Playing with Fantasy XXIX

FRPG thoughts.
  • Realized I can actually give my talking-beast accent thing to the cat-, hyena-, and yak-people that the thalassocratic Valyrians made, rather than having them speak (and be named in) Giantish. Which works out better because now I have five languages derived from that one, four languages in the other (landlubber Númenorean) group, for a total of nine languages native to the continent. (Really I should work out multiple dialects of the four landlubber-Númenorean languages, too, though.)
  • Thinking the hydrocratic Drúedain will have daughter-languages that change the quality of consonants based on vowel-length of the root, resulting in short vowels in all words (like it might change voiced to unvoiced or stops to fricatives, I dunno). Or I might have it change long vowels to something tonal—Spanish changed the Latin long vowel into stress, after all.

    Also should probably come up with different dialects for the Dothraki-type people. Maybe have initial biliterals change to a single consonant with a different vowel quality (long, maybe, or palatalized?). And, either in a different dialect or concurrent with that (maybe both, for three different languages) reduce the final-consonant inventory and have the other ones change to tones.
  • Decided that "hide" armor actually means "boiled leather version of half-plate", and "leather" armor means "something like buckskins or a buff coat, made of rawhide" (hey it's only one point better than padded). (And there is no studded leather—or maybe they use something like some Pacific Northwest cultures, where they reinforce buckskin/rawhide with little medallions?)

    Boiled leather is not like a lot of people think of it being: it has roughly the consistency of, like, a Rubbermaid trash can. There actually isn't a reason fantasy characters can't have the "motorcycle leathers" armor that sticklers complain about, but it did in fact not historically exist till far later.

    If you don't like the look of boiled-leather plate armor for a druid character, and I kinda don't either, there's always horn lamellar. The actual best-attested horn armors I can find are either scale or a Filipino thing that uses brass mail to connect plates of buffalo horn, similar to Japanese "tatami" armor. There's also wooden lamellar that you'd probably stat the same as the horn stuff, very thematically fitting for druid-types.
  • I'm kinda an idiot sometimes. I had had my Elven be number invariable except on pronouns. Just recently, though, I realized I can just stick an -i on the end of noun-stems. I think it'll stay where it is when the case-suffixes are added, which basically makes the case-suffix preceded by a Y sound. (I think plural -i plus a case-suffix starting in -i will yield a long I, though, instead of a -yi-.

    This might complicate things for the talking cats they ride, of course, who replace dental and alveolar sounds with palatalized labial and velar ones due to the shape of their tongues. I suppose I can just transcribe it as -Cyi, or -Cyí in the case of the aforementioned case-suffix staring in I. (Given Elven writes palatals with i, yi and would be written ii and , in their script.)

    I'd had a similar problem with the hyenas my gnomes ride, since Gnomish already has palatalized consonants; I made it so the combination of two palatals results in CryV. Of course, one of the palatals is ry, and they could already geminate r—so yes, rrry is entirely possible. Who doesn't like trigeminate consonants?
  • Hmm. Actually what if, instead of -i, the Elven plural is an echo-vowel of the noun-stem? Noun-stems' final vowels (which derive from verb inflections) are already repeated in the inflectional suffix, but currently it's always short. What if I had that suffix's echo-vowel be long in the plural? Of course the absolutive (my Elven is ergative) has no suffix, but what if it has a long vowel, not followed by a consonant suffix, in the plural? That'll work. Maybe you can put an "open" echo-vowel after the singular, too, to emphasize there only being one of something?

    Briefly worried that this would mean I'd have to change all my elven surnames to have long final vowels, because surnames in many languages imply a plural ("the descendants of so-and-so", for example) but the elven ones are "of X grove". Groves might be groups of trees, but they're singular groups. I was worried this would mean I had to change something about my Goblin language, a form of Elven, but then I remembered it lost vowel-length, and uses reduplicated determiners derived from pronouns, to mark its plurals.
  • If I had to find one flaw in the Pathfinder rules, it's that there is no rule support for being able to dive in the way of an attack that's going to hit someone else, unless you burn two feats to get Bodyguard and In Harm's Way (and Bodyguard has Combat Reflexes as a prereq, so you're actually burning three). Personally I would house-rule it that you can't do it as an attack of opportunity, but have to waste a standard action, like you do to aid another if you don't have Bodyguard. But that's a house rule; the default ruleset contains no such provision.
  • There isn't a Charisma witch-archetype in Pathfinder proper other than the seducer from Legacy of the First World, but that's more than a little awkward for mixed company—particularly the seducer's kiss and garden of delights abilities—and better suited for an NPC. (It's one thing if the antagonist always has their significant other charging into battle for them, quite another if one of the PCs does.)

    Wrath of the Righteous comes to the rescue here, with the stigmatized witch archetype, which casts from Charisma, and loses its patron, but acquires an oracle's curse. (I don't know if it has an oracle's mystery, too, to make up for the lack of patron spells?) No word on if they're spontaneous or prepared casters (most Charisma casters are spontaneous, of course).
  • Very irksome that there are the aforementioned Charisma witches, Charisma druids, Intelligence and Wisdom sorcerers, Charisma maguses, Wisdom and Intelligence bards, and Intelligence inquisitors, but no Intelligence clerics, druids, or oracles.

    I mean I guess it just means elven priests are in the same predicament as dwarven wizards, and better off than dwarven oracles or sorcerers (other than the aforementioned empyreal sorcerers), but it's still irksome that there's a druid offshoot that specially advantages gnomes but not elves.

    I guess it makes sense for gnomes to be a little more magical than elves, since gnomes are at a significant disadvantage in a physical fight (sure, there's a Constitution advantage, but that doesn't help much when you can be physically picked up and moved, due to the CMB and CMD penalties).
  • Decided that my setting's vampires die like vetalas, mostly because turning into a flock of bats (like a moroi), a cloud of fog (like a nosferatu), or a pile of dust (like a jiang-shi), or having to possess an object while it recovers (like a psychic vampire) is dumb and annoying to work with. Gotta figure out which other abilities they have, though—obviously the vetala's possession abilities aren't ideal (even with the revised possession rules from Occult Adventures). Maybe the children of the night ability of a moroi and the spider climb ability of a nosferatu? Yeah I like that. They also still get a nosferatu's swarm shape, they just don't turn into a swarm when brought down to 0 hit points.


Janusz M said...

Have you considered brigandine armor at all? Leather on the outside with metal plates attached and sitting inside/under the flexible outer layer.

Janusz M said...

Sorry if double post (mobile interface to blame). Have you thought at all about brigandine armor, which has metal plates on the inside of leather? (It looks a bit like the infamous “studded leather” fantasy armor that didn’t actually exist.) Shadiversity has some good pieces on that and many other weapons and armor.

Sophia's Favorite said...

I don't care for it, aesthetically. Maybe the equivalents from further east, though, like in India.