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What would this society look like?

rogueboy

First Post
I'm working on a new campaign world (despite having been working on it for longer than I'd like to admit, I'm still not entirely happy with it), and have run into some issues finishing up the fluff on a few of the races. My current thought (and feel free to comment on this as well as the racial society) is that each race has an independent city, and there are several larger cities that function as the classic metropolises of the world. At the moment, I'm looking at the human city: I have it situated on the edge of a desert, plains, or similar (large, open spaces). Taking inspiration from the Races and Classes 4e preview book, I'm thinking that my humans will be a semi-nomadic people, with an emphasis on mounted combat. Whether this ends up being a desert-based, camel-riding society or a plains-based horse-riding society or something else, I'm not sure.

Does anyone have any opinions on what this human society should/would look like? I would like to stay with this type of environment (desert- or plains-type) if possible, but would be open to suggestions.

Thanks.
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I'm no anthropologist, so take what follows with a grain of salt.

I'd look at Native Americans plains tribes, Arabic desert settlements, the Mongols, Romani/Gypsies and to a certain extent, the Vikings.

In either environment:

1) There would probably be an emphasis on warriors being proficient in ranged combat (most likely spears, slings, bows, due to resource availability).

2) Steeds would be among the most valuable things a warrior could own- horse, camel or other- and mounted combat and/or dragoon style tactics would be the norm.

3) Trade would probably be something they specialize in to the point of being infamous traders. Either they control the trading posts & water (in their settlements) or they travel the trade routes, carrying goods (and maybe raiding other caravans) as they hunt and gather. Or both.

4) Rangers would probably be the predominant warrior archetype, followed closely by Barbarians (and/or Scouts in 3.XEd)- they'd need wilderness survival skills to be effective.

5) The more nomadic among them would own nothing more than they could carry on a pack animal or on their person. Wealth (beyond a mount and important weapons/tools) would be more concentrated in loose stones and jewelry than in coins.

6) They will be somewhat xenophobic. They may trade with you and dine with you, but they probably won't trust you.

7) Literacy is a luxury. That doesn't mean uneducated, though. Many nomadic cultures have incredible oral traditions...and remember that several advanced mathematical concepts originated in Arabic cultures. While they may not read, they certainly can memorize, and may be excellent rhetoricians...and hagglers.
 

fba827

Adventurer
oddly enough, alot of what i was going to say was alredy covered by danny...

but other random thoughts to add --

I say stick to plains (rather than desert), that way you won't have to get in to heat / dehydration issues, etc (unless you really want to).

Animals:
Horses will be a very valued commodity. For a variation, consider riding lizards for something more exotic.

Hunting:
No animal part goes to waste, skins, meat, dung, entrails, all used for something (food, fuel, cloth, etc)
They would also be respectful of the land they cross through knowing if they "scrotch and burn it" they won't be able to come back to it later when it thrives

Combat styles:
Open terrain is perfect for archery (few pesky trees to give targets cover)

Location:
* A fresh water source should be near by (a large lake, a river, etc)
* maybe the housing is mudhouse style, or made from timber with animal hides to help cover the wall gaps. but nothing ellaborate (like stone or mudbrick) if they are very nomadic.

Metal/Cloth:
* (While this depends on your climate) even in an open plains area, it can get warm since there is less natural shade. So people would opt for light armors (cloth, leather, hide) instead of heavy armors made of metal.
* For the same reason, the people would dress in light colored natural fiber (cotton) fabrics that cover the body (long pants rather than shorts) but still loose fitting for the breeze.
* if the community moves around a lot, metal objects will be rarer - not necessarily because of mineral scarcity, but rather because forges take a lot of effort to build up then break down and move. So smaller forges for making daggers and arrow heads are easier to maintain on the move than bigger forges (that could fit swords and armor).


No one would have an overabundance of possessions - some, yes, but nothing more than a person and his family, and their carts couldn't carry if need be.


