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PHB and MM races and their place in the setting

garyh

First Post
I was thinking about warforged, being that I'm a big fan, and how they are in the MM, even if we don't immediately allow the DDI version, and wondering how they could fit into the L4E setting. Then I realized all the MM races could use a look at how they fit.

I'm generally assuming the Transitive Isles in this discussion.

Let's start with PHP races:
Dragonborn - entering via gate on the Isle of Opposition
Dwarf - mountains of the Daunton isle?
Eladrin - (Fey Isle)
Elf - forests of the Daunton isle and/or on Fey Isle
Half-Elf - Wherever humans and elves meet, I assume
Halfling - Amongst humans?
Humans - main race in Daunton and the Imperium
Tieflings - entering via gate on the Isle of Opposition

And the MM:
Bugbear - Amongst both the pirates of Bacarte and the Empire of Hzaka
Doppleganger - wherever they want to be
Drow - Daunton, the Temple of Night and Day
Githyanki - possibly another island with a portal?
Githzerai - possibly another island with a portal?
Gnoll - Amongst both the pirates of Bacarte and the Empire of Hzaka
Gnome - Fey Isle?
Goblin - Amongst both the pirates of Bacarte and the Empire of Hzaka
Hobgoblin - Amongst both the pirates of Bacarte and the Empire of Hzaka
Kobold - Amongst both the pirates of Bacarte and the Empire of Hzaka
Minotaur - Amongst both the pirates of Bacarte and the Empire of Hzaka
Orc - Amongst both the pirates of Bacarte and the Empire of Hzaka
Shadar-Kai - possibly another island with a portal?
Shifters - Forests of Daunton isle or on Fey Isle?
Warforged - Property of the Imperium remnant, but some have been sent abroad on missions or escaped

Any ideas or modifications you'd suggest?
 

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Graf

First Post
note: using the Imperium god names here...

Thanks for starting this thread... I was thinking about this stuff but not motivated enough to get it down.

from here
garyh said:
The Empire of Jade looks to be the designated default for tiefling and dragonborn PC's. I like having a default place each PHB race fits in the world. If someone wants to do something different, there's always room for exceptions, but it otherwise it's nice to have some kind of vague baseline.
We're on exactly the same page.
I've had this in mind for a while too... here's where I am.

I want to make sure that for each race
1. There is a primary culture that is interesting and fun
2. There are viable secondary offerings for people who want to play "more traditionally" or unfettered from rp constraints they don't like.
So we can have "most hobgoblins are like this" without "all hobgoblins are like this...."

Dragonborn - until recently dragonborn were quite rare, appearing in small bands of mercenaries. A few lived in Daunton of course and a small band is said to rove the seas as "ethical pirates".
Dragonborn currently dominate the upper ranks of the Kingdom of Jade. With the fall of the Jade Emperor to the touch of the shadow the surivivors have shifted to full war footing, and the discraced genasi noble families have been replaced by their loyal servants and warriors, the Dragonborn. Dragonborn from the Jade Empire have grown more common on Daunton, the most prominent Dragonborn in the city is Madame Redscale; she seems to have close to twenty burly and aggressive young claws. Her neighbors in the upscale neighborhood she lives in are "quite sure she's happy to have so many big strong sons".
Both native Dragonborn and those from the Kingdom share a culture that embraces and emphasizes honor; but the immigrants are much more extreme living -- an intense athsetic lifestyle that verges on religion.
Some of the natives are inspired by this intensity, others see it as "self-absorbed, impractical scale polishing"

Dwarf - Dwarves are the largest and by far the most prosperous group in the Valley of Bone. Savage in appearance traders who have attemtped to take advantage of the "primitives and their gold" have found them cunning, wiley and ruthless. They also have an odd sense of black humor and an intense distain for fear of death.
Few dwarves choose to feel the destruction of Allaria to Daunton (at that time called new daunton); but those that did remember the Kingdom with much greater clarity. It's not something that happened in the distant past, but something their grandfathers and grandmothers experienced.

