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Level Up (A5E) (+) Project Chronicle: Heritage and Culture


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Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
I love that you are building your setting in front of the world
Well thank you! It's definitely going to take a lot of work. And I find getting input, particularly questions or challenges to my positions, gives me a stronger motivation to understand my choices and change them when they're wrong or ill-founded. If someone asks why I've chosen to add Minotaurs to the game, for example, and I can't come up with a good reason, then either I need to work harder on making a reason or minotaurs should be removed.

Y'know?
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Ahhh, you would know of the Stormborn, yes? A daring people, strange and wondrous in appearance. They look much like humans, in form and ornamentation, though tend to be slender and slightly shorter. Their skin bears a grey cast which can range from the palest of clouds to the darkest of nights, and often bear patterns of lighter tones and even blue hues across their skin. These may be flowing shapes, concentric rings, or even the jagged lines of lightning across their flesh. Their hair, like their skin, tends to range from black to near-white, but is almost always inverse to their skin tone. There is little difference in height or weight between the various genders of Stormborn, with all ranging from just under five feet in height to just over five feet in height.

Their clothing preferences tend to be light, delicate, often diaphonous fabrics, worn with simple belts or bands to keep them in place. Armor, however, is often worn quite close to the skin with thin padding, with such delicate fabrics placed atop it.

-The Chronicler-

Stormborn
Age:
Stormborn age much more slowly than humans. While they reach adulthood around 18-20, their lifespan can reach 200 years or more. Such Stormborn typically feel the call of the Tempest and begin to lose cohesion, rather than gain wrinkles, after 120. Slowly they fade over the years, becoming less and less substantial until they simply fade into the wind.
Size: Stormborn range from about 4'8" to about 5'4" but rarely weigh more than 50lbs, regardless of how solid they seem. Your size is medium.
Speed: Stormborn move at 30ft per round.
Tempestuous: Stormborn can use the Gust of Wind spell once per short rest. This wind is either humid, hot, or freezing, chosen at level 1. Your constitution modifier is used to determine the Saving Throw DC.
Windborne: Stormborn double all jumping distances, and land before the end of their turn, regardless of how far they've traveled. You may also ignore the effects of strong wind.
 
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vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Tempestuous: Stormborn can use the Gust of Wind spell once per short rest. This wind is either humid, hot, or freezing, chosen at level 1.

Can this spell be used with spell slots if you have them, like the new way of doing ''gained'' spells since Tasha's?

Also, it would require to choose an ability on which to base the DC to resist the spell.

I'd maybe give them immunity to the effects of ''strong winds'' (DMG p110). Its more of a ribbon, but it would be thematic.

Strong Wind
A strong wind imposes disadvantage on ranged weapon attack rolls and Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing. A strong wind also extinguishes open flames, disperses fog, and makes flying by nonmagical means nearly impossible. A flying creature in a strong wind must land at the end of its turn or fall.

A strong wind in a desert can create a sandstorm that imposes disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
I was thinking Constitution for casting stat. But you're right. Immunity to Strong Winds would be a lovely ribbon for them. Especially with their Windborne Trait which basically gives them a strength-based flight speed that ends every turn.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Sprites? Oh, I am quite familiar with their kind, indeed. Tiny lovely figures which caper and prance... or kill with ruthless efficiency. Standing no taller than two feet in height, sprites are slender, with graceful arms and long, almost spindly, fingers. Shockingly strong for their diminutive size, they are limited in how much they can carry and for how long. However their inborn magics allow them to interact with a society built for people much larger in stature.

Rarely weighing more than 15lbs, Sprites have skin tones which are largely divided into three groups. Greens, Pinks, and Blues. Their tones may range from soft pastels to saturated gem tones, to near-black. Their hair is fine, and delicate, easily damaged, and typically worn in tufts or puffs, though sprites who enjoy high positions brush their hair quite long. It holds similar tones as their skin. The eyes of a Sprite, however, are solid black, like onyxes, dark and mysterious as the deepest night.

While some Sprites wear clothing as humans do, just as many go nude, or wear the leaves and petals of delicate flowers that do not chafe their skin. There are no significant differences in dress, or size, between the genders. Any such garb, however, leaves their wings free to hum in flight. Gossamer-delicate, they can fold down behind the Sprite when not in use.