Gods:
* nomads will tend to favor natural-themed gods (Pelor for the sun, Melora for flora/fauna, and maybe Kord for general storms and wild strength)... because those first two would be responsible for how plentiful the land is to sustain them (and for how long, etc). the last one is more for protection. that's not to say other gods couldn't be representated, just generally speaking nature-themed ones would be more prevalent.


but best thing i can say is, try and think of a culture (past or present or fictional) and use that for inspiration.

i'm rather tired so sorry if that comes off as a random ramble. but will add more later if i think of something after i've actually slept. :)
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Horses will be a very valued commodity. For a variation, consider riding lizards for something more exotic.
Kurt R. A. Giambastiani used medium-sized raptors (as in carnivorous dinosaurs) as steeds for Native American tribes in his Fallen Cloud saga, and it worked quite well.

And of course, Frank Herbert's Fremen nomads had Sandworms...

Hunting:
No animal part goes to waste, skins, meat, dung, entrails, all used for something (food, fuel, cloth, etc)
They would also be respectful of the land they cross through knowing if they "scrotch and burn it" they won't be able to come back to it later when it thrives
I used to think that, but I was recently set straight by a Native American Historian- as in a Native American who was a historian of Native American tribes.

He said that when times were plentiful, Native tribes could be just as wasteful as any other society. What we think of as the norm was in fact what they did during privation- IOW, when forced.
 

rogueboy

First Post
Thanks for the replies.

6) They will be somewhat xenophobic. They may trade with you and dine with you, but they probably won't trust you.
I hadn't thought of this before, but for some reason it really strikes a (good) chord with me. I'll definitely have to work that in somehow.

I say stick to plains (rather than desert), that way you won't have to get in to heat / dehydration issues, etc (unless you really want to).
That's a good point about the desert involving heat/dehydration issues... I'll either stick to plains (more likely) or the edge of a desert (for some reason I'm not quite willing to give up the desert idea yet, but I may still drop that).

Animals:
Horses will be a very valued commodity. For a variation, consider riding lizards for something more exotic.
Hmmm... I like the idea of riding lizards, since one reason I liked the desert over plains was that camel-riders was a less clichéd stereotype for mounted combat than horses, at least in fantasy settings I've come across.

Hunting:
No animal part goes to waste, skins, meat, dung, entrails, all used for something (food, fuel, cloth, etc)
They would also be respectful of the land they cross through knowing if they "scrotch and burn it" they won't be able to come back to it later when it thrives
Danny points out that the first half of that wasn't entirely true for Native Americans, but I may still use that - perhaps as a societal way to ensure they don't overuse the land or perhaps as a primary tenet of their faith. I definitely like the second part, and will use that.

i'm rather tired so sorry if that comes off as a random ramble. but will add more later if i think of something after i've actually slept. :)
Maybe it's that I'm tired right now, but it made perfect sense to me :eek:.

Kurt R. A. Giambastiani used medium-sized raptors (as in carnivorous dinosaurs) as steeds for Native American tribes in his Fallen Cloud saga, and it worked quite well.

And of course, Frank Herbert's Fremen nomads had Sandworms...
I'm not quite sure why, but I like the idea of riding raptors...

Thanks again for all the ideas, I'll have to think about those today (mostly tonight, after classes, sadly).
 

ArghMark

First Post
Semi-nomadic -

This probably means that different areas of land are cultivated at different times. Perhaps there is a major city, but most of the farmers and what not would be moving around with the seasons. They probably follow a grow/harvest/burn/fallow method, especially if they are tied to certain areas.

On this level of technology, also work things less around coinage. Barter is probably a respectable way of doing things still and getting 50 sheep is a good reward; thats enough for a 'respectable' land-owner to grow and live prosperously, especially with servants.

Also you might think about castes - Are there notable differences between how landless farmers or serfs might be treated, and how people with land might be treated?
I'm just thinking ancient greece - A 'noble' is someone who owns and farms his own land, and if he's rich enough he might have a few slaves to help him as well, which also fight for him if he trains them to do so.

A semi-nomadic society is very different to a feudal one, so make sure you play up the differences. Come to the big human city in winter, and you find all of their arts and crafts. Come in spring and you find nothing but an occupation force; everyones left for the spring fields.

Also a semi-nomadic society has less of a 'middle' class of tradesmen. Certain members will always be known (Blacksmiths are a special note) but most of the nomads will be skilled enough to cure their own leather, set their own traps, and so on; everyone needs to be able to pull their weight. In this environment you just don't get tradesmen with enough time to truly put a lot of effort into making new things or better things; everyone is busy farming or hunting their seasonal areas. Hence the reason why elves and such might have such 'high quality' stuff - their craftsmen have had time to consolidate.

