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Author Topic: Rockworld  (Read 1662 times)
Dr. Theodore Lagore
Member

Posts: 9


« on: March 22, 2010, 02:23:22 AM »

Right, I don't know if this is a good place to post this.  It's just a fantasy setting.  I've never played a tabletop RPG.  I don't know what goes into making one.  I don't know how much information I should include in this post.  I just have a setting that I like.

This setting is intented to stand alone, with no relation to any other settings or games.


= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


The Structure of Rockworld
====================


Rockworld is, in fact, several different worlds.  Each is primarily made of stone and extends infinitely in all directions.  He only source of light and heat are firestones: glowing  crystals embedded in the rock.  There is no sun and there is no day/night cycle.

Here are the most prominent worlds:


- The Caves: A series of self-contained caves with no physical exits.  They have their own diverse plant and wildlife.  This is the where most humans and Alberians live, dispersed between private farms, ranches, towns, and cities.

- The Edge: An infinite vertical cliff face.  Some caverns have been carved out, but there are very few animals and vegetation.  The home of the lanky Edge Crawlers, and a very dangerous place to visit.

- The Wastes: A barren, flat plane of rock extending in all directions.  Contains very sparse vegetation, and some particularly enormous beasts.  Home to some human and Svari settlements.

- The Boulders: Huge stones floating in an endless expanse of air.  The enormous rocks slowly turn and rotate, thus requiring concentration to not fall off.  Home to some Svari, the Rock Bats, and many enormous flying beasts.

- The Tunnels: small, winding caverns filled with water.  Home to the squid-like Sepians and numerous fish.  Small pockets of air provide room for a tiny population of fishermen.


Travel around and between worlds is done by using "links". Links are a pair of stones stone pieces between one-half and two inches long. Upon touching a link-stone with your bare skin, you are instantly transported to its sister stone. Any material that is in immediate contact with your skin is also transported.  Most of the time, these links are between different areas of the world you are currently on. But rarely, a link may be between two different worlds.


= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


Races
=====


Humans - They're just normal humans.  Most of them live in The Caves, where they survive by farming and herding animals.  However there are a few cities and towns in The Caves, and there are a few human settlements on other worlds.  They are physically strong, and very intelligence.

Alberians - Short, stout people with chalk-white skin.  They are "naturals": people born with magical powers.  Each person is born with exactly one power (out of 15 possible ones).  These powers involve non-living materials such as rock, water, air, and metal.  They live in a very strict society.

Svari - These are very tall and lanky people with skin as black as obsidian.  They are naturals, like the Alberians.  Their powers involve living things such as sentients, animals, and plants.  They are highly individualistic and have no real society.  They travel to all areas of Rockworld.

Beast races - sentient creatures with their own language and society on other worlds.  They live on other worlds, and little information is know about them.


= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


What should I do now?  Post more?  Clarify something?  Spend my free time doing something else?
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Excalibur
Member

Posts: 94


« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2010, 04:28:37 AM »

The first, and most important task is for you to go out and get yourself some games or join a local gaming group. While console-based and PC-based RPGs are a good start, you need to expose yourself to as many different games in as many different styles of play and game mechanics as you can. Read through these forums (there are a lot of talented people throwing ideas around here) and ask questions.

That being said, I must ask you a few questions:

1. Is this going to be a tabletop RPG?

2. What kinds of RPGs have you played before? Is most of your experience with games like WoW?

3. Have you ready any tabletop RPG rules before?

4. If you haven't played any tabletop RPGs, why do you want to create one?

5. What is your game about? Not the setting, which you have a nice start, but what is the central theme? Is it survival? Betrayal? Adventure?

6. How will your game accomplish #6? This is where you have to think about game mechanics in terms of characteristics, spells, combat, etc.

7. What makes your game fun to play? Basically, what do you think will bring players back again and again for more?
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-Curt
Locke
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2010, 06:54:08 AM »

why humans?   A new crazy world maybe doesn't have humans?  just maybe...
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Check out my game Age Past, unique rolling system, in Beta now.  Tell me what you think!
https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B-7APna9ZhHEZmRhNmFmODktOTgxNy00NDllLTk0MjgtMjI4YzJlN2MyNmEw&hl=en

Thanks!
Jeff Mechlinski
Excalibur
Member

Posts: 94


« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2010, 07:01:15 AM »

I didn't really think about it either Smiley Could it be to help players be comfortable? And if there isn't any sun, what crops do the humans cultivate in their caves? Mushrooms? Some new type of flora?
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-Curt
Dr. Theodore Lagore
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2010, 10:48:38 AM »

The first, and most important task is for you to go out and get yourself some games or join a local gaming group. While console-based and PC-based RPGs are a good start, you need to expose yourself to as many different games in as many different styles of play and game mechanics as you can. Read through these forums (there are a lot of talented people throwing ideas around here) and ask questions.{/quote}

Well, no problems there, because I have no experience with computer RPGs either.  I did play Jagged Alliance a little bit.  That's kind of like an RPG, right?

