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Author Topic: Seasons of Change (A Pen and paper RPG I'm designing)  (Read 433 times)


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Seasons of Change (A Pen and paper RPG I'm designing)
« on: February 24, 2018, 07:33:47 PM »
Some notes:  I've never designed an RPG before, and I've just begun to put this game together.  I am leaning toward a modified d20 system for battle, but am not sure entirely.  Feel free to provide advice if you like.  I'll read everything and consider what's said seriously.

Season of Change is a d20 style RPG that quickly becomes an empire building game where you must build up a country to fight an evil magical empire of snake people before they destroy the entire world.  I'm hoping the town (country) building will be the main draw of this game compared to others.  I will be offering this game for free once it's developed


The world in which Seasons takes place is one full of races and different countries.  There are the typical dwarves and elves, but also others of particular note.  There are the changeling tricksters known as the Walathi, the ocean loving Kouama, the cold, brutal Szernians, and the mysterious wandering Br'Ga'thi.

The world at this time is conquered by the Krego Empire who are attempting to destroy the world.  Why and how will be discovered by playing the game (or SPOILERS keep reading :D ).  

As the DM, how much you tell your players about the background will be up to you, but some things may better be revealed at later times, such as the Br'Ga'thi connection to the Krego etc, but use your own judgment.

The Krego Empire are a snake-like race who worship three gods Relen, Rishi, and Raavos who represent Death, Fire, and Destruction respectively.  Their desire is to conquer the world, then destroy it to please these gods.  In order to do this, they want to destroy each of the spirits of the seasons to allow the world to die.

Some of the Krego didn't want this to happen, however, and stopped the Seasons from being killed.  Sadly, it was too late to prevent them from being severely hurt and placed in a coma.  The Seasons now lie in stasis,  and the world is a dark, dying wasteland.  

The Krego rebels knew they couldn't stay and had to leave the Empire before they were killed.  They escaped and decided to call themselves the Br'Ga'Thi, meaning Life, Warmth, Creation in their language (which is in complete opposition to their race's religious beliefs.).  

They wear hoods, robes, and cloth masks to prevent others knowing their actual identity.  The Br'Ga'Thi try to help wherever they go rather than harm others in penance of their race's crimes.   Over the years they've grown quite skilled with medicine and healing the sick.

Another skill inherent to the Krego race is sensing death before it occurs, a sort of precognition; the more death that will occur, the easier the Krego and Br'Ga'Thi can feel it and they are drawn to it.  The Krego enjoy this feeling, and love to kill for that reason.  The Br'Ga'thi use it to find those who need help.

Recommended Gameplay

The game begins with basic RPG style mechanics, and a group of people running away from the Krego Empire.  As they attempt to hide from a band of Krego soldiers, a young boy comes out of nowhere and leads them to safety.  

The party members are led into a cave system (a dungeon), the boy disappears after they enter, and the party will have to fight through the dungeon to another exit at the other side of the mountain.

A lot of time is spend in this cave system killing monsters, leveling up, and getting gold.  There is a secret chamber important to the campaign story that must be found and entered before the exit will appear.

Inside the chamber are four caskets, each holding the spirit of a season.  The boy waits for them here and explains he is the spirit of change.  With the Krego Empire attacking and attempting to destroy the Seasons, a new age is upon the world, and change is coming.  

What that change will be depends on the adventurers.  The storyline will involve getting enough gold to found a new town in the valley just on the other side of this mountain.  People who are rebelling against the empire can come here for safety and to build up their strength.

After speaking to the boy and being charged with founding a new town, he vanishes and the party is left with the decision of what to name their new settlement.

The party of adventurers will continue to fight dungeons and visit other countries to get gold and develop relations with other countries.  They will need to be careful not to run into the Krego, who now rule pretty much everywhere.  The main goal is to grow large enough to wake all the seasons to restore the world, band together all the other countries, and then face the Krego's leaders to stop their craziness.

The Valley

A special shop can be accessed to build places in town and upgrades to each type of building.  

      Town Store

   Town Center

20gp   Heartstone (2'x3' Concrete slab denoting the heart of the town)

500gp   Add a town Tree (Magic, silvery tree that grows and dies along with the town)

750gp   Add a Park (Area for towns people to relax and enjoy nature or play sports)

5000gp   Add a stream (a stream runs through your town center park)

15000gp The stream becomes a river


It's 500gp per section of land; each section will allow one of the below once you purchase both the land and the use below.  In other words, for a Rose Garden to sell roses from, you would buy the land and then the garden so 500gp + 100gp, 600gp.

