weirdlet: (Default)
I am having that strange and terrible urge to GM again. One of my major campaigns is coming to an end, and in the interim there's probably going to be a bunch of things my crew will be trying. I might put in a bid to try running something for them, IF I can come up with enough for folks to actually play with without tearing my hair out.

I really, really want to do a game with the Avatar D20 supplement the good folks of the GitP boards came up with- I don't necessarily want to run an Avatar: the Last Airbender game.  So my thoughts are running around the question of what do folks think that a setting with the A:tLA system of 'magic', rather than the classic wizards, druids and clerics, would be like.

My initial thought is that the various types of 'bending are mostly human's magic, but with a couple of other species getting in on the action either as having mimicked it, or having originated it.  Possibly non-human types like elves have their own magics, but I'll have to figure out what specific systems I want to include, so that things don't get too wildly out of whack (although high-level anything in a d20 system is going to be screwy any way you look at it).  I like the idea of combat being more about the different moves you can do, physically or elementally, rather than straight-up fire and forget arcana.

As for the setting itself- I'm thinking that this might be taking place in a small sea, in a place where there are a lot of large islands kind of near to each other, so that boat travel is frequent but you can also fetch up on a shore where you could go for a few days without seeing water on the other side, and possibly find the edges of some larger continents where civilization's grown up.  I'm seeing the elves as fairly reclusive on their particular islands, but the lower classes among them are known to show up outside their shores, fishing and trading.

Another big thing to think about- what are the problems that the adventurers are going to encounter?  Things like dragons and zombies are very very classic D&D, but they aren't going to fit without some serious adjustment- like if zombies are just corpses being blood-bent by a master witch.  You know, that could be an interesting thing, because as is, blood-bending is basically epic tier- it would be much easier to puppeteer a dead thing by its liquids than a live one.
weirdlet: (Default)
Two vague ideas that could be intertwined someday, in my eternally vague D&D setting in the back of my head-

One, that the elves we meet every day are not true fey, but exiles thrown out from Underhill, without power and without true immortality (fifty years, three hundred- it's all the same and all too short from the perspective of someone who should live to see the stars fall down and the sun die).  Also, without memories- thus, the elves live in a sort of cobbled-together approximation of their own culture, living as entertainers and playing on the fascination humans have with them in order to make a living.  'Elven king' has roughly the same meaning and amount of pull as 'gypsy king'.

Underhill is a much-fabled- and much feared- place, from which the ancient incursions of the Wild Hunts came.  The Elves were as gods to frightened mortals, and rarely kind or loving ones.  I kinda want to keep them mysterious- beautiful, dangerous, mad by human standards but then- they're not human.

Two-  That dragons are not as intelligent as often in this world, as they are in standard worlds.  The dragons you would most often encounter are big, powerful, and magical- but they don't get into lazy schemer mode until they are ancient, ancient wyrms, and there's only a couple of those in the whole of the world, way the hell far and gone in the Northern mountains, past the point where humans can live.  Those fellows are the smart ones, but you'd never meet a dragon who would talk to you- in fact, the nobles in some kingdoms will organize hunts for the smaller ones that ravage the countryside or live in the lower mountain ranges, precisely because they are a dangerous pest.  Heck, just the effect they have on the livestock is unpleasant- playing on the game-system truth that the halfdragon template can be added to any corporeal creature, there are places in the Alucian heartland where the bulls breathe fire and the sheep roam in carnivorous packs.  There's a reason Alucian farmers are tough.

My thinking was that perhaps the reason that the dragons exist, that they are so powerful and so good at reproducing themselves (but only the very greatest have enough brains to talk back), is that they were once war-constructs in some ancient war, when humanity was trembling in caves and the world was the playground of other, weirder factions.  

So- ancient epic fae warriors, ancient epic made-creatures to help out the war-effort.  Were dragons the playthings of the elves?  Or did they belong to some other faction, and if so, who?  Who made the dragons, and what wars did they fight with them?  Why aren't they still here now- or how did this whole thing get moved to another plane, where the battle has reached ancient stalemate, and only rarely starts to rumble again?  (And good thing, too, otherwise there would be all sorts of unpleasantness over on the mortal side).

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Weirdlet

January 2015

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