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The World of Aarn: A custom PnP setting. (WIP)
Introduction:For over seven years, I've had a world bouncing around inside my head, just waiting to be let out. Two years ago, I started a freeform roleplaying campaign in the world, which has continued to this day. The people, the places, and the pure flavor of the world has proven to have the potential for more than just a freeform game, and so I've been working on converting d20 to handle the world in question.
I've reached the point in development that I feel my work is ready for the big time; feedback and opinions on how I've constructed the world and plan on adapting d20 rules to it. There is far more information currently written than will be provided in this first, overview post, but I figured that I should at least start "small," considering how massive a project this actually is.
The forums here at ENWorld come highly recommended, and I'm looking forward to seeing just how much interest my project can generate. As for the final goal of the project; the current plan is for the completed first edition of the setting and rules to be my senior project in college, and culmination of my work towards graduation.
General Information:The setting of Aarn is one of clockwork fantasy and high magic, designed with intentional anachronisms, satire, and parody. It is primarily a light-hearted setting, but has its own secret dark side that can be used for more serious play, or simply to keep the characters from growing too complacent.
Game Mechanics:The current mechanics of the system are based on a heavily modified version of d20 rules under OGL. Certain mechanics may be similar, but many things have been changed for flavor, for game play preferences and for fundamental requirements of the setting and its style. These mechanics are not final, have not been properly play-tested and may be changed in the future - even to the point of divorcing the system from all d20 OGL content completely.
Endurance Points, Ability Scores, Combat, and Critical hits:Spoiler:
The Astral Plane:Spoiler:
The Afterlife Itself:Spoiler:
The Nine + Planes of Hell:Spoiler:
The Nature of Souls in Hell:Spoiler:
Last edited by Seiun; Tuesday, 9th October, 2007 at 01:01 AM. Reason: Adding categories
Work on the setting has been slowly progressing, with advances in movement rules, elemancy skill sets, and fleshing out of the society of the world. Over the next few days I will post my current theories, suggestions and examples of how movement rules are being constructed.
In the meantime, I have drawn artwork of all player races except humans. They are roughly sketched, undetailed, semi-SFW nudes. In the interest of keeping this forum as clean as possible, I will post links to the images here, instead of putting them in the original post or directly embedding the images.
Ardlins: http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e2...un/ardlin2.jpg http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e2...iun/ardlin.jpg
A Harpy: http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e2...harpyfinal.jpg
A male Naga: http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e2...n/malenaga.jpg
A female Naga: http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e2...femalenaga.jpg
A pair of Saytrs: http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e2...iun/satyrs.jpg
A group of Spirit Animals: http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e2...imalsrough.jpg
I am also including here sketched out information about other prominant civilizations or legendary creatures that are not represented as player races.
Centaurs: Drasticly departed from the source material, Centaurs are still humanoid torsos pasted onto the front of a horse. However, the Centaurs from Aarn are extremely musclebound and huge, hulking figures that rival ogers or giants in strength. They also have a row of bony, armored plates and spiked tusks growing out of their backs and faces, from their mouth, neck and shoulders to the base of their tail. Their civilization is rustic, similar to Satyrs, but very martial and warlike. They primarily live in the larger eastern islands that are not controlled by human politics.
Dragons: Solitary creatures that enjoy the trappings of civilization, but have not produced their own. Like lions, they are the most powerful legendary creature race, and are lazy and do not like associating with others, or doing much of their own work. Dragons could be considered a type of parasite or scavenger of the civilizations of others. Before the age of man they collected the intellectual works and civilized products of merfolk, naga, and valdrex. There are 14 types of dragons, one for each of the elements represented in elemancy; Air, Water, Earth, Metal, Light, Dark, Fire, Cold, Electricity, Sound, and the two magical elements, manna and kanna. Typical dragon behaviors from high fantasy are not changed, and are treated traditionally.
Medusea: Based on the classical image of Gorgons from the ancient greek myths, Medusea are scaly humanoids with huge golden-feathered wings that are used for swimming, as opposed to true flight, though they may glide. They are amphibious creatures who have a snake-like tail for swimming in water, that they may shed and grow human legs over a period of two weeks. They can wrap these legs in a cocoon of silk in order to re-grow their tail, which takes a similar period of time. They are also asexual "female" creatures who lay eggs, and then breastfeed their young once hatched.
The major departure from myth is that their hair, snake-like tendrils, do not in fact have their own individual snake heads. Instead, each tendril ends in two openings, one which has a poisonous barb, the other which is what produces the silk for their cocoons. Medusea do however retain the ability to transform creatures who meet their gaze into stone.
It is rumored that once the One Mother created Medusea, she used their basic humanoid form as a blueprint for all other humanoid legendary creatures, and even some animals, such as primates, giants, goblins and lizardmen. Despite this, the Medusea themselves have not developed their own prominent civilization, and are at risk of extinction, currently being confined to a chain of islands to the south of Rensvan.
Merfolk: Living in a kingdom in the center of the Great Barrier Sea (South of Zenninfal, north of one of Yessha's major peninsulas) they are the most advanced and eldest of the true civilizations. Their design is traditional, with a fish tail, a human upper body, long elf-like ears and blueish or green skin. It is likely that the Merfolk were the first humanoid legendary creatures created after Medusea. Merfolk are content to keep to themselves, and do not like associating with other, "lesser" civilizations. Unlike the surface world of Aarn, Merfolk have had their own version of the industrial revolution, but their technology creates little pollutants, and is even based on some organic principles. Their highly advanced technology and weapons such as underwater vehicles, energy weapons and automated factories would be barely recognizable to us, and might even be confused for living creatures.
