be avoided. Action tropes lovingly include the wacky turncoat.

I happen to enjoy eating, drinking, sleeping, and dating, and some people make a pretty big deal about breathing. Not worrying about shortages in the above or getting shot or stabbed is admittedly a plus, but that may not be an issue with the setting's other forms of magical immortality for all we know...

Yeah, lichdom isn't for hedonists... it's a very austere 'life' (such as it is).... Wink

I am what I am, what can I say? ;] I'm not saying that liches should be written out of the setting; just that there needs to be some explanation for why some people would choose that (shitty) option if there are others available that accomplish the same primary goal.
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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2013, 02:09:27 PM »

Australia sized islands. Draconic lizardmen and dragons on one. the dwarves and elves on another. the humans on one with few other beings surviving on it. They forced the goblinkin off their island to a small chain of islands south of the dragons.

The dwarves have not perfected their more advanced tech. the mechs, subs, repeating guns and such are well at a +2 to malfunction. they also are slow and heavy. but they are stocky dwarves. so not that big of a deal for them.

I was also thinking more the clockwork tech then steampunk. I also have never been a big fan of it.

The noble classes are slightly more even then that. Three dragons sharing goddom would have to be somewhat even or they would fight over having it all. dragons have some ego after all. Because if all the clerics were of one color then they would be off balance power wise. The city is semi mobile and floating in the sky. Its makes a pass over each of the clans lands. their structures are large and made of marble with light gold or sliver trim in the temples. there are no poor sections as everyone either guards the city or helps run the temple.

The lower clans have different tastes as far as construction and style go. that is from the dragons that changed and tought them about the different cultures around them. the desert and arctic are semi nomadic moving with the food in the area. the swamp and mountin are influenced by asian culture. the forest (iam thinking more rainforest like then anything.) and water clans are more like the amazon type structures on stilts (besides the ones that wouldn't work like forges and temples.). ((if any of this doesn't make much sense tell me another culture that would help out with that.))

well seeing as a entire race is worshiping them. the dragons are not high gods but on  the lower end of the god spectrum and also yes they lose their immortality if they lose too many followers. Its more how the the movie clash of the titans saw gods. they needed mortals love and affection as much as the mortals needed their divine protection.

The elves are not so much the prancing in the forest generic elves as you fuck with nature too much and we slit your throat kind of elves. hense the scuttling boats and plotting to take down the dwarves and humans. They see them as a threat to nature and their mission protecting it.

The human culture has more of a blunt hammer kind of learning system what ever is easiest to get is what they use. unlike the elves and draconic liazrdmen they take their time and learn whats possible to do with magic instead of what helps me kill everything and not die.

The humans are already plotting to take down the dwarves after the war is done with. the dwarves are too focused on their hatred of the dragons to see the threat at the moment. that might chance as the story goes on.  the only restrictions are no humans or dwarves of the empire kind. there are small groups of both that hate what the empire has done and seek asylum. But iam saying no soldiers of the empire unless its one hell bent on taking the empire down directly or indirectly.

The two PCs I have are draconic lizardman barbarian/arcanesmith. The other is a fire infused with a rather deep fire obsession. I know not the most unique bunch but meh its what i have.

I was planing on the dwarves having rune carving o-o so good guess. They can't use magic besides that. well that and divne magic thats limited to what the DF books say.

as for the vamps the reason is most of the religions see the drinking of ones blood forcefuly as a crime. the lizardmen see that as trying to steal their divine spark from the dragons. the elves because i ts undead in general. the dwarves because why wouldn't i kill a leech and the humans follow that logic.

and for the moment i was trying to flesh this out more and you guys already helped a lot with that.
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2013, 04:12:53 AM »

Australia sized islands. Draconic lizardmen and dragons on one. the dwarves and elves on another. [snip] The dwarves have not perfected their more advanced tech. the mechs, subs, repeating guns and such are well at a +2 to malfunction. they also are slow and heavy. but they are stocky dwarves. so not that big of a deal for them.

