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Author Topic: OOC Wilderlands - Tales of the Golden Idol  (Read 7639 times)

One Horse Town

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OOC Wilderlands - Tales of the Golden Idol
« on: January 30, 2007, 02:09:10 PM »
Welcome! This thread is going to initially be used to introduce the setting for those who don't know it, explain any differences or rules that i am using instead of those in the official wilderlands setting and eventually to start with character creation. Once we get the campaign going, then this thread will be used for rules questions, out of character discussion and general chin-wagging.

First up, a brief primer on the setting and the fledgling states that make it up. Later, i 'll detail races and Tech levels. :)

For those interested, this is going to be run in the Valon area, but not close-by the city of the Ice-mages. More details once i have posted all the stuff i mentioned above.

----------------------------------------------------------

A Brief Primer

The Wilderlands is a diverse setting in a world built on the ruins of ancient civilisations, from the otherworldly Great Race and the draconic First Men to the evil and mysterious Markrabs and the ancient Kelnorian Empire. The feel of the world is one of decline or new birth, filled with ruins and ancient mystery. In many places civilisation is but beginning to return after the ancient wars that caused the ruin of the early races.

There are very few powerful NPCs to drive the actions of the PCs. The player characters are not pawns in a game, they are the game; able to carve out strongholds, lead armies, head churches or even become Kings. (Note: Leaders of communities tend to be in the 2-7th level range, with only a few exceptions. This is somewhere where the PCs are meant to matter at a relatively lower power level than other settings)

The Wilderlands are largely unexplored and overland travel (and sea voyages) is both crucial and dangerous. Much of the land is unsettled and unknown, riddled with ruins and relics of past empires. Civilisation is but a candle in the dark. Exploration is a key of the setting.

In the Wilderlands you may find the ice wizards of Valon, the red-skinned barbarians of Altanis, the pirates of Tarantis and fierce Amazonian warriors, escorted by their sabre-toothed tigers. Orcs, and other monsters lurk everywhere, waiting to trip the unwary up. But beware, looks can be deceiving; not every tusked warrior is evil, not every Elf ranger can be trusted.

The whole of the Wilderlands setting fills an area roughly the size of the Mediterranean Sea and its surrounding lands from Gibraltar to the sole of Italy’s ‘boot’. (Note: I have made it bigger to better reflect the feel of isolated communities and vast wilds, so it is likely half that size again).

Travel is dangerous in the Wilderlands. There are next to no roads and any that there are, are little better than trails. Only Viridistan and parts of the City State have paved roads that allow swift travel. Where there are no trails, the land is trackless for vast distances, containing only adventure, ruins and the occasional traveller braving the wilds as you do. Yet, the spirit of the explorer is strong and many seek to discover new wonders and marvels in the wild, or even to begin new communities away from competition or war. The world really is your oyster…if you can swallow it!

Civilisation

A few bastions remain from older days or have arisen from the ashes of ancient wars. With only a couple of exceptions, these areas of burgeoning civilisation are little more than candles against the dark. There is very little centralised authority because of the distances involved and the dangers of travel. So even in a well-settled area like Viridistan, there are still vast tracts of land that may as well not be a part of that great city-state.

Viridistan: known as the City of Spices and the City State of the World Emperor, this is home to the sorcerous and otherworldly Green Emperor and his wife, believed to be the last of the green-skinned race of Viridians. He has ruled much of the northern Wilderlands for some time, but his influence had lessened of late. Its provinces contain cities that are nearly city-states in themselves.

City State of the Invincible Overlord: Known as the ‘City-State’, this area is growing in power and due to proximity, tension has been arising between this state and Viridistan. Several wars have been fought.

Valon: A major sea power of the north and home of the tall Avalonian ice-wizards. It normally lives in peace with its neighbours, but has attacked Tarsh on occasion. Valon sits on a great glacier.

Tarantis: Ruled by Atar the Lion, this is a major sea power and has been linked to pirate activity. Merchants here bring rare goods from the far off Kingdom of Karak.

Tula: The legendary city of mages where marvels are seen at every street corner.

Rallu: City State of the Sea Kings. Long kept secret from the outside world, its location has recently been discovered. It is at war with Tula.


Other areas of fledgling civilisation include: The Holy Cities, Warwik, Tarsh, Thunderhold, Lenap, Tlan and Chim.

