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Setting Lore Thread (previously: What year is it in Adon?)


WKNolen
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52 minutes ago, WKNolen said:

Well, to be fair, I like new and interesting deities and I prefer them to historical ones.  I always feel it's more fitting for the historical-fantasy genre to focus on more of the "fantasy" part when it comes to deities.   The only catch is that it's so difficult to do well, and not have them be a mockery of their inspirations.  And when there's so many more important setting aspects to write, it seems unnecessary.  

 

But, honestly, years from now when the time comes to write more about Hakir, it wouldn't be difficult to do something like write a short bit of lore and post it online that simply explains why the Hakiri (? .. is that the right term? Are people also Hakirian as well as objects or ideas?) learned that they'd been worshipping versions of their deities that weren't the "true forms" (or whatever) ... .   Then the names could be given equivalences or retconned or whatever.  Or it could just be a meta thing where Reaper puts out a press announcement that says, "We will no longer use the names of real-world entities." or whatever, and not get into it for lore, just simply change the names.  🤷‍♀️

The publication time table is going to be fluid as we push hard for punctual KS fulfillment. We're a small team by necessity.

The Old Hakiri deities are, for the most part, dead. As servants die off and faith wanes, so do the gods. They don't die off per se, there are still pockets of worshipers and the modern Hakirian and Jalahandrans still believe and continue to worship in modest regional holidays and superstitions. Nomadic tribes still believe though.

Were it up to me, I'd change all of the names of the Old Hakiri deities so put as much distance between ourselves and Earth as possible. The Forgotten Realms is host to all sorts of refugee gods and goddesses, makes sense for that setting. All those portals and connections to other planes, worlds, and crystal spheres it makes sense. Avalorr is cut off, more remote. There aren't large cabals of wizards and priests regularly breaching dimensional barriers. The dimensions beyond the Primer Material are alien, hostile, and unforgiving. There are some outlier Vance - Mazirian weird-wizard types but they're considered eccentric by even arch magician standards.

>>ReaperWolf

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So, lore question for you, @ReaperWolf... 

 

I know you weren't listed as a "World Designer" in Savage North but I notice that you're a "Contributing Author" ... so, maybe you'll know (or can ask or tag someone ... like Ron?) who does: 

The character who writes the introduction to Savage North says, 

Quote

My name is unimportant and will add no weight to this journal.

They go on to describe being a former Chronicler of the Crusaders ... 
There's implications and hints about who they could be in the text ... but, is it Johann Kruger?

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29 minutes ago, WKNolen said:

So, lore question for you, @ReaperWolf... 

 

I know you weren't listed as a "World Designer" in Savage North but I notice that you're a "Contributing Author" ... so, maybe you'll know (or can ask or tag someone ... like Ron?) who does: 

The character who writes the introduction to Savage North says, 

They go on to describe being a former Chronicler of the Crusaders ... 
There's implications and hints about who they could be in the text ... but, is it Johann Kruger?

Beats me. If your heart says it's Kruger then it's Kruger. 🙂

I realize that's no definitive. I actually didn't create Avalorr/Adon, that's on Ron and Ed and a few others. I believe Ed wrote Kruger's journal.

I came along shortly after Apocalypse was in print and was invited to contribute. It's been a long bumpy 2+ decades.

I can say, without fear of rebuke, that we've grown the setting a lot since '98. It's now a thriving ecosystem for minis and with the new direction of DDRPG, the setting will grow and become more vibrant with every publication.

Long time fans of Apocalypse and Warlord can expect to see changes in tone and setting but Apocalypse was and still is our foundation. That'll never change. I keep a tattered copy near my desk at all times.

Stay toon'd!

>>ReaperWolf


 

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1 hour ago, ReaperWolf said:

Beats me. If your heart says it's Kruger then it's Kruger. 🙂

I realize that's no definitive. I actually didn't create Avalorr/Adon, that's on Ron and Ed and a few others. I believe Ed wrote Kruger's journal.

