[DnD 5E] Yup, here's your problem. Someone set this PC to evil.

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  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    edited May 21
    Each rib is a one time use spell scroll. As a bonus action, break off a rib taking X dmg and reduce max HP by X, to cast spell Y. Each rib is unique spell, cannot have duplicates. To restore max HP must scavange a fresh rib, dry it in the sun for 24 hours, then perform a 1hr ritual to carve a spell from your spellbook into it. You may have up to 24 inscribed ribs maximum (human). Removing all ribs leaves you at Z hp, so max - 24X=Z. (Not sure what's balanced).

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  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    These are all fantastic ideas. @Endless_Serpents Well, you've solved what i'll use as a background for Sunbones now - i really like that "Got made by a village praying for a champion" idea. Also it adds to the humor: Sunbones, Folk Hero. Despite flehsies having a prejudices, They're somehow very good at fitting in and hiding in villagers. "A skeleton cleric? in our town? Impossible. The skeleton you saw by the gate is a broken scarecrow, geez."

    At some point, i should do a write up for you all on my Orcs are Lions, Ogres are Hippos, Goblins are Anglerfish takes on races. Not anything with stats, just providing some more (to me) interesting takes on some classics. Well, actually i'm pretty fond of Goblins as "psycopathic maniacs" ala pathfinder, but io like my HippoOgres and LionOrcs a lot better than the defaults.

    Ideas hate it when you anthropomorphize them
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  • DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    These are all fantastic ideas. @Endless_Serpents Well, you've solved what i'll use as a background for Sunbones now - i really like that "Got made by a village praying for a champion" idea. Also it adds to the humor: Sunbones, Folk Hero. Despite flehsies having a prejudices, They're somehow very good at fitting in and hiding in villagers. "A skeleton cleric? in our town? Impossible. The skeleton you saw by the gate is a broken scarecrow, geez."

    At some point, i should do a write up for you all on my Orcs are Lions, Ogres are Hippos, Goblins are Anglerfish takes on races. Not anything with stats, just providing some more (to me) interesting takes on some classics. Well, actually i'm pretty fond of Goblins as "psycopathic maniacs" ala pathfinder, but io like my HippoOgres and LionOrcs a lot better than the defaults.

    To me, goblins are like demented racoons

    sNIrGKO.png
    Elvenshae
  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    Darmak wrote: »
    These are all fantastic ideas. @Endless_Serpents Well, you've solved what i'll use as a background for Sunbones now - i really like that "Got made by a village praying for a champion" idea. Also it adds to the humor: Sunbones, Folk Hero. Despite flehsies having a prejudices, They're somehow very good at fitting in and hiding in villagers. "A skeleton cleric? in our town? Impossible. The skeleton you saw by the gate is a broken scarecrow, geez."

    At some point, i should do a write up for you all on my Orcs are Lions, Ogres are Hippos, Goblins are Anglerfish takes on races. Not anything with stats, just providing some more (to me) interesting takes on some classics. Well, actually i'm pretty fond of Goblins as "psycopathic maniacs" ala pathfinder, but io like my HippoOgres and LionOrcs a lot better than the defaults.

    demented racoons

    You repeat yourself :biggrin:

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  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Will Sunbones be on the lookout for replacement bones as part of their leveling up process? Fresh bones from kills would probably be too sticky, but you never know with ancient tombs and such

    I have no idea, but it could be a cool element. Ideally if i was running this character, i'd like to use Walrock's awoken undead homebrew and just switch out the Skeleton subrace's stat bonus for a Wis one, and otherwise keep all the rules - they seem both flavourful and fun, without being broken (and with actually having consequences to being an undead, which is good). That certainly allows for switching out bones, and there's even a neat racial feat for being able to deploy your own hand as a scout

    That said, i'd imagine Sunbones replacing bones as either a significant event, or as "...well, that arm's useless". Maybe quite ritualized (i.e take time to sun bleach the bones and scrimshaw them up or something).


    ...also seeing the Glyph of Warding idea, the idea of "In case of emergency, remove hand and throw" is fantastic.

    Edit: @ Endless_Serpents Well, i'm stealing that. That's fantastic. (Also the left elbow is a wizard would play real well with the "You do not want to know what's inscribed on my hand")

    Now I'm just imagining the rest of the party being quietly squicked out as your skeleton cleric wanders around a battlefield looking for spare limbs that aren't too badly damaged. Carrying a backpack full of arms and legs to bleach and scrimshaw in his downtime so they'll be able to attach them when they're needed, quietly humming "The knee bones connected to the leg bone...The leg bones connected to the ankle bone..."

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
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  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    The inherent humour value of being a skeleton and doing this like that is half the reason why I want to play Sunbones. "Dave, you're taller than me! Hold my head up so I can see over the fence!"

    Dave never spoke of it, but he was mildly traumatized by this.