This may seem like a great deal of the land is peacefully settled, but even the great powers only hold a tenuous grip on power beyond their heartlands. Their influence is felt, but action is much harder to achieve. Between the lands discussed above are large areas settled only very sparsely by hardy farmers and protected by walled keeps. Days or weeks can pass when travelling between two villages and only when it comes into view can you see the trappings of a primitive civilisation.

Werekoala

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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2007, 02:21:14 PM »
Intersting. I like the isolated city-states with vast swaths of uncontrolled territory between them.

What races predominate in what regions? Since Ian is a Halfling, would it serve better if we were as well, maybe a group of friends from the same village or somesuch striking out to make our fortune? Or are we going to hand-wave or roleplay the "meet in a tavern" group introduction and just assume we know each other somehow?
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One Horse Town

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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2007, 02:34:09 PM »
Quote from: Werekoala
Intersting. I like the isolated city-states with vast swaths of uncontrolled territory between them.

What races predominate in what regions? Since Ian is a Halfling, would it serve better if we were as well, maybe a group of friends from the same village or somesuch striking out to make our fortune? Or are we going to hand-wave or roleplay the "meet in a tavern" group introduction and just assume we know each other somehow?


The setting is very free and easy with the demi-human races. There are a few *race X* only communities around, but many have a pretty mixed population. I don't think it will be a problem.

I'm going to cover human 'races' next and then a few relevant bits & bobs. Once i've done that, i'll detail our starting point. That will assume that you are a party already, so just a quick line or two on how you met is all i'll need from you. I'll detail the rest (by the rest, i mean locale, 'rumours' etc). My random method of deciding where you start has actually placed you in a really interesting area, so i'll give you a few details and we'll work from there.

It'll be a day or so before i get that far, as i'm copying out bits of book to post, but we should be in a position to fully create sensible characters for the region tomorrow evening or at worst, the day after. :)

I plan to get the human races bit up later tonight.

One Horse Town

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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2007, 05:22:26 PM »
Races

As I don’t have the players guide to the Wilderlands, the unique races of the setting will be diluted in impact and have no mechanical relevance. However, a brief outline of the mainly human races and subcultures are presented here. I have left some out entirely.

Alryan: Found in the north of the Wilderlands. Can be found in Valon.

Common Avalonian: Live in Valon and are a dilution of True Avalonians

Common Viridian: The main population of Viridistan. Diluted many times from the True Viridians.

Ghinorian: Descendants of the populace of the empire of Kelnore. Found in enclaves around the Wilderlands in the Ghinorian successor states.

Gishmesh: The people of Tarantis and surrounding lands. Can be found in Valon.

Karakhan: Known as Horse Lords, these are people from the far off land of Karak.

Skandik: Well-muscled sea-loving race, known as Sea Wolves. Use longships.

Tharbrian: Nomads of the central Wilderlands. Settled in some places.  

Unusual 'human' Races that have no in-game pluses or minuses. I would prefer that these were not used for player characters as really they should have some mechanical effect and I’m not willing to make these up at this time. Sorry.

Altanian: Red skinned barbarians from Altanis.

Amazon; Female warriors

Avalonian: Blue skinned ice-wizards and shipwrights from Valon.

Bardik: Voice can hit any pitch and tone or mimic anything. They say they were created by a diety of mirth and merriment.

Cavemen/Confed/Elphan: Primitive human tribesmen

Dorin: Desert dwellers. Have an extra membrane that covers the eyes.

First Men: Unknown amount left and whereabouts not known. Said to resemble a cross between an ape, a human and a lizard.

Ghul: Strange, very rare beings with translucent flesh.

Orichalan: The Dragon Lords of old and dragon blooded. They are quite rare having been hunted to near extinction by the descendants of their ancient servitor races.

Languages

There is a common tongue, but each of the races and unusual races have their own tongue also. Some unusual race tongues may not be available for learning. At least not to start with. Monstrous tongues and the demi-human languages are as standard.

Religion

Again, due to a lack of the players’ guide, I’ll be using the standard d&d pantheon as found in the players’ handbook/SRD. I’ll alter anything of note in the setting to reflect this, although there may be cults named differently to the name of the diety in the SRD. Due to the isolation involved, many communities may only know a God by the local name (my get out to use some of the names in the Wilderlands book!)