Eladrin - Eladrin dominate the Imperium as its leaders, masters of oratory and blessed with long lives they dominate the senante (where once elected one serves for life) driving it forward and spreading civilization to the.
Eladrin are the rarest of the Great Races who formed the Allaria, they have left the lands of the fey long ago, but they still remember it's touch. After the destruction of their home many forsook their long-lives transforming into elves but a handful of those who escaped Allaria could not give up their nature, and seeing themselves as Allarians still dwell among the "survivors".

Elf - Intrinsically connected to the Eladrin the Elves have given up their connection to the faerie. While the practice was frowned upon by Eladrin in the past the destruction of Allaria drove most of the Eladrin to forsake their long lives, and the painful memories of the Destruction*.
A small group of Eladrin, driven by the shame of the excesses of the Imperium, have also reportedly forsaken their race; their two century campaign of assassination and murder has only recently (as they see it) come to a stop.

*=I assume that this involves petitioning the goddess Proserphones (since both fey and nature are her perviews and she's also changed in reaction to tradgety she's willing to bless and effect the change)

garyh said:
Half-Elf - Wherever humans and elves meet, I assume
Personally I prefer Half-Elves to actually be a race, with their own culture, like the Khorvaire in Eberron.
(this happens too occasionally in the real world, the Peranakan are the decendants of chinese merchants in SE asia who married locally and developed a distinct, unique culture)
In that sense the Imperium half-elves are sort of a half way point a distinct culture that's still linked with it's Eladrin creators
The Temperavir are the upper middle class of the Imperium, a vast strata of bureaucrats, technicians and skills laborers who both oversee the day to day operations of the Imperium and act as its most common faces abroad, while some are still tied to their Eladrin "patron" many are simple Temperavir.
Halfling - I liked the idea that the halflings are the only ones who still have (some of) their lands in Allaria. They won't fight people and give them stuff (food) if invaders come. Beloved of Erath and devout pacifists they've avoided destruction.
They're also the sneakest little **** alive; a small subset brings righteous revenge one knife-in-the-dark at a time.
There are also tribes of Halflings in the Valley of Bone for those who like their little people "Athas style".

Humans - main race in Daunton and compromise the largest proportions of the masses of empires like the Imperium and the Kingdom of Jade.
(I've never loved the idea of humanity as "the perfect ascendant race"; sometimes they dominate, but they can be sheep too.

Tieflings - An unfortunate problem among all cultures (demons and devils are everywhere); a few cursed families have lived within Daunton and Bacarte for centuries, laboring under the stigma of their ancestors actions.
As the shadow's reach grows longer and longer they are being born more frequently among the subjectes of the Kingdom of Jade. Many of them would love to travel from the Kingdom, where the stigma against them is still extremely strong.


garyh said:
Doppleganger - wherever they want to be
Because of the problems arbitrarting how change self actually works I think we should have them as NPCs for now.
The rational would just be that with cults and so forth being such a problem (including one dedicated to a mysterious force called the Unseen Lord) changelings are not loved within the Shifting Seas; so they don't reveal themselves.

I was imagining Xil'th as being the only changeling living openly in the city, and he's bound by a magical orb (currently on display at the Hanged Man) to never change his shape or lie. He mostly hanges around acting pretenous, arguing that "there is no such thing as good and evil" and supports himself by useing his minor mindreading abilites gull merchants into beleiving he has "mysterious insights".

Of course the character works with other changelings around too.

garyh said:
Bugbear - Amongst both the pirates of Bacarte and the Empire of Hzaka
Goblin - Amongst both the pirates of Bacarte and the Empire of Hzaka
Hobgoblin - Amongst both the pirates of Bacarte and the Empire of Hzaka
Kobold - Amongst both the pirates of Bacarte and the Empire of Hzaka
Minotaur - Amongst both the pirates of Bacarte and the Empire of Hzaka
Orc - Amongst both the pirates of Bacarte and the Empire of Hzaka
Sure! I made a comment about the Empire here.

garyh said:
Drow - Daunton, the Temple of Night and Day
Shadar-Kai - possibly another island with a portal?
My love of Shadar-kai is small. I say they're both exiled elves from the Imperium. PS The imperium history has the drow progenitors as "not demonworshipers" they were just an extreme religious cult that got exiled.
-Then- they turned to demonworship.
So the Shadar-kai just went and hid in the shadowfell after the exile unstead of falling in with demons.