Wait, the Elves don't even get their own island now? And the Dwarves have repeating guns? I'm rapidly losing what little suspension-of-disbelief I had about the Dwarves not wiping the Elves out centuries ago. Most wars fought between powers with even 1 TL of difference are utterly hopeless, and superior magic only goes so far against guys who resist magic. What's keeping the Elves alive besides sheer cussedness?

The noble classes are slightly more even then that. Three dragons sharing goddom would have to be somewhat even or they would fight over having it all. dragons have some ego after all. Because if all the clerics were of one color then they would be off balance power wise. The city is semi mobile and floating in the sky. Its makes a pass over each of the clans lands. their structures are large and made of marble with light gold or sliver trim in the temples. there are no poor sections as everyone either guards the city or helps run the temple.

Neo-Socialist Theocracy. Got it. ;]

The lower clans have different tastes as far as construction and style go. that is from the dragons that changed and tought them about the different cultures around them. the desert and arctic are semi nomadic moving with the food in the area. the swamp and mountin are influenced by asian culture. the forest (iam thinking more rainforest like then anything.) and water clans are more like the amazon type structures on stilts (besides the ones that wouldn't work like forges and temples.). ((if any of this doesn't make much sense tell me another culture that would help out with that.))

I like the different aesthetics for the different subcultures. Aren't these guys all one society, though? You're making it sound like a loose confederation of nine vastly-separated states here. Can't the Greens just not have forges and trade with the Greys or somebody for worked metal goods? And why can't a temple be on stilts?

well seeing as a entire race is worshiping them. the dragons are not high gods but on  the lower end of the god spectrum and also yes they lose their immortality if they lose too many followers. Its more how the the movie clash of the titans saw gods. they needed mortals love and affection as much as the mortals needed their divine protection.

It's a common trope - Discworld also works this way. Who are the higher gods? Are they as active as the dragon gods, or do they just kick back and let their Clerics (try to) do everything?

The elves are not so much the prancing in the forest generic elves as you fuck with nature too much and we slit your throat kind of elves. hense the scuttling boats and plotting to take down the dwarves and humans. They see them as a threat to nature and their mission protecting it.

That... doesn't answer my question. What you are describing here is typical Elf behavior in most fantasy settings. What I'm asking is, basically, "Why have Elves in this story? What do they add?"

The humans are already plotting to take down the dwarves after the war is done with. the dwarves are too focused on their hatred of the dragons to see the threat at the moment. that might chance as the story goes on.  the only restrictions are no humans or dwarves of the empire kind. there are small groups of both that hate what the empire has done and seek asylum. But iam saying no soldiers of the empire unless its one hell bent on taking the empire down directly or indirectly.

Why do the Dwarves hate the dragons so much, but not everybody else? I mean, yeah, The Hobbit, sure, but that was a personal grudge over a large-scale robbery. Is there a (potentially-resolvable) reason for the bad blood, or are these guys just racist dicks?

The two PCs I have are draconic lizardman barbarian/arcanesmith. The other is a fire infused with a rather deep fire obsession. I know not the most unique bunch but meh its what i have.

I find it helpful when I'm planning a campaign to just give the players a specific role or set of roles to build characters for, ie: "You're all low-level organized criminals," "You're all spacers on a freight ship," etc. If you just hand them the books and tell them to make whatever, you're going to get a whole lot of whatever.

What do these guys do? What is this campaign about? Are they involved in the war somehow, or is that just the backdrop for dungeon-plunging?

I was planing on the dwarves having rune carving o-o so good guess. They can't use magic besides that. well that and divne magic thats limited to what the DF books say.

It's not really a guess if you said so in the OP. ;]

as for the vamps the reason is most of the religions see the drinking of ones blood forcefuly as a crime. the lizardmen see that as trying to steal their divine spark from the dragons. the elves because i ts undead in general. the dwarves because why wouldn't i kill a leech and the humans follow that logic.