You only need to purchase each once, and you can harvest once per day to sell or feed your people.

25gp each   Vegetable Garden (Wheat, Beans, etc)

50gp each   Fruit Orchard  (Apple, Orange, Pear, etc)

50gp each   Animal Pens (Cow pasture, Pig Pen, Chicken Coop, etc)

100gp each   Flower Garden (Tulips, Roses, etc)


There are two kinds of smiths, the blacksmith and the whitesmith depending on which type of metal you're working with.  They must be purchased separately, and then upgraded for each metal you want to work with.  Once upgraded with a type of metal, you can continue making it repeatedly once per day.  

75gp   Blacksmith

50gp       Bronze Weapons
50gp       Bronze Armor
500gp       Iron Weapons
500gp       Iron Armor
5,000gp       Steel Weapons
5,000gp       Steel Armor
50,000gp    Diamond Weapons
50,000gp    Diamond Armor
5,000,000gp Mythril Weapons and Armor

75gp   Whitesmith

50gp       Copper Weapons
50gp       Copper Armor
500gp       Silver Weapons
500gp       Silver Armor
5000gp       Gold Weapons
5000gp       Gold Armor
50000gp       Platinum Weapons
50000gp       Platinum Armor
5,000,000gp Enchanted Weapons and Armor

(Note about enchanting weapons and armor:  each season or element needs to be purchased separately, such as you can purchase Winter and make a Winter sword, etc, but to get a fire enchanted sword you need to purchase Summer for an additional 5 million gp.  May choose Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, Fire, Water, Ice, or Earth.)

   Temple of Seasons

In order for each season to resurrect, you must defeat the dungeon for that season and also have a temple built for the Season to live in placed in a specific corner of your town's land.  While you can build a temple at any time, you'll need to fulfill certain requirements in order to get the Season to live there.

Temple 1 needs 30 civilization points, plus a Season dungeon completed.
Temple 2 needs 300 civilization points, plus a Season dungeon completed.
Temple 3 needs 3000 civilization points, plus a Season dungeon completed.
Temple 4 needs 30000 civilization points, plus a Season dungeon completed.

Other requirements:

   Temple of Spring
      Spring wants at least three types of flower garden             growing when summoned to her temple.

   Temple of Summer
      Summer likes water, and so you must have three bodies of          water (pond, lake, stream, river, ocean are fine) so
      he can hang 10.

   Temple of Autumn
      Autumn loves fruit trees, make sure to plant at least
      three orchards of any fruit for him.

   Temple of Winter
      Winter is a bit cold at first, but you can win her
      over with any three icey places, such as a frozen pond or

Your town will develop as well.  The requirements for getting civilization points will be detailed later.  The point requirements themselves are listed here.

Your town will be considered a Waypoint if it has one civilization point, to get to actual town status you'd need 60, etc.  The heartstone gives one point, as an example, with farmland giving 5 per land you buy.

You'll get points not only for growing your town, but also for defeating dungeons and resurrection each season.

   Waypoint          10
   Outpost          30
   Settlement          50
   Hamlet            120
   Village           250
   Town           600
   Large Town       1100
   City          3000
   Metropolis      11000
      Empire       50000
      Democracy    50000
      Monarchy    50000
      (Choose one only)

Once 50k cv points are obtained, a choice of government must be made, empire, democracy and monarchy are all available.


I'll describe the first few quickly as everyone is familiar with them.  I'll go in detail afterwards about the ones that are not known. :)

Dwarves live in the mountains in caves similar to the Szernians, but in warmer climates.  Where Dwarves and Szernians live near each other, they tend to get along as they're both stoic and tough races.  Bonus to hammer weapons and blacksmithing yields double.

Elves are forest dwellers, and one of the only races who know of the Walathi.  They get bonuses to magic use and enchanted weapons/armor is doubled.

Halflings are half elf, half human and get a bonus to magic use.

Humans are varied and have several countries.

All of the above are controlled by the Krego.

Walathi (Wuh Loth Thee)

The Walathi are childlike elvish tricksters who can change their form into any living thing they have encountered, including people and animals.  They tend to live in forests and keep to themselves (other than random mischief-making to those unlucky enough to wander into their territory).