    Plus all the possible literal pocket cleric jokes (admittedly, trying to explain to the town guard why you're sneaking a dissembled scrimshawed skeleton in might be awkward)

    Ideas hate it when you anthropomorphize them
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  • DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    Great, now I want to make a skeleton PC like the one from the comic, "Skeleton Soldier Couldn't Protect the Dungeon"

    sNIrGKO.png
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  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    Darmak wrote: »
    Great, now I want to make a skeleton PC like the one from the comic, "Skeleton Soldier Couldn't Protect the Dungeon"

    Clearly we need a game where the entire party are good aligned skeletons, trying to deal with a confusing, fleshy world

    Ideas hate it when you anthropomorphize them
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  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    The inherent humour value of being a skeleton and doing this like that is half the reason why I want to play Sunbones. "Dave, you're taller than me! Hold my head up so I can see over the fence!"

    Dave never spoke of it, but he was mildly traumatized by this.

    Plus all the possible literal pocket cleric jokes (admittedly, trying to explain to the town guard why you're sneaking a dissembled scrimshawed skeleton in might be awkward)

    "I'm only taller than you because you took your legs off of that dwarf back in Fallingham, if you had taken the legs from her firbolg buddy like we suggested you'd easily be tall enough to see over the fence on your own.
    "I told you, firbolg legs are hard to walk on, They're too long. I'd be slamming my toes into every piece of furniture in a room. And you have no idea how much that hurts when you don't have any soft flesh to protect your toe bones.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
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  • NipsNips Luxuriating in existential crisis.Registered User regular
    see317 wrote: »
    Will Sunbones be on the lookout for replacement bones as part of their leveling up process? Fresh bones from kills would probably be too sticky, but you never know with ancient tombs and such

    I have no idea, but it could be a cool element. Ideally if i was running this character, i'd like to use Walrock's awoken undead homebrew and just switch out the Skeleton subrace's stat bonus for a Wis one, and otherwise keep all the rules - they seem both flavourful and fun, without being broken (and with actually having consequences to being an undead, which is good). That certainly allows for switching out bones, and there's even a neat racial feat for being able to deploy your own hand as a scout

    That said, i'd imagine Sunbones replacing bones as either a significant event, or as "...well, that arm's useless". Maybe quite ritualized (i.e take time to sun bleach the bones and scrimshaw them up or something).


    ...also seeing the Glyph of Warding idea, the idea of "In case of emergency, remove hand and throw" is fantastic.

    Edit: @ Endless_Serpents Well, i'm stealing that. That's fantastic. (Also the left elbow is a wizard would play real well with the "You do not want to know what's inscribed on my hand")

    Now I'm just imagining the rest of the party being quietly squicked out as your skeleton cleric wanders around a battlefield looking for spare limbs that aren't too badly damaged. Carrying a backpack full of arms and legs to bleach and scrimshaw in his downtime so they'll be able to attach them when they're needed, quietly humming "The knee bones connected to the leg bone...The leg bones connected to the ankle bone..."

    Clearly, said party would never have grouped with a Lizardfolk.

    "Cunning Artisan" and "Hungry Jaws", indeed.

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  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited May 21
    Actual Mesoamerican connection is unnecessary, but for fun I bastardised a name in Nahuatl (the Aztec recreation language).

    Omitiltemoatona

    “The bones they bathe in sunlight”

    Edit:
    If you wanted to say it it’d be [om] [ eetilt] [emoah ] [tone] [ah].

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  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited May 21
    Whelk wrote: »
    My first thought was:
    9iyghdnvn0ne.jpeg

    Note to self: Sunbones should have an appropriate toolkit proficiency so they can carve their own bones as a form of worship.

    So the question to me is if he turned himself into scrimshaw or it was a part of the necromancy to raise him?

    It’d be pretty neat if he was summoned by a community in need. They prayed together over a tomb of heroes hoping for either guidance or divine intervention, but as their prayers were not exact they didn’t get a particular hero, but the very concept of one built from their bones.

    As for the carving, maybe that was done to all heroes, and they just continue it now.

    Perhaps along with the sun Sunbones communes with these heroes, who are good hearted but fallible, with some outdated ideas.

    Edit:
    “Surrender fiend! A lone undead is no match for the Barghest Bandits!”

    “Step aside thieves, for I am over two-hundred strong! My fists are the fists of warriors. My legs are the legs of kings and queens! My left elbow is a wizard!... which is more powerful than that probably sounds!”

    Building off the Glyph of Warding idea, perhaps it's not even just one skeleton but maybe one and a bit made up of a whole range of different saints and heroes. Swapping a few bits in and out of the Sunbones each long rest as you reset your spells.

    Of course that means that the collection of minds animating the Sunbones changes each time you do this as well, with more powerful bones having a more dominant influence on the collective's personality.
    With something like "Augury" or "Detect thoughts" being done by incorporating someone recently dead into you - though only an element of their mind and memories. Whilst Estavatabulus, the Mage King of Heiror, might have had more personality in his little finger than any of these other dimwitted clods have in their entire being (a fact he never ceases to remind you, whenever that specific digit is called to service) - most spirits don't maintain such a strong connection to just part of their mortal remains. Enough to get an vague feeling of a plan, or a rough understanding of something they knew in life (a skill they used everyday, or language perhaps).

    Not enough to actually converse with, except in special cases.