Either way, thank you for the input.  I have been reading the manuals for the original Planescape setting, because I think that's a great, creative setting.

Quote
1. Is this going to be a tabletop RPG?

Sure.

Quote
2. What kinds of RPGs have you played before? Is most of your experience with games like WoW?

None, and no.  I came up with a detailed setting, and although I could simply write some stories set in it, I want people to be able to explore it themselves.

Quote
3. Have you ready any tabletop RPG rules before?

I assume you mean read.  Kind of.  I've read through over a dozen books about the Planescape setting.  If there are any other good ones to read, please recommend them.

4. If you haven't played any tabletop RPGs, why do you want to create one?[/quote]

Quote
5. What is your game about? Not the setting, which you have a nice start, but what is the central theme? Is it survival? Betrayal? Adventure?

Exploration. That, and a strange combination of infinite expanses and immense claustrophobia.

Quote
6. How will your game accomplish #6? This is where you have to think about game mechanics in terms of characteristics, spells, combat, etc.

You mean #5?  Well, each world extends infinitely in all directions, but there are physical barriers that keep you where you are.  For example, The Caves have an infinite expanse of rock, but clearly you can't dig through it all, you're contained in a little air pocket.

Quote
7. What makes your game fun to play? Basically, what do you think will bring players back again and again for more?

The exploration, the originality of the setting.  Every time you touch a link, you are transported to a new area.  It's never clear where you'll end up, and I think that adds to the excitement.

why humans?   A new crazy world maybe doesn't have humans?  just maybe...

I started out doing that, but when I started asking people if that was a good idea, they just went berserk.  Practically everyone said that there was noway they could relate to the story if there were no humans.  Either way, I think it works fairly well this way.

I didn't really think about it either Smiley Could it be to help players be comfortable? And if there isn't any sun, what crops do the humans cultivate in their caves? Mushrooms? Some new type of flora?

There isn't a sun, but there are firestones: very hot, bright glowing crystals embedded in the rock which light up caves as though it were daytime.  There are also creatures called "rockeaters" which eat rock, and excrete soil.  Over hundreds of years, these little creatures hollow out holes (The Caves) which have a blanket of rich soil at the bottom.  This lets people grow crops just as we normally would.  Most of them are seed-baring grasses, like wheat and rice.

Although I do like your idea for mushrooms...
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Excalibur
Member

Posts: 94


« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2010, 12:22:02 PM »

Had this discussion with someone in another thread. Basically, I believe Exploration isn't what your game is really about. Sure, you explore, that's what youdo. But let's take a stab at this and see if we can come up with something around exploration.

What are your stats and how do they relate to the concept of exploration?
How does exploration advance your characters?

Quote
That, and a strange combination of infinite expanses and immense claustrophobia.

I think you really want a game that is a combination of mind-boggling open expanses and itty-bitty little spaces. Can you think of stats that would exemplify agoraphobia and claustrophobia? Is your game about surviving in these environments or is it easy to survive but difficult to travel. Though you did just state that travel is easy (using the stones) but somewhat random...

Brainstorm all the things that you want to convey to your players: Awe, Fear, Wonder, Hopelessness, Optimisim? You can't really convey Exploration...

Again, read up on other tabletop RPGs. While your setting is interesting though it is similar to various planes in Planescape (D&D) or the dimension of Wormwood (Palladium Books: Rifts).
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-Curt
Dr. Theodore Lagore
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2010, 06:17:34 PM »

Had this discussion with someone in another thread. Basically, I believe Exploration isn't what your game is really about. Sure, you explore, that's what youdo. But let's take a stab at this and see if we can come up with something around exploration.

Well, maybe exploration isn't the right word to use.  It's not for an express purpose like making a map or discovering new areas.  It's more for experiencing new ways of life.  Like... okay, most humans are born in The Caves,.  Many of them never even leave their own cave.  But beyond that area are other worlds that are immense and .  They're dangerous, and they're unusual, and experiences there can be painful, but they're new.  So do you live out a safe and boring life where you live, or risk it all for a chance to get some excitement.  So maybe "discovery" is a better term?