"Okay, sure Vlad's a little creepy, and his diet gives the Quartermaster fits, but he has the strength of four men and always volunteers to carry extra gear and take point on night maneuvers. Besides, at least he used to be Human, unlike those Dwarven bastards..." ;]

That said, I was asking for the meta reason, not the IC reason. Why do you, the author of the setting, want to use liches and such but not want to use vampires? In a setting this kitchen-sinky, every omission stands out.

and for the moment i was trying to flesh this out more and you guys already helped a lot with that.

Glad to help. :]
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2013, 09:41:06 AM »


Wait, the Elves don't even get their own island now? And the Dwarves have repeating guns? I'm rapidly losing what little suspension-of-disbelief I had about the Dwarves not wiping the Elves out centuries ago. Most wars fought between powers with even 1 TL of difference are utterly hopeless, and superior magic only goes so far against guys who resist magic. What's keeping the Elves alive besides sheer cussedness?

Are the Dwarves in this setting genocidal enough to wipe out their rivals, rather than "colonize" (read: subjugate)? I don't think typical "Tolkienian Dwarf-Elf Rivalry" is quite that bloodthirsty.

Although, I could see the elves performing enough "eco-terrorism" on dwarven logging and clear-cutting operations that hostilities would escalate pretty quickly.


well seeing as a entire race is worshiping them. the dragons are not high gods but on  the lower end of the god spectrum and also yes they lose their immortality if they lose too many followers. Its more how the the movie clash of the titans saw gods. they needed mortals love and affection as much as the mortals needed their divine protection.

It's a common trope - Discworld also works this way. Who are the higher gods? Are they as active as the dragon gods, or do they just kick back and let their Clerics (try to) do everything?

Both Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance settings have similar elements ... and interestingly, both settings also have a "High God," with characteristics of an aloof monotheistic omni-divinity. Personally, I prefer a universe with no "True/High God," only "Those Beings Who Are Powerful Enough To Make Others Call Them Gods." It feels more authentic. Smiley


The elves are not so much the prancing in the forest generic elves as you fuck with nature too much and we slit your throat kind of elves. hense the scuttling boats and plotting to take down the dwarves and humans. They see them as a threat to nature and their mission protecting it.

That... doesn't answer my question. What you are describing here is typical Elf behavior in most fantasy settings. What I'm asking is, basically, "Why have Elves in this story? What do they add?"

Yeah, elves have gotten steadily more bloodthirsty (aka Darker and Edgier) over the years, although they're still typically seen as "good guys."

Again, my preference departs from standard fantasy here; I'd answer by saying that "my" elves have more in common with the Daoine-Sidhe and other fae, and in fact are faeries themselves ... this comes with a slew of natural magical abilities (Invisibility, Insubstantiality, possibly limited Teleportation ... typical faerie powers), along with a gift for natural/elemental sorcery.

Until recently, this has given them enough of an edge to hold their own against superior technology -- after all, a sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology! Lately, however, dwarven and human industry and expansion have pushed them back, and they're getting more and more desparate. Many have departed for the Undying Lands, but there's a movement which has been adapting and adopting just enough technology, and honing their aggressive magics (piles of magic resistance and steel armor are nothing against lightning strikes!), in order to wage a counter-offensive.


The two PCs I have are draconic lizardman barbarian/arcanesmith. The other is a fire infused with a rather deep fire obsession. I know not the most unique bunch but meh its what i have.

I find it helpful when I'm planning a campaign to just give the players a specific role or set of roles to build characters for, ie: "You're all low-level organized criminals," "You're all spacers on a freight ship," etc. If you just hand them the books and tell them to make whatever, you're going to get a whole lot of whatever.

Agreed. Even if it's something as general as, "you're members of the Resistance against the Dwarven Empire," it can help to spark ideas for the players, and nudge them in the direction that they'll need to go for the campaign to work.


