Setting Idea: Wounded Gaia - Page 9
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  1. #81
    The thing is that I'm finding it difficult to make up my mind on whether to make the Zagadur Island map freely-hand-drawn or hex-based. On one hand, hex-based makes travel and exploration easier to adjudicate, but on the other hand, hand-drawn maps look better, are more varied, and are more satisfying to work on. Additionally, at the end of the day, what I really need is to define the various areas in the map and the important locations, and I'm not sure if I need a hex map for that (as long as the free-=drawn map has a scale, that is).

  2. #82
    I agree, to a certain extent, hex drawn maps can include variation in the hexes, lakes can have borders inside the hex, etc. On the other hand it's a little harder to adjudicate, which is the advantage. whatever works best for you, be it freehand drawings with a scale or hexes.

  3. #83
    I'm still undecided between hex mapping and free-drawn maps. Hand-drawn is easier to make, and possibly looks better (not necessarily, given my drawing skills), but hex is easier to place encounters on. And, if I'll chose hex, I'm still undecided between a color map done in Hexographer and a black-and-white map done in a graphics program. The Hexographer maps would look better, but a clean black-and-white map would look more 'old school' and will probably be easier to print.

  4. #84
    Notes on Alignment
    There are three alignments in Wounded Gaia - Lawful, Neutral and Chaotic. Good and Evil might exist in this setting, but they are more subjective and relative and are very rarely absolute.

    Lawful beings are civilized. They value order, organization and technological progress. They believe that science and magic, when wielded in a rational manner, can make the world a better place when compared to the anarchy of untamed nature. Lawful beings seek to tame the world, civilize it and improve it; they see the wild, natural world as primitive, squalid and horrifying. At its best, Law can bring prosperity and security. At its worst, it can bring tyranny and sterility.

    Chaotic beings are wild. They revel in the freedom of untamed nature and feel disdain towards the artifacts and laws of civilization. They believe that, unhindered by the shackles of artificial order, nature grants vigor, liberty and joy. Chaotic beings follow their primal instincts to their fullest, and seek to liberate the world from civilization; they see the latter as cold and constricting. At its best, Chaos can bring freedom and joy. At its worst, it can lead to savage bestiality.

    Neutral beings do not, inherently, favor civilization over nature or nature over civilization; others simply do not concern themselves with such far-reaching philosophical matters. Some balance a moderate desire for order and civilization with a moderate desire for freedom and nature; but most live a simple life, using what is available without giving it a second thought. At its best, Neutrality can be comfortably moderate and level-headed. At its worst, it can become complacency and apathy.

    The Mother Goddess was Neutral during the Age of Blossom, a modest deity of agriculture and prosperity. Now she is cold and squarely Chaotic, a force of avenging nature and the anathema of civilization. The Clockwork God is the epitome of Lawfulness, a machine which thinks like a machine and seeks to turn the world into a vast rational mechanism devoid of the discords of nature. Therefore, Clerics are never Neutral. They are either Chaotic, and follow the Mother Goddess, or, alternatively, Lawful, and follow the Clockwork God.

    Spirits may be of any alignment. Some, such as the spirits of great scientists, rulers and heroes of civilization, are lawful; others, such as nature spirits, are Chaotic; yet others, such as most ancestor spirits, are Neutral. Therefore, Shamans may be of any alignment as well, though they are usually Neutral and thus deal with all spirits on the same level.

    Most mortals are Neutral, though sometimes they do tend toward either Law or Chaos without being fully Lawful or Chaotic. Dwarves and Dark Elves tend towards Law; Humans, normal Orcs and Halflings tend towards neutrality; and Wood Elves and Snow Orcs tend towards Chaos. But even if they have these partial tendencies, they rarely commit themselves to any cause and remain, in game terms, within the Neutral range.


    As a side note, I'm thinking about giving Chaotic and Lawful Clerics different spell lists, with Chaotic clerics getting some Druid-style spells and Lawful clerics getting some Magic-User spells. I might also replace Turn Undead with a special power for each type of Cleric, with Chaotic Clerics being able to shapeshift and Lawful Clerics being able to craft clockwork mechanisms.

  5. #85
    I've been away from this setting for several months due to real-life bothers. However, I'm now in a mood to try and return to it.