Also you might want to think why they are semi nomadic. Are they in a food poor area, and have to move to a place with more food every season? Are orc attacks always bad in winter, so they move into the more heavily fortified city? Have they simply not mastered farming, or is hunting enough to feed a whole cities population?

Some ideas and things to think about anyway.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Also you might want to think why they are semi nomadic. Are they in a food poor area, and have to move to a place with more food every season? Are orc attacks always bad in winter, so they move into the more heavily fortified city? Have they simply not mastered farming, or is hunting enough to feed a whole cities population?
Man, that is like THE question! Good catch!

Other possible reasons include religion, higher than average eco-awareness driving them to avoid resource depletion, chasing particularly desirable resources (salmon in the spring, honey in the summer, wild corn in the fall and shelter in the winter), or just a regular trade route.
 

Loonook

First Post
Nomads who carrying around walking resource-draining machines like trained carnivorous dinosaurs should die out pretty readily. Nomads like useful animals which feed readily on the land

Also, if you're going to have a human nomadic or semi-nomadic society, take into account any possible uses of magic. Uses of rituals which could produce hideaways, stronger breed or warhorse stock, and influence. Natural sites can serve as strong mystic touchstones. The wisemen of the tribal group may move their villages simply to replenish their own power (or the powers of their wards or rites). Movement due to specific concerns is also possible.

Plains and desert-based groups suffer predation, population scale issues... plenty of fun fun fun. However, there are plenty of ways these can be solved with magic and smart management much easier than management alone. Think of places which would be accessible by simple earth-moving and shaping spellcraft.

Plenty of things to go on.

Slainte,

-Loonook.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Nomads who carrying around walking resource-draining machines like trained carnivorous dinosaurs should die out pretty readily. Nomads like useful animals which feed readily on the land
That depends- several nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes used hunting dogs, for instance. Trained raptors, depending upon their size and the environment, could do double duty, serving as mounts and hunting animals. Coupled with that reptilian metabolism, they might actually be more efficient to have than horses AND dogs to care for. That seemed to be the case in the K.R.A. Giambastiani books, at least, since the plains still thundered with million-beast size herds of Buffalo. If that's not enough, posit that your campaign world still contains mammoths and other megafauna appropriate to the region.

OTOH, they might also be quite rare, reserved only for high status warriors or perhaps even for specialized hunters who train and control them in packs- especially the smaller (chicken to dog sized) ones.

(BTW, the raptors don't have to be dinos, either. They could even be large flightless predatory birds like the Moas.)
Also, if you're going to have a human nomadic or semi-nomadic society, take into account any possible uses of magic. Uses of rituals which could produce hideaways, stronger breed or warhorse stock, and influence. Natural sites can serve as strong mystic touchstones. The wisemen of the tribal group may move their villages simply to replenish their own power (or the powers of their wards or rites). Movement due to specific concerns is also possible.
Too true, too true.

If your magic system is based on mana, mana itself might be a depletable resource, and the nomadic lifestyle might provide a way for the mana to be replenished. That, of course, then leads to migration routes that parallel ley lines (when possible) and sacred places being potentially dangerous and volatile regions...
 

Loonook

First Post
That depends- several nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes used hunting dogs, for instance. Trained raptors, depending upon their size and the environment, could do double duty, serving as mounts and hunting animals. Coupled with that reptilian metabolism, they might actually be more efficient to have than horses AND dogs to care for. That seemed to be the case in the K.R.A. Giambastiani books, at least, since the plains still thundered with million-beast size herds of Buffalo. If that's not enough, posit that your campaign world still contains mammoths and other megafauna appropriate to the region.

OTOH, they might also be quite rare, reserved only for high status warriors or perhaps even for specialized hunters who train and control them in packs- especially the smaller (chicken to dog sized) ones.

(BTW, the raptors don't have to be dinos, either. They could even be large flightless predatory birds like the Moas.)


Too true, too true.

If your magic system is based on mana, mana itself might be a depletable resource, and the nomadic lifestyle might provide a way for the mana to be replenished. That, of course, then leads to migration routes that parallel ley lines (when possible) and sacred places being potentially dangerous and volatile regions...
Yes, they could have lower metabolic rates... but they're still having to feed them ready sources of meat. Though there were large herds of buffalo in the Plains, those tribes which hunted them for meat usually followed the herds during the period. . . and didn't have to supply meat to themselves and large hungry dinosaurs.