No, that's totally a fine answer!   I figured that might be the case... hence my mentioning Ron; I know it was entirely likely that it's never been stated or discovered.

 

1 hour ago, ReaperWolf said:

I came along shortly after Apocalypse was in print and was invited to contribute. It's been a long bumpy 2+ decades.

I knew you weren't there at the very beginning.  I tend to look at the books for your credits in the masthead, to see exactly what you wrote.  It just occured to me that I could look you up on RPGgeek and BoardGameGeek ... and realized your page doesn't really have everything you've done.  I'm having difficulty figuring why Warlord isn't listed, but Dungeon Dwellers is.

2 hours ago, ReaperWolf said:

we've grown the setting a lot since '98. It's now a thriving ecosystem for minis and with the new direction of DDRPG, the setting will grow and become more vibrant with every publication. ... Long time fans of Apocalypse and Warlord can expect to see changes in tone and setting but Apocalypse was and still is our foundation. That'll never change. I keep a tattered copy near my desk at all times.

This is really awesome to hear. 
While I'm a fairly new fan of Adon/Avalorr (a decade or so), but I have really gotten into it in the last two or three years.  
It would be awful if the lore I've been reading and learning were not really used and became irrelevant.  ... I'm glad to know that while some finer details might change, the nations and cities and stuff are all still, and I can't wait to see what's written for DDRPG!

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Holy crap, Razig and the Dark Maiden are cool as hell and I really hope they eventually get plastic minis. I may as well ask, are there any other major demigod-villains that have minis one could buy and paint right now? Like, either plastic or metal, because I'm curious.

 

Also, do the Bathalians and and Andromedans have fluff on their role in the setting. For the former, I can probably infer that they're basically y'all's legally-distinct-Mind-Flayers* but not much else, and I'm curious!

 

*tho, since Wizards accidentally put the name and a couple aspects of them under CC-BY with that recent OGL kerfuffle, it would be very funny if y'all put a quick gag that "some call them mind flayers" and used the CC-BY part to cover your asses, tho I understand if that cheek wouldn't be worth the risk.

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1 hour ago, Titleknown said:

... do the Bathalians and and Andromedans have fluff on their role in the setting.

While I don't know anything about Andromedans, I do know there's an island off the West Coast of Anhur just northwest of Vestonia which is called "Bathal".  
When I recently found that, it seems likely that's either where bathalians (or "not-illithids") come from or where they live. 

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8 hours ago, WKNolen said:

While I don't know anything about Andromedans, I do know there's an island off the West Coast of Anhur just northwest of Vestonia which is called "Bathal".  
When I recently found that, it seems likely that's either where bathalians (or "not-illithids") come from or where they live. 

Andromedans are part of the Chronoscope line. As far as I know they won't be putting in an appearance in DDRPG.

Bathalians are an interesting folk. Originally the island of Bathal was just a spot on the map with a brief entry in Apocalypse.

I intended them to be an isolationist ancient folk who were almost never seen. They were reputed to have tremendous mind powers and anyone foolish enough to attack their island was either destroyed or sent packing and reduced to idiocy. The bathalians themselves were distantly related to the brain sucking folk but because they had sworn off eating the brains of intelligent folk, they were dying off and much of their mind magery, i.e. psionics had been lost. That was 20+ years ago.

They've changed quite a bit since my initial designs. I reckon there are some Bathalians who have accepted their grim fates while others have not. There's now a schism between the old blood Bathalians and the new blood who see devouring the minds and brains of other species as the means to regain their power.

I did provide a peek into Bathalians with the slaver in the Savage Coast Gazetteer.

