Playing with Fantasy XXVI

Icosahedral FRPG thoughts.
  • It turns out it's not too far-fetched for my darkvision to be passive radar, because echidnas have electrolocation in air, though we're not sure how sensitive it is. It's at least a fig-leaf to hide passive radar using background radio-noise, with cells in the surface of eyeballs as antennas and a detection range of only 60 to 120 feet.
  • My setting calls its artificial hybrids, which includes the half-elves and half-orcs and also the nagaji, catfolk, and gnolls, "flaskborn". I also decided that the first batch (the animal hybrids) were made by a witch who bestowed them on her country's government during a big civil war. Which civil war she may or may not have had a hand in starting.

    Of course, eventually, after her animal-hybrid troops won the war, she used her influence, and the government's trust in her, as an opening to assassinate their ruler and seize power for herself. She was the founder of the thalassocratic Valyrians being a witch-empire (before that they were just a typical ancient empire, so still pretty evil).

    Her apprentice eventually assassinated her and seized power for himself. Occupational hazard of being a witch-lord, just ask Darth Plagueis (and his apprentice…Sidious).
  • Wyverns having pangolin tail scales but modified to deliver venom is actually unnecessarily bizarre, given that there is such a thing as a lionfish. They have venomous spines, containing multiple grooves and venom-producing tissues. Wyverns can just have tails tipped with those, but modified scales (like those on a horntoad but arranged like on a lionfish), not fin-rays.
  • Decided that rather than dominate person, vampires in my setting have the abilities of siren songs: captivate, fascinate, obsession, and slumber. Since this is a bit weaker than dominate person, it becomes a gaze attack that affects anyone within a 30-foot cone in front of the vampire’s facing.

    Think it lasts as long as dominate person does, namely one day per level but with an extra saving throw each day that the caster doesn't spend at least one round concentrating to maintain the effect. The subject also gets another save if someone casts protection from evil (all vampires being evil, and all).
  • There are no rules for how often vampires have to feed, in Pathfinder. Decided that in my setting, they have to feed as often as living people have to eat.

    But instead of taking nonlethal damage directly, when they don't feed, they take that damage to their maximum hit points (with hit points above that level becoming, effectively, temporary hit points with an unspecified time limit), reducing for example how much they can be healed by negative energy.

    They have to feed to remove the cap—think feeding still gives them temporary hit points, but also raises the cap by the same amount, until it equals their real maximum hit points.
  • Watching—then reading—Shadow House, one of about fifteen worth-a-second-look anime this season (usually there are like two) makes me think I should maybe bring fey back into my Pathfinder setting. Maybe as something like emotional/psychic effluvia produced by the elves, dwarves, and gnomes.

    But then I recall that for most purposes, my elves fill the slot of big fey (fae), and my gnomes the slot of small ones. They're not exactly as bad as some of the fey in a standard setting, like mites or boogiemen, but they definitely fill the "may not really give a shit what happens to other beings" thing, at least when young and irresponsible (they consider "lead travelers to get lost in the woods" to be their equivalent of "killed someone in a duel over winks at a barmaid" that human young people get up to).

    Might have some particular fey creatures that aren't redundant with elves and gnomes, though—possibly including mites or boogiemen. (Redcaps, though, are the gnome version of dark elves—makes more sense to use them than spriggans, whose gigantifying is a headache.)
  • I actually have a perfectly sound reason for my elves and dwarves to have darkvision and cold or fire resistance. They're from the moons. Meaning their environment spends half of every month in darkness, and has permanently frozen poles and baking tropics. See, moons have no seasons. Their climates are extreme in a way that people from a planet can't imagine; only the fact that most moons are vacuum makes this non-obvious—Titan has barely any seasons, beyond slightly clearer skies around the equinoxes and hydrocarbon rain in the northern hemisphere winter. Though I don't know how much warmer it is at its equator than at its poles. That could just be Saturn's location, though.

    I have no idea how I justify gnomes having darkvision, or really, electricity resistance (other than that they're fungus-themed and fungi really like electricity). But then, dwarves are subterranean, so their fire resistance and darkvision might actually have more to do with that than with their climate. Certainly they all have the same skin color, while elves have several, including multiple pigments—high elves and what goblins used to be have blue (structural coloring only), wood have green (with yellow carotenoids) and dark elves have purple (red anthocyanins), and gnomes, who use melanin (in their skin but not their hair), have roughly the same range as humans, mostly the browner end.
  • I realized I left out antipaladins, in my setting's population estimates. I also decided that my nonhumans do have commoners, among their NPC-classs children, but with an archetype called "apprentice" that can cast one fewer 0th-level spell per day (and knows one fewer) than the 1st-level caster of its class. (Don't think I'll have apprentice alchemists, since they don't have 0th-level spells extracts.)

    One thing this means is that the population numbers are bigger. Another is that I need to figure out what percent of the human population are the Thalassocratic Valyrians' surviving city-states (they have three)—certainly most of the witches and antipaladins are, but would it make sense to have a high proportion of the population be clergy? I suppose it might in a theocracy, though—40% of Saudi subjects, for example, consider themselves Wahhabis (though what percent of that is imams is a different question).

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