What do these guys do? What is this campaign about? Are they involved in the war somehow, or is that just the backdrop for dungeon-plunging?

With all the war themes in the background, I was assuming a campaign about the war. The PCs wouldn't need to be "soldiers in the trench," or even necessarily associated with an army ... they could be "fantasy spec-ops," undertaking secret missions for their side, or they could just be people who are trying to keep from getting caught between armies. Either way, once troops are on the move, it should have a large impact on everyone's lives.

This doesn't have to rule out dungeon-plunging ... e.g., retrieving the Mighty Sword of Chopping from the Vaults of Unpleasantness, because it's the only thing that can cut a Dwarven tank in half.


and for the moment i was trying to flesh this out more and you guys already helped a lot with that.

Glad to help. :]

Totally.
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2013, 08:42:38 PM »

Okay first i will tackle the dwarves. Their weapons and gear are on the heavy and clunky end like i said and prone to breakdowns with very little damage to them. Also like the elves they are not all that quick to breed as they have long life times. so a few deaths does more damage then say it would to the lizardmen or humans. Needless to say the goblinkin have a huge leg up on everyone in that department.  anyway. The main reason being like you said the elves have been hitting the dwarves with hit and run tactics. Also another good point being all the metal in a lightning storm makes it kinda one sided with the druids directing the strikes. so the elves could mess them up pretty well if need be. as for the dragon dwarve war it was over the resources of the mountins. the dragons were there first but the dwarves said bugger off and the dragons didn't like that too much so it started small. the greys and greens fighting with them over land and resources but then it became an all out war as the dwarves took off the kid gloves and dropped the mechs on them. The mechs armed with massive melee weapons and cannons did a number to the dragons who honestly didn't think the dwarves were that special. A moment of arrogance that cost them dearly. Then it degraded more as the dwarves invented a new dragon's bane rune that focused solely on dragons allowing them to make their mechs even better at it and across the pond a good ways the dragons were hiding their treasures and found the lizardmen. many tribes of them. they took in one tribe changing them to be more like them. giving them a spark of their essence. not full blooded dragons but half breeds. the lizardmen as low end as they were suddenly had a leap in general with their mind, body, and spirits connections to magic. Gaining radical abilities well beyond what they thought their race could do. so hence wow these amazing reptile like beings must be our gods. bam about ten years down the road the biggest three clans built the floating city with magic and the  "gods" help. The dwarves at this point having done a great deal of harm. but the remaining dragons retreated to their new homes. The lizardmen were sent out to fight the dwarves in their stead. The dwarves laughed as they new of the lizardmen and "knew" they were not powerful enough to stand up to them. but a few months later and the dwarves were pushed back by the lizardmens massive numbers and magic advantage. They pushed them to the tunnels where their numbers didn't matter as much and the dwarves had home ground advantage. this is where the stalemate started with the colapsing of side tunnels as killzones to thin out the lizardmen and the retreat of the lizardmen back to their island.

as for the reasons the dwarves started all this a few greedy noble houses ruled by clans that had thought up the mechs and first built them. so the richest and most powerful clans. wanted more metal more wood/charcoal. They also got wind of a rare metal in the dragons hoard that well only falls from meteors. so ya it was greed and power hungry ambition. Their are different races of dwarves but all of them are magic resistant to a point. not like haha we are immune but enough the average mage starting with no magery would have issues damaging him. now the lizardmen/elves have bonus magery to start so not as much for them. well thats because i allow this for the magery max level. (( Race bonus+ 5 levels counting magery 0 as a level. elves have 0 or 1 i forget and the lizardmen have magery 2 as a racial bonus. so max level for lizardmen is magery 7 I know thats high but meh the dwarves would be over powered if not.))

as for the elves I wanted them more there for the flavor they add and the potential ally to the dragons. Also I like that idea of them being related to the fey. So we will go that way. They also have more druids and shaman then they do mages but they have those as well. Their homes are hard to find and the dwarves are more at home in stone not wood and underbrush. the elves don't generally use the ground to move and use trees and plant based teleportation. so they have many ways of remaining out of reach. almost every large town has some sort of anti-magic spying/attacking spells on it to prevent instant wins by players and  races alike.  They also have th ablity to control and create guardians that can take down the mechs. Giving tree sentient thought and dig their roots into the gears fouling up the clock work mechs.

