Well, since I haven’t managed to post anything here since January, and since ignoring those two short posts, since October, I suppose it’s only right I update here again.
Especially since I’ve run another bit of a playtest, this time with a new rules system that I’ve been working on. One which emphasises the roleplaying aspect over the fun with mechanics aspect. You know, sensible stuff. And originally for d12s, but I tested using d8s. Much fun was had by all. More on that in a moment.
First: Things that are gone.
Gnomes. Check. Halflings. Check.
Warforged? Decided to keep them for now, calling them ‘Golem’. But I may change my mind as yet.
The Tieflings became Devilkin, but I may remove them entirely yet. For now, they’re an infrequent birth among wandering humans, similar to gypsies. I haven’t exactly worked out the reasons for them yet, although I may through in the equivalent of Aasimar being born among them too, as well as perhaps stranger things. Genasi things maybe? Again, they’re in danger of removal.
Second. Things that are changed:
Dragonborn/dragonkin are now simply Draken. They used to have an empire, they don’t any more.
Dwarves and Elves are slightly re-skinned as Stonekin and Wildfolk.
Shifters are also re-skinned as Weretouched, although much rarer, and infrequently born among humans in a certain tribal kingdom.
There’s a kind of Monkeyfolk wandering around. I’m not comfortable with them as player characters yet, but they’re going to run the gamut from the gorillas in Planet of the Apes (the Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch version) to Hanuman in the Ramayana.
The Darklings are currently something like Drow, but live in foggy swamps. I see them as something like Elves, but from another source.
The character archetype usually filled by a cleric or paladin in D&D is now taken up with the Godsworn. If you want to be even a little bit more of a warrior than a normal priest, you’re a Godsworn. They wander the land, espousing the teachings of their chosen god in all that they do.
The element wheel is a thing in my head now. A four-spoked wheel, with an element at each joint in the path. The central hub is taken by mind magic, so illusions and so forth. A mage may learn more elements, but must follow the path around the wheel – they can’t jump an element. Of course, they could start as a mind mage and have access to all the elements from the start. Mind magic is a lot more subtle for the most part, less forceful.
Mages from the Raethmoore Academy are taught at a young age to focus upon a single element. Fire Mages and Earth Mages abound. Mastering more elements is rare, but does happen.
Sea witches may be trained, or may have an inate talent. Their magic mixes water and air elements, but in specific ways, and certainly not upon land.
A class of semi-magical artisans and alchemists, the Tinkers are now added to the game. Inspired by Patrick Rothfuss’ Name of the Wind, they are the magewrights and expert crafters, who know enough about magic to sense it and to invest the occasional item with some magical power.
I’ve introduced magic and holy items as being ‘soulwrought’, that is their makers have fashioned a part of themselves into the work. The maker invests part of their magic, or blessing, into the item itself. However, a completely mundane person could create a soulwrought item, such as a great work of art, or a particularly well made piece of equipment.
Third. Things I’m working on:
Goblins and Orcs need a better name. I’m tempted to fold Orcs in with my Giantkin: large, seven-feet tall behemoths that exist on the D&D spectrum somewhere between Goliaths, Half-Giants and Hill Giants. I like the idea of Goblins having horns. I may make them a cross between the traditional Goblins and Satyr, something like that.
Kobolds are a bit difficult. As they are now, they’re similar to Draken, but shorter, more wiry, and more wiley. I also don’t like the name at all. Closest ideas at the moment involve the Dray or Dreaks or something along those lines.
Four. Finally, on to a play report:
I pulled together four people, and we ended up with a crowfolk Tinker, a Fire Mage turned wandering minstrel, a sellsword and a lucky thief.
The group travelled to the village of Kingsmead for the early-Spring Planting festival, when the local farmers are blessed with a promising harvest at the end of the season, and one of the few times the village really gets wild and celebrates. There’s a market with travelling vendors, a ceremony, and a lot of merriment.
So far the group have noticed that there’s something magical about the village well, that the blacksmith is very good at his job and occasionally invests his wares with power, and that there are plenty of alleyways and rooftops to escape into.
Also, that a crow cannot drink easily from a standard tankard, that Clarice is a lovely name for a violin (but maybe she doesn’t need to be introduced to everyone ‘she’ meets), and that poor Tim never really recovered from his accident, poor little guy.
More soon, when they actually hit a plot item!