Hunting dogs require little meat and can be fed on a mixture of grains, meat, and basically anything available... and they also will forage for small animals and be willing to eat carrion. A dinosaur the size of a horse with the same amount of activity will have a much faster metabolic rate than most reptiles, who are a.) smaller, b.) slimmer, and c.) mostly sedentary. Monitor lizards don't travel over large amounts of terrain for their prey; crocodiles and alligators gain the benefit of being close to water and able to cool/heat themselves when needed without further issue.

Hunting dogs are great, and horses are also pretty good. The moa idea isn't that bad either; they fill a similar ecological niche to horses, they supply useful materials (decorative or fletching feathers, molting down which could be preserved for clothing, good source of protein) and with their herbivorous nature and birth cycles they can be used as herd, pack, and riding animals. The smaller varieties (heavy-foot) were compact enough to be highly useful for a herding animal, and perhaps such creatures lay in large communal nests and pad them with materials (like eiderdown.) This could provide for a reason for travel (the collection of young and their nests) and provide for an interesting cityscape. Moa excrement may be similar to guano, and the human tribes may have a pretty heavy connection to fire due to the prevalence of this Fireball 'ingredient'.


There's honestly no need for a mana-based magic system for the humans to have site-based magic. Touchstone feats and similar, combined with the maintenance of ancient magics (akin to mythals or other epic magic) would allow for such things. Again, there may just be ties to locales, or specific rites which are performed there due to ready access to cheap foci. Indeed, they may have a cave where elders bring their greatest slain warriors to be raised from the dead. The cave is surrounded by a natural diamond node, and elders keep the area secret for fear of its loss.

Just a few examples.

Slainte,

-Loonook.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Yes, they could have lower metabolic rates... but they're still having to feed them ready sources of meat. Though there were large herds of buffalo in the Plains, those tribes which hunted them for meat usually followed the herds during the period. . . and didn't have to supply meat to themselves and large hungry dinosaurs.
Well, assuming either extant megafauna or the huge buffalo herds, the riding raptors (or their Moa descendants) could still pay off (assuming you could train them for riding, of course). Smart, fast and equipped with fearsome natural weapons of their own, they'd naturally take down that kind of prey in small packs of 5-10 creatures. Now add in the human element of sophisticated tactics, ranged weapons (bow, axe and spear) and riding techniques analogous to what we see in horsemen and the hunting party becomes (potentially) more efficient than a RW one. Get in close, use your raptors to cut a target from the herd, use ranged weapons to wound it, and then take it down- either with your own weapons or letting the raptors take it down themselves. Getting that meat supply wouldn't be that big an issue.

Something as big as a true Moa or midsize raptor would be the equivalent of a tank, and a tribe might only be able to handle a small number- 2-5 beasts total. But they would probably develop tank/armored knight style tactics to go along with such critters if they had them- a couple of riders with ample ammo supported by "infantry."

As for the smaller raptors or carnivorous flightless birds, using packs of them to hunt with would be no more a problem than using hunting dogs. That's just a matter of flavor.

Remember that while reptiles of all kinds prefer live prey, most don't turn their noses up at carrion. Some scientists propose that some of the raptors and carnivores may have even preferred it- its an easy meal, after all, that entails no risk of injury...and reptiles have fairly robust digestive systems.

The moa idea isn't that bad either; they fill a similar ecological niche to horses, they supply useful materials (decorative or fletching feathers, molting down which could be preserved for clothing, good source of protein) and with their herbivorous nature and birth cycles they can be used as herd, pack, and riding animals. The smaller varieties (heavy-foot) were compact enough to be highly useful for a herding animal, and perhaps such creatures lay in large communal nests and pad them with materials (like eiderdown.) This could provide for a reason for travel (the collection of young and their nests) and provide for an interesting cityscape. Moa excrement may be similar to guano, and the human tribes may have a pretty heavy connection to fire due to the prevalence of this Fireball 'ingredient'.
Nice!
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Loonook's excellent expansion on my Moa idea reminded me of something.

