Playing with Fantasy XXXIX

I have returned!

A bunch of stuff in life ("if you call that living") interfered, but, RE: my last post before my hiatus, Wizards backed the hell down again, so coming up with my own RPG, while still cooking (might figure out how to make an isometric RPG, à la the Pathfinder CRPGs or Divinity II, based on it), is going on the back burner for a bit.
  • Did some digging: Homo floresiensis, the "Indonesian hobbit", has a skull volume only 40% that of Homo erectus, despite having by all indications identical cognition. Which comes to each dimension being 74 percent as large. So while my halflings, dwarves, and goblins are half the height of humans and elves (or close, read on), their heads are three-quarters, making those dimensions half again as big, relative to the rest of their bodies.

    Only, instead of exactly half, my Small races are 56 percent as tall, with the other two dimensions 74% of the big ones. The exactly half ones were just too small—a full-grown dwarf woman was the average height of a human at two and a half, and the men as three-year-olds. Halflings were worse off, with the men as tall as the average child of two and a half, and the women in the 25th percentile for girls who just turned two. Whereas at 56 percent, the male dwarf is as tall as a boy of five and a half, and the female dwarf, a girl of four and three-quarters; the male halfling is as tall as a boy of four; only the female halfling is as short as a girl of three.

    Decided that dwarf-gnomes have, apart from those dimensional differences, the same build as elves, and halflings the same as (an H. floresiensis-esque version of) humans, rather than dwarf-gnomes being like small half-elves (which is how gnomes' canon Pathfinder build shakes out, BMI-wise). Oddly, 56%×74%×74% works out to almost the same BMI for the little people as for the Medium ones, so I said screw it, I ain't looking to reinvent the wheel, and give them the same one as their big equivalent.
  • I had worked out a while ago that goblin and hobgoblin women were the height of human and halfling ones, but with elf or dwarf builds, while the men were elf- and dwarf-height (increased size-difference between the sexes is typical in polygynous mating systems). It only just now came to me, though, that the orcs can have dwarf-sized females, and human-sized males with elf-like builds. And then I have the ogres be (1 ÷ 56%) 79% taller than orcs, for males 10 feet 9 inches tall and females the same size as elven ones. The bugbears are the inverse of halfway between elf and goblin, i.e.—1 ÷ 78%—28% taller, which averages 8 feet 4 inches for the males and 7 feet for the females, who I think I'll go back to statting as hobgoblins except for height.
  • Related to goblins and size, I discovered that if I take the doglike cursorial bear Hemicyon sansaniensis, and make it as massive as the high estimate for the giant shortfaced bear, 1600 kilograms, it becomes over 18 feet long: or, Huge, meaning a Large bugbear can ride it! So the grim-hounds can be bears now, rather than hyenas. (The ones the smaller goblins ride are going to be appropriately scaled from the giant ones, rather than being based on any specific hemicyonine species.)
  • Thinking I'll have positive-energy healing be reversing entropy, while negative-energy healing steals organization from the surroundings and concentrates it on the undead. And then fast healing and regeneration, none of which is positive energy and only some of which is the healing subtype of conjuration spells, will be more ordinary "speed up metabolic processes (maybe using magic to power it so you don't have to eat a hundred pounds of food)".

    I guess I'll have the "stealing organization" thing work kinda like Ichiko's luck in Binbōgami ga!, sucked out of the life around the undead creature, where positive energy is negative entropy (which is technically the case even in physics terms). Though, since negative energy healing does not also usually damage the living (and positive or negative energy in general doesn't damage unliving materials), maybe instead it will all come from the organization of the cosmos itself, rather than directly from life.

    Or, simpler, I'll just have evil priests get organization from human(oid) sacrifices, and it be stored up in them that way. Maybe good priests store up anti-entropy by good works.
  • Celestials with bird wings, fiends with bat wings, elementals with pterosaur wings: so far so good. But spider spirits with insect wings? Anathema, especially since the fairy-like azatas that dead elves become already have insect (moth, specifically) wings. So instead I think the spider spirits (norns) will balloon, with silk. And then the snake spirits will fly roughly like a cross between a flying fish and a galloping crocodile? (Crocs run on land with a more mammal-like gait.)

    Azatas have bug moth wings, and ascended-dead dwarves, which are inevitables, have mechanical wings. Think agathions (ascended humans) will only have wings if they're the bird kind, and the kyton-barghests that dead goblins become will use chains to get around? (Or become wolves, and run.) And then the rakshasas that dead ogres and orcs become will either not fly, or just float. Not sure which dead dark elves or dwarves become; leaning toward asuras and sahkils, though which is which is up for grabs.
  • Along with everyone casting like an arcanist now, my witches and oracles will both work like shamans, except with oracle spells per day. One thing is that both act like shamans of the Life spirit, and can channel at first level same as clerics; there's still a benefit to taking the Life mystery, for oracles, though, because it means that you can use positive energy while being evil. The oracles don't get hexes, though, they get their oracle revelations at the usual time, and the witches don't get spirit powers, they just get hexes (including at 1st level).

    Kinda think I will have witch familiars take the spirit-animal powers, though, since most shaman spirits (though based on oracle mysteries) map pretty close to witch-patron themes—spirit-magic spontaneous casting is redundant with everyone casting like arcanists now, of course, but treating those as spells the witch has always prepared is probably a good idea (that's also how I handle clerics' spontaneous healing—which they now share with oracles). Maybe including wandering hex? And then I guess it wouldn't be too far-fetched to let oracles use wandering spirit.
  • I've mentioned my setting's cities have outsiders bound to them, as a tutelary spirit but also something like the Superintendant AIs in Halo. But I realized, the way to model that? You apply the dread lord template, with their settlement as their cursed domain, but with some tweaks for the non-evil ones.

    I think what kind of outsider a settlement is tied to might be based (along with alignment) on the max level of spellcasting possible there? Like you have an outsider patron with the same CR as a full caster who can perform your settlement's max level of spells. Which would of course mean no patron higher than CR 15 or 16, since no settlement has 9th level spells available for sale.
  • A tip for people who like the robustness of the tactical rules in a real, for-grownups RPG like Pathfinder: you can get a cheap flatscreen TV, say around 42 inches, hook a laptop up to it with an HDMI, and use it to project a dungeon-map as a changeable game table. Probably cover the screen with some kind of film, of course, and you probably wanna use plastic miniatures rather than metal. But compared to the cost of full-color poster printing, a TV probably pays for itself in half a dozen maps or so.
  • Decided my elves and dwarves have partly structural-colored hair. Elves have white sparkly hair, like snow, in light, but in shadow it's green or blue or purple; dwarves have black hair but in light it turns metallic bright pink, violet, or red, like hummingbird feathers. Had had the dwarves' pigment be melanin like in fungi, but they're also red algae, so instead it's flavonoid pigments, several of which are very dark. (The elves are also flavonoids.)

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