    I'm thinking about a major overhaul, or re-imagining of the setting in order to bring it closer to the original concept and to make it more interesting and original; I want the Frozen Age to be a much more profound element in the world, and the post-apocalyptic elements to be more pronounced.

    What I have in mind is an ice-choked world where the previous warm temperate regions (think southern Europe) are now covered by tundra-steppe (with a growing season of 1-3 months a year) and the Middeterenean-type areas (as well as sheltered areas more to the north) have become taiga (with about 120 days of growing season per year). Winter is VERY harsh, and the summer is quite cold as well.

    But earlier, at the dawn of the Frozen Age, things were worse. Far worse. During the Ten Years Without Winter, many people, creatures and plants perished in the horrid cold; many more perished in famine as the southern crops failed. There was only one refuge available - moving underground, into mines and caves, and growing food under magical light in deep caverns. Only the hardiest people, plants and creatures of thge old North (which is now one big ice-sheet), who moved southward, survived well on the surface. But underground, under magical light and sometimes also heated by the fires deep under the earth, many more survived, and expanded the mines, sewers and cave-systems into subterrenean towns and cities. Even some creatures who like warmth, like Gecko-Men, have survived and adapted themselves to the underground world, where it is still warm and protected from the cold.

    Now the hardy creatures of the North, almost extinct during the warm Age of Blossom, freely roam the cold, icy steppes of the surface world - mammoths, wooly rhinos, sabertooth tigers, musk oxen, white dragons and even stranger beings. Hardy people survive there as well, using domesticated mammoths as transports, beasts of burden, and war-engines.

    But most people live underground, where it is warmer, and guard themselves well against the dangers of the surface world, as well as against the perils of the Deep - for horrible things lurk deep benearth the earth.

    In game terms,this means that dungeons abound, as well as surface adventures AND missions to defend dungeon-towns against invaders, either from above (nomads, raiders, Snow Orcs, white dragons, ice elementals) or from below (goblins, ratmen, and worse, worse things such as aboleths). There is also, of course, the possibility of raiding frozen surface towns for valuable relics of the Age of Blossom.

    What do you think?

  6. #86
    I think that it would be a fun idea, I like the idea of using mammoths as transports/war machines, I think with the underground cultures, that they would have issues because they would need to be either very spread out over tunnels or find central caverns big enough to fit them, or a combination of the two, all of this is mostly DM fluff that the characters wouldn't care about a whole lot, but there would be a shift toward lighter pigmentation in the skin, and also an increased sensitivity to light, tunnels would be much easier to defend than caverns, because you have a natural chokepoint to place defenses on, but they would detract from easy movement/communication between cells.

    just my two coppers

  7. #87
    GandalfMithrandir, I like your idea of towns in big caverns - this could make the dungeons quite interesting. It also reminds me of the Arx Fatalis computer game, which had a town in a huge cavern.

  8. #88
    This thread is choke-full of inspiration for the Wounded Gaia setting!

    I'm thinking about stressing the animist nature of the setting (apart from the distant, inhuman Mother Goddess and Clockwork God), with many monsters becoming minor "gods" or spirits (which term should I use?), and with the starting setting having its own unique NPC "gods"/spirits.

    I'm also thinking about removing the distinction between Arcane and Divine magic in this setting, essentially replacing both Cleric and magic-User with a Sorcerer (or Shaman? or Spiritualist?) class. The Sorcerer will be a bit similar to the 3E one, and will be able to access quite a large range of spells. However, he will be able to know only a limited number of spells of each level, AND he will have to learn the spells by bargaining with Spirits (I might remove spellbooks and scrolls from the game).

    Furthermore, I'm thinking about anyone (including commoners) being able - at least in theory - to negotiate with spirits for the spirits to use their powers at their behalf. Of course, many spirits are fickle (some are even cruel), and a commoner uneducated in the ways of the Spirit World is likely to get into DEEP trouble when trying to consort with powerful spirits...

  9. #89
    the people getting in trouble could make a good adventure, as the PCs need to keep the spirit from completely wrecking everything.

  10. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by GandalfMithrandir View Post
    the people getting in trouble could make a good adventure, as the PCs need to keep the spirit from completely wrecking everything.

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