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Level Up (A5E) Sins of the Scorpion Age, Sword and Sorcery Campaign Setting


Shaper of Worlds
Lemme just make a note to put in a "$10,000 'You go, Steampunkette!'" level that includes all the materials and an all expenses paid trip to come to a tiny rural town in Wisconsin for one (1) hug.

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Sounds awesome....with an extension goal of you and hubby coming to London, and we can visit some Neolithic mounds....and go to mist-shrouded Netscape in our imaginations.


Shaper of Worlds

The Mire Which Halts Hearts​

Umbataa had seen the great riverbeasts, bloated and dead, upon the savannah. Far from water, they had chased something, someone, before collapsing. Or, perhaps, had fled? The massive feet of the riverbeasts destroyed any trail leading to their bodies, but no steps lay easy in the grass beyond. Above, vultures circled. It might be hours, yet, after the bodies ceased motion, before they would swoop to take their fill. For riverbeasts are among the most deadly of the Beast's progeny, and most angered when wounded, or dying.

Rough hands rolled over the blubberous form of one Riverbeast. It's skin hot under the savannah sun, but there was no life to it. Stiff and stretched as it was by the rot within. Umbataa's hand moved to it's great jaws, mouth wide upon the ground where it had bellowed it's final breath. Amid the fetid stench, the scent of rot and gore, he caught a whiff.

The barest scent, really. The faintest hint of a familiar odor that hearkened back to the heady days he'd spent in Kyalo, sleeping dreamless nights and dream-filled days away, his mind lost in heady Nectar.

His eyes turned heavenward, again, to see the circling vultures. They would feast well, in time. It was time to leave. Umbataa turned his hooves south, trodding the path of the riverbeasts to seek their poison.

Before him lay the Stopwater, a fetid swamp where the Ahlaki falls were lost to the savannah in a spreading mud-filled lake spotted with trees and populated with horrid insects, giant lizards, and a small town of swampdwellers upon it's edge. Questions were asked in Oromi, but the children of the town knew little, and their elders refused to speak of Pokenkwo flowers and their nectar. Instead there were dead stares, shouts of anger, and far too much attention.

And so Umbataa, who had tracked men from Tefari to Ipu, who had hunted the great lizards of Ngo and slain Kor the Implacable, set out from the packed dirt roads that wound between the treehouses and huts of Oromi and moved into the greater swamp.

Everyone from fifteen to fifty had left the town, and their footsteps were not hard to follow into the stinking mire itself, his hooves sucked down into the muck, swiftly, for minotaurs were not well suited to soft grounds. Each sucking step, however, lead him to the scent he had once loved. His fingers trembled and so he clutched his axes with them to stop their motions.

In time the sun's light waned and drew red-orange upon the horizon. And it was then, pulling aside the fronds of a small tree, that Umbataa found the source of the riverbeast's end.


A plantation stretching across acres, worked and picked by the populace of Oromi. Most walked in a gape-mouthed daze, their fingers and palms swollen from handling the clearly toxic leaves. To the west, a patch of pokenkwo was flattened, ruined by the fat beasts who had eaten their deadly fill of the heady plant.

But one of the glass-eyed women, a basket of petals half-full upon her hip, finally managed to focus her eys upon Umbataa and let out a shrill cry. And the guards, many wearing the colors of Kyalo and the witch Tupo Ava, who Umbataa knew bitterly, rushed the minotaur. Axes left their slings and shaking fingers became as steel when battle was joined.
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Shaper of Worlds
So... I am going to take my laptop to work with me, today. Gonna try to write between bursts of cooking. Any questions, any discussions, here or on the Level Up Discord, will be responded to as soon as I'm able. Questions answered, critiques weighed, and problems solved if I can find a way.


Shaper of Worlds
So my current thought for the Ranger Subclass is a Bounty Hunter. It's a fairly big part of the class fantasy I'm putting into the setting. Specifically one who gets access to additional maneuver variety without gaining more exertion. Or possibly some -unique- Combat Maneuvers. Maybe let them use Basic Maneuvers more effectively? Not 100% Sure. But that's where my head is leaning. Definitely not going to fill it in 'til the PDFs hit...

As for noncombat functions, I plan to make them "Borderland" rangers. Some Urban, some Wilderness, so they never feel useless in either.