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  • EnigmedicEnigmedic Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    OK But FYI... when I steal your entire idea to use as a mid-level boss fight... scrimshawed bones with definitely be a part of how and why this skeleton is so badass. :)

    Idea thievery!? in the DND thread!?

    Good job, keep it up, i'd expect nothing less (Also you have to report back how Evilbones does, even if they bring shame to the concept's lineage and Sunbones would be very disappointed in them)

    Well it would have to be Moonbones to be evil right? and maybe a Moonbones was created to balance the creation of Sunbones. kind of a conservation of energy type thing, or no light without darkness. Like fighting Link's shadow in various zelda games. and Moonbones is just made up of the bones of criminals, evil necromancers, politicians, and other monsters.

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  • WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    All of this does remind me of an industrialized necromancer society I've played around with mentally. I like the idea of necromancy in this world only working on the willing, but it's a horrific existence as your soul is in a painful state of limbo while rudimentary magic pilots your corpse and you look on, feeling only the trauma inflicted to it.

    Yet..... You get paid for allowing your body to be used for labors after you've died. So there's a big work force who pulled themselves out of poverty in life for a couple decades of torture after death. Depending on the nature of your death, you might make it out without being animated at all! So there's a big middle class in this small necro-nation who live life to a ridiculous degree. A small percentage are more prudent and buy their way out of their contracts through deed or amassing a larger fortune. But I like the idea of all the farms, mines and factories being tended by skellymans.

    Smrtnik
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Enigmedic wrote: »
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    OK But FYI... when I steal your entire idea to use as a mid-level boss fight... scrimshawed bones with definitely be a part of how and why this skeleton is so badass. :)

    Idea thievery!? in the DND thread!?

    Good job, keep it up, i'd expect nothing less (Also you have to report back how Evilbones does, even if they bring shame to the concept's lineage and Sunbones would be very disappointed in them)

    Well it would have to be Moonbones to be evil right? and maybe a Moonbones was created to balance the creation of Sunbones. kind of a conservation of energy type thing, or no light without darkness. Like fighting Link's shadow in various zelda games. and Moonbones is just made up of the bones of criminals, evil necromancers, politicians, and other monsters.

    I know who Sunbones’ antagonist is...

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  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    OK But FYI... when I steal your entire idea to use as a mid-level boss fight... scrimshawed bones with definitely be a part of how and why this skeleton is so badass. :)

    Idea thievery!? in the DND thread!?

    Good job, keep it up, i'd expect nothing less (Also you have to report back how Evilbones does, even if they bring shame to the concept's lineage and Sunbones would be very disappointed in them)

    I have decided to use Evilbones here as a the captain of an infamous ghost airship in my under-construction homebrew floating islands campaign. Spooky airship, undead crew, with some sort of an awakened skeleton with badass scrimshaw "tattoos". Infamous the world over! Do all the pirates have scrimshaw? Is that part of their curse? Maybe the hull of the ship is covered in the same type of carvings, binding the souls of the crew to the souls of the ship? I don't know yet, but I do know its gonna happen!!

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  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    OK But FYI... when I steal your entire idea to use as a mid-level boss fight... scrimshawed bones with definitely be a part of how and why this skeleton is so badass. :)

    Idea thievery!? in the DND thread!?

    Good job, keep it up, i'd expect nothing less (Also you have to report back how Evilbones does, even if they bring shame to the concept's lineage and Sunbones would be very disappointed in them)

    I have decided to use Evilbones here as a the captain of an infamous ghost airship in my under-construction homebrew floating islands campaign. Spooky airship, undead crew, with some sort of an awakened skeleton with badass scrimshaw "tattoos". Infamous the world over! Do all the pirates have scrimshaw? Is that part of their curse? Maybe the hull of the ship is covered in the same type of carvings, binding the souls of the crew to the souls of the ship? I don't know yet, but I do know its gonna happen!!

    I'd say make it something that Evilbones and His/Her/It's ship has. Make all the other undead zombies or similarly fleshed, but each has a brand etched on their forehead. Clever pcs can locate that each bran on a Zombie's forehead matches one upon both the airship's hull and Evilbones. So, either this is something done by whoever made Evilbones and their ship - or more preferably imho, this something that Evilbones does when adding new crew. Possibly with shades of Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, just with more undead grabbing villagers and pinning them down so Evilbones can carve her mark into their forehead.

    Plus it just makes it creepier when the pcs come across a village that's been ransacked by Evilbones- The corpses that are left are the ones that are too destroyed to be of use, but no other bodies can be found. Even the children are gone (Let"s face it, children are a hot commodity in the Sentient Sacrifice Trade, and Evilbones needs her a new cannon or two to spiff up that airship)

    Also it gives you the nice conflict on killing Evilbones crew if by implication they're not willing, which is good i think (Or they can all be willing evil souls who signed on if yo uneed some morality free mooks to blow to high heavens)

    Ideas hate it when you anthropomorphize them
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  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    edited May 22
    @steelhawk

    Bonus thought: If it's a specific thing that Evilbones is doing, this makes letting her/it/him get away a bigger threat.

    Oh, oh no.

    We can make this Worse (Better).

