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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 66 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [TSOY] Dwarven species design  (Read 12165 times)
oliof
Member

Posts: 449

Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2008, 06:11:40 AM »

Hey Josh,
did you just admit that you are keeping more than 50 near-specific secrets from wanting minds?
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Adrian F.
Member

Posts: 18


« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2008, 01:54:51 PM »

I think that their birth elements would work as the second axis.

Secret of the birth element <Fire,Earth,Water,Air>
The old elemental blood is strong in the character.
He always gets a bonus die when he does something that involves his element and a penalty die when he does something that involves his opposite element.And can sense significant quantities of his element from afar.

Secret of the Earth skin
The skin of Earth dwarfs is sometimes as hard as their element.The earth dwarf can spend 1 vigor and every attempt to cause physical harm to him receives 1 penalty dice during this scene,
Cost: 1 Vigor
Requirement:Secret of Birth Element <Earth>

Secret of Fire Skin
The skin of Fire dwarfs is very resistant to fire.The fire dwaf can spend 1 vigor and he is immune to the effect of fire and smoke for one scene.
Cost: 1 Vigor
Requirement:Secret of Birth Element <Fire>

Secret of Water skin
The skin of Water dwarfs filters air from their element.The water dwarf can spend 1 vigor and he is immune to drowning during one scene.Additional he gains a bonus dice for every swim or dive checks.
Cost: 1 Vigor
Requirement:Secret of Birth Element <Water>

Secret of Air skin
The air dwarf can spend 1 vigor and he is immune to damage thought falling during one scene.
Cost: 1 Vigor
Requirement:Secret of Birth Element <Air>

Secret of Earth heart
A earth dwarf how has learned to be one with his elemental nature can reach thought meditation on his a state where
his whole body with the exception of his heart turns into stone.
He don't need to breath,eat,sleep or perform any other organic functions to stay alive in this state and has the protection that the earth skin grants,but he can take no action.He stays in this state until someone with a higher ordination commands him to awake.
Requirement:Secret of Birth Element <Earth>,Secret of Earth Skin

Secret of Fire heart
A fire dwarf how has learned to be one with his elemental nature can burst into flames when his anger is strong enough,He can spend 1 instinct and than cause 1 harm to anyone who touches him in BDtP.He stays in this state until the source of his anger is gone or someone with higher ordination commands him to calm down.
Cost: 1 Instinct.
Requirement:Secret of Birth Element <Fire>,Secret of Fire Skin

Secret of Water heart
A water dwarf how has learned to be one with his elemental nature hears the song of the sea in his heart.Whenever he touches a bigger body of water he can communicate with every other water dwarf who touches the same body of water.
Requirement:Secret of Birth Element <Water>,Secret of Water Skin

Secret of Air heart
A airdwarf how has learned to be one with his elemental nature can exactly predict the currents in the air and the weather they cause.
Requirement:Secret of Birth Element <Air>,Secret of Air Skin










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Troels
Member

Posts: 77


« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2008, 05:24:42 PM »

The rings of society, the interaction of Familia, is great, but its very internal, similar to the Past-Lives of the elf and the Addiction of the goblin. We need to figure out where the Aura/Adaptability/"here's my external aspect" is.

Count me on board with the term "ring". And the internal/external thing. The Familia and the pool-sharing community is great. I think we almost have the outline of adequate external stuff in hand.

If we keep one theme of mental and physical perseverance that is shared by all dwarves, concretely represented physically by the Secret of Stature and mentally by the Secret of Steadfastness. What if we make the magic item creation and perhaps a sort of template for rituals to give dwarves externally useful stuff closely associated with the concrete tradition of their ring? You have been sort of dancing around that already. OK, so:

As part of the Secret of Kin, you get one free Secret, like the dwarven Head-Taking Rite, +2 damage when taking heads, or any other plausible weapon/armour/bonus die secret closely associated with the activities of the ring. Also, you can take further dwarven rituals that are Secrets with a pool cost of 2+, with a point off the cost for dwarven dedication, and they have to represent somewhat time-consuming activities. And they would have to be associated with the Way of your Ring. The Secret of Dwarven Construction is an example. Various divination-type activites could also be nice. That would seem reasonably satisfying and useful, and would bring out the ritualistic and tradition-oriented nature of the dwarves in play.