Now the draconic lizardmen have not just been changed to have colorful scales and use magic. they have been genetically modified to be half dragon. The six low clans were made from around 3-6 of each color of dragons. none of these lower dragons ascending. they instead reinforced the "fact" that the noble three dragons were gods. in exchange for the three powerful dragons favor. not because they wanted to but because the clans they turned were far to small compared to the already ascended dragons clans. They lost a lot of their animistic side as their pure lizardmen ancestors where. but gained an amazing amount of skill with magic and many abilities that each dragon race had.

Like I said before I was trying to flesh this out a bit more and iam thinking maybe the war as it is. isn't the main theme for the story as much as surviving the main threat of the story. the dwarves having dug too deep and found the race under them the insect race and their leaders the elder-spawn. the war might start out as the main theme but turn into a shit storm once the dwarves are put down or weakened to a point. Not much is known of the elder-spawn and their minions.  at the moment i was thinking somewhat more like the mindflayers from D&D.

as for the vampires I told you the in game reasons. its mostly for religious reasons. out of game idk I wanted to have a alienated branch of the undead that even the big bad guys hate. if it doesn't make that much sense in story wise I might change it. I am on the wall about these part.
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2013, 04:17:06 AM »

Okay first i will tackle the dwarves. Their weapons and gear are on the heavy and clunky end like i said and prone to breakdowns with very little damage to them. Also like the elves they are not all that quick to breed as they have long life times. so a few deaths does more damage then say it would to the lizardmen or humans.

Works for me.

Needless to say the goblinkin have a huge leg up on everyone in that department.

Same question as for the Elves: Why are these guys even here? They seem to have no role in the setting other than Victim of the Humans. If you're not going to have them as slaves of the Humans to make the Human Empire darker and edgier, why not just consolidate the cast and say the Humans wiped them right out years ago?

[snip] but then it became an all out war as the dwarves took off the kid gloves and dropped the mechs on them. The mechs armed with massive melee weapons and cannons did a number to the dragons who honestly didn't think the dwarves were that special. A moment of arrogance that cost them dearly. Then it degraded more as the dwarves invented a new dragon's bane rune that focused solely on dragons allowing them to make their mechs even better at it

Kind of wanting to play a Dwarf the more I hear about this setting, even if they're dicks, not gonna lie...

[snip] Their are different races of dwarves but all of them are magic resistant to a point. not like haha we are immune but enough the average mage starting with no magery would have issues damaging him.

Can Mages increase their Magery in this setting? The "average" starting full-time Mage in GURPS usually has as much Magery as he's allowed to buy, not 0...

now the lizardmen/elves have bonus magery to start so not as much for them. well thats because i allow this for the magery max level. (( Race bonus+ 5 levels counting magery 0 as a level. elves have 0 or 1 i forget and the lizardmen have magery 2 as a racial bonus. so max level for lizardmen is magery 7 I know thats high but meh the dwarves would be over powered if not.))

Yikes. So even relatively-unintelligent lizardmen can be master mages pretty cheaply, even their soldiers and laborers will use magic freely with probable FP discounts, they can whip up 21-die missile spells, etc. That may have some unintended consequences down the road, to put it mildly. And they have numbers. They probably control a plurality of the worlds' mages, if not a majority.  

as for the elves I wanted them more there for the flavor they add and the potential ally to the dragons. Also I like that idea of them being related to the fey. So we will go that way. They also have more druids and shaman then they do mages but they have those as well. Their homes are hard to find and the dwarves are more at home in stone not wood and underbrush. the elves don't generally use the ground to move and use trees and plant based teleportation. so they have many ways of remaining out of reach. almost every large town has some sort of anti-magic spying/attacking spells on it to prevent instant wins by players and  races alike.  They also have th ablity to control and create guardians that can take down the mechs. Giving tree sentient thought and dig their roots into the gears fouling up the clock work mechs.