    Evilbone's ship? It's not a real thing. Not in the way we'd think of an airship having been built, constructed out of fine woods and metals. No, Evilbones ship is forged out of Soulmatter and strange thoughts, the gestalt product of their enslaved crew. By their own all Evilbones is piloting is a tiny one person airdinghy. But as they capture and enslave people, the ship itself grows. Left unchecked, Evilbones will be flying an impossible battleship, captain of a crew of hundreds of enslaved souls.

    Edit: Further thought -the crew themselves are flesh sloppy holding itself in human shapes. Closer inspection reveals that they're boneless.

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  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    Part of the crew, part of the ship...

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  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Let me roll it around in my head a bit more and I'll give you an update on how it turns out. :)

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  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    Okay, so i said i'd post this.

    Orcs are Lions: a pitch on reworking Orcs into something more distinctive.

    So, i'm not a super fan of most generic fantasy races, honestly. Orcs particularly have always stuck in my craw somewhat, and i hate hate hate Always Evil Races. I also hate when Races are basically treated as "Human + A culture slapped on", even though such things are arguably emergent, based on terrain and biology and things.

    So with that in mind, i was looking at Orcs and my brain went "Well, what if we mix them up with Lions". Lions are big ol burly creatures, much like Orcs are often depicted. More importantly, Lions are predators - and unlike humans, who are Persistence Hunting Omnivores (meaning we'll walk after shit till it falls over dead from literal exhaustion, and we'll eat anything), Lions are Ambush Hunting Hyper-Carnivores.

    Admittedly, traditionally orcs are often associated with pigs, and while that's got some ripe territory to explore (check out Dungeon Meshi's take on orcs, they're great and i love their visuals) my brain tends to get stuck on things one it comes up with things, so Lionorcs it is.

    So. Orcs are a humanoid race who are Hyper-carnivorous (70%+ of their diet is meat) and work by ambush hunting. Orcs, unlike humans, are not built for endurance - they're built for brief and overwhelming bursts of strength and speed interspersed with long periods of lethargy or low-effort activities. This central fact of their biology then informs the rest of their basic approaches to culture and sociology.

    Orcs come in as you'd expect, male and female variety. Females make up the majority of an orc village, and such villagers tend to have either a Chieftianess, or ruling council of matriarchs - often the older orcs who are less able to hunt. Orcs born with disabilities, or lamed in ways that would prevent them from hunting are not shunned - instead such orcs take up roles of crafters, casters, smiths, lorekeepers or similar functions. (reasoning here being i really didn't want any of that "Spartan they KILL THE UNFIT" crap - it's far too grimdark and nonsensical for my tastes. PLus, who cares if the village wisewoman is missing a leg, have you seen what she can do with magic?). Females on average stand about 2 meters tall, and are noticeably more burly than a similar height human - they also tend to have fine hair covering large portions of their body that helps act as natural camouflage. Unlike males, they're often short haired or effectively bald by orc standards

    Male Orcs are of a similar height, but tend towards being noticeably more stout. They also almost all universally have thick manes of hair and massive beards, which are commonly a point of vanity. The relative rarity of male orcs in villages is due to a quirk of their biology - Biological adulthood for a male comes with an almost uncontrollable hormonal urge towards wanderlust, driving the Orc to leave his village and venture forth. Male orcs end up as itinerant clerics, bards or other vectors of news, story and culture between various orc villages. Eventually though, age catches up with male orcs and they undergo an equivalent of menopause, loosing their wanderlust drive as a result. For orcs, knowing your father (in person) is unusual, but knowing your grandfather is a mark of honor. Side note: Part of the reason for Male Orc vanity over their hair is it's a great way for an orc to impress a village he's new to, indicating that he's been successful and effective out on their road. This definitely leads to enterprising merchants setting up hairdressing and tailoring stations with a day or two's ride from a Village.

    Orcs don't farm, not in any way that humans easily recognize. Instead, in areas where Orcs hold sway, they manage vast hunting grounds, each centered around carefully designed labor-minimizing villages. The wider lands tend to feature small way-stations and similar places - at any given time a small portion of these will be hosting a hunting band either heading out, or heading back to the central village. In mixed-race situations, Orcs often take on the roles of hunters or guards for villagers in return for aid of more farming capable species (orcs are after all, not stupid - They recognize the value of farming, but it's not something can do easily). In cities, Orcs families often make a name for themselves as a core part of the cities Guard or police force, well-paid heavy hitters called out when the situation has escalated. More than one vampire or would-be serial killer has found out (in a very brief and exciting fashion) that such cities are far from easy pickings. (Plus, if you dont like the idea of a city guard getting accosted by a vampire, and ringing a bell - baffling the vampire on why that would be the guard's attempt to defend themselves moment before an Orc piledrivers said vampire into the wall, you cant be my friend)

    Given the relative investment for Orcs to make a village, such things are treasured, even treated as sacred - simply up and moving to create a new village is not an easy option for Orcs (It's not an easy option for humans either, but it's that much more traumatic for orcs). Reports of orc hordes or similar are often desperate orcs driven out of their homelands by Ecological disaster or invasion of some stripe (orcs do not do well at sustained warfare, and are easy victims of colonialism as a result. On the flip side, you do NOT want orc guerrillas in your territory).