Adrian F.:
Quote
I think that their birth elements would work as the second axis.

Adrian, unless the elements can be solidly connected with the concept of traditions, I think an elemental race deserves to have it's own personality shtick that is firmly, thematically connected with the elements. Of course this would all make potentially nice stuff for Clinton's original elemental dwarves that we have deviated quite considerably from by now, so hang on to it for now... And welcome to the party Smiley

Quote
When we get through with brainstorming, if you and Troels (not to mention anyone else who contributes) are comfortable with the notion, I may take our language clarifications and cleaned-up mechanics and ideas and repost all of this as a Species Splat in a quasi-final post. I suspect it'll look much more organized at this point. We've just been in "throw it all at the wall and see what sticks" mode here, so don't worry too much about lack of clear focus.

Good idea. There needs to be a post you can link to and read stuff that's useable right away. I'll cheer you on!
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shadowcourt
Member

Posts: 153


« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2008, 10:16:11 AM »

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Adrian F.
Member

Posts: 18


« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2008, 12:32:47 PM »

Here are some replacement secrets:

Secret of the Halfed dwarf
The character lost half of himself.The family of the characters shows pity for your crippling wound.He can now use Instinct instead of reason for his Familia (R) checks concerning his family.
(He get this secret for free when He qualify for it,it replaces Secret of the true brothers)
Requirement: Secret of True Brothers (a specific character),The brother died

Secret of the Lone Survivor
Something destroyed the whole family of the character and left him behind.He is  now cursed, the demise of his family follows his wherever he goes and brings bad luck to every dwarf around you.A lone survivor is feared by every dwarf,but nobody dares to harm one,because when he is murdered the demise will strike at his murderer and destroys his dwarfhood.
Every dwarf who is in a scene with the lone survivor gains a penalty dice for one check determined by the SG in this scene.A dwarf who kills a lone survivor turns into a petty dwarf.
(This secret replaces Secret of the kin.This secret is replaced with Secret of the kin,when the character regains a family throught adoption or forming a new family)
Requirement:Secret of the Kin (specific family),The character is the lone survivor of his family


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Troels
Member

Posts: 77


« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2008, 06:43:44 AM »

Adrian:

That's the kind of stuff I can get behind.

Josh:

What I had in mind was rituals that would fulfil the external aspect function, ie let an individual dwarf amongst non-dwarves do cool and useful stuff in play. No doubt dwarves have a ton of social rituals and rites de passage, that undoubtedly do nifty things as well as social/psychological functions, and my little internal Sim gamer is itching to detail them. But I don't think it would necessarily be wise to do so. Better to just assume them and get on with it, detailing their effects as necessity arises in play.

The rituals for individuals could be based on a variety and/or mixture of dedicated specialisation, psyching yourself up to perform extraordinary things, and downright magic. And they ought IMO to be ring-specific, meaning that what we should make is examples, and guidelines for creating your own ring.

Your remarks on dwarven greed got me thinking about Tolkien's lovely characterisation of dwarves in "The Hobbit", that could really apply to a lot of people in Near:

"Dwarves are generally decent people, as long as you don't expect too much."

...and I think you are completely right that it might be cooler to feed the trope with item-oriented powers than to focus on greed itself. Between tradition-focus and greed, we might end up inadverdently producing a bunch of horrible little "greedy jew" caricatures, which is not what I want!

