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


WKNolen
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Okay, so, moving down the line with "Bathalians" ... 

 

Sooooo ... obviously, @ReaperWolf, you just did us the great favor of telling us more about the bathalians than we previously knew.  But, it leads me to a question! 

While it's noted in Apocalypose that ... 

Quote

Reproduction by these creatures is a mystery, for Sadoval rarely saw females or young ones.

... that kinda makes one perk up their ears a little.   Given that you just linked the text of the Bathalian Slaver larval form from Landlubber's Guide to the Savage Coast (which are only tangentially similar to illithid tadpoles), it brings to mind a question about the differences.

Would you be willing to say if there are there bathalian females?

The text on p. 63 seems to imply there could be? 

While "rarely" isn't really definitive, obviously there's things we know now that we didn't know at the time that was written.  And on reaperminis.com one can't select "female" to sort minis if one has already selected "bathalian".  Are they like illithids that they lose any gender the host previously had when they are ... "consumed", for lack of another word.

 

totally understand if that's something you're not willing to lay down in black and white.  

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While we're on bathalians ... 

So, the bathalians we most often encounter as monsters are "dark purple and blue", right?  The "Dark Ones"?
Which marks them as the outcasts from Bathal who began delving into the dark arts?  

 

SO, this begs the question, "what color are they first?"  The Bathalian Slaver info says "their skin becomes blubbery and changes color".  
And further, does whatever energy that causes this to happen, cause it regardless of the source of that negative energy?  Like, does it matter whether it's arcane or psionic? 

Lastly, could we theoretically meet a Bathalian who are such a dark blue or dark purple that they're like midnight blue, since they "continue to darken as they delve deeper into the black arts"?

 

[Edit: Well, it seems I've "reasearched" an answer to the "what color are bathalians?" question I posed. 
While browsing for bathalians, I happened to notice one of them on reaperminis.com had painted pictures.
image.png.db71d15c71545952007800c7223e2f3a.png

Should we assume then, @ReaperWolf, that the initial "blubbery" skin is not entirely unlike other humanoid tones?  
Or is this just a mini example, rather than an "official" lore painting?]

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7 hours ago, Titleknown said:

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...

We discussed race as class briefly but after all these years the design felt regressive and archaic so the conversation ended quickly. Folk + class gives us two distinct axes to play with. This eliminates the whole every elf is a ranger and every halfling is a rogue issue.

Not every race should be playable. During the 3.x era people were showing up with all sorts of weirdness and any attempt at worldbuilding took a thrashing. Players came to the table expecting any and all templates they found in murky corners of the Interwebs were "fair game" by default. Most of these games rarely lasted more than a session. I remember one guy running a game allowing the PCs to have up to 13 levels in templates. The gelatinous tauric half black dragon half minotaur was particularly, and destructively, memorable.

Thematically, a race known to eat other races makes a poor choice because the PC tends to overpower the narrative with their baggage. The pariah PC steals all the limelight because wherever they go, they meet with resistance sometimes armed resistance and the other PCs to have get involved for the sake of party unity.

My ex liked playing pariahs because it allowed her to constantly limelight. If I wasn't sending waves of assassins and cultists after her dark elf, she would whinge meanwhile the other Players were sick and tired of helping clean up the dark elf's latest mess.

Bathalians are one of those ancient races, mysterious like something you'd find deep underground in a lost temple to a long-dead god. The less you know about them the better.

>>ReaperWolf

1 hour ago, WKNolen said:

Okay, so, moving down the line with "Bathalians" ... 

 

Sooooo ... obviously, @ReaperWolf, you just did us the great favor of telling us more about the bathalians than we previously knew.  But, it leads me to a question! 

While it's noted in Apocalypose that ... 

... that kinda makes one perk up their ears a little.   Given that you just linked the text of the Bathalian Slaver larval form from Landlubber's Guide to the Savage Coast (which are only tangentially similar to illithid tadpoles), it brings to mind a question about the differences.

Would you be willing to say if there are there bathalian females?

The text on p. 63 seems to imply there could be? 

While "rarely" isn't really definitive, obviously there's things we know now that we didn't know at the time that was written.  And on reaperminis.com one can't select "female" to sort minis if one has already selected "bathalian".  Are they like illithids that they lose any gender the host previously had when they are ... "consumed", for lack of another word.

 

totally understand if that's something you're not willing to lay down in black and white.  

I've always imagined the Bathalians as hermaphrodites. Some may present female personas through their telepathic speech and mannerisms but as a species they're on the verge of extinction hence the slavers.

The Mind Flayers have undergone changes since 2e. I remember reading a dark elf book in which there were pools of carnivorous Illithid tadpoles. In 3.x the the designers ventured into body horror with the small tadpoles transforming the host.

