Sunday, January 15, 2017

New Class: Shaman

Shaman are the spiritual leaders of the Picts of Strathos. They are a combination of warrior and magic user, in other realms called a Cleric.

In fact, there isn't any fundamental difference between a Strathos shaman and a cleric from elsewhere other than faith.

Speaking of faith, all Shaman have a totem animal, which is the same totem animal as their tribe. By praying while holding or wearing the skin of that animal, the shaman can polymorph into that animal for a short period of time.

New spells:

1st Rank (I use the term Rank, rather than level, as I find it is less confusing)
Skin Change
For one 1 minute Turn per level of experience, the shaman can polymorph themself into their totem animal. The skin of the totem animal must be held or worn at the time of casting. The shaman retains their reasoning capability and may end the spell before the duration at will. Otherwise, the shaman loses all other powers while the spell is in effect, but gains the natural abilities of the totem animal.

3rd Rank
Group Skin Change
Same as Skin Change but affects a number of participants equal to the shaman's experience level. The duration is a single ten minute Turn. Same effects and rules as the 1st Rank spell.

6th Rank
Superior Skin Change
Same as the first level spell, but duration is 1 hour per level of experience and the shaman can speak and cast other spells as normal while polymorphed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Strathos Update Part Dos

So, what exactly is Strathos and who lives there and what do they do and what game system is this and why should you care?

I'll answer those questions in no particular order.

Strathos is the name of a recently discovered continent on a world based on Lamentations of the Flame Princess type source material.

By "recently discovered," I mean by the standards of Europeans "discovering" the Americas, as there are already people living on Strathos. More on those people later.

Using LotFP rules as a base, some aspects of those rules have been altered to better fit the setting, or are simply fun additions; Shields Will Be Splintered and the d30 rule, for example.

Back to the setting;

Nations/Kingdoms from the European-stand-in continent discover a new continent in the Southern Hemisphere and send colonists to settle there and send back any silver and gold they find. The colonists discover little in the way of material goods, but do discover the natives.

The colonies are founded by members of several nations, so they each have distinct cultures and languages of their own. Proximity to the other colonies and the natives, as well as being more or less cut-off from their homelands, has had some effect of cultural homogenization among the colonies.

Not wanting to send their best and brightest to this far off and dangerous land, the European nations send their undesirables; wizards, religious zealots and heretics, convicted criminals, and trouble makers. These people are given the promise of self-government with the caveat of sending a portion of their wealth back home, in exchange for limited supplies and support.

The colonists are technologically advanced, with access to large multi-masted ships, firearms, and advanced agricultural techniques. They also have horses and cattle, which are not native to Strathos.

Classes available to the colonists include; Fighter, Magic User, Inquisitor, Specialist, and Innocent (Alice).

The natives of Strathos include the human Picts, the ape-like Yon, the fungus-based Muscarians, the plant-like Moss Dwarfs, Goblins, and Hobgoblins.

Picts are humans who live in nomadic tribes in the wilderness. Each tribe has a totem animal they revere for its survival abilities. Physically, they are generally larger, more muscular, and more physically imposing than the colonists. They are low tech, practicing a more hunter-gatherer lifestyle, and use the gigantic prehistoric beasts native to Strathos as work animals.

Classes available to the Picts include; Warrior and Shaman.

The Yon are intelligent apes who dominate a particular region of Strathos. Their culture is almost hive-minded, with each village centered around a large Giant Bee hive, and all aspects of society working in some way to build and protect that hive. Yon found elsewhere are outcasts who were driven away.

Muscarians are mushroom people who emerged from the Mushroom Forest which borders Yon territory. Muscarians have special powers derived from spores they can release. They have no technology or society to speak of, but are considered friendly and helpful by every other native species, even the hive-minded Yon and militaristic Hobgoblins.

Moss Dwarfs are creatures who live in the deep forests either by themselves or in small communities. They tend to keep to themselves, but do have an innate curiosity that sends them off to adventure and explore the world. Moss Dwarfs are renown for the alcohol they brew.

Goblins are essentially the same as the goblins of most fantasy games. Sneaky, conniving, not particularly bright, backstabby. They aren't liked by anyone, but are tolerated if they behave themselves. Some of the colonists employ goblins as scouts or laborers.

Hobgoblins are all from an empire to the North, that recently began expanding southward. The Pict tribes that first encountered them named them "Hobgoblins," as they drove the goblins south before them, and "hob" in pict means, "hearth," to show that the hobgoblins are civilized unlike the goblins. The Hobgoblin Empire is the single largest and most powerful political entity on the continent, although its expansion is stymied by the seemingly bizarre and chaotic nature of hobgoblin society. Hobgoblin society is based on a beaurocratic social structure based on family caste and personal status. To outsiders, it appears chaotic, but to hobgoblins, it is the pinnacle of order and law. In fact, they believe themselves to be the sole arbiters of law and order in a chaotic world, and expansion of the empire grants this order to the poor souls who they conquer. Hobgoblin "gods," if they can be called that, are more like mathematical formulas than the typical gods worshiped by other peoples.

Why should you care? Well, you probably shouldn't. Unless any of this sounds interesting to you.