Playing with Fantasy Λʹ

Thoughts, back on my constantly-RPG bullshit again. This is numbered with the Greek numeral for 30 so as to avoid "XXX".
  • Decided to break down divine casters this way: clerics still come from dwarves, but now so do druids; oracles come from gnomes; witches come from elves. Humans still acquired all three late, having only had ancestor-worship adepts for most of their history. Decided the prevalence of witches among the black-magic empire (so I don't have to rewrite as many things) was because they were more influenced by elves than by dwarves or gnomes, magic-wise. Think I might have witches count as divine casters in terms of stuff like scrolls, but not for armor purposes.
  • Decided that my Elven, which used to mark nouns and pronouns for ergative, oblique (in practice often genitive), and reflexive cases, will instead use two different pronoun stems for absolutive (formerly unmarked) and ergative, combine the two for reflexive, and do the oblique by just putting prepositions on the pronoun (like "of" for the genitive). Nouns are marked for case just by position, agent before patient before verb (same as Tibetan and Basque).

    I was going to use the absolutive, since I was thinking of it as an "object" case, including "of a preposition", but apparently it's actually usually the ergative that's used as the prepositional case if a language doesn't have a separate one (helps to think of the ergative as being "by [noun]", and then every other preposition just replaces the "by"). You do not want different prepositions to take different cases; I have trauma flashbacks to high-school German just thinking about it.
  • Giving my elves and dwarves 120-foot darkvision and spell-like abilities, like drow and duergar; the dwarves get the derro spell-like abilities (ghost sound, daze, darkness, but once a day each, and not sound burst) instead of the duergar ones (enlarge person and invisibility, once a day each). I'm also giving elves 11 + character level spell resistance and dwarves 6 + level, along with letting them have the Healthy trait that replaces the Hardy trait (there's an option in the core rules for dwarves to replace Hardy with 5 + level SR).

    They also get resistance 5 to cold (elves) or fire (dwarves), which is only worth 1 point in the Race Builder, but in the rules for elves it replaces Elven Immunities, which is worth 2, so I give elves the 11 + level SR which costs 1 point more than 6 + level. 11 + level isn't that OP; a caster 1 level higher than you, or 1 level lower with Spell Penetration, can overcome your SR by just rolling a 10. And I took away all the elves' and gnomes' racial bonuses to saves against stuff like enchantments and illusions—plus SR doesn't work on most witch hexes unless it specifies they're spell-like abilities.

    Gnomes are less nocturnal, and so have only 60-foot darkvision (plus electricity resist 5, the standard gnome spell-like abilities, and 11 + level spell resistance, same as svirfneblin). The elves and dwarves are from the moons, where the nights are 15 days long, and on the far side you can never get "moonlight" from the planet overhead being in daylight (but since the day is also 15 days long, no light sensitivity). Gnomes are from the planet. I basically restrict low-light vision (which elves and gnomes have in the core rules) to real animals and things based on them, like catfolk and gnolls.
  • Thinking I might call witches, in the "dark magic" sense rather than the "quasi-divine primary-caster class" (because now witches in that sense can be any divine casters, while witches in the class sense are elven priests), "warlocks". Firstly because it literally means "oathbreaker", and second because the warlock class, introduced in Let's Send 75% of Our Playerbase to Pathfinder or 1e 4e, is the most hateful thing in 5e to people of decent good sense.

    Warlock is a douchebag-bait class (though Critical Role makes all of 5e straight-up catnip to that demographic no matter what class they wind up playing), balanced by people who went to the Riot Games school of design, that absolutely runs off the "15-minute adventuring day". Alternatively I might call the bad ones "defilers", which does of course raise the question of whether the good ones are "preservers".
  • My hunt for a dwarven hammer comparable to the waraxe (which is a gnome weapon in my setting) and bastard sword, leads me to use the sphinx hammer, I think used by the Egyptian dwarves of Osirion, on Golarion, but with the "one-handed with Exotic Weapon Proficiency, two-handed martial" thing instead of being able to throw it. Still not sure what to call it—leaning toward "battlehammer". "Hammer of arms" seems to sometimes be used for a particularly large warhammer, also—think I've seen it used as a translation (possibly by machine?) of the Warhammer Titan's name, in Attack on Titan.

    My dark dwarves, on the other hand—distinguishable from the others only in their weapon familiarities, stat-wise—use (light and heavy) picks instead of hammers. Where the other dwarves make weapons from a coralline algae, the dark dwarves make them from the chitin of giant spiders. Thinking they'll also make crossbows from chitin, instead of firearms like other dwarves use—though come to think of it you could probably make a decent-ish barrel from the leg exoskeleton of a giant arthropod, given how strengthened it would have to be at that size.
  • Decided that my elves' hunting god, who is the poisonous resin that protects the World Tree, will get Calistria's stuff, in elven contexts—his sacred animal is a toxic moth with venomous caterpillars, and those are easy to swap in for wasps. He'll also get most of Desna's butterfly-themed stuff. (Look, I'm a Spelljammer player, elves and Lepidoptera go together.)

    I had had the elves make textiles from fibers of their sacred trees, and I think they still make some, but a lot of their stuff, now, is going to be made from silk collected from the abandoned cocoons of his sacred moths. There are actually three different other kinds of silk, from three other moths.

    Haven't figured out what gods of my setting will get most of the other stuff from Golarion (as far as I know, if it's on the Archives of Nethys it's OGL, once you change the names; they're on the PFSRD site under the disguised names), though of course each pantheon's war god gets most of the Gorum stuff.
  • Minagho in Wrath of the Righteous made me realize the obvious path to doing multiple levels of "seducer fiend" (succubi and incubi, minus the pretense those are two different things). Namely, succubi as "common" ones and lilitu as "greater" ones. Decided to make cambions into the basis for a "lesser" one, too.

    Think, though, that I'll replace the lilitu's husk stuff with the deimavigga/apostate devil's evangelization, indomitable oration, and ohrwurm powers. Think I'll also replace the cambion's sinfrenzy with the raktavarna rakshasa's "master's eyes" ability, minus the part about being a familiar.

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