>>ReaperWolf

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From Savage Coast Gaz

BATHALIAN SLAVER

The mysterious Bathalians are an ancient race in decline. During the Old Age, they were sages and scholars. Now, in the New Age, they are reclusive and near-extinct. Chroniclers have suggested this creature is some Bathalian experiment escaped from their laboratories on the island of Bathal or if it was deliberately released to cause havoc. In either case, this insidious creature exists only to subvert and transform beings into Bathalians. As a larva, it’s an amphibious predator resembling a flat sheet of blubbery veiny flesh. The bottom surface has no mouth but retractable barbs are arrayed along the margin of the underside. Two furrows on the top surface are sensitive to light and heat, this is how the creature senses the world. It’s a fast swimmer, darting from the shadows to latch onto the back of an unsuspecting swimmer’s head. The barbs bite into the skull while thin tendrils burrow into the victim’s brain; the victim now has an overseer and only has limited control over their own body. The slaver will go to any extreme to protect itself.


Over the next 2-3 days, the victim changes. His skin becomes blubbery and changes color, gills form at the neck and along the ribs while the cowl grows over his scalp, eyes and nose until only the mouth remains uncovered. Finally, a mass of writhing muscular toothed tentacles grows from the chin and lips, the victim’s lower jaw atrophies and is reabsorbed, the tongue lengthens and engorges turning into a barbed appendage ideal for burrowing through a skull. The victim becomes light sensitive. At the end of the third day, the victim’s mind snaps as the connection to the Bathalian hivemind is established, the last semblance of the victim’s self is consumed by the “newborn” Bathalian.

>>ReaperWolf

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31 minutes ago, ReaperWolf said:

Bathalians are an interesting folk. Originally the island of Bathal was just a spot on the map with a brief entry in Apocalypse.

I intended them to be an isolationist ancient folk who were almost never seen. They were reputed to have tremendous mind powers and anyone foolish enough to attack their island was either destroyed or sent packing and reduced to idiocy. The bathalians themselves were distantly related to the brain sucking folk but because they had sworn off eating the brains of intelligent folk, they were dying off and much of their mind magery, i.e. psionics had been lost. That was 20+ years ago.

They've changed quite a bit since my initial designs. I reckon there are some Bathalians who have accepted their grim fates while others have not. There's now a schism between the old blood Bathalians and the new blood who see devouring the minds and brains of other species as the means to regain their power.

Oh! That's super cool, dividing them into a villainous vs decent (or at least neutral/sympathetic) faction split is a neat twist for a Flayer-like!

 

If you ever decided to do a "Book of Weirdo Freak Races" or somesuch several years down the line, I could see stats for them as a rare sort of playable Folk, trying to find a third way other than "oblivion and extinction" or "eat brains for power and glory" while struggling with the temptation for easy power via the latter. Could lead to an interesting gameplay mechanic/moral conflict to balance their inevitable high power levels!

 

In the interim, I may have to homebrew that when the final book comes out with their stats...

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14 hours ago, Titleknown said:

Oh! That's super cool, dividing them into a villainous vs decent (or at least neutral/sympathetic) faction split is a neat twist for a Flayer-like!

 

If you ever decided to do a "Book of Weirdo Freak Races" or somesuch several years down the line, I could see stats for them as a rare sort of playable Folk, trying to find a third way other than "oblivion and extinction" or "eat brains for power and glory" while struggling with the temptation for easy power via the latter. Could lead to an interesting gameplay mechanic/moral conflict to balance their inevitable high power levels!

 

In the interim, I may have to homebrew that when the final book comes out with their stats...

I cooked up D&D 3.x stats on Bathalian a few years back but they just didn't feel right. There are a lot of issues with them, even more than dark elves.

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10 hours ago, ReaperWolf said:

BATHALIAN SLAVER

The mysterious Bathalians are an ancient race in decline. During the Old Age, they were sages and scholars. Now, in the New Age, they are reclusive and near-extinct. Chroniclers have suggested this creature is some Bathalian experiment escaped from their laboratories on the island of Bathal or if it was deliberately released to cause havoc. In either case, this insidious creature exists only to subvert and transform beings into Bathalians. ...

 

.... They were reputed to have tremendous mind powers and anyone foolish enough to attack their island was either destroyed or sent packing and reduced to idiocy. The bathalians themselves were distantly related to the brain sucking folk but because they had sworn off eating the brains of intelligent folk, they were dying off and much of their mind magery, i.e. psionics had been lost....