I mean, there's gonna be combat in it, if that's what you're wondering.  It's not just "exploring".

Quote
What are your stats and how do they relate to the concept of exploration?
How does exploration advance your characters?

Well... I did kind of come up with a simple system (simplicity is important to me).  I'll post it separately to see just how bad it is.

Quote
Quote
That, and a strange combination of infinite expanses and immense claustrophobia.

I think you really want a game that is a combination of mind-boggling open expanses and itty-bitty little spaces. Can you think of stats that would exemplify agoraphobia and claustrophobia? Is your game about surviving in these environments or is it easy to survive but difficult to travel. Though you did just state that travel is easy (using the stones) but somewhat random...

Hmm... not exactly.  It's difficult to explain what I imagine.  It's like the infinite expanses are really a cage.  I mean, imagine The Wastes:  an infinite flat plane of rock that extends all around you.  There's nothing other than some animals.  It's dark, you're confused, you don't know where to go.  Just because it's infinite doesn't mean it can't be claustrophobic.  There's infinite space, and you can go in any direction, but you can't really go anywhere, because there is nothing.  I hope that makes sense...

Quote
Brainstorm all the things that you want to convey to your players: Awe, Fear, Wonder, Hopelessness, Optimisim? You can't really convey Exploration...

Um, um... I don't know, I never thought of it.  The world (mostly outside the caves) should seem overwhelming, threatening.  The world should seem unpredictable; one false step could send you far away from your home and you family, possibly forever.  Helplessness, that's one.  Nervousness.  Anxiety.

I mean, it can be used for other types of stories too, depending on who plays it.  It's difficult to sum up, like how would you describe earth?

Quote
Again, read up on other tabletop RPGs. While your setting is interesting though it is similar to various planes in Planescape (D&D) or the dimension of Wormwood (Palladium Books: Rifts).

Yeah... I always worry that I'm ripping off Planescape, but I'm really trying to make this stand on it's own.  Thanks for the recommendation of Wormwood.
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Dr. Theodore Lagore
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2010, 06:47:38 PM »

I don't know if it would work, since I don't know what system other RPGs use.  Basically, my idea is that you start off weak, and as you gain experience (defeating enemies, gaining wealth, doing jobs, etc) you add points to each stat.  In other words, you might start out at level 1 with all stats being 2 and allowed to add 4 extra points wherever you want.  Then, when you gain a level, you can add one more point to any stat.

STATS: (a number between 2 and 12, with 2 being incredibly weak, 8 being almost super-human, and 4 being average)

- Toughness (affects damage received)
- Strength (affects damage done)
- Agility (affects the ability to avoid getting hit)
- Accuracy (affects ability to hit an opponent)
- Mental (affects conversation topics, trickery, persuasion, and gives you new moves with each level)


===============================================


TO HIT:

(1d8) + (attacker's accuracy) - (defender's agility) =

4 or less = miss
5 or more = hit


===============================================


DAMAGE:

(1d8) + (attacker's strength) - (defender's toughness) + (weapon damage) - (armor) + (any previous damage) =


LOWER = no damage

1 - minor
2 - minor
3 - medium
4 - medium
5 - severe
6 - severe
7 - disabled (unconscious or unable to move)
8 - disabled

HIGHER = death


*(there are not "hit points", just different degrees of damage.  Over time they add up, so a minor would would add +1 to the next damage roll you take.  A medium wound would add +3, and so on.  I hope that makes sense.)


===============================================


POWERS:

If you play as an Alberian, Svari, or multiracial character,  roll 2d8 to decide your power.  As your mental power increases, you get new abilities and attacks related to your power, like being able to lift more weight with the "control" power.  I haven't plotted out the progression chart for each of the powers yet, though.


ALBERIAN:

2.) control / metal - The ability to telekinetically control nearby pieces of metal. 

3.) control / rock - The ability to telekinetically control nearby pieces of rock. 

4.) control / water - The ability to telekinetically control nearby water.

5.) control / air - The ability to telekinetically control air.

6.) duplicate / metal - The ability to create perfect duplicates of metal objects by touching them.

7.) duplicate / rock - The ability to create perfect duplicates of rock objects by touching them.

8.) size / metal - The ability to change the size of metal objects by touching them.

9.) size / rock - The ability to change the size of rock objects by touching them.

10.) size / water - The ability to change the amount of water by touching it.

11.) strength / metal - The ability to strengthen and weaken metal.

12.) heat / metal - The ability to change the temperature of nearby metal.