With the encroachment of the Krego Empire, more and more of the Walathi are venturing out of their homes and pretending to be other races or even hiding as animals in secluded places.

The Walathi don't use weapons typically.  Not because they are pacifistic at all, but they deem it beneath them as only one who was very weak would rely upon a weapon.  Considering they can change into animals such as lions, tigers, and bears, this is really not an issue though.

The Krego (and nearly all other races) don't know about the Walathi.

They have affinity with spring magic and the element of air.  Many of their spells involve enchantments designed to deceive or mislead, and thus are more effective against those who are easily coerced.  

Kouama (Kohm uh)

The Kouama are a human-like people with a very strong competitive nature.  The Kouama believe in only two things: physical fitness and the Spirit of the Waters.  Found near oceans and rivers, they derive their power from the water, and they model their lives around the principles of being as fluid, persistent, and powerful as the great bodies of water they admire.

The Kouama are typically very muscular, or at least toned, and many specialize in whatever type of fitness that they are best suited for, such as heavy lifting, running, or swimming.  

Though they make homes (makeshift huts) along bodies of water, they actually spend very little time in them, preferring the outdoor air.  They will often even sleep outdoors.

They eat only meat that comes from the water, such as from rivers, ponds, and oceans, though they will eat fruit from trees that grow nearby bodies of water as well.  They choose not to eat anything else.

The Kouama live in groups of about two to three hundred people who form a loose village, and who are led by a single matriarch who represents a connection with the Water Spirit of their religion.  Just under the Mother powerwise are Heads who lead specific tasks, such as fishing, home building, and cooking.

There is no unification between these groups however, and each keeps to themself.  Even though the Kouaman people tend to be physically strong, they are thus very militarily weak.

Luckily, however the Krego Empire takes very little notice of the Kouamans.  They are considered uncivilized, savage, and of no real threat.  And since they don't have any resources the Empire might care about, the two don't typically meet.

They have affinity with summer magic and the element of water.  Most of their magic involves water in some way, shape or form.

Bonus to one stat of choice: Strength, Agility, or Dexterity.  Bonus to polearm weapons such as spears.

Br'Ga'thi (Bruh Gah Thee)

Very little is known of the reclusive Br'Ga'thi.  These hooded figures wander in packs of anywhere from 5 to 20 going town to town.  Wherever they go, they care for those who are sick or dying, giving them medicine and aid when they can, and giving them comfort when they can't.

They never stay in any one place for more than a few days to a week, never commit any crimes, or cause any trouble whatsoever, and typically stay at public inns out of the way of people when they're not at the homes of the sick or hospitals.

Knowing their skill with healing those with major ailments, people tend to allow them to help, though which much fear.

Many legends are told about the Br'Ga'Thi.  They speak very little to outsiders and always wear hoods and cloth masks wrapped around their faces.  Legends say a few have been seen in the past, and they were described as having scales and eyes like a snake.  No one in recent times has dared to get close enough to see, though.

Another story says that when many of them appear, a great catastrophe will happen, like a natural disaster or explosion, and many will die.

There is even one legend that says the Br'Ga'thi worship three gods: one of Death, one of Fire, and one of Destruction.  The legend says that all Br'Ga'Thi desire to bring about a great world-ending calamity in order to please their gods.  

Their actions in healing the sick and tending to the dying seem make this story unlikely, but really who knows the truth other than the Br'Ga'thi themselves?  

The Br'Ga'Thi are skilled with Autumn magic and the element of fire.  They also get a bonus to use any blunt weapon such as staff or bo.

Szernia (Silent S, Zair nee uh)

The typical Szernian is very short tempered and always ready to fight.  They are skinny, tall feline people who live in frozen mountains inside very long and winding cave systems.

Szernians train to fight from the moment they first begin to walk to when they are no longer able to hold a weapon due to age.

They believe very strongly in regimented training.  They have several schools of fighting, and the most popular two are Tachea (which specializes with bladestrikes focusing on swift slicing movements) and Tazea (a hand to hand combat system targeting fast jabs to critical areas of the body with their very sharp claws).  

Magic is trained in all of the fighting schools as well, particularly winter magic as they live in subarctic territory, meaning that type of magic is stronger there and easier to learn and use.

All of the schools of fighting use the same government-mandated system to measure the skill level of each person.  This system uses a scale of 1 to 10, with those under the age of 8 having no level.