I read about a really cool take on a nomadic society in a short story in Fantasy & Sci-Fi magazine some years ago. The society was focused on beekeeping, and they maintained a variety of hives, each in large, specialized wagons. They traveled the lands in order for the hives to have access to a wide variety of flowering plants, which in turn affected the quality and flavors of the honey they produced...and, of course, to help pollinate crops. Beyond their pollination biz, they sold some of their exotic honeys at fairly decent prices.

Part of the tribal leadership's role was, of course, knowing where to go and when. If you miss the blooms, you miss the pollens, and if you miss the pollens, you don't get any honey or business from the farmers. Get the right mix and your honeys are as complex and subtle as wines, and will sell at exorbitant prices. Get it wrong and your honey may be merely pedestrian. Get it wrong often enough and it may ruin demand for your product in the future, and may even force you to abandon certain routes as unprofitable.
 

Loonook

First Post
Well, assuming either extant megafauna or the huge buffalo herds, the riding raptors (or their Moa descendants) could still pay off (assuming you could train them for riding, of course). Smart, fast and equipped with fearsome natural weapons of their own, they'd naturally take down that kind of prey in small packs of 5-10 creatures. Now add in the human element of sophisticated tactics, ranged weapons (bow, axe and spear) and riding techniques analogous to what we see in horsemen and the hunting party becomes (potentially) more efficient than a RW one. Get in close, use your raptors to cut a target from the herd, use ranged weapons to wound it, and then take it down- either with your own weapons or letting the raptors take it down themselves. Getting that meat supply wouldn't be that big an issue.

Something as big as a true Moa or midsize raptor would be the equivalent of a tank, and a tribe might only be able to handle a small number- 2-5 beasts total. But they would probably develop tank/armored knight style tactics to go along with such critters if they had them- a couple of riders with ample ammo supported by "infantry."

As for the smaller raptors or carnivorous flightless birds, using packs of them to hunt with would be no more a problem than using hunting dogs. That's just a matter of flavor.

Remember that while reptiles of all kinds prefer live prey, most don't turn their noses up at carrion. Some scientists propose that some of the raptors and carnivores may have even preferred it- its an easy meal, after all, that entails no risk of injury...and reptiles have fairly robust digestive systems.
True, they don't... but dogs aren't enormous cold-blooded killers who could gain the knowledge to open doors ;). Really, I just would fear the heat-loss/over-heating of a heavy pack dinosaur loaded with hundreds of pounds of cargo and little internal method to get that sweet spot of homeostasis.


Friends don't let friends write setting material without backup ;).

I'm still stuck on the fire-based warrior style. Fire-based cultures for humanity make for some bad mamajama warriors and mystics also. That sweet guano economy could breed Hellenic-style tribal sharings (i.e. we trade you fledgling warmages for large sources of guano and your skilled trappings).

Ugh, sweet guano.

Loonook's excellent expansion on my Moa idea reminded me of something.
Again with the love... Danny, you need to slow down or people will start talking ;).

I read about a really cool take on a nomadic society in a short story in Fantasy & Sci-Fi magazine some years ago. The society was focused on beekeeping, and they maintained a variety of hives, each in large, specialized wagons. They traveled the lands in order for the hives to have access to a wide variety of flowering plants, which in turn affected the quality and flavors of the honey they produced...and, of course, to help pollinate crops. Beyond their pollination biz, they sold some of their exotic honeys at fairly decent prices.

Part of the tribal leadership's role was, of course, knowing where to go and when. If you miss the blooms, you miss the pollens, and if you miss the pollens, you don't get any honey or business from the farmers. Get the right mix and your honeys are as complex and subtle as wines, and will sell at exorbitant prices. Get it wrong and your honey may be merely pedestrian. Get it wrong often enough and it may ruin demand for your product in the future, and may even force you to abandon certain routes as unprofitable.
Agreed on that story. Plenty of possible trade items from a seminomadic/nomadic society trading with demihumans. The tribes, with their nice supply of rich guano (really, I worry we're creating the Poo People of this world), various exotic meats, rare materials, wild herbs, honey, skilled trade goods, and breeding stock of their animals would be useful.