13.) heat / water - The ability to change the temperature of nearby water.

14.) heat / air - The ability to change the temperature of air.

15.) link / rock - The ability to create artificial links between pebbles by touching them.

16.) tapper / metal - The ability to create visual and auditory links between metal objects by touching them.  One object acts as the "camera" and one acts as the "receiver".


SVARI:

2.) control / sentient - The ability to telekinetically control sentients and body parts belonging to them.

3.) control / animal - The ability to telekinetically control animals and body parts belonging to them.

4.) control / plant - The ability to telekinetically control plants and materials made from them.

5.) duplicate / animal - The ability to create perfect duplicates of animals and body parts belonging to them, by touching them.

6.) duplicate / plant - The ability to create perfect duplicates of plants and materials made from them, by touching them.

7.) size / animal - The ability to change the size of animals and materials made from them by touching them.

8.) size / plant - The ability to change the size of plants and materials made by them, by touching them.

9.) strength / sentient - The ability to strengthen and weaken body parts from sentients by touching them.

10.) strength / animal - The ability to strengthen and weaken body parts from animals by touching them.

11.) strength / plant - The ability to strengthen and weaken parts of plants by touching them.

12.) heat / sentient - The ability to change the temperature of body parts from sentients.

13.) heat / animal - The ability to change the temperature of body parts from animals.

14.) heat / plant - The ability to change the temperature of parts of plants.

15.) link / animal  - The ability to create elemental links between areas.  This is a one-way link between animal body parts (bone, skin, etc) which transports any air or water that touches it.

16.) tapper / animal - The ability to create visual and auditory links between animal body parts by touching them.  One object (skin, bone, etc) acts as the "camera" and one acts as the "receiver".


===============================================


So, what am I missing?  Would this potentially work, or is it just the fever dream of a madman?
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Simon C
Member

Posts: 495


« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2010, 07:28:14 PM »

Theodore,

This is a really exciting setting! I think it sounds really good.  There are a lot of fantasy settings out there, but they almost universally suck.  Your one is interesting though!

I don't think you should feel compelled to add a rules system to your setting.  As you acknowledge, you're not an experienced gamer, so you'd have a steep learing curve to design a game. 

I think you should ask yourself what your goal is with this thing.  If it's to have other people explore your setting, maybe a stand-alone setting book would be a good option.  There are not many of those around, and I have no idea if such a thing would be popular, but I think a detailed setting book with illustrations and no game material would be a worthwhile creation.

If you do want to design a game, I think playing some games first is critical.  You have an advantage in the sense that many gamers have accumulated years of misconceptions about the "right way" to make a game, and you do not have those misconceptions.  Let me point you to what I think is the most useful insight into game design that exists on the web: http://www.lumpley.com/comment.php?entry=490

Hopefully that's useful to you.
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Excalibur
Member

Posts: 94


« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2010, 07:57:25 PM »

I agree, if you were to design a setting book without worrying about the game mechanics, then you've got a pretty good thing going. It's very interesting.

If you want to design the game mechanics, you need to play games. I would suggest Wormwood for other ideas in terms of your setting? Nightbane is also a good one for dark places as is System Failure. Chaos Earth is a good one for monsters and "the last vestiges of humanity." And Beyond the Supernatural is a good game for horror/dark/monsters. Yep, these are all from Palladium Books.

After reading what you were saying about your advancement and mechanics, I think you'd enjoy reading RuneQuest from Mongoose Publishing. I like how they deal with advancement, stat increases, etc.

But, as Simon suggested, it might be a really good idea to create a setting and only a setting without game mechanics at all. I'm sure that you could find enterprising designers to adapt the setting to a given system or design a new one if that's the route you want to go. Anyway, a great way to test whether your setting is fun (not based on mechanics) is to take a standard game like D&D, RuneQuest, or Rifts and see how the environment feels. You could even go diceless and just describe your characters to start. No need to get complicated with dice and everything.
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-Curt
Vulpinoid
Member

Posts: 803

Kitsune Trickster


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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2010, 08:06:59 PM »

DAMAGE:

(1d8) + (attacker's strength) - (defender's toughness) + (weapon damage) - (armor) + (any previous damage) =


That's nice.

I've seen a few games use similar ideas, but with all of those numbers to add an subtract, I'd make sure that there is somewhere on the character sheet that consolidates the values into a single number for offense (adding Strength and the Weapon damage), and another single number for defence (adding Toughness and Armour). Just to make things run quicker during that combat stage.