Tech Level

Because of the uncertain grip that civilisation has on the land and the distances between communities, the Wilderlands setting gives each village/town/city/castle a Tech Level. This determines what types of materials and equipment that this community can produce itself. Thus, due to isolation, a decent sized town with few raw materials close by, but with good arable land may only be able to produce a low level of technological devices. Complex weapons or even ones of iron may be beyond it. However, a small village in a good location with natural resources may be able to produce steel weapons and sundials.

This doesn’t mean that all items cannot be bought in a low-tech village, but the prices are likely to be high, as brave merchants have brought them in from far off places. I will let you know of any relevant limits to equipment available in a settlement. This is in addition to the GP limit of the settlement.

I’ve decided that as starting PCs you can equip yourselves as you wish, however. This is due to your adventuring and travelling ways. On the road though, it’ll be a different matter!

Ian Absentia

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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2007, 01:10:44 AM »
Quote from: Werekoala
Since Ian is a Halfling, would it serve better if we were as well, maybe a group of friends from the same village or somesuch striking out to make our fortune? Or are we going to hand-wave or roleplay the "meet in a tavern" group introduction and just assume we know each other somehow?
Since I decided to be all difficult and play a Halfling monk, I don't expect anyone else to conform to my character concept.  My rough concept, as I was idling in traffic today, was something like this...

My character has suffered shame and injustice in the community that she calls home.  Though she remains devoted to her people, she half-voluntarily removed herself, joining a woodland ascetic commune to find peace with herself before returning home.  Having attained her basic training, she must travel the world at large, returning to the commune periodically for further training and contemplation.

So, basically, my character could turn up just about anywhere and seek the company of just about anyone.  Think of her as like a Mormon on a youth mission.  A Mormon who kicks ass and takes names. :haw:

!i!

One Horse Town

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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2007, 07:26:19 AM »
Valon

The City State of Valon dominates this region and below the sea largely unknown humanoids are allied with the ice-wizards of that shimmering city. Glaciers start their long march just north of the city.

The cool climate and many mountains force most travellers to visit Valon by sea. The isles of Pokrantil and the mysterious City of Alchemists provide a haven for the Brotherhood of Sea Tigers, a loose band of pirates. Malikarr (City of Alchemists) is one of the last holdouts of the ancient Orichalan civilisation.

Valon’s region contains some locations mentioned in ancient tales, such as the fabled Dwarven city of Krazandol in the shielding mountains and ruined Sotur, whose ruins can be seen by passing ships.

The region is known for its heavy rains and snows, and desolate landscapes. It gets a good amount of rainfall, which turns to snow in autumn and winter. The lowlands can be covered in several feet of snow and the highlands hold snow and ice year round. Cloud cover is typically 70-80 percent and up to 100 percent in winter and it is a rare day when fogs and mists do not cover the ground as well. (Note: If you’ve seen The 13th Warrior, consider the Norse landscape depicted there as spring or summer in the Valon region, although some local areas vary to some degree). Temperatures typically reach about 10 Celsius in warmer months (with some weeks higher than this) and are often many degrees below freezing in the depths of winter.

Common Avalonians, as well as some True Avalonians (mainly in the City State itself) populate this region. Gishmesh, Tharbrains and Alryans are also found here, along with the odd member of another human race and communities of all the demi-human races.

Starting Place

The PCs are in the eastern section of the Valon region, cut off from the City State of Valon by freezing seas only rarely travelled by courageous ships. In winter, chunks of ice flow through these waters, making travel more hazardous, but unlike the western sea of the Valon area, this stretch does not freeze solid.

Further to the east of your starting position, over many, many miles of rugged hills and hardy forests of pine, birch and juniper, lies the Valley of the Ancients and the city of Tarsh. This city is slowing reclaiming its greatness and although not a threat yet to the city of Valon has seen a few light skirmishes with that mostly peaceful city. Tarsh is the jewel of that region, stories of the Tenifell Lords travel far and wide. Whether any remain is unknown.  The Valley itself, even further east is said to hold many of the First Men and their dragon allies, who live in caves in the valleys sides. These areas are said to be weeks of hazardous travel away, but you have heard stories from hardy travellers about them.