I definitely like the idea of rangers not being tied to a particular area. One of the joys of your setting is the ability to travel to very different areas.
The wandering bounty hunter is great. In the early posts, I possibly saw Teerka as fitting this role, searching for the sorcerer who had killed her half-sister and reanimated her.


Shaper of Worlds
Also worth noting:

I -HIGHLY- recommend anyone who posts or lurks in this thread join the Level Up Discord created by Sir Apetus.

In addition to having several Level Up designers offering AMAs on occasion, advice and clarification, and Morrus' presence as well, there's an active thread in the Projects Channel on Sins of the Scorpion Age. I post both here and there, but you might get a faster response to questions or critiques in the live messaging service. It's also great for discussion in a more convivial fashion than forum posts.


Shaper of Worlds
Synergy Feat Thoughts while at work:

1) Cults. 3 feats which represent cults like Nefia's pair, Ashuro's cult, and the like.

2) Faction-Specialization. The Serpentstalkers and Atorkhan's Seventy and Seventy having feat lines which represent your committment and training. A line of mage-feats that improves Enchantment and Illusion magic for Tyar's Apostlate. Dawnguard membership. Blacksail Marauder induction for pirate PCs on the Shallow Sea and some Khufu Sea Pirate group... Gonna need a ton of feats.

3) Cursed Feats. The Vampire and Revenant Synergy lines might be useful to inform this option.

4) Separate Corruption Feats. Specifically tied to the Witch's Curse, applied to any arcane caster who misses their daily cleansing rituals, or chooses to forgo them.


Shaper of Worlds
Okay... Breaking the Narrative Feats into categories.

1) Mage Schools/Orders.
Probably a handful of schools in the world for Warlock-Mage and Wizard-Mage concept characters.

2) Fighting Companies
The Dawnguard, the Serpentstalkers, perhaps a few Gladiator feats specific to regions? Riders of Kyran.

3) Pirate Crews
While this could be part of Rogue Companies, pirates tend to be a bit more open about who they let join and center around some specific styles. Things like climb or swim speeds, some "Swing in and Fight" type things... could do a new type of Maneuver and have their tree unlock access? Gonna need a few on the Khufu Sea plus the Blacksail Marauders of the Shallow Sea...

4) Rogue Companies
In addition to Atorkhan and his Seventy and Seventy, there's Nuzira and her Twelve, some Generic bandit feats tied to specific regions (Scorpion Lands, Annam, Jungle Kingdoms, Retreating Forest... large broad swaths of the world), Ishtrada's Rings in Musarra... You get the idea.

5) Trade Consortiums
This one could be pretty wild. Trade Consortiums could introduce players to Barter in game, "Legitimate" travel between regions, and a variety of other options. Opens doors nicely and might allow for a Supply Budget or something?

6) Noble Houses
Princesses in Disguise and Last Descendants of Noble Lines are a huge part of High Adventure stories. Being one of the "Noble Children of Qesh" might have it's own unique benefits compared to other Noble House concepts as well...


I could put the -first- feat of each of the Narrative feat trees into the Player's Guide, and the second and third Narrative Feats into the Narrator's Guide... so players don't -exactly- know what they're in for as they progress. This could be pretty useful for certain cults like the Blood of Nefia, who turn greedy and selfish once you go from Initiate to Acolyte and Violent when you go from Acolyte to Priest. Revealing the mysteries of the organizations to players as they gain position.

It also gives the Narrator information they can -hint- at, to prepare the Initiate for what's coming through oblique hints and such...
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Looking for group
One of the core conceits of the Howardian Universe of Kull and Conan is that magic and other forms of "Strange Science" have been around forever. The Valusians, a group of serpent-men and the children of Yig, who became known as Set the Serpent God, once ruled the entire world and modified animals and plants to serve their ends. They mapped the stars and developed crazy technology before they pissed off the Gods by not -cloning- or -modifying- an animal, but creating one whole-cloth, usurping the power of the Gods. (Not that the gods were happy with them, anyhow, what with them wiping out their Frog-People neighbors in their world-conquest and using genetic modification to make all the other planetary inhabitants into serpenty things).
Still catching up, but this reminds me of the excellent game Geneforge, have you played it? The original had 4 sequels.

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