The system you've created is also very exponential, and that's a good thing. Big things can instantly kill small things (if they manage a hit), and small things can often deal no damage at all to big things. But conflict at the same scale has roughly equal chances of damaging either opponent (varying by armour and those other factors you've mentioned).

I also like the idea of damage levels rather than Hit Points, it tends to work better for generating cinematic combat in my experience. More action packed, less drudgery.

I'd ask at this point, what happens to someone who is suffering medium wounds if they take a minor hit?
Does their wound degree increase to severe?
Do we simply ignore it, because it's less than their current level?

Either are valid options.

You've got some good ideas here.

Now to tie them into some cool thematic notions, a good development system for the characters and the stories, and you'll probably have really intriguing game on your hands.

(Note, I say probably because I've seen plenty of games fail miserably even though they had all the right components).

V
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A.K.A. Michael Wenman
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Dr. Theodore Lagore
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2010, 08:31:28 PM »

Thanks everyone, this is all very helpful.

I sort of like the idea of a setting book (what exactly should those include?  How are they designed?).  However, I worry that they might not be able to cover the magic usage.  Other games seem to use a vastly different system.  For those paying attention, this version is more like a superpower that you can hone and train (high mental ability allows for more powerful abilities).

I'd ask at this point, what happens to someone who is suffering medium wounds if they take a minor hit?
Does their wound degree increase to severe?
Do we simply ignore it, because it's less than their current level?

That's a very good question.  If it's less, just ignore it.  It'd be hard to do have the damage kind of stack as it goes.
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Excalibur
Member

Posts: 94


« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2010, 09:34:04 AM »

Thanks everyone, this is all very helpful.

I sort of like the idea of a setting book (what exactly should those include?  How are they designed?).  However, I worry that they might not be able to cover the magic usage.  Other games seem to use a vastly different system.  For those paying attention, this version is more like a superpower that you can hone and train (high mental ability allows for more powerful abilities).

You don't really have to worry about what system you're writing for when you're doing a setting guide. I would suggest that you flesh out the world in as much detail as you can. I would say that the typical setting guide is like an encyclopedia.

I would make sure you have
  • maps at least one overall, general idea of how the world is laid out and then specific maps of major cities and such.
  • major cities including population breakdowns, political and religious breakdowns
  • minor cities (to some extent) and settlements
  • locations of note
  • races all fleshed out,
  • special abilities should be listed in the race section under the race they belong to. No need for game mechanics, levels, or anything like that. Just explain them as if you're telling a story.
  • persons of note for each of the areas such as heroes, villains, leaders, rebels, etc.
  • a timeline and history for the setting including recent history, wars, calamities, etc.
  • a list of any religions, political parties, feuds, generally any and all factions that influence daily life
  • typical life styles/daily life of residents: where do they get their food, their water, etc. (could be under races or under locations)
  • legends and lore (which overlaps some of the religious views, heroes and villains...)
  • monetary systems
  • lists of known transportation spots if they aren't all completely random
  • weapons and the materials they're made of

I'd suggest you go to wikipedia and look up your home country, state, city/town and look at the census information that's provided. This can help with designing certain things.

Quote
I'd ask at this point, what happens to someone who is suffering medium wounds if they take a minor hit?
Does their wound degree increase to severe?
Do we simply ignore it, because it's less than their current level?

That's a very good question.  If it's less, just ignore it.  It'd be hard to do have the damage kind of stack as it goes.

If you take a look at the Advanced Player's Guide by Sword and Sorcery they've outlined a wound level system in the game. You're scratched, hurt, injured, etc. there are no hit points involved. It's a pretty fun system.
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-Curt
Dr. Theodore Lagore
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2010, 04:40:11 PM »

Thanks a lot Excalibur.  You're really helpful.

You know... I have some stuff written out.  I didn't want to overwhelm the thread with text but... oh, why not?  Be warned, I'm sure I already posts some parts of this.


Quote
The Complete Traveler's Guide to Rockworld
=================================================
by Dr. Theodore Lagore


1. Introduction
2. The Structure of Rockworld
3. The People of Rockworld
......Humans
......Alberians
..........Powers
..........Technology
......Svari
..........Powers
..........Technology
......Beast Races
..........Teradon
..........Crawler
..........Sepian
......Biracial Persons
4. Useful Tips
5. The Caves
......Overview
......Flora
......Fauna
......Society
..........Farms and Ranch
..........Towns
..........Cities
6. The Edge
......Overview
......Flora & Fauna
7. The Wastes
......Overview
......Flora & Fauna
8. The Boulders
......Overview
......Flora & Fauna
9. The Tunnels
......Overview
......Flora & Fauna


=================================================


Introduction
=======================
=================================================


The Structure of Rockworld
=======================

"I feel the infinite closing in on me."
~A traveler who succumbed to madness

Rockworld is, in fact, several different worlds.  Each is primarily made of stone and extends infinitely in all directions.  He only source of light and heat are firestones: glowing  crystals embedded in the rock. 