Irish Travelers are well renowned for their dog breeding, and with the right rituals and a long history of breeding... you could produce some pretty powerful beasts. Magebred animals a la Eberron which could easily be raised by a nomadic culture could include dogs, raptors (of the scaly and feathered variety), pack animals, and various creatures which can fit in small areas and benefit from movement across the land. Silks which are weaved from the spiderfolk in the Insertnamehere Mountains (or worms kept in a large safe wagon), fine honey as listed by DA (a GREAT supplemental income to lands which can't support witchfolk to help them with plant growth and special farming magic/pollination), trained animals of all sorts, and amber and exotic woods from farflung regions. Skilled trades would of course bring their fletchings, various handicrafts created from their travels, and talents which are easy to hone on the roads.

Depending on if the humans think in long or short times... you could easily have humans who are fine winemakers... who hide their maturing deliciousness in secret caves before they are casked and brought to market. Humans may also have a great knowledge of lore which is wanted by various wisemen from all of the nations... and that could prove useful to rogues. A culture moving between a dozen lands can collect the good and the bad.

Black Lotus extract is powerful... but pretty mundane when you travel the wide world.



---

I think that the Manni from the Dark Tower series by Stephen King could also be an interesting subsect of human culture... imagine planes drifting nomads who are similar to the Amish. Could prove interesting for a 'lost tribe' dynamic.

Slainte,

-Loonook.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Agreed on that story. Plenty of possible trade items from a seminomadic/nomadic society trading with demihumans. The tribes, with their nice supply of rich guano (really, I worry we're creating the Poo People of this world), various exotic meats, rare materials, wild herbs, honey, skilled trade goods, and breeding stock of their animals would be useful.
With trained Otyughs?

Actually, guano supplies some of the necessary ingredients for gunpowder- these guys might REALLY be a force to be reckoned with. Imagine, plains dwelling Moa riding warriors sweeping out of the wilderness with guns and rockets. Heck, I could even see them using the Moas for towing chariots loaded down with rockets...

Hello F/S-F Mongol horde!
 
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Loonook

First Post
With trained Otyughs?

Actually, guano supplies some of the necessary ingredients for gunpowder- these guys might REALLY be a force to be reckoned with. Imagine, plains dwelling Moa riding warriors sweeping out of the wilderness with guns and rockets. Heck, I could even see them using the Moas for towing chariots loaded down with rockets...

Hello F/S-F Mongol horde!
They could have guns and rockets... but there are more interesting things to do with it. Greek and Fenian fire, creepy glowing effects in their cities... plenty of fun to be had with the compounds available ;).

Slainte,

-Loonook.

PS: If this guy doesn't take it, I think we have a project to work on DA... up for it?
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
If this guy doesn't take it, I think we have a project to work on DA... up for it?
I post crazy, wacky out-of-the-box stuff here all the time- much based on my non-fiction reading and viewing. My favorite thing to do on ENWorld is help others make memorable PCs and campaigns- check my sig!

I was just thinking that the Moa-drawn charioteers could launch rockets with Greek/Fenian fire warheads, as opposed to black powder ones...

Actually, they could even use the ammonia in the guano (see wiki link below) as the rocket fuel (though I don't know if you need purified ammonia or some altered form of it for this use).

Their textiles would be incredible: ammonia is used to alter the colors of certain dyes- they'd have a broader palette available to them.

The tribe could be called the Pheonix People by outsiders...

Ammonia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

rogueboy

First Post
Thank you both for the great ideas! Sorry I haven't replied for a while, I was out of town and unable to access the site. I'll put together something in the next couple days that includes my favorite ideas (and any spin-off ideas I may come up with) for more critiquing/input. If you guys (or anyone, for that matter) have other ideas about this, please post them (I've got a couple other societies [non-nomadic] that I'm going to have to work out, perhaps I'll post my starting point for those when I do a summary of this one).

I definitely like the idea of fire-based warriors, and the honey idea is a great reason for migration. The issue of homeostasis for reptilian pack animals made me think of perhaps having them pull wagons/carts (which could double as housing, perhaps?) instead of packing the stuff directly on the animals (which would interfere with homeostasis of the pack animals). While the gunpowder idea is interesting, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with their being guns/rockets in my campaign world (perhaps its discovered during the campaign? Or perhaps its only known to a lost tribe? I'll have to consider those options...). And I will definitely have to consider the magebred animals option, I definitely liked the flavor of that from Eberron.

I've gotta run out the door here in a minute, but I'll definitely have to take a closer look at the ideas and use them, thanks again!
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
As for the honey-farmers, realize that you could reskin them into a society that produces a high quality product of anything that requires a variety of ingredients from a large geographical area.