Salamanders: Similar to the salamanders of traditional Dungeons and Dragons, they are fire-based creatures that are a cross between a man, a lizard and a centipede. Every salamander has fire-based elemancy at their disposal, but despite their intelligence have resisted grouping together into a proper civilization. They would easily be a threat to humans if they did. Salamanders are migratory and tend to live near areas of geothermal activity.
Sphinxes: Mentioned in the main body of the setting overview in the Basics section, not much more detail about Sphinxes need to be said here. They are like dragons in that they have no civilization of their own, and integrate in their own odd way into the civilization and culture of humans. They are lions with feathered wings and human heads. Their forepaws also have opposable thumbs, like polydactyl housecats.
Valdrex: A setting-unique race that lives between the Yesshan Desert and the jungles of Rensvan. They are lanky and 9 feet tall humanoids, and quite secretive. Despite only having four limbs and, they seem to be insect based and have exoskeletons. They wrap their bodies from head to toe in linens and robes, with only their glowing red eyes and massive clawed hands visible. Their arms are longer than their legs, and can almost drag on the ground while walking fully upright. They have minimal trading deals with the desert kingdoms of the Yesshan continent, and have an ongoing blood-feud with nagas. They support slavery and are often considered an evil, inhuman race with a code of morals quite different than our own, due to their different perspective and apparent insect heritage.
Last edited by Seiun; Thursday, 4th October, 2007 at 11:23 PM.
Unlike many other things I've changed from the 3.5 d20, I don't have a particular problem with the current movement rules. For the most part they're easy to remember and easy to manage.
However, I want to make the stats of agility and finesse have their own impacts on the gameplay other than being a simple split-up of dexterity. One of the most obvious ways to do this is to restructure the movement rules and carrying capacity rules to take one's agility stat into account.
First, all skill sets that involve body movement that depend on strength, such as climb and jump have had their governing stats changed to agility.
Second, a character's strength score will still affect these skills indirectly, because when a character is overburdened, their agility score will simply be reduced based on how burdened they are. A character with a light load has no penalty. A character with a medium load may have a penalty from -2 to -4 to agility, to be based on future playtesting. A character with a heavy load may have a penalty from -4 to -6.
This extends to staggering with a very heavy load (beyond carrying capacity) which would reduce a character's agility by as much as -8. Dragging a very, very heavy load will only reduce agility when it comes to movement speed, considering how easily it is for a character to let go of the load. Of course, if they are tethered to the load, or refuse to stop dragging/pushing the load, I may have it so that their agility score is reduced by as much as 10 or more.
Third, when it comes to movement speed itself, a character's walking movement speed (default feet per round) will simply be twice the agility score, rounded to the nearest five. This means that a character with an agility of 7-8 has a 15" movement speed, 9-11 has a 20" movement speed, 12-13 a 25" movement speed, 14-16 a 30" movement speed, moving up the table. A character with an agility score of one has a movement speed of 0" and can only move 5 feet in a round by using a full round action.
A hustling character is treated as normal, per the rules. If hustling would deal nonlethal damage, (such as extended out of combat travel) it deals endurance point damage instead.
A running character, however, must spend one endurance point for every square crossed in the move action they spend running. This may seem very expensive, however, there is a special rule for the endurance point system I have mentioned before - catching one's breath.
In general, a character in combat can spend a full round action catching his breath. This allows him to regenerate a number of endurance points equal to his current vitality score in that round. Making any other actions (including a full defense action) means that only half of one's vitality score (rounded down) is recovered. If a character is dealt damage from an attack of opportunity (or the equivalent), no endurance point damage is recovered.
Normally, a character will always start combat with full endurance points, having had time to recover from their superficial wounds and their physical exertion between encounters. Long-term damage will be represented by ability score damage only.
The only time a character would not have full EP is if that character were suffering endurance point damage outside of combat. Suffering endurance point loss outside of combat is assuming that the character has been pacing himself and catching his breath along the way, and any damage left over is beyond their current ability to recover. Endurance point damage suffered outside of an encounter regenerates at the same rate as nonlethal damage would.
Because of this, when a character enters combat with endurance point damage, that damage is considered their current maximum EP, and endurance points cannot be increased beyond this level by catching one's breath or binding one's wounds. A healing spell however can increase endurance points beyond this level, and any endurance point amount reached through healing magic is considered the new temporary EP cap.
To address possible confusion, healing magic cannot increase one's temporary cap to endurance point damage beyond one's normal maximum EP.
When it comes to movement outside of combat, a character's base movement speed is calculated using whichever stat is lower - agility or vitality. If a character's agility is 15, and their vitality 10, they will still have a tactical movement speed of 30" during an encounter. However, because their vitality is 10, their movement speed for long distance travel is treated as if it were base 20".
A full table describing these movement speeds and how they relate to agility and vitality, based on the movement speed table in the SRD, will be provided at a later date.
Edit: Added five new fields to the campaign overview post, covering demons, the afterlife, and setting metaphysics.
Last edited by Seiun; Tuesday, 9th October, 2007 at 01:01 AM.
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