Actually, I like the idea that they're tied to Hadeys; he likes the unification of fey and shadow because it is apes his relationship with Proserphones.... maybe they were a wedding present?
(One she was probably significantly less exited to receive than you might think).

garyh said:
Gnoll - Amongst both the pirates of Bacarte and the Empire of Hzaka
Could be. I like Gnolls enough to want to split them out from goblinoids.

garyh said:
Githyanki - possibly another island with a portal?
Githzerai - possibly another island with a portal?
Gnome - Fey Isle?
Shifters - Forests of Daunton isle or on Fey Isle?
Sure?
No good ideas myself. Though I think gnome-from-fey-island is a synch.


garyh said:
Warforged - Property of the Imperium remnant, but some have been sent abroad on missions or escaped
This... is a very interesting idea.
I wouldn't mind it at all.

There are a fair number of race tied to the Imperium in one way or another; another possibility would be that they are the "old bodyguards of the kings of Allaria".
The souls of loyal warriors are pledged to the Kingdom, and reborn through the magic of the creation forge (with no memories) to serve again. Now the kings are all dead, and there is only one creation forge left. Tended by some very old warforged it turns out a new forged every decade or so.

Now that the kingdom is dead some forged have grown disillusioned and abandoned their mission, others have adapted devoting themselves to an ideal of what Allaria stands for, or to the surivivors of Allaria (i.e. Daunton).
If a bunch of people play 'forged then we can whip up some sort of subplot (either about a threat to the surviving kingdom, or the "coming of the new king" or something).
 
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garyh

First Post
I want to make sure that for each race
1. There is a primary culture that is interesting and fun
2. There are viable secondary offerings for people who want to play "more traditionally" or unfettered from rp constraints they don't like.
So we can have "most hobgoblins are like this" without "all hobgoblins are like this...."

Absolutely.

Dragonborn - until recently dragonborn were quite rare, appearing in small bands of mercenaries...

I like your ideas here. Having both native and new dragonborn gives good options.

Dwarf - Dwarves are the largest and by far the most prosperous group in the Valley of Bone...

Dwarves in the Valley of Bone are fine, but I want to make sure there's still room for the more standard feel, too.

Eladrin - Eladrin dominate the Imperium as its leaders...

I *really* like the idea of having a long-lived race make sense like this.

Elf - Intrinsically connected to the Eladrin the Elves have given up their connection to the faerie...

Works for me.

Personally I prefer Half-Elves to actually be a race, with their own culture, like the Khorvaire in Eberron...

Works for me, and doesn't bar elf-human parentage for half-elves, either.

Halfling - I liked the idea that the halflings are the only ones who still have (some of) their lands in Allaria... There are also tribes of Halflings in the Valley of Bone for those who like their little people "Athas style".

All good ideas here.

Humans - main race in Daunton and compromise the largest proportions of the masses of empires like the Imperium and the Kingdom of Jade. (I've never loved the idea of humanity as "the perfect ascendant race"; sometimes they dominate, but they can be sheep too.

Agreed.

Tieflings - An unfortunate problem among all cultures...

You're on a roll.

(dopplegangers) Because of the problems arbitrarting how change self actually works I think we should have them as NPCs for now...

I haven't look that closely at change self. I think dopplegangers will be in PHB2, so we should build them in, even if they aren't immediately playable.

My love of Shadar-kai is small. I say they're both exiled elves from the Imperium. PS The imperium history has the drow progenitors as "not demonworshipers" they were just an extreme religious cult that got exiled.
-Then- they turned to demonworship.
So the Shadar-kai just went and hid in the shadowfell after the exile unstead of falling in with demons.