A Szernian can also be level 0 if they are no longer able to fight or are stripped of their right to fight (the highest dishonor in their society).  Being level 0 is to have no rights in society and is not desirable.

At age 8, a Szernian would face a test to become level 1.  Typically this would be to kill something dangerous with their bare hands in order to prove their skill and bravery.  Typically, a wild boar or something similar is used for the test.  

The battle style of Szernians is fast-paced and very brutal.  There are very few "holds" or "disabling" techniques used with their style of martial art, as the Szernians believe in killing enemies not feeding prisoners.  Their weapon of choice is any blade, as blunt weapons don't kill quickly enough for their tastes.

Obtaining any of the higher levels requires years of training, with greater and greater challenges being presented at each subsequent level, and many dying before they ever get very far.  

The vast majority of Szernian society choose to stay at levels 2 to 4, and this holds no shame in their society.  They are considered the "worker" class and are respected as the backbone of their cities.

Beginning at level 4, you can apply to be either a Low Guarding or a High Guardian.  Low Guardians handle minor issues such as theft, drunken fights, that type of thing.  During wartime, these would be the main fighting force.

The High Guardians on the other hand are more elite, being a military force.  To apply for work as a High Guardian, you must be at least level 4, but that is no guarantee of hiring, and very few make it to HG status at level 4.  

Also, whereas nearly anyone at level 4 or above can be a Low Guardian, being any level doesn't guarantee you a position as High Guardian.  There is a very strict selection process which many fail for a variety of reasons.

Those who are actually skilled and lucky enough after years of training and reach level 8 or 9 are quickly and quietly recruited for special defense operations.  Sometimes they are recruited forcefully.  If asked, one of these secret Guardians would lie and tell you they are level 6 and that they handle minor government work.

Higher public government positions only require you to have level 4 to 7 status, with the current General Leader (head of Szernian society) being level 7.

Lawbreakers are handled very quickly.  There are no jails or prisons in Szernian society.  You will be beaten senseless by a Low Guardian for a moderate crime, and possibly killed for major ones by Low Guardians or High Guardians.  Repeated offenses or borderline crimes can result in being stripped of status and becoming "level 0".

The Szernian government hates the Krego, but can't do anything against their power so keeps quiet.

Szernians get a bonus to all blade weapons and have an affinity for Winter magic as well as the element of earth.

Evil Races?  
The last races I'm including are what are typically known as dark races:  Goblins, Orcs, Trolls etc.  Yes, they're dark, but also the enemy of my enemy and all that.  Relations, however temporary, must be formed with these darker races or the Krego will not be overturned.  The upshot of this is you can now play as a Goblin, for example. :)


Battle is based on a d20 system, but spells depend upon two stats:  Mystic and Faith.  Each person has a certain number of points in each depending on their race and each is spent to cast a spell.  

Spells are purchased as scrolls and then learned permanently.

   Spring spells

20gp   Mudslide (2 Mystic, 1 Faith)
      6 dmg to each enemy

25gp   Forest Heart (3 Mystic)
        Brings an animal beast to your aid and
      stops 1 round of attacks against your party
      and deals 5 dmg to one enemy

25gp   Spring of Eternal Life (3 Faith)
      Creates 2 to 5 bottles of healing water

   Summer spells

20gp   High Tide (2 Mystic, 1 Faith)
      5 dmg to all enemies

25gp   Low Tide (3 Mystic)
      Summons crustaceans to your aid
      all enemies lose a turn and get 2
      dmg per turn

25gp   Sharkbite (3 Faith)
      Adds 5 to strength for 5 battles

   Autumn spells

20gp   Ashes to Ashes (2 Faith, 1 Mystic)
      Target 1 to 3 enemies and deals
      20 dmg divided among enemies

25gp   Snake Venom (3 Mystic)
      Induce one status ailment on enemy

25gp   Dust to Dust (3 Faith)
      Use parts of dead monsters to create
      chemicals like poisons and potions

   Winter spells

20gp   Frozen Wind (2 Faith, 1 Mystic)
      4 dmg per turn to all enemies for
      4 turns

25gp   Flash Freeze (3 Mystic)
      20 dmg among enemies of your choice

25gp   Unforgiving Cold (3 Faith)
      All enemies are frozen and cannot attack
      for three turns

To do list:
        Develop better magic system based upon Mystic/Faith system
   Spells for each season/element
   Lists of weapons/armor
        Develop mechanics for growing number of people in the town and to create relations with other countries.