You are currently in hex 4110 (for you Wilderlands owners out there!). This places you in the Dark Woods. This imposing thicket has a canopy so dense that little, if any sunlight reaches the forest floor and even moonlight cannot pierce the canopy. As a result it lives up to its name. Rumour is bad about this wood; Giant Spiders, sucking bogs, mad tree-men and the dreaded Necromancer of the Dark Woods are all said to reside here, making travel without a guide perilous. A hidden elven community can be found here also. Only the truly brave & dedicated can find it in order to trade, although sometimes a lone elf will appear elsewhere to trade. As they are more advanced in manufacturing than other local communities, most folks take these rare chances gladly.

To the north, three or four days travel away is the village of Garthain, situated in the hills. A day of dense forest travel away to the south east is the hamlet of Fairlea and in the Dark woods, the elf village of Breem.

I will post a bit more character specific information later and we can start talking about your characters, where they are from and how they met. The random starting generator has situated you in the edge of the Dark Woods, midway between Fairlea and a beacon house that sits above a sunken city. Garthain would be a suitable place to have come from; a community of over a thousand souls. Likewise, for those of a more wandering nature, maybe far off Tarsh was your homeland and over many months of wandering you have found this region. Tarsh is large and would be a suitable place to have learnt the slightly more obscure classes, such as Monk or Paladin.

As a reminder, the climate is largely harsh and cold! We are starting in summer though.

Abyssal Maw

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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2007, 01:52:02 PM »
I'm ready to go whenever you guys are- I have an idea for a (common) Avalonian cleric. Since the Wilderlands uses analogs of the various mythological pantheons, which deity would be more appropriate for this character?

Any alignment (I'm not particular)
domains: Magic and Air (ice?).  

I was thinking like Thoth, Hecate, Freya...
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One Horse Town

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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2007, 02:22:55 PM »
Quote from: Abyssal Maw
I'm ready to go whenever you guys are- I have an idea for a (common) Avalonian cleric. Since the Wilderlands uses analogs of the various mythological pantheons, which deity would be more appropriate for this character?

Any alignment (I'm not particular)
domains: Magic and Air (ice?).  

I was thinking like Thoth, Hecate, Freya...


I was going to just use the pantheon in the d&d players handbook, but i'm fine with you choosing a couple of domains and worshipping one of the Gods mentioned in the wilderlands setting or even making one up!. There is a God of the North wind, i can't recall the name just now. I'll look it up.

Alignment, i'm easy with. Any sort of alignment can be played, although of course overtly evil people may encounter the sort of problems you'd expect and being ostracised in this setting isn't the best choice!

I'll try to get a big old list of local rumours up tonight. Then you guys can pick one as a reason you are where you are, a little bit of why & how you are together and get going on character creation.

Ian Absentia

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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2007, 12:29:28 AM »
Shall we post our character summaries here?  I know that I'd like to, just so that someone with more d20 nous can proofread my interpretation of the SRD.  I had a look through a copy of the v3.0 PHB, which seems to be at odds with my interpretation of the Class/Race rules.

!i!

One Horse Town

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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2007, 08:21:23 AM »
Quote from: Ian Absentia
Shall we post our character summaries here?  I know that I'd like to, just so that someone with more d20 nous can proofread my interpretation of the SRD.  I had a look through a copy of the v3.0 PHB, which seems to be at odds with my interpretation of the Class/Race rules.

!i!


Yep, that's the idea. :)

I'm posting the last major chunk of info now. After that, you can create your characters, give a brief few lines about how you met up etc and using the list below choose why you are where you are. Are you investigating a certain rumour or just travelling the area? You decide.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

---------------------------------------------------------

Rumours

These are tales told around the campfire, by wandering merchants and enshrined local folklore. Some may hold a kernel of truth, some may be made up and some may have changed beyond recognition after constant retelling. Who knows whether they hold any substance?

Dark Woods

Druids have been found impaled upon the high branches of trees in the forest.

A stand of trees at the woods centre radiates the darkness that covers the forest.

The Necromancer of the Dark Woods is

·   A banished Demon or
·   He is the Mayor of Fairlea or
·   He hates Elves or
·   She turns into a tree at dusk

Fairlea

The ghost of its former owner haunts the cellar under the Griffon Eye Tavern and it’s moans whisper of a golden idol.