    Poachers on orc lands are likewise dealt with swiftly and brutally - a common cause of tension between orcs and other races. On the other hand, being allowed to hunt on Orc lands is mark of honor. Merchants often trade with orcs, bringing salts, spices and ores in return for hides and bone. Young males (and the odd female) often leave the village as new guards on such merchant caravans - a tradition that might lead to deep bonds between certain caravans and villages.

    Orc villages are heavily communal, using shared living and sleeping spaces, all designed with an emphasis towards labor saving, and attitude of many hands making light work - Orc hours are valuable. In general, orcs need at least 10 hours of sleep a day, and up to another 6 spent in low-physical activity. Oral traditions are a big deal for orcs as a result - Adventurer parties could potentially make good friends with Orcs simply by sharing stories they've not encountered before (and/or helping out with Labor). In the remaining hours though, well, i do hope you're not a tasty looking Bison or Gazelle or similar. If you are... Run! Very fast! Run your delicious butt off!

    ---

    Right, i think that covers most of the brainthoguths i had on this idea. Obviously more of a rough sketch than anything super in depth, but i think the bones of it are super interesting and distinctive.

    Ideas hate it when you anthropomorphize them
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  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    My DM continues in his quest to break Wulfric the Paladin. Brief refresher: used to be in the corrupt town guard and became known as the Butcher of Bregonne, had a crisis of faith after killing a paladin and pretended to be him for years to make up for his misdeeds. Got found out, killed the tyrant of Bregonne, and people believed in him enough that he took over and helped the town grow and prosper for 10 years between campaigns.

    Well, Wulfric has been all over the place working the game's A-plot (find a Macguffin, stop Orcus, etc etc) and left a proxy in charge. Wulfric discovered, after talking to a local priest (he has also been active in preaching the faith of Bahamut), that the churches have been collecting a tithe and sending it to Bregonne, unbeknownst to him. He had his proxy looking into it, assuming that some remnant of the corrupt bureaucracy from Bregonne was siphoning cash.

    Wulfric and party get back from their latest adventure to find rioting in the streets! It turns out that tithe had been going directly into the city coffers, not for the church to distribute. The coffers, which we discover, that have just been raided. So Bregonne is insolvent, the church looks corrupt as hell, the townsfolk assume Wulfric is stealing, and even in the best case he's been negligent enough to get robbed.

    With the riot about to turn ugly, Wulfric gave a speech to the crowd to calm them down rather than send out the guards. It was a good mix of George Washington's Newburgh Address and the "run on the bank" speech from It's a Wonderful Life. So I bought the party 3 days to track down the missing cash. Luckily we have a good lead on the culprit.

    Wulfric's had a rough time lately. Two adventures back, the party was saving a different town from a Hell Portal spewing out devils. He spoke briefly with a terrified street urchin to get some information and promised to save him, but the devils caused a lot of death before we closed the portal and the kid didn't make it. Wulfric's the kinda guy that carries every mistake and failure with him (because in his mind, he's still the Butcher, and it's only the remorse for his misdeeds that keeps him from being that person again), and it's really started to get him down.

    I'm not 100% sure where I want to take this. I don't really see him at risk of falling in the traditional sense, but it does feel like he's getting pretty close to despair. He was borderline suicidal last campaign, but he's come a long way since (the other players have all noticed just from my actions that he's more careful, more thoughtful, less quick to resort to violence). What he's wanted most is to inspire others to stand up for what's right, like how the other paladin inspired him. It doesn't seem like he's done a good job with that, though.

    KadokenCalica
  • WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    I think hobgoblins as militant pigs with a focus on hygienic bathing and bath houses is the more fun trope than pig orcs. I really like what you did adopting the behaviors of the lions into the societies but have you altered any of the physiology of orcs beyond the manes/beards? Are they still tusked? Are their eyes more leonine? Are they green, grey, or a magnificent tawny?

    The Zombie PenguinKadokenoverride367
  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    edited May 22
    Whelk wrote: »
    I think hobgoblins as militant pigs with a focus on hygienic bathing and bath houses is the more fun trope than pig orcs. I really like what you did adopting the behaviors of the lions into the societies but have you altered any of the physiology of orcs beyond the manes/beards? Are they still tusked? Are their eyes more leonine? Are they green, grey, or a magnificent tawny?

    Whoops, that's honestly stuff i should have mentioned - I'd imagine more leonine eyes, yes (Again, predators!). I'd go with tawny, or similar natural camouflage colors - if it's appropriate for big cats, it seems fine to go for orcs. Which also lets you give them cool and interesting patterns on their skin, or similar. I imagine these orcs as being mainly something you find in grasslands, but you'd also find them in forests, and snowy mountains (Just because i love the mental image of orcs building their village around natural hot springs - and i assume as sentient predators, they're simply more capable at spreading out and cultivating areas than actual lions are)

    No tusks, give them fangs instead. Possibly also natural claws.

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  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    I have always looked at Hobgoblins like Klingons. Pretty much the same as humans, but with bigger teeth, a funny way of talking and they really like to make war!