>>ReaperWolf

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1 hour ago, WKNolen said:

While we're on bathalians ... 

So, the bathalians we most often encounter as monsters are "dark purple and blue", right?  The "Dark Ones"?
Which marks them as the outcasts from Bathal who began delving into the dark arts?  

 

SO, this begs the question, "what color are they first?"  The Bathalian Slaver info says "their skin becomes blubbery and changes color".  
And further, does whatever energy that causes this to happen, cause it regardless of the source of that negative energy?  Like, does it matter whether it's arcane or psionic? 

Lastly, could we theoretically meet a Bathalian who are such a dark blue or dark purple that they're like midnight blue, since they "continue to darken as they delve deeper into the black arts"?

 

[Edit: Well, it seems I've "reasearched" an answer to the "what color are bathalians?" question I posed. 
While browsing for bathalians, I happened to notice one of them on reaperminis.com had painted pictures.
image.png.db71d15c71545952007800c7223e2f3a.png

Should we assume then, @ReaperWolf, that the initial "blubbery" skin is not entirely unlike other humanoid tones?  
Or is this just a mini example, rather than an "official" lore painting?]

If you ask Ron I'm sure he'd say 'mauve' but I imagine the flyers are consistent with their mollusk roots and their blubbery skin has chromatophores allowing color and pattern changes as part of their communication. I always prefer to paint them dark blues, purples, and even reds.

Outside in the sunlight I'm guessing dessiccation would be a problem and they don't like the sun so they'd lighten their skin.

>>ReaperWolf

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58 minutes ago, ReaperWolf said:

Thematically, a race known to eat other races makes a poor choice because the PC tends to overpower the narrative with their baggage.

I think that's a good rule of thumb.   I basically do the same that anything the PCs would usually attack on sight isn't something that ought to typically be a PC option.

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1 hour ago, ReaperWolf said:

I've always imagined the Bathalians as hermaphrodites. Some may present female personas through their telepathic speech and mannerisms but as a species they're on the verge of extinction hence the slavers.

That sounds reasonable.  And explains the mention in the Bathalian Slavers about whether they were released intentionally, or were an accidental escaped experiment.

 

1 hour ago, ReaperWolf said:

The Mind Flayers have undergone changes since 2e. I remember reading a dark elf book in which there were pools of carnivorous Illithid tadpoles. In 3.x the the designers ventured into body horror with the small tadpoles transforming the host.

Not that D&D lore matters, at all, to any of this ... and not to put too fine a point on it, but "ceremorhosis" of tadpoles changing the host body goes back to 2e's Monstrous Arcana: The Illithiad by Bruce Cordell, at least.  I didn't check super far back into MMs and such.  🤷‍♂️

 

56 minutes ago, ReaperWolf said:

If you ask Ron I'm sure he'd say 'mauve' but I imagine the flyers are consistent with their mollusk roots and their blubbery skin has chromatophores allowing color and pattern changes as part of their communication. I always prefer to paint them dark blues, purples, and even reds.

Not an unfair response. 
On the cover of The Illithiad, the trio on the cover have skin tones similar to the miniature above.  So, they've been depicted variously, even before y'all created the Bathalians.

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On 11/23/2023 at 11:47 AM, gwangi32 said:

[Regarding the timline: ] —For me it gets down to how much will the Warlord Core and Army guide lore be fit into the ongoing development of DDRPG?  Will the Reptus and Koborlas make an appearance?

You know... I just realized what you were saying here.  
So, I've only found the "Savage North Factions" discussed on an old, archived warlord miniature game-works site.  

It names eight new factions—

Kragmarr, Blade Sisters, Tembrithil, Korborlas, Bloodstone Gnomes, Darkreach, Icingstead, and Kargir factions?

And also another related page on the same site, noting the "rogue factions" of Razig's Revenge and the Halflings

 

Do you know where I can find more information on those?

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Yep.  That’s exactly why I’m asking, @Inarah.

i feel kinda foolish, or something.  I know I’m supposed to be able to find it, and shirt if reading the entire book front to back, I’ve searched and searched in it, and I can’t find those. 
the back cover even specifically mentions them. 
but, I’ve flipped and flipped, and poured up and down the Table of Fontent… and I feel foolish. 
 

I know I have the right book. 
But I don’t see them anywhere.  