Perhaps they gather exotic grains to make fine beers and ales; perhaps they find exotic dyes for textiles; perhaps they make perfumes.

Perhaps they are the people who are specialized in tracking down the special ingredients the world runs on...spell components!
 

Loonook

First Post
Thank you both for the great ideas! Sorry I haven't replied for a while, I was out of town and unable to access the site. I'll put together something in the next couple days that includes my favorite ideas (and any spin-off ideas I may come up with) for more critiquing/input. If you guys (or anyone, for that matter) have other ideas about this, please post them (I've got a couple other societies [non-nomadic] that I'm going to have to work out, perhaps I'll post my starting point for those when I do a summary of this one).
Post them now... and we'll assist most likely.

Slainte,

-Loonook.
 

rogueboy

First Post
Finally got done with a variety of projects and other classwork that's been keeping me really busy for the last week or so, so as Loonook requested, here's the other society ideas I've got. Before I get into them, I'll give a brief overview of the worlds.

Races: I've decided to go with a slightly modified (from both 3.x and 4e) list of races. My 7 races (7's a big theme in my campaign world) along with anything altered from D&D as written (for normal PC races) are Humans, Elves (focused on the nature, not on arcana/magic), Gnomes (secret-keepers and arcanists), Halflings (traders of the world), Dwarves, Lizardfolk (a blending of 4e Dragonborn, 3.x Goliaths, and ancient Aztecs [taken from a thread on another forum]), and "Shadar Kai" (I use quotes because I'm not taking more than a conceptual aspect of them). Additionally, each race has 1 stat associated with them (listed as "[stat]" with each race).

Humans [any]: discussed above.
Elves [wis]: currently planning to use the nature aspects of 3.x and 4e elves (discarding the magic aspect of them in 3.x and the Eladrin/Drow dichotomy [trichotomy?] in 4e)
Dwarves [con]: I like the stone focus of 'standard' (3.x or 4e) Dwarves, with the exception that they are not entirely isolated underground - their cities should be at the surface and below (perhaps having a 'ground floor' in the same way that we do, and building down instead of up?)
Halflings [dex]: Taking inspiration from an older version of the Project Pheonix Halflings and Gnomes (land and sea traders, respectively), I have decided to make Halflings a land-based trading society (my campaign world is largely a single continent), travelers in caravans of 50-100 (the world's a dangerous place) halflings. They have neutral-good relations with almost everyone, since they are the primary source of trade goods for most cities. Halflings are inquisitive, jovial, and enjoy songs and stories.
Gnomes [int]: Taking inspiration from Rich Burlew's gnomes (Giant In the Playground Games), I am giving gnomes the arcane/magic focus that I removed from elves and am adding a "keeper of secrets" vibe to them that I've been pretty happy with so far.
Lizardfolk [str]: Altered from the 3.x/4e MM versions to fit a strong PC race, I found a thread ([d20r, Race] Lizardfolk - Giant in the Playground Forums) that discusses some ideas for a lizardfolk race - I was particularly struck by Lappy9000's ideas in post 16 for a tribal, sun-based society (reminds me of Aztec society, but that may be me being ignorant).
"Shadar Kai" [cha]: I only decided on using Shadar Kai (4e) as an inspiration, but since I want a charisma-based race, I can't use them as written (Int/Dex) - instead, I am planning to use their picture in the 4e MM (which for some reason looks "charismatic" to me, I'm not sure why) and their deep connection to the (neutral) god of death. I haven't put much thought into how this society will work, but I definitely like the connection to a non-evil god of death - my friend's first question when reading about Shadar Kai was whether they were fatalistic. I don't believe Shadar Kai are, as written, but perhaps it would be an interesting twist to have my race be fatalistic?

For all races, I am hoping to avoid an innate societal tendency (or image) as being evil, which is a major reason that I moved away from Tieflings as a player race.

If people have ideas for these races, either using these concepts or something else (I'm really only attached to the first 5 races and the general concept for those), or using an alternate race for either the strong or charismatic races.

Hopefully this makes sense - if there's questions about any of this, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer. There is a possibility that I haven't come up with the answer, in which case I'll state that along with my initial idea for it.

Thanks again for the help with these societies.
 

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