Here are the most prominent worlds:


- The Caves: A series of self-contained caves with no physical exits.  They have their own diverse plant and wildlife.  This is the where most humans and Alberians live, dispersed between private farms, ranches, towns, and cities.

- The Edge: An infinite vertical cliff face.  Some caverns have been carved out, but there are very few animals and vegatation.  The home of the Edge Crawlers, and a very dangerous place to visit.

- The Wastes: A barren, flat plane of rock extending in all directions.  Contains very sparse vegetation, and some particularly enormous beasts.  Home to some human and Svari settlements.

- The Boulders: Huge stones floating in an endless expanse of air.  The enormous rocks slowly turn and rotate, thus requiring concentration to not fall off.  Home to some Svari, the Rock Bats, and many enormous flying beasts.

- The Tunnels: small, winding caverns filled with water.  Home to the squid-like Sepians and numerous fish.  Small pockets of air provide room for a tiny population of fishermen.


Travel around and between worlds is done by using "links". Links are a pair of stones stone pieces between one-half and two inches long. Upon touching a link-stone with your bare skin, you are instantly transported to its sister stone. Any material that is in immediate contact with your skin is also transported.  Most of the time, these links are between different areas of the world you are currently on. But rarely, a link may be between two different worlds.



=================================================


Humans
=======================

"I don't care much for humans. They make everything so complicated."
~ Svari philosopher

"Your farm sounds absolutely lovely. Would you mind showing it to me?"
~ Human bandit


Humans are the most numerous peoples of Rockworld. The overwhelming majority live in The Caves, but there are some settlements on other worlds.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that humans aren't dangerous. And sometimes that's the last mistake they ever make.

They're incredibly diverse in their manners. They range from simple farmers to diabolical mayors to vicious bandits. Humans tend to place too much trust in each other, thinking that they share some kind of bond. Be wary of this in your travels.

Humans are physically strong, often work in groups, and can be very smart. These simple traits can make a human a powerful fighter, capable of slaying beasts dozens of times it's own size.

Most humans live in private caves where they farm or herd animals for a living. They live with their extended families, and rarely travel outside their home cave. Some live in towns and cities, where they tend to work as artisans, craftsmen, and tradesman.


=================================================


Alberians
=======================

"I'll continue my work crafting bricks for about five thousand cycles.  Then I'll retire and concentrate on writing my plays until I die."
~An Alberian explaining her plans for the future


Alberians are short, stout people with chalk-white skin.  They are "naturals", people born with magical powers.  They use these powers for practical applications, such as engineering, manufacturing, etc.

Alberian society is by far the most rigid of all the races. They all live in a single giant city, simply referred to as "Home" by them.  Here, they are ruled by a strict authoritarian regime which exerts control over most aspects of their life. This is done mainly in order keep their potentially devastating powers under a close watch.  Most Alberians enjoy their structured lives and working to benefit their community.

They are peoples of routine, who live their lives by a giant hourglass in the center of town.  The hourglass measures eight hours, at the end of which a giant bell is sounded.  Three of these cycles make up the day, with eight hours of work, eight of free time, and eight of sleep.  Alberians have their schedules arranged in such a way that one third of the population is always working.

Despite all this, the Alberians have perhaps the most refined tastes of any society.  The are allowed to pursue any hobbies which interest them, including art, literature, plays, music, games, and much more.  During their free time, they are very social, often visiting friends in other cities.

They head an organization known as The Collective, which allows any farmers and herders to join.  In exchange for giving the Alberians a certain quota of the goods they produce, the people get access to Alberian technologies and food, which is redistributed to members.

Each citizen's job is different depending on their innate power.  Some are civil engineers, some guards, and some explore The Caves to find more people to join The Collective.



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Alberian Powers
=======================

Alberians are capable of bending the elements to their will.  At birth, each person innately possesses a single power which they can improve through training.


- control / metal - The ability to telekinetically control nearby pieces of metal. 

- control / rock - The ability to telekinetically control nearby pieces of rock. 

- control / water - The ability to telekinetically control nearby water.

- control / air - The ability to telekinetically control air.

