Tuesday, April 8, 2008

STRANGE EONS: Basic Setting.

Far in the future, mankind journeys to the stars and unlocks wonders rarely even dreamt of in previous eras. A vast interstellar empire rose, was torn down, rose and was torn down in again an ever escalating series of genocidal wars. Now, mans empire long decimated, with the remnants of humanity and her kin scattered across many worlds, on the brink of extinction.
This setting will be set far in the future, in a time when everything has been done. Marvels of technology have been created, and the interstellar utopia envisioned by transhumanists came crashing down. Now mankind waits in the shadows of his own hubris, degenerated into nigh-savagery, and ruled over by wizards and dread intelligences.
Worlds
Earth herself was very nearly mined out in mans hunger for fuel and building materials, and he ecology very nearly destroyed. Most animals on Earth now are either alien in origin, mutations or the products of ancient labs seeking to re-seed mans home, with mixed results. Now with so much ancient lore inaccessible to the common person, that this "new earth" is a very hostile place for mankind (and womankind too).
In mankind's push to the stars many worlds were sought out and colonized. Massive terraforming took place ages ago by the efforts of the impressive Gardener robots (to be detailed later). Some worlds that were thus transformed are as follows:
Dione (Mars): The first world transformed by the hungry Earth. Now dotted with warring tribes and a few cities dominated by powerful wizards, most notably Crius of The Burning Word, a spellcaster of considerable might.
Gaia (Earth): A world that in past ages was so horribly despoiled as to very nearly render her inert. Now she is a cool, almost barren world, dotted here and there with civilization but on the whole a savage place. Though life is still here (albeit cruel and often alien), ages of cruel misuse and mans apathy towards its mother have left the mother world in a downward spiral. In many regions, the soil is inert and lifeless, and strange creatures haunt her wastes and cities.
Tethys (Venus): A tropical world dominated by shallow seas and many islands. A very humid and storm-ridden world, with tribes of nomads journeying across her monster-haunted waters. Vast ancient cities that drift through the skies though ancient sorceries.
Themis (Europa): A cold world though with vibrant life.
Phoebe (Moon): A strange world of strange silvery forests and bizarre life, living in terraformed domes and cavern complexes. Humans of any description are not welcome here.

Magic

Arcane magic is the most powerful magic known in the setting, representing the product of dread mathematics used to access the energies of White and Black holes (with some technology accessing the same sources of power). Wizards are the absolute rulers wherever one of their number gains true power (Lvl 10+), while even Bards are considered magicians of note (and objects of awe).
Divine magic, such as that used by Clerics and Druids, will be considered a lesser and weaker magic by the Arcane elite. Divine magic accesses lesser and more subtle energies than does arcane magic. All divine spellcasters access the living biospheres of awakened worlds, though individual views on this practice will vary greatly.
Religion and gods is a big subject, which will be handled in greater detail in future postings. Though I should say that most "gods" will in fact be alien entities rather than purely supernatural forces, more in line with Chthulian beings. Super-powerful A.I.'s, lost intelligences from hyperspace, and the like. Some divine spellcasters will instead draw power from the living biospheres of a given world.
Summoning spells:
Celestial and Infernal creatures are unknown, with Pseudonatural creatures being used in their stead. Planar Ally and Contact other Plane spells also access the far realm, or other alien beings.
Planar Travel:
Faster than light travel is not possible through physical means. Exploration into traversing the dread gulfs of time and distance gave rise to sub-dimensions, where distance and time sre different and meaningless. In D&D terms, these dimensions are the Astral and the Far Realm, with no other known planes existing.

Technology

The devices of the ancients are true wonders of engineering and a testament of their marvelous skills. That said, these machines are all but unknowable to people of the present era, as mankind long ago left the knowledge and further development in the hands and minds of servitor robots. Now technology is as arcane to the common man as is magic, and met with much the same fear.
True construction of new machines are handled the same as with magic items, as well as the appropriate skills. Most repair or alter existing devices, rather than even attempt to build new ones. The Use Magic Device skill works on machines the same way as it does magic items.
Races
Rather than relying upon the standard fall-backs of fantasy such as Dwarves and Elves, I want this setting to be a human one. Humans, withe startling variety, are the available player characters. This has the benifit of being (hopefully) familiar to players, as well as allowing a roleplaying foil to underline just how far man has come and fallen.

Human

Humans typically live in squalor in the shadows of the sorcerer-kings, but some hold positions of power. Many humans lead short-lived lives, but a rare few achieve greatness.

Human Species Traits:

  • Medium-Size.
  • Humans have a base speed of 30ft.
  • Humans gain 4 extra skill points at first level and also gain an additional 1-skill point per additional level gained. These points are not multiplied at first level, they are added after starting skill points have been calculated.
  • Humans gain 1 free bonus feat at 1st level. This is due to the facts are quick to be masters of their chosen specialized tasks, and also the fact that humans are a species with a variety of talent.
  • Automatic Language: Common
Hyper cephalic (Template)
Hyper cephalic is a template can be added to any human. These beings are the “higher” caste of ancients, existing as leaders of the lore of the ancients. As the name indicates, hyper cephalic have enormous, hairless heads.
  • Attributes: -2 Strength, +6 Intelligence, +4 Charisma.
  • Mindspeech (Su): Hyper cephalics can communicate telepathically with any creature with whom it shares a language. Few hyper cephalics bother communicating verbally.
  • Greater Knowledge: All knowledge skills are class skills for a hyper-cephalic.
  • Automatic Languages: As base creature plus any Three.
  • Level Adjustment: +1
Android (Template)
The Android template can be added to any human. These beings are the result of the ancient’s exhaustive efforts to create a slave race through their technology. They resemble robotic or mannequin-like humans with bland features. Game-wise, they (from now on referred to as the “base creature”) are the same as unaltered humans in every way save as follows:
  • Attributes: +2 Strength, +2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma.
  • Living Construct Subtype (Ex): Immune to poison, disease, sleep effects, paralysis, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion, or any effect that causes a sickened condition, and energy drain. Living Constructs does not need to eat, sleep, or breath, but can still benefit from the effects of consumable spells, and potions. Constructs cannot heal naturally, but must be repaired with healing spells or successful Repair checks (DC 30), with a successful roll representing 1 hour of work and healing 1d10 points of damage.
  • Natural Armor +4
  • Rust Vulnerability (Ex): An androids half-metallic body is affected normally by rust attacks, such as that of a rust monster or a rusting grasp effect. All such rust attacks deal 3d6 points of damage +1 per caster level (maximum +15) per successful attack.
  • Favored class: Fighter.
  • Level Adjustment: +2
More to come, namely more races, settiing tidbits, gadgets, magic and more!
Post a Comment

I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light
-- Henry Vaughan