    Just as smart and capable as humans. Just as varied in the ways they do things as humans. Fighters. Archers, Monks. Paladins. Wizards. It all works for Hobs just as it does for humans. Same size, same strength, same technological level. A little more body hair though.

  • WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    I think it'd be really cool to have some of the wandering male orcs be tattoo collectors who pick up various Maori inspired tattoos about stories, deeds, and myths. Then, those same tattoo artists could have local patterns of camouflage they tattoo onto the females. I like the idea of there being some kind of local pride that they show off physically, even when they aren't at home. I like this version of orcs.

    The Zombie Penguin
  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    I have always looked at Hobgoblins like Klingons. Pretty much the same as humans, but with bigger teeth, a funny way of talking and they really like to make war!

    Just as smart and capable as humans. Just as varied in the ways they do things as humans. Fighters. Archers, Monks. Paladins. Wizards. It all works for Hobs just as it does for humans. Same size, same strength, same technological level. A little more body hair though.

    I mean, personal preference here - but at that point, why bother making them a separate race from humans? Just make the human phenotype a bit more variable. Though this also gets into how you're handling stuff like rules for races, etcera, and it's not like it's a crime that DnD alone is guilty of. I just feel like if the biology is suitably different, then a lot of emergent/taken for granted things should also change, you know?

    Which reminds me of my grump that people who write ratfolk in most things have clearly never had pet rats. Amusing thing along those lines: You can tell who's on the outs with the ratlord, because they're being forced to sit real close to the throne, and the Rat lord is giving them a haircut. (Rats use grooming as a dominance display sometimes, in addition to being made out of fluids and not solids)

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  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    I have always looked at Hobgoblins like Klingons. Pretty much the same as humans, but with bigger teeth, a funny way of talking and they really like to make war!

    Just as smart and capable as humans. Just as varied in the ways they do things as humans. Fighters. Archers, Monks. Paladins. Wizards. It all works for Hobs just as it does for humans. Same size, same strength, same technological level. A little more body hair though.

    I mean, personal preference here - but at that point, why bother making them a separate race from humans? Just make the human phenotype a bit more variable. Though this also gets into how you're handling stuff like rules for races, etcera, and it's not like it's a crime that DnD alone is guilty of. I just feel like if the biology is suitably different, then a lot of emergent/taken for granted things should also change, you know?

    Which reminds me of my grump that people who write ratfolk in most things have clearly never had pet rats. Amusing thing along those lines: You can tell who's on the outs with the ratlord, because they're being forced to sit real close to the throne, and the Rat lord is giving them a haircut. (Rats use grooming as a dominance display sometimes, in addition to being made out of fluids and not solids)

    That's like saying why make elves a separate race? Because they are, thats why. Mechanically Hobgoblins are on par with any other playable race. It is only the legacy fluff around them as "bad guys" that makes them different IMO.

  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    edited May 22
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    I have always looked at Hobgoblins like Klingons. Pretty much the same as humans, but with bigger teeth, a funny way of talking and they really like to make war!

    Just as smart and capable as humans. Just as varied in the ways they do things as humans. Fighters. Archers, Monks. Paladins. Wizards. It all works for Hobs just as it does for humans. Same size, same strength, same technological level. A little more body hair though.

    I mean, personal preference here - but at that point, why bother making them a separate race from humans? Just make the human phenotype a bit more variable. Though this also gets into how you're handling stuff like rules for races, etcera, and it's not like it's a crime that DnD alone is guilty of. I just feel like if the biology is suitably different, then a lot of emergent/taken for granted things should also change, you know?

    Which reminds me of my grump that people who write ratfolk in most things have clearly never had pet rats. Amusing thing along those lines: You can tell who's on the outs with the ratlord, because they're being forced to sit real close to the throne, and the Rat lord is giving them a haircut. (Rats use grooming as a dominance display sometimes, in addition to being made out of fluids and not solids)

    That's like saying why make elves a separate race? Because they are, thats why. Mechanically Hobgoblins are on par with any other playable race. It is only the legacy fluff around them as "bad guys" that makes them different IMO.

    I mean, to be fair... i do think why make elves a separate race!

    But, as you as say - Because they are. And obviously, it's something a lot of people care about. it's just not something that works for me personally (Which is why i'm often drawn to weirder choices like Skeleton cleric!), but that's okay! I am not in a position to become Tyrant of DnD (and uh, probably a good thing too)

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  • NipsNips Luxuriating in existential crisis.Registered User regular
    I'd just like to say I'm borrowing that orc writeup, and I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter. 😁

    I've also struggled with the Inherently Evil Races problem, but never came up with something as well-thought-out as all that. My world's orcs so far just come in various regional varieties with their own quirks as a result, but beyond that and Not Inherently Evil I haven't managed to create something super compelling.