Actually, I like the idea that they're tied to Hadeys; he likes the unification of fey and shadow because it is apes his relationship with Proserphones.... maybe they were a wedding present?
(One she was probably significantly less exited to receive than you might think).

Very cool ideas. And shadar-kai are likely to be in PHB2 as well, so we should give some thought to them.

Could be. I like Gnolls enough to want to split them out from goblinoids.

They could go either way. They do have a neat feel to them. I think this is one of those cases where some work for the pirates, some for Hraka, and some are just marauding bands.

Sure?
No good ideas myself. Though I think gnome-from-fey-island is a synch.

The gith* totally make sense as planar visitors. And yeah, gnomes really should be hanging out in fey forests. Shifters, I'm not totally sold on as fey isle material. Maybe they're indigenous folks who've been pushed across the isle by the colonization of Daunton?

This... is a very interesting idea.
I wouldn't mind it at all.

There are a fair number of race tied to the Imperium in one way or another; another possibility would be that they are the "old bodyguards of the kings of Allaria".
The souls of loyal warriors are pledged to the Kingdom, and reborn through the magic of the creation forge (with no memories) to serve again. Now the kings are all dead, and there is only one creation forge left. Tended by some very old warforged it turns out a new forged every decade or so.

Now that the kingdom is dead some forged have grown disillusioned and abandoned their mission, others have adapted devoting themselves to an ideal of what Allaria stands for, or to the surivivors of Allaria (i.e. Daunton).
If a bunch of people play 'forged then we can whip up some sort of subplot (either about a threat to the surviving kingdom, or the "coming of the new king" or something).

I think having warforged come from both Imperium and the fallen kingdom works. I don't think we should spell out how often new warforged are created, though. More flexible if it's unknown. Plus, I have a hunch they'll be popular.
 

Graf

First Post
Since we've only agreed to allow the warforged material from the MM I think they're be less popular than you might expect.

Getting the dragon magazine stuff approved (including the improved racial benefit) is something we'll have to take up separately.
 

garyh

First Post
Since we've only agreed to allow the warforged material from the MM I think they're be less popular than you might expect.

Getting the dragon magazine stuff approved (including the improved racial benefit) is something we'll have to take up separately.

Could be. Of course, there's the attraction of the RP potential beyond the mechanical appeal of the race, too.

I don't see why there'd be a problem allowing the Dragon info, as it's free, but that is indeed a seperate issue.
 

renau1g

First Post
Githyanki - possibly another island with a portal?
Githzerai - possibly another island with a portal?

Any ideas or modifications you'd suggest?

For the gith, an idea popped into my head... assuming the fluff is the same as previous editions...

The Gith have entered the same island through a portal, searching for XXX [some sort of psionic device maybe?], but once there the portal shut down and they were unable to activate it. A large group of each race had traveled to the island and some property of said island prevents them from teleporting away.

Being on the island together and with their racial hatred they have a continuing war against each other, while they search for the item, and also try to escape this plane. They will have built settlements on the island and have attempted to travel to the other parts of the world to locate a way home...

Just an idea
 

garyh

First Post
For the gith, an idea popped into my head... assuming the fluff is the same as previous editions...

The Gith have entered the same island through a portal, searching for XXX [some sort of psionic device maybe?], but once there the portal shut down and they were unable to activate it. A large group of each race had traveled to the island and some property of said island prevents them from teleporting away.

Being on the island together and with their racial hatred they have a continuing war against each other, while they search for the item, and also try to escape this plane. They will have built settlements on the island and have attempted to travel to the other parts of the world to locate a way home...

Just an idea

I really like that. And from what I remember of the 4e MM, all of that should work just fine.
 

Graf

First Post
Could be. Of course, there's the attraction of the RP potential beyond the mechanical appeal of the race, too.

I don't see why there'd be a problem allowing the Dragon info, as it's free, but that is indeed a seperate issue.
Personally... I agree. But the voting went otherwise.

The trick really is that the mechanical component help re-enforce the race. Most of it isn't going to effect power levels at low level. But if you can't get components, etc...?