They've changed quite a bit since my initial designs. I reckon there are some Bathalians who have accepted their grim fates while others have not. There's now a schism between the old blood Bathalians and the new blood who see devouring the minds and brains of other species as the means to regain their power.

I absolutely love how they're truly "not-illithids".   Like, I appreciate that they're similar, but it's a unique take on them, and it makes them different and interesting. 

And though I didn't quote it, the process of the "ceremorphosis" (or whatever we call the Bathalian equivalent) is absolutely astounding!  I love the sound of the larval stage that's like a miniature, murderous, swimming cloaker.  <shudder>

 

10 hours ago, ReaperWolf said:

... Originally the island of Bathal was just a spot on the map with a brief entry in Apocalypse.

You don't happen to know what page that's on, do you?  I can't find it in the book.

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3 minutes ago, WKNolen said:

  

I absolutely love how they're truly "not-illithids".   Like, I appreciate that they're similar, but it's a unique take on them, and it makes them different and interesting. 

And though I didn't quote it, the process of the "ceremorphosis" (or whatever we call the Bathalian equivalent) is absolutely astounding!  I love the sound of the larval stage that's like a miniature, murderous, swimming cloaker.  <shudder>

 

You don't happen to know what page that's on, do you?  I can't find it in the book.

Bathal is on p. 63. I have a longer entry in our setting bible but it may undergo a deep revision. The location of the island is closely guarded and the island moves. I reckon the island itself is a Bathalian construct of some sort (made from leviathans/krakens and corals).

Glad you like the grim metamorphosis. My 4EVR bio-nerd is showing.

Originally the slaver started out as a subversive creature turning the target into an intelligent drone of sorts but the more I mulled it over the more body-horror it became. We were looking for an interesting way for Bathalians to reproduce but wanted to put some distance between our creations and Wotc's IP.

I fell in love with the idea of Bathalians being flesh-crafting hell-mollusks who warp and twist creatures into useful shapes using psionics and dark alchemy.

>>ReaperWolf

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10 hours ago, ReaperWolf said:

I cooked up D&D 3.x stats on Bathalian a few years back but they just didn't feel right. There are a lot of issues with them, even more than dark elves.

Oh? You mean making one playable in a party fluff-wise with their morality and societal perception, or mechanically?

 

Because, on the latter, what about making them a class rather than a species of folk? Given how they reproduce, it might make sense as a way to contain their power while implying the other folk used as a "base." Like D&D 4e's Vampire class except better executed and not making people mad!

 

Tho, that's probably related to the fact that I've pondered about the idea of bringing back "species-as-class" ala Basic D&D but still using the class/race(folk) split ala those creature classes from 3e's Savage Species (except actually functional from a gameplay perspective), but for the really weird player-species in D&D. Like, what would a halfling Shardmind be like? Or a dragonborn Plasmoid? Or a dwarven Ghoran (Because Pathfinder is a kind of D&D)? These are the ideas that inhabit my brain.

 

Tho again, to keep with the tone, this concept would probably have to be done a few years later...

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14 hours ago, ReaperWolf said:

Bathal is on p. 63. I have a longer entry in our setting bible but it may undergo a deep revision. The location of the island is closely guarded and the island moves. I reckon the island itself is a Bathalian construct of some sort (made from leviathans/krakens and corals).

Glad you like the grim metamorphosis. My 4EVR bio-nerd is showing.

🤦‍♂️<facepalm>
When you said, "brief entry", I thought you meant, like, brief-brief.  Like an entry under "Geography" or something, since it's an island!  
I didn't even *look* in the "Countries" section!  

D'oh!  
Yeah, that's an entire half-page.  Which is as much as some of the other nations, sooooo ... yeah.  That's not brief!  Comparably speaking.   It's more than most of the nations in the original Greyhawk Folio!  LOL 😉😏

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