    JXUBxMxP0QndjQUEnTwTxOkfKmx8kWNvuc-FUtbSz_23_DAhGKe7W9spFKLXAtkpTBqM8Dt6kQrv-rS69Hi3FheL3fays2xTeVUvWR7g5UyLHnFA0frGk1BC12GYdOSRn9lbaJB-uH0htiLPJMrc9cSRsIgk5Dx7jg9K8rJVfG43lkeAWxTgcolNscW9KO2UZjKT8GMbYAFgFvu2TaMoLH8LBA5p2pm6VNYRsQK3QGjCsze1TOv2yIbCazmDwCHmjiQxNDf6LHP35msyiXo3CxuWs9Y8DQvJjvj10kWaspRNlWHKjS5w9Y0KLuIkhQKOxgaDziG290v4zBmTi-i7OfDz-foqIqKzC9wTbn9i_uU87GRitmrNAJdzRRsaTW5VQu_XX_5gCN8XCoNyu5RWWVGTsjJuyezz1_NpFa903Uj2TnFqnL1wJ-RZiFAAd2Bdut-G1pdQtdQihsq2dx_BjtmtGC3KZRyylO1t2c12dhfb0rStq4v8pg46ciOcdtT_1qm85IgUmGd7AmgLxCFPb0xnxWZvr26G-oXSqrQdjKA1zNIInSowiHcbUO2O8S5LRJVR6vQiEg0fbGXw4vqJYEn917tnzHMh8r0xom8BLKMvoFDelk6wbEeNq8w8Eyu2ouGjEMIvvJcb2az2AKQ1uE_7gdatfKG2QdvfdSBRSc35MQ=w498-h80-no
    The Zombie PenguinTynnan
  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    Please be my guest! I'd love to hear other peoples tweaks or expansions on it too, like @Whelk excellent idea around tattoos and orcs having a big sense of local/tribal pride.

    As an aside, I imagine orc names as being complicated things - something like name fathername+fathertribename mothername+mothertribename tribename or a similar system that allows them to easily track lineage (don't want inbreeding after all).

    I also imagine childrearing is very commonual, and probably mostly handled by the elderly, with younguns progressively being taken on bigger hunts etc as they mature. Similarly, I imagine only a select portion of the females are up for childbearing at any one time - whether they go into heat like real cats, or it's something that's handled culturally so as to not impair the villages hunting capability... No idea. Both have potential.


    Also Suspect orcs grow fast, hitting physical adulthood around ~16 years or do, maybe even younger, and likewise, simply aren't as long lived as humans - wether that's a consequence of their default life style inducing a lot of wear and tear, or just a fact of biology is probably up to what the DM thinks is most interesting. I'd lean towards a mix of the two, since it adds some interesting cultural shading to things - a short-lived race that spends most of its life resting is if nothing else, distinctive.

    Also they clearly all have an inordinate fondness for boxes.

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  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    edited May 22
    There is an old video game (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcanum:_Of_Steamworks_and_Magick_Obscura) that takes place in a "what is fantasy d&d world but late 1800s industrialization" setting.

    They had an interesting take on the fantasy races concept, I'm a nutshell, races like orcs are because some powerful wizard messed around magical with some population and it was so long ago that after that regular evolution kicks in too.

    At some point i had read an article on it that was written as if written by a denizen of that setting there's a researcher from a university, but can't find it now. This gives a short overview https://arcanum.fandom.com/wiki/Races

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  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    I'm a nutshell
    Hi nutshell, I'm dad.
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    There is an old video game (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcanum:_Of_Steamworks_and_Magick_Obscura) that takes place in a "what is fantasy d&d world but late 1800s industrialization" setting.

    They had an interesting take on the fantasy races concept, I'm a nutshell, races like orcs are because some powerful wizard messed around magical with some population and it was so long ago that after that regular evolution kicks in too.

    At some point i had read an article on it that was written as if written by a denizen of that setting there's a researcher from a university, but can't find it now. This gives a short overview https://arcanum.fandom.com/wiki/Races

    Arcanum explored a lot of exciting ideas. It also took a few of those early DnD tropes and pushed them to the max: a low INT character literally didn't understand quest givers and spoke as a dimwit. It changed the whole game to some kind of comedy setting with smart NPCs flipping their shit at you. Something similar with CHA, there was a build for a high CHA female who just had a herd of guys following her around doing her bidding.

    I have Arcanum installed somewhere, but it is definitely an old game. Very much expected you to have read the whole fucking manual and to set aside quite a few hours to do a whole lot of nothing before letting you get to the good parts.

    SmrtnikNipsFryMoridin889Elvenshae
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    I've started planning in earnest on my next campaign. The general premise is that agents of the god Zehir are making their move in Exandria under the leadership of Seghulerak, a yuan-ti abomination priestess.

    The campaign begins along the Menagerie Coast, where the yuan-ti of Urukayxl are attempting to bind the sea serpent Uk'otoa back into the service of Zehir. The sahuagin who worship Uk'otoa are preparing for war against the yuan-ti, in the process making a nuisance of themselves by abducting people to convert into sharklike hybrids for use against Zehir's followers. The government of the Menagerie Coast, the Clovis Concord, is concerned primarily with subduing the sahuagin, but would stopping the sahuagin help the yuan-ti further their own plans?

    Unlike my previous campaign, which had me homebrewing almost everything, I'm looking to adapt published material as much as possible to reduce my own workload and learn from professional designers. For example, I plan to lift from Ghosts of Saltmarsh's "The Final Enemy" for the sahuagin's base of operations and Tomb of Annihilation's "Fane of the Night Serpent" for Urukayxl.