Orchid Sarnles carpets float on water.

Vampires want the village for unknown reasons.

Fairlea Pharos (the beacon)

A golden idol of a mermaid comes alive at the full of the moon in the sunken city. She travels in a clam chariot drawn by giant sea horses.

Dap the Fish is known as a local guide.

Ancient alchemical secrets can be found in the sunken city.

The rock face where the city once stood before it sunk into the sea is now a nesting place for hundreds of sea birds. Some nests hide entrances to catacombs. One adventurer said that he saw a talking golden idol of a six-armed man in one such cave,

Garthain

A hermit in the hills above Garthain is said to have developed magical powers after an encounter with a strange golden idol.

A new cult has grown recently. Led by a Dwarven scholar.

A fierce red bull attacks anyone harming sheep in the hills.

Strange bones have been unearthed. A foreign visitor believes that the sea will return to reclaim them.

A Troll dressed in finery has saved two merchants from certain death.

Gnomes have installed a mechanical construct in the village square.

Tarsh

The Tenifell Lords are:

·   Vampires or
·   All dead or
·   Plotting a conquest of Valon or
·   Looking for a strange golden idol

A group of the First Men have approached Tarsh and demanded tribute.

The new marshal of Tarsh’s army is a Giant.

---------------------------------------------------

Have fun!

Abyssal Maw

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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2007, 10:16:43 AM »
Quote from: Ian Absentia
Shall we post our character summaries here?  I know that I'd like to, just so that someone with more d20 nous can proofread my interpretation of the SRD.  I had a look through a copy of the v3.0 PHB, which seems to be at odds with my interpretation of the Class/Race rules.

!i!


The 3.0 PHB and the 3.5 SRD have some slight differences. For one thing, your small-sized monk will have smaller sized weapon damage. I can help proof your character for you though.

UPDATE:

You may also wish to use this Javascript character editor to build your character:

http://www.pathguy.com/cg35.htm
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One Horse Town

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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2007, 10:46:58 AM »
So, any ideas folks?

As far as dice-rolling conventions go, i don't want to use a program for it, so we have two choices.

1. I roll everything after you have informed me of your actions and then i report the results.

2. You roll everything. Which could well result in delays, as you wait for me to reply as to success and then you roll damage etc.

My prefered option is 1, but if you would prefer 2, then we'll see what we can do to speed that up a bit. Such as you posting a to hit roll, followed by a 'provisional damage' roll (in the same post). If you have hit, i apply the damage, if you miss, i ignore it.

Abyssal Maw

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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2007, 11:17:13 AM »
Quote from: One Horse Town
So, any ideas folks?

As far as dice-rolling conventions go, i don't want to use a program for it, so we have two choices.


For speed, whatever you choose, you should try out http://invisiblecastle.com

It provides a link for every roll and you can see if anyone attempted re-rolls. So you just paste the links in the post. (Yeah, I know you just said you didn't want to use a program, but this one works fairly well and is intuitively web-based).

My character is "pretty much" ready. You haven't provided chargen guidelines so I just went with standard roll. I'm working on feats right now. I'm making a common Avalonian, but I still want to have some benefits with ice type spells.  I may just multiclass into sorcerer...
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Werekoala

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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2007, 11:27:24 AM »
I think the DM can roll and tell us what happens. That way there's some "mystery" to things like search/spot checks and whatnot. I think that having players roll stuff like that is kinda blah anyway - how would you "know" you failed, realistically? Well, unless the trap goes off or something. :)
Lan Astaslem


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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2007, 11:30:36 AM »
Quote from: Abyssal Maw
For speed, whatever you choose, you should try out http://invisiblecastle.com

It provides a link for every roll and you can see if anyone attempted re-rolls. So you just paste the links in the post. (Yeah, I know you just said you didn't want to use a program, but this one works fairly well and is intuitively web-based).

My character is "pretty much" ready. You haven't provided chargen guidelines so I just went with standard roll. I'm working on feats right now. I'm making a common Avalonian, but I still want to have some benefits with ice type spells.  I may just multiclass into sorcerer...


I'll check that out, although my reticence is mainly technophobic in nature...

Yeah, standard roll chargen. The Water Domain gives you some ice based magic as well as water/foggy stuff.