[d]--[/d]
Love the gith idea. I think the isle shouldn't be a "near isle" though it may be "relatively close". Can you work something up?
 

garyh

First Post
Personally... I agree. But the voting went otherwise.

The trick really is that the mechanical component help re-enforce the race. Most of it isn't going to effect power levels at low level. But if you can't get components, etc...?

[d]--[/d]
Love the gith idea. I think the isle shouldn't be a "near isle" though it may be "relatively close". Can you work something up?

I can't find the poll about allowing other options. Did people really vote no on allowing free official stuff? I don't recall that.

As for the Gith, they can easily be from beyond the edge of the map.Maybe the isle could be called Githenia? I dunno, I think it oughta have "gith" in there somewhere.
 

Graf

First Post
Yes. yes they did.
It's in the character creation poll.

In some quarters there is a strong desire to avoid the balance problems that plagued 3.x. And little confidence that there is any improvement in 4e.

It'll be revisited in 3 months or so... but for now...?
It's dah law...
 


Graf

First Post
Took a while but I dug it up.

People voted (effectively) against almost everything. Including free stuff.
(It didn't help really that playtest stuff like the artificer was lumped in with stuff like the warforged...)

But that's the vote for now (to my understanding anyway)
 

garyh

First Post
It was a very, very close discussion. And it seems to me we went with "PHB+MM for now" to basically punt the trickier stuff until later. I guess now I just want to address "how much later" and "what will be the formal process." Does someone who wants to use a resource nominate it for judge review, or what? We've had a lot of discussion, but I don't think we really came to a decision beyond tentatively going with a time frame of 6 months in general, but maybe quicker for core sequels or free stuff.
 

Graf

First Post
I think we've agreed to revisit the whole thing in 3 months.

Obviously people who want to add more want to revisit it sooner, and people who don't want to do it later.

But given that we haven't finished this massive list of stuff...

I think we can not worry about it for now.

I mean... just dealing with OOC points and setting is going to take us a week, maybe two. And then we're into September (and I have tests etc).

And there's the charter, the gods, etc.

And approving characters.
And approving adventures.

Personally, I think that it's just a more reasonable decision to focus on key stuff, dig into getting the "low hanging fruit" done and worry about more controversial stuff later.

In my idea world we'd have genasi pirates in Bacarte and a college for sword mages along with a temple for drow and just put it front and center and live with it... but we haven't don't so we make the setting modular and "snap" pieces in later.
 



garyh

First Post
In my idea world we'd have genasi pirates in Bacarte and a college for sword mages along with a temple for drow and just put it front and center and live with it... but we haven't don't so we make the setting modular and "snap" pieces in later.

I totally agree with you here. I think I'm just a little itchy to make it happen sooner, even though, as we had all agreed, there's plenty of reason to take the simple PHB+MM approach and deal with the rest later.

I'll curtail my eagerness and leave the issue be until we get up and running.
 



Graf

First Post
Thanks for the input and corrections!
(Particularly fixing the hideousness that is my writing).

I have two questions... how are their savage tribes of humanoids living in land in daunton... what do they do? how do they do it? How have they resisted civilization? Do they raid daunton regularly?

I guess I'd imagined Daunton as being well defended, peaceable and not being subject to regular monstrous attacks (i.e. the threats are more hidden things...).

Personally I'd prefer to keep the monsters off a bit further. Just have shifters on the island maybe?

Ditto the Eladrin. If they skip and frolic amongst the trees of the fey isle (which has a massive rift in it leading to the shadowfell...) how do they interact with the Eladrin who immigrated from Allaria to Daunton.
Eladrin won't be rare at all in that case... they'd be one of the more common races...

People generally like their special happy magical elves to also be rare children of a magical land.... no?

I kind of prefer the fey/shadowfell isle to be more.... spooky. Gnomes live around the edges, hiding from dangerous forces; only brave adventurers dare to plumb its depths... etc. Making it a shiny happy elvin land where everyone lives carefree lives of fun would make it a great vacation spot and an unattractive place to adventure....

Shifters and gnomes as original inhabitants is interesting...
 

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