- duplicate / metal - The ability to create perfect duplicates of metal objects by touching them.

- duplicate / rock - The ability to create perfect duplicates of rock objects by touching them.

- size / metal - The ability to change the size of metal objects by touching them.

- size / rock - The ability to change the size of rock objects by touching them.

- size / water - The ability to change the amount of water by touching it.

- strength / metal - The ability to strengthen and weaken metal.

- heat / metal - The ability to change the temperature of nearby metal.

- heat / water - The ability to change the temperature of nearby water.

- heat / air - The ability to change the temperature of air.

- link / rock - The ability to create artificial links between pebbles by touching them.

- tapper / metal - The ability to create visual and auditory links between metal objects by touching them.  One object acts as the "camera" and one acts as the "receiver".


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Alberian Technology
=======================

- Bow - made from metal that has been softened by powers in order to make it light and springy

- Water tower - made of metal and refilled at regular intervals using powers, this device uses gravity to provide running water.

- Mass production - metal and stone items are very easy to mass produce using powers

- Television - a thin sheet of metal that sees and the camera is generally a square block of metal.  They can display musical performances, news, games, sports, theater, book readings, and many other activities.

- Glass knife - formed from volcanic glass, strengthened by powers.  These small, but fragile knives are likely the sharpest material in Rockworld.

- Artificial link - pair of pebbles that function just like normal links

- Linked ammunition - very expensive ammunition for arrows and slings which will link any person his with it to The Tunnels, where they will likely drown.  Carefully guarded by the Alberians, although technically any links could be used in such a way.


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Svari
=======================

"Of course I love you, but do you really expect me to live in this city my whole life?"
~Svari man leaving his wife

The Svari are a very tall, painfully skinny race of naturals with skin as black as pure obsidian.  They often engage in scarification and tattooing their bodies in colored ink, as resistance to pain is a trait valued by the Svari.  The Svari are highly individualistic and have no society per se. They may live in small groups for a time, but quickly move on. They're nomadic, scatted across Rockworld, travelling around as the mood strikes them. They are even comfortable living in very dangerous planes, such as The Edge.

Because their powers are so varied and their society is so individualistic, every Svari has a different way of making a living. Some travel from cave to cave, peddling their natural abilities in exchange for food and money. Some steal, manipulate, beg, or perform; it's different from person to person. Because of their unpredictable nature, most other races are slow to trust a Svari.


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Svari Powers
=======================

Svari powers involve living and dead lifeforms.  At birth, each person innately possesses a single power which they can improve through training.


- control / sentient - The ability to telekinetically control sentients and body parts belonging to them.

- control / animal - The ability to telekinetically control animals and body parts belonging to them.

- control / plant - The ability to telekinetically control plants and materials made from them.

- duplicate / animal - The ability to create perfect duplicates of animals and body parts belonging to them, by touching them.

- duplicate / plant - The ability to create perfect duplicates of plants and materials made from them, by touching them.

- size / animal - The ability to change the size of animals and materials made from them by touching them.

- size / plant - The ability to change the size of plants and materials made by them, by touching them.

- strength / sentient - The ability to strengthen and weaken body parts from sentients by touching them.

- strength / animal - The ability to strengthen and weaken body parts from animals by touching them.

- strength / plant - The ability to strengthen and weaken parts of plants by touching them.

- heat / sentient - The ability to change the temperature of body parts from sentients.

- heat / animal - The ability to change the temperature of body parts from animals.

- heat / plant - The ability to change the temperature of parts of plants.

- link / animal  - The ability to create elemental links between areas.  This is a one-way link between animal body parts (bone, skin, etc) which transports any air or water that touches it.

- tapper / animal - The ability to create visual and auditory links between animal body parts by touching them.  One object (skin, bone, etc) acts as the "camera" and one acts as the "receiver".


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Svari Technology
=======================

- Svari cloth - simple linen, strengthened using powers.  This material is considerably lighter and more flexible than metal armor, and is the armor of choice for quick finesse fighters.

- Svari leather - Much heavier and rigid than their cloth, it is also much stronger, rivaling even metal, if it is made by a skilled Svari.

- Bone dagger - strengthened using powers, this durable sharp, and very light dagger is considered excellent for self-defense and surprise attacks.

- Mass production - thanks to their duplication abilities, they are are to create enormous quantities of bone and leather items.

- Giant rodent - the ability to enlarge animals allows the creation of enormous creatures for food and companionship purposes.

- Endless flask - using their unique power to create elemental links, these flasks contain a small piece of bone that is linked to The Tunnels.  Water from that world is constantly flowing into the flask, refilling it.  A must-have for any travelers.