And might I say, both this and the Vulfenland stuff has been a ton of fun! Thanks for bringing it up, Josh.
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shadowcourt
Member

Posts: 153


« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2008, 07:53:12 AM »

Adrian,

Those Secrets do rock. Nice. My (very minor) suggestion is that the language of Secret of the Halted Dwarf should be retooled so that even when reading the first line, you have a sense of which characters should be taking it. It wasn't until the end that I realized who it was for and what it represented. So, perhaps a minor edit:

Secret of the Halted Dwarf
You are emotionally crippled by the loss of a dwarf with whom you shared True Brotherhood. This might have been a spouse, sibling, guild-mate, or anyone else with whom you were spiritually united. Your Familia ability is now linked to Instinct rather than Reason. You are a creature to be pitied among most dwarven rings, though some dwarves may bear a grudge for the loss of one of their own (such as your True Brother's relatives).
Prerequisite: Secret of True Brothers to a specific character who is now dead.
Special: This Secret can replace the Secret of True Brothers when your bonded brother dies.

I love that Lone Survivors are such omens of doom, and yet everyone is afraid of acting against them. That's going to make someone an awesome character concept. Great stuff.


Troels,

Uh huh. You and I are on the same wavelength about the caricature potential, and its inherent grossness. Best to move that elsewhere. All of D&D, for a long time, was primarily about acquisition of gold, so it only made a gigantic niche for the dwarven stereotype to fall into. As TSOY mostly tosses that out the window to do things which are dramatically and personally more significant (not to completely look askance at things like the Key of Glittering Gold, of course, which is hella fun in play, but still doesn't require one to track character wealth fastitdiously), there's no reason to not develop in more interesting directions. Materialism as a sociological conceit--the culture of craft and artisanry, considering one's tools and possesions to be an extension of oneself, are far more interesting ideas, really.

It's really fun now to brainstorm up dwarven enclaves and their personal obssessions. None of these are the sort of things that need to be part of the core dwarven write-up, but they're fun models on how to mesh them in new ways with a setting once play starts, like the Qek and Maldorite dwarves above. Even just wandering around thinking about it, I've considered how to take the "miner" trope and turn it into something frightening in Khale--consider dwarves who eschew the naturalistic and tree-hugging human culture of Khale to instead focus on its mineral wealth. They would happily strip-mine the woodlands for what they see as worthy, which would terrify the human Khalean population, who see the trees as their ancestors. The current obssession for said dwarves would obviously be Moon-Metal.

Dwarves with a focus on immortality could be similarly charming. I can envision dwarves whose obssessive goal is to abolish death forever, through one means or another. Their aged and withered thane remains propped-up by alchemical cocktails and the continued doting of his people, while the rings below him pursue greater understanding of medicine, necromancy, spying on elves, and countless other studies, all with the ultimate goal of "killing death itself."

Similarly, I can imagine a contingent of Zaru dwarves who believe that Zu has broken the world, and only hastens its destruction. They are similar to the Watchers in some of their philosophies, but their commitment to their cause has forced them into total silence, communicating only by gesture, sign language, and other non-verbal methods. These dwarves are not above the use of violence to accomplish their goals, assassinating Zaru elders and those gifted with a great many syllables. When the Zu language dies forever, the world might be able to heal itself once more. Their opposition to unifying magical languages, and the peril they impose, might make them dangerous foes of any agenda to unite the fractured dwarven clans into a great domain or empire once more, for fear that a unified dwarftongue poses the same risks that Zu did before its breaking.