-The Chronicler-

Sprites
Age:
Sprites are not born as a human is, but instead enter the world fully formed and aware, though often clueless as a child, from places of light or darkness, which influences the tone of their skin but not the tenor of their character. They rarely live more than 40 years.
Size: Sprites are all quite tiny at only 2ft in height and under 20lbs, but thanks to their wings they are treated as Small creatures.
Speed: Sprites walk at 20ft per round, but can fly and hover at 40ft.
Diminutive: Sprites eat and drink as much as a small character does. But they can squeeze through a space as narrow as 1inch. They may also choose to be treated as a tiny creature when they are not flying.
Innate Magic: Sprites can interact with objects within their reach as if they were Medium Sized, rather than Small or Tiny. This includes weapons and shields. Any such object is moved at the Sprite's direction but is not held in your hand. Treat this as having two active Mage Hand spells that use the Sprite's Strength score and have a range of 0ft.
 
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Faolyn

Hero
Did you see my post on planetouched gifts for LU? My jann (which I've since renamed to jenn) might be what you're looking for in genasi.
 


Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Il'sha-ah Cultures

Cosmopolitan
Ability Score Increase:
Your Charisma score increases by 2, any two other abilities of your choice increase by 1.
Cultured: Politeness and Skullduggery go hand in hand in courtly intrigues, you gain proficiency in Deception and Persuasion.
Parlor Tricks: Minor feats of legerdemain make it easier to maintain one's appearance in any situation. You know the Prestidigitation cantrip.
Language: You know Common, the Primary Language of the region in which you grew up, and one other language of your choice at level 1.

Priesthood
Ability Score Increase:
Choose two ability scores to increase by 1, then increase any one ability score by 1.
Ritualism: You gain the Ritualist Feat at level 1, and know the Ceremony ritual and one other 1st level ritual spell of your choosing.
Self-Sufficient: You gain proficiency in either one Tool Proficiency of your choice and Perception, or Stealth and Sleight of Hand
Language: You know Nagse and either Common or Musarran at level 1.

Raider
Ability Score Increase:
Your Constitution score increases by 2, and two other abilities of your choice increase by 1.
Raider Training: You gain proficiency in Shortsword, Longsword, Battleaxe, Shortbow, or regional equivalents.
Raider Stealth: You may ignore disadvantage to Stealth Checks imposed by Armor.
Language: You know the Primary Language of the region in which you grew up at level 1.

Traveler
Ability Score Increase: Choose two ability scores to increase by 1, then increase any one ability score by 1.
Skilled: Choose any two skills, regional languages, or vehicle proficiencies that you've learned along your travels in any combination. You also learn to play one Musical Instrument.
Wayfinder Whenever your party would become lost you may ignore that result and treat any requisite roll to find the correct path as an automatic success once per long rest.
Language: You know any two languages of your choice.

So you could have a Stormborn who grew up as a Raider in the Il'sha-ah region. You'll gain the heritage and cultural traits listed above, and then choose your Background normally. So you could make a Stormborn Raider Acolyte, for example. That may mean your Stormborn was a tribal shaman or someone who repented their violent ways and turned to a Temple or Monastery for redemption.

Just more crunch that reflects narrative.
 

Glad to see you going all-in on this @Steampunkette. The first book I kickstarted (and the IP that I've built my studio around) has an unapologetic amount of Dark Sun inspiration in it, so its dope to see a new setting made with this.

When I find some free time, I'll come around and throw some ideas in here. Culture and Religion building are the two things I'm best at :p
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
We'll see how far I get, @Shardstone!

Next thread is going to be regions. Definitely thinking of stepping away from strictly Desert style environments and going for more of a blend, but all of them equally cursed and hard to live in, just in different ways.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
The Changing folks, you ask? As inconstant as the sea, as strange as the stars, and as wild as the Beast himself, yes. I know well of the Shapeshifters and Changelings... They are a quiet people, mostly. They do their best to live lives among their neighbors, hidden. Many a changeling child has been left upon a doorstep, disguised as an infant. Or toddled into town, barely able to keep standing for their youth. Yes. I know well of these beings...

In their true form, beneath the facade of humanity, or whatever guise they choose, they hold some resemblance to depictions of the Dweller. Large black eyes dominate a pale grey face with only the impression of a nose. Thin-lipped mouths and tiny ears. With pale and wispy hair as delicate as a Sprite's but far longer. They largely lack gender, and mimic it in the forms they choose. But even in their native form some choose to shape themselves into approximations of men, women, and otherwise.