    BTW, I've also been researching named yuan-ti from past D&D products. Here's a few of the ones I've found if anyone is in need of yuan-ti names:

    - Domino
    - Iphariul
    - Issiel
    - Oolhihlisu
    - Orhosvis
    - Sacharlim
    - Sachnos
    - Sissika
    - Sseselheve
    - Ssratauroch
    - Stri'isn
    - Sulvaugren
    - Thohsvohs
    - Venomblack
    - Vsolt
    - Yensurros
    - Zoldathra

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  • WACriminalWACriminal Dying Is Easy, Young Man Living Is HarderRegistered User regular
    Is this the thread where we should discuss that apparently WotC lied to us about Mike Mearls not being part of the design team anymore, and he's been working part-time on D&D this whole time?

    But don't worry, the reason we know this is apparently they're going to bring him back full-time now.

  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    What's people's problem with Mearls?

    Steelhawk
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    Terrendos wrote: »
    What's people's problem with Mearls?

    He had a known alt-righter and sexual harasser work on 5e playtesting, even giving him an individual "Thank You" credit in the book. And when he was told that this person was a sexual harasser? He doxxed the people to said sexual harasser, who shared the information with his followers.

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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Yeah Meals fucked up in a way where he should probably be exiled for quite some time. I can only buy the bullshit, 'he didn't understand the role he was playing', excuse because I've watched him play d&d and not realize the role he was playing before, but even with that likely bullshit excuse you gotta put that guy on ice just for PR reasons. It's a game about talking about stuff, you want them talking about scrimshaw skeleton pirate captains or whatever, not the fucked up shit one of the authors did.

    NipsZonugal
  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited May 23
    To be honest elves always struck me as being more predatory and feline. Fast reactions and higher energy needs, leads to a general disdain for most things that aren't elves (and are prey or predator) and an utter dislike for most other elves. They'll feel closer to their non-elven companions, despite their short lives because they don't feel the same pressure from an unconscious sense of competition. They may be initially hostile, but if you hold your ground without being a threat you suddenly become interesting. They genuinely care and mourn their lost friends, but are always a little aloof at first due to the difference in lifespan - and the bonds of love and hatred they have towards their own kin just seems irrational to the shorter lived and more social folk.

    You'd usually find them in small family groups, and if there's an Elven city - something very impressive has happened, but it's also a powder keg waiting to go off in a few centuries. And man, do you not want to live near it.

    Whilst I think a core part of the Orc is that they are barbaric, tribal, but occasionally unite to form massive armies that threaten the civilised world. Ogres are a the large predator that will hunt/raid and eat you. There's a part of Orcs are the dark mirror held up to humanity, and I reckon that would work better if you look at something more like a bull or boar. Happy to live in their small family groups, and definitely not something to trifle with but also something in direct competition with humanity - that whilst a single orc is better one on one to a average human, they lose out due to humanity living in larger settlements and with more technology.

    However when pushed far enough, or if there is a drought, you have all the tribes coming together in some massive migration that will just flatten any obstacle in their path as they look for fresh foraging grounds.
    Something like the Wildebeest migrations of the Masai Mara, but with pigs for when shit gets real, but often it's more bands of roving feral orcs being forced to raid human settlements when there's been a bad winter or if they've been forced off rich hunting grounds.

    Orcs and humans will always be opposed. They want the same lands and resources, but both will out compete the other on their own terms.
    The elves just gradually fade away as their territories disappear, each elf needs such a large amount of land to support itself they were rare even when they were everywhere to the average villager (and that villager probably got eaten, or quietly disposed of). They've rarely had the numbers to challenge a human settlement, other than a few 'mad' ones that become legends. If a shadowy 'mankiller' stalks the forest at the edge of the village, it's an elf - if Orcs did it they would make it very clear and public, until you rounded up a band to deal with them.

    But if that is happening everywhere, then you might trigger a mass migration that will topple cities.

    Tastyfish on
  • Nerdsamwich Nerdsamwich Registered User regular
    Whelk wrote: »
    All of this does remind me of an industrialized necromancer society I've played around with mentally. I like the idea of necromancy in this world only working on the willing, but it's a horrific existence as your soul is in a painful state of limbo while rudimentary magic pilots your corpse and you look on, feeling only the trauma inflicted to it.

    Yet..... You get paid for allowing your body to be used for labors after you've died. So there's a big work force who pulled themselves out of poverty in life for a couple decades of torture after death. Depending on the nature of your death, you might make it out without being animated at all! So there's a big middle class in this small necro-nation who live life to a ridiculous degree. A small percentage are more prudent and buy their way out of their contracts through deed or amassing a larger fortune. But I like the idea of all the farms, mines and factories being tended by skellymans.

    Or, instead of an industrial dystopia, you could have the Necromantic Socialist Republic, where the dead see to the material needs of all, for the mere price of donating your body to the People after you're done with it. Neighboring feudal kingdoms hate this arrangement, as it eliminates all need for aristocrats, leading to propaganda campaigns about necromancy being inherently evil and how necromancers pervert the natural order and must be destroyed.

    WhelkElvenshaeJPantsCalica
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