- Air mask - similar to the endless flask, this mask is linked to The Boulders, thus supplying it with a steady stream of fresh air, allowing the user to breath underwater.

- Svari Painting - a camera / receiver system similar to the Alberian television, although these links display panoramic views of other worlds.  They are display7ed in wealthy homes for their aesthetic value. The camera is usually bone, and the receiver is usually stretched animal skin.


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Teradon
=======================

"Leave me alone."
~Teradon to a Svari translator

Teradons are enormous sentients who make their home at The Boulders. They measure about ten feet high with a twenty foot wingspan. They have leathery wings and powerful jaws.

They are much smarter than many expect them to be, using teamwork and clever tactics to take down creatures many times their size. They speak "the chatter," the standard language of the beast races, which is a language composed of clicking noises.

They live in familial groups of about ten, and work as a team to hunt creatures that dwell in The Boulders. The combination of their raw strength and their tactical minds makes even one of them a dangerous foe for most people. Luckily, the tiny snack that humans give isn't enough for the average Teradon to bother attacking them. Although some people have been known to befriends them, generally it's just a good idea not to bother a Teradon.


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Crawler
=======================

"Um... excuse me.  Could you just stop what you're doing for a few seconds to answer my questions?  ...hello?"
~Traveler feebly trying to get the attention of a busy Crawler

Edge Crawlers are sentients who reside on The Edge. have small torsos and incredibly long arms. They have flat, square bodies, a single long eye, long spindly legs, and incredibly hard claws.

Moving very slowly and carefully they are able to traverse these cliffs, gripping the rock with their bent claws, which are are hard as metal. Using these same claws, they carve out tiny caves for themselves with dozens of caves often in close proximity. It's unclear how they survive, since they have no mouth. They communicate using The Chatter, by tapping their claws on the stone.

They are master craftsmen, slowly chipping at the gems and precious stones they find until they have a beautiful statuette. They are fine with visitors, and are willing to trade their gems and sculptures for interesting technology, books, and other trinkets.

Whatever you do, don't steal from them.


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Sepian
=======================

"Hi! Hi! What's that? Who're you? Can I touch that? Where are you from? I eat fish too!"
~Sepian pestering a traveler

Sepians are large squid-like creatures whom were just recently found to have sentience. Very little is known about them. They live in The Tunnels, and were often noted by travelers to be incredibly curious and energetic.

They appear to be able to change their skin color and texture to better camouflage themselves. They are ambush predators who have a diverse diet.

It later turned out that the excited clicking noises they make was, in fact, The Chatter. Although they've been the subject of much recent study, the very nature of The Tunnels obviously impedes long-term investigation.


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Biracial Peoples
=======================

Humans, Alberians, and Svari can produce children with each other, although social factors make this a very rare occurance.  All of these offspring retain their parents innate abilities.

Human / Alberian - Slightly shorter, and with paler skin than their human parent.  They are physically stronger than Alberians, but take longer to master their natural powers.  They are usually accepted by humans, but Alberians claim the right to all people with their powers, and will kidnap and raise any half-Alberians they find.

Human / Svari - Slightly taller, and with darker skin than their human parent.  They are physically stronger than Alberians, but take longer to master their natural powers.  The Svari don't much like them because they are often raised by humans, and are out of touch with Svari values.  The humans don't much like them because of their innate distrust of Svari people.

Alberian / Svari - The incredibly rare coupling of an Alberian and a Svari.  They possess one power from each of their parents' races.  Other races are terrified of their powers, and as a result they can never find an accepting community.  The few that exist live as hermits on The Wastes.


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stefoid
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Posts: 319


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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2010, 08:28:51 PM »

With my player hat on, Im thinking what is it about roleplaying in this setting that would be a lot of fun.

I think it would probably be adding to setting via exploration.  Like, there are a number of unanswered questions about rockworld (unanswered by you the designer).

How did rockworld come to be?
Where is rockworld in the universe?
What is beyond the edge of known-rockworld?  Is it endless the same, or is there something different?
What religions exist among the inhabitants?

etc...  Its just screaming existential crisis to me

I think the most fun for me would be attempting to answer those questions through play - be given the opportunity as a player (not just as a GM) to flesh out rockworld in important ways that have been deliberately left unanswered.

If you think that has any merit, I would check out games where  world-creation is part of play.  I dont know of lots off the top of my head, but I know that a well-reagrded game called Dogs in the Vineyard has 'town creation' rules, so maybe check that out.
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