It is said that there are as many changelings hidden among the faces of Achelb as there are -true- faces. But if this is true? It would be damned hard to discern. For their new face is as true as your own. Flesh and bone reshaped to change appearance. I can only imagine how painful it must be, like holding a smile too wide for days upon end...

-The Chronicler-

Age: Changelings mature slightly faster than humans but share a similar lifespan — typically a century or less. While a changeling can transform to conceal their age, the effects of aging affect them similarly to humans.
Size: In their natural forms, changelings average between 5 to 6 feet in height, with a slender build. Your size is Medium.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Shapechanger: As an action, you can change your appearance and your voice. You determine the specifics of the changes, including your coloration, hair length, and sex. You can also adjust your height and weight, but not so much that your size changes. You can make yourself appear as a member of another race, though none of your game statistics change. You can't duplicate the appearance of a creature you've never seen, and you must adopt a form that has the same basic arrangement of limbs that you have. Your clothing and equipment aren't changed by this trait.
You stay in the new form until you use an action to revert to your true form or until you die.

(Changelings aren't more likely to abandon their children than any other group of people. It's just the minor fearmongering that some groups put onto them out of distrust and confirmation bias.)
 

GuyBoy

Adventurer
Teerka glanced around at her new companions, her braids moving slightly as her head turned, her golden eyes appraising. In the coming battle she would live....or die....dependent on both her own skills, and theirs.
B’Shnurnipal of Mussura’s hulking presence was reassuring. The massive minotaur warrior hefted his great axe in one mighty fist, the fading sun glinting off both his ivory horns and his oiled beard, set with gems to mark his status as Ur-bull of his clan.
Tregaus stared grimly ahead. Focussed, as always, on warfare. His bronze panoply and figure-8 hide shield would deflect all but the strongest blows and his mighty spear would rain death upon his enemies. At least, that was what he’d told her in the tavern last night, over cups of sour Ellenic wine.
Smissila’s onyx eyes met Teerka’s on a level, though only because the diminutive sprite was hovering on gossamer wings, tiny obsidian dagger clutched in equally tiny hand, delicate green in hue. “You’re good, humaen,” the bard whispered, “I think we will win.....but I have been wrong before.”
Teerka smiled grimly. The fell creature’s lair was in sight; they were about to enter the Arachnaeum.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Kyrani Cultures

Raider
Ability Score Increase:
Your Constitution score increases by 2, and two other abilities of your choice increase by 1.
Raider Training: You gain proficiency in Shortsword, Longsword, Battleaxe, Shortbow, or regional equivalents.
Raider Stealth: You may ignore disadvantage to Stealth Checks imposed by Armor.
Language: You know the Primary Language of the region in which you grew up at level 1.

Tribal Shaman
Ability Score Increase:
Choose two ability scores to increase by 1, then increase any one ability score by 1.
Ritualism: You gain the Ritualist Feat at level 1, and know the Ceremony ritual and one other 1st level ritual spell of your choosing.
Self-Sufficient: You gain proficiency in either one Tool Proficiency of your choice and Perception, or Stealth and Sleight of Hand
Language: You know Kyrani and either Common or Musarran at level 1.

Steppesdweller
Ability Score Increase:
Choose two ability scores to increase by 1, then increase any one ability score by 1.
Bravura: There are many frightening creatures in the Steppes, you gain advantage on any saving throw to avoid Fear Effects.
Animal Bonds: The herds you protect and the beasts that prey on them require a careful touch. You gain proficiency in Handle Animal. Further, on a Handle Animal check of 17 or higher you may act as if you had cast Speak with Animals for 3 rounds only in relation to the animal, or animals, you made the skill check upon.

Traveler
Ability Score Increase:
Choose two ability scores to increase by 1, then increase any one ability score by 1.
Skilled: Choose any two skills, regional languages, or vehicle proficiencies that you've learned along your travels in any combination. You also learn to play one Musical Instrument.
Wayfinder Whenever your party would become lost you may ignore that result and treat any requisite roll to find the correct path as an automatic success once per long rest.
Language: You know any two languages of your choice.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
So... as an update:

I want to scrap the Bug People of the Weaver. Or possibly make the Sprites into Buggier type creatures in appearance and give the Witch some kind of Hagspawn race or a fomorian type people. Distinct Possibility I won't actually give the Witch a -race- so much as a Lineage, like the Hexblood. I think it could create an interesting niche for storytelling and separate out the player races a bit more.