That definitely toughens them up, especially the teleportation. Expect massive deforestation once the Dwarves catch on to that one.

Like I said before I was trying to flesh this out a bit more and iam thinking maybe the war as it is. isn't the main theme for the story as much as surviving the main threat of the story. the dwarves having dug too deep and found the race under them the insect race and their leaders the elder-spawn. the war might start out as the main theme but turn into a shit storm once the dwarves are put down or weakened to a point. Not much is known of the elder-spawn and their minions.  at the moment i was thinking somewhat more like the mindflayers from D&D.

So are these guys basically the bug men from DF3, or something else?

as for the vampires I told you the in game reasons. its mostly for religious reasons. out of game idk I wanted to have a alienated branch of the undead that even the big bad guys hate. if it doesn't make that much sense in story wise I might change it. I am on the wall about these part.

If they're going to be alienated but still around, you should have somebody who doesn't think they're icky ally with them... Maybe they could be quislings for the elder-spawn. :]

So, unanswered questions: What is this campaign about? What do the PCs do? Also, which faction do the PCs support, the dragons?
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2013, 06:15:34 PM »

Nice Ideas and the dragons side to a degree. They could be elves, goblinkin, elementals, things of that kind also. just no humans or dwarves really or it makes the story difficult. well or bug people or elderspawn. Okay at first the characters will start out in separate areas of life. but will be pushed together by the war then the invasion of the bug people. I will get their stories before we start and custom make a trail of events that would lead them to working together even if at first its with little trust.
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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2013, 01:18:33 PM »

[...] the dwarves took off the kid gloves and dropped the mechs on them. The mechs armed with massive melee weapons and cannons did a number to the dragons who honestly didn't think the dwarves were that special.

How do these mechs work? Have you thought about game stats at all? From your descriptions of dwarven-tech, I'm picturing huge lumbering clockwork robots, with giant weapons (flails, axes, hammers, cannons) for arms. I think you mentioned that they're coal-powered? Or straight-up magic? Are they something that the PCs will encounter (most likely as enemies), or just background color?


the lizardmen as low end as they were suddenly had a leap in general with their mind, body, and spirits connections to magic. Gaining radical abilities well beyond what they thought their race could do.

So elves have Nature-Aspected Magic (Druidic), humans seem to favor Necromancy, what's the flavor of Dragon-Man Magic? Is it "Generic Wizard Magic," or maybe Elementalist Magic (from DF9) corresponding to dragon-species or something?


Not much is known of the elder-spawn and their minions.  at the moment i was thinking somewhat more like the mindflayers from D&D.

So a cabal of Mind Flayers took control of the Hive-Mind of a race of subterranean insect-people, and is using them to fight a proxy-war with the dwarves? Maybe with the goblins caught in the middle ... they're at war with the insect-men too, but neither the dwarves nor the goblins can stomach working together.

And if it's Mind Flayers behind it all, they've probably started infiltrating and mind-controlling both the goblins and the dwarves.


as for the vampires I told you the in game reasons. its mostly for religious reasons. out of game idk I wanted to have a alienated branch of the undead that even the big bad guys hate. if it doesn't make that much sense in story wise I might change it. I am on the wall about these part.

If there's a group that everyone hates, there's a good chance that one or more players will want to be that race, especially when it's Vampires. It sounds like the vamps are all Underdog in this setting, and that's irresistible to some ... especially in a campaign that's focused on Underdogs vs. the Empire to begin with!


[...] have [goblins] as slaves of the Humans to make the Human Empire darker and edgier [...]

I really like that idea, especially if you're going to highlight the humans as being Corrupted by Dark Magic.