-shadowcourt (aka josh)
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Adrian F.
Member

Posts: 18


« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2008, 10:08:00 AM »

Here are some dwarven key:

Key of the Scavenger
When you take and use a object that was discarded by someone else: 1 xp
When you use a discarded item to create something that is more useful than the original 3 xp
Buyoff:Buy or trade something new

Key of Xenophobe
When you are afraid of a non-dwarf: 1 xp
When you run away from a non-dwarf: 2 xp
When you run attack a non-hostile non-dwarf out of fear: 5 xp
Buyoff:Thrust a non-dwarf

Key of the waybringer
When you teach your way to another dwarf: 1 xp
When you teach your way to a non-dwarf:2 xp
When you teach your way even if it means harm for you: 5 xp
Buyoff: Keeping your way to yourself

Key of the empire
When you acts follows the laws of the old dwarven empire : 1 xp
When your force someone else to follow the laws of the old dwarven empire: 2 xp
When you act to reestablish the dwarven empire: 5 xp
Buyoff: Act against the laws of the old dwarven empire

Key of the Ring
When you meet someone who is a member of one of your rings,that you haven't meet before: 1 xp
When you get a outsider to support one of your rings: 2 xp
When you gain a new member for one of your rings that isn't your family: 5 xp
Buyoff: Act against the will of one of your rings

p.s:It is Halved Dwarf not Halted Dwarf.He lost half of his spiritual self and didn't stopped walking.






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shadowcourt
Member

Posts: 153


« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2008, 08:10:36 PM »

Adrian,

Sorry about the misread there. On my screen, it looked like a "t", and it was the misspelling of "halved" which threw me.

Eero,

Do you have any interest in posting your magical item stuff for TSOY? We can do it here or in another thread, but I didn't want to just start that thread without your buy-in.

While we're on the topic of dwarven craft in general, here's a possibility, albeit a relatively dry one, I think. Still, it might have a niche somewhere:

Secret of the Artisan's Eye
You have a talent for examining any creation of art or craftwork and determining things about its creator and the person who has recently used it. This can tell you facts about a singer as well as the balladeer who first wrote the song he is singing, just as it can impart secrets of a warrior's life and history by examining his blade, as easily as it could tell you facts about the blacksmith who forged it. An appropriate Crafts or Artistic ability is used for the check, and 1 Reason is spent. Every Success Level on the check imparts another fact about the current owner or the person who crafted it. Cost: 1 Reason.

Could be fun in the right circumstances. I can imagine it being interesting to reveal interesting facts and mysteries just from the keen eye of a craftsman, who studies every nick in a blade, and every brushstroke of a painting.

-shadowcourt (aka josh)
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Adrian F.
Member

Posts: 18


« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2008, 10:09:39 PM »

I don't think that any secret that allowed a grand Admiral of the empire to conquer several worlds is dry.

Secret of the Artisan's lie
You learned to manipulated the traces of you on your work,that the tell any story you want.Any Secret of the Artisan's check must beat the craft check you used to create your work,or they only learn what you want.

Cost: 1  Reason

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Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 2591


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« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2008, 11:28:58 PM »

Go ahead and start new threads! I haven't posted now due to other business, but I'm following the discussion. Perhaps magical craft is, after all, the external power leverage for dwarven-kind. They just need some clear qualitative advantage/difference from other craftsmen, not just random bonus dice here and there.
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oliof
Member

Posts: 449

Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2008, 03:52:24 AM »

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Adrian F.
Member

Posts: 18


« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2008, 05:04:10 AM »

Artisan's lie is a direct counter-secret for artisan's eye.

A dwarf with artisan's eye will know that the sword was made by a human with blue eyes,the creator will maybe able to persuade him with sway that he is really a elf if he created the weapon with inner meaning,but he is able to do this because he is a good liar,not because he is a good craft men who was able to produce the sword like a lefthanded kobold with a terrible fear of crocodiles ,would produce it.


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Troels
Member

Posts: 77


« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2008, 03:11:06 AM »

Oh, I just came up with a "title" for our dwarves. You know, like humans are "masters of war", elves are "monsters of heaven" etc. Or to be precise, Eero came up with it.

Dwarves: Stooped beneath the Burden.

So, do we do a summary post here, or in it's own thread?
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Adrian F.
Member

Posts: 18


« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2008, 04:33:39 AM »

Another possible title is "Lords of the rings" Smiley
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