I'm also looking at changing the names around a bit to both create separation from standard D&D races and enrich the setting. Yeah, Faceless are Changelings by another name, but since their racial traits are also different because of the Heritage/Culture split it might be worthwhile.

So:
1) Humans. Buncha Cultures helps make them more distinct since those cultures have mods.
2) Minotaurs. I feel like changing this name would just be pedantry.
3) Naghese. Gets across an idea of what the character is, changes things slightly since naga in D&D just have human heads.
4) Faceless. Just a fun name.
5) Stormborn. Very magical in how they fade away with age.
6) Sprites... maybe something more buzzy if I go insecty with them. Like Nazzarr?
7) Hexblood Style Template Race.

Which gives us (In order)
1) A Baseline worldbuilding race that grounds weirdness via comparison and allows for an audience-perspective identity.
2) A large and strong race which may or may not be pigeonholed based on player choice.
3) Something inhuman enough in body type to likely qualify as a monster in most settings.
4) Characters who may feel the need to hide themselves.
5) Ethereal and Unusual Human-Adjacent characters (Elf-Like)
6) Teeny Tiny player character race for the people who like flight for tactical maneuvers or being smollest of beans.
7) A False-Heritage that erases who you were, for identity exploration.

Of these, I feel like the Sprites/Nazzarr might need more of a connection to existentialism and perhaps bleakness to make them feel like part of the world rather than an adjunct to it through more standard fantasy. Torn on how to do it.

Thought 1: Going with the Nazzarr we could erase the "Born fully grown" thing and do more of a hive-living situation where player Nazzarr represent a specific phenotype or caste of a larger and more diverse group of creatures that are meant to serve the hive... but may have left due to damage to the hive, specific goals, or more of a general discontent with hive-service-life?

Thought 2: Going with the more Sprite angle we could make them into the Weaver's agents in the world... Less bright and shiny, more "Hands of Fate" angle...?

Potential style of concept for Nazzarr or something similar: Mothfolk.
OQnTozm.png
 

GuyBoy

Adventurer
Mothfolk sound interesting.
Moths are pretty interesting of themselves, with a huge variety of species beyond the commonly perceived grey/dusty moth.

The whole life cycle raises opportunities either for PCs themselves (though I can see issues here) or in terms of NPCs who are in caterpillar or pupal stages, and may have different weaknesses or defences.

There is a sub species of moth called Calyptra which is vampiric (almost all moths are herbivores on nectar) and this could be played on in dark ways?
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Could also do something very human but slightly different?

Long limbs and spindly fingers and toes that seem overly long, plus wings, and you've got something terribly cute that -looks- like they should be exceptionally skilled at pulling threads and stuff.

Marfan Syndrome Individuals as Heroic and Well Loved Pixie characters.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
The thing I love about moth people (sorry if it looks like if insisiting or pushing my ideas) is exploring the idea of ''being born only to die''. Give them a super short lifespan, a culture centered around funeral rite/mummyfication and a can-do attitude that comes with the fact that you only have a short to make your mark on the world (or maybe the opposite, why even try to leave a mark, with some few seconds to spare?).

Maybe even, since they are the folk of the gods of destiny, they are born fully grown, but with a short lifespan and knowing exactly the time before their natural death, like a genetic countdown that they know innerently.

That's freaky, but inresting, I think.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Of these, I feel like the Sprites/Nazzarr might need more of a connection to existentialism and perhaps bleakness to make them feel like part of the world rather than an adjunct to it through more standard fantasy. Torn on how to do it.

Thought 1: Going with the Nazzarr we could erase the "Born fully grown" thing and do more of a hive-living situation where player Nazzarr represent a specific phenotype or caste of a larger and more diverse group of creatures that are meant to serve the hive... but may have left due to damage to the hive, specific goals, or more of a general discontent with hive-service-life?
On a personal note, I really dislike the hive thing when it's used willy-nilly, because most inspect species aren't eusocial like that.

If you want to make the nazzarr feel bleak, give them wings like dead leaves, like the mournful sphinx moth. Or make them glasswinged like hummingbird moths. Don't base them off cute moths, like luna moths or white ermine moths.
 


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