Yikes. So even relatively-unintelligent lizardmen can be master mages pretty cheaply, even their soldiers and laborers will use magic freely with probable FP discounts, they can whip up 21-die missile spells, etc. That may have some unintended consequences down the road, to put it mildly. And they have numbers. They probably control a plurality of the worlds' mages, if not a majority. 

Idea for follow-up campaign: a generation later, the dragons have established a worldwide mageocratic/theocratic Empire of their own, wherein their mammalian slave-subject live mostly in relative comfort, but for the monthly lotteries to determine who gets to Feed the Dragon-Gods.


Nice Ideas and the dragons side to a degree. They could be elves, goblinkin, elementals, things of that kind also. just no humans or dwarves really or it makes the story difficult. well or bug people or elderspawn.

Not even turncoats? What about a human necromancer who lost a power-struggle with another necromancer and fled for his life, who now rabble-rouses with revolutionaries as he plots his revenge? Or a veteran dwarven soldier who had a moral crisis, and deserted his post to join with the Resistance? Or a bug-man who saw the corruption of the Elder Things as it consumed the Hive Mind, and somehow managed to escape?


Okay at first the characters will start out in separate areas of life. but will be pushed together by the war then the invasion of the bug people. I will get their stories before we start and custom make a trail of events that would lead them to working together even if at first its with little trust.

This is one situation where "You all meet in a bar..." isn't that far-fetched as a way to start the campaign. The PCs all happen to be a particular tavern in a particular town, when an invading army arrives (Dwarves, Humans, Bugs, whatever -- you should probably pick one to be the Main Campaign Bad Guy) ... all of them have some reason to dislike or avoid the army, so they have to band together to survive and escape. VoilĂ , instant party.
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« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2013, 01:30:12 PM »

OK, here's an idea... the Dwarven and Human Empires have been at war for a while, with the other races fighting skirmishes and guerrilla wars against either or both. The dwarves were actually winning, having shifted their tactics from Giant Mecha vs. Dragons to Divine Favor vs. Necromancers & Undead. (Although they still probably use Giant Mecha to squash hordes of goblin slave-soldiers.)

Then all of a sudden, maybe a few months before the campaign starts, the dwarves halted their surface offensives, and withdrew into the mountains. This left the Human (& Undead, & Goblin slave-soldiers) unchecked, who started focusing on rooting out the Resistance, and conquering the other races.

So the first few adventures are about the PCs trying to escape from the marching Imperial Legions, fighting against undead & goblins, etc. Then at some point midway through the campaign, the Dwarves return in force, this time marching alongside vast armies of Bug-Men. And the Dwarves aren't acting normally, they also seem to be controlled by some hidden connection, as if they're all part of the same Psychic Gestalt.

They become the primary campaign villains, opening up the possibility of the PCs forging a temporary alliance with the Humans, to fight against the greater threat. Of course, it turns out that the Mind Flayers are behind it all, so the ultimate goal (once the PCs figure that out) is to find and destroy the cabal of Mind Flayers, before they can absorb the whole world into the Psionic Mind-Control Web.

As for vampires, they're immune to being controlled by Necromancers (unlike regular skeletons and zombies), which is why the Human Empire tried to wipe them out. None of the other groups really objected, because as you said, nobody really likes vampires. However, they're also immune to Mind Flayer control, so they could make powerful allies against the Psionic Gestalt, if only the PCs can find the Mist-Shrouded Isles (which can only be found in the Material World on a moonless night) and convince them to help.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 01:42:47 PM by Lex » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2013, 01:51:09 PM »

Well about the turn coats thing I was thinking of it and honestly my group would assume he would betray them and it would probably end in a team killing spree and I wanted to avoid that. As for the bug men same reason they assume alot and its hard to make them see things can be different from the whole. -sighs.- why i have such trouble making a campaign that doesn't get derailed. if I don't carefully think things through it happens its like they try to do it or something.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 01:17:08 PM by Azrael » Logged
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