Oh,. holy Toldeo ... those images take on my phone just now are **huge**.  [Edit: I figured out how to resize them.]  😬🤦‍♂️
image.thumb.jpeg.d68ee1c184d17a20fd8e944430d1cf0b.jpegimage.thumb.jpeg.d40f4e83cac1f6d108d211a23fc7c710.jpeg

 

 

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13 hours ago, WKNolen said:

Not that D&D lore matters, at all, to any of this ... and not to put too fine a point on it, but "ceremorhosis" of tadpoles changing the host body goes back to 2e's Monstrous Arcana: The Illithiad by Bruce Cordell, at least.  I didn't check super far back into MMs and such.  🤷‍♂️

 

 

The 2e Monstrous Manual says that the Mind Flayers "spend the first 10 years of life as tadpoles, swimming in the elder-brain pool until they either die (which most do) or grow into adult illithids," so at least at some point in 2e they were not reproducing through host bodies.  This is one of those monsters that seemed to keep changing, though.

 

 

14 hours ago, ReaperWolf said:

I've always imagined the Bathalians as hermaphrodites. Some may present female personas through their telepathic speech and mannerisms but as a species they're on the verge of extinction hence the slavers.
 

 

The 2e Monstrous Manual explicitly said that Mind Flayers were hermaphroditic.  Obviously, Bathalians do not need to be the same, but it really does seem to make sense for both monsters.  The 2e MM also says that they each produce just two tadpoles in their life, which, coupled with the claim that most tadpoles die, does not make all that much sense.  The species should be dying out based on those facts, since the average Mind Flayer produces less than one offspring in its life.  Oh, the silly inconsistencies in those old D&D books.  I'm sure there will be no such problems in the Dungeon Dwellers rules.

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14 hours ago, ReaperWolf said:

We discussed race as class briefly but after all these years the design felt regressive and archaic so the conversation ended quickly. Folk + class gives us two distinct axes to play with. This eliminates the whole every elf is a ranger and every halfling is a rogue issue.

Oh, for clarity's sake I didn't mean replacing folk + class as a system, I meant doing folk-as-class as an additional part to that system that could be mixed-and-matched with folk-as-folk. Kinda like how Captain Carrot from Discworld is a Human Dwarf, or how Eragon from that one series is a Human Elf if that makes any sense? Again, it's a weird idea, said more in the spirit of fun, I totally get how even that form would be a bit too weird.

 

14 hours ago, ReaperWolf said:


Thematically, a race known to eat other races makes a poor choice because the PC tends to overpower the narrative with their baggage. The pariah PC steals all the limelight because wherever they go, they meet with resistance sometimes armed resistance and the other PCs to have get involved for the sake of party unity.

Hm, a good point. I'll have to think about that if I ever do that homebrew for Bathalian folk-as-class. Tho, I presume by the way you mention their fluff they can eat stuff other than brains, unlike the Illithids? If so, what's their non-brain diet like?

 

14 hours ago, ReaperWolf said:

I remember one guy running a game allowing the PCs to have up to 13 levels in templates. The gelatinous tauric half black dragon half minotaur was particularly, and destructively, memorable.

...God tho, now that gets me thinking about the idea of "What would that sort of thing be like if it were a naturally-occuring species? What would its society be like? What related species would be around it?" Like, as a worldbuilding challenge. Which, again, probably says a lot about me.

 

Also, looking through the old Metallic minis, I saw this species called the Slithe, who I think look kinda neat. I figured I may as well ask, are they gonna show up in the setting, why are most of them female, and was their design at all inspired by the She-Creature from the classic B-movie of the same name? Cause the lady ones do give me that vibe, and I always appreciate a good Paul Blaisdell tribute!

 

Also question, I've heard the name "Maersuluth" brought up a couple of times in the mini line, with seeming implicit connections to some aquatic deity with a sealife theme who's vaguely malevolent. Is she in the setting? Got any info on her?

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9 hours ago, Titleknown said:

Oh, for clarity's sake I didn't mean replacing folk + class as a system, I meant doing folk-as-class as an additional part to that system that could be mixed-and-matched with folk-as-folk. Kinda like how Captain Carrot from Discworld is a Human Dwarf, or how Eragon from that one series is a Human Elf if that makes any sense? Again, it's a weird idea, said more in the spirit of fun, I totally get how even that form would be a bit too weird.

 

Hm, a good point. I'll have to think about that if I ever do that homebrew for Bathalian folk-as-class. Tho, I presume by the way you mention their fluff they can eat stuff other than brains, unlike the Illithids? If so, what's their non-brain diet like?

 

...God tho, now that gets me thinking about the idea of "What would that sort of thing be like if it were a naturally-occuring species? What would its society be like? What related species would be around it?" Like, as a worldbuilding challenge. Which, again, probably says a lot about me.

 

Also, looking through the old Metallic minis, I saw this species called the Slithe, who I think look kinda neat. I figured I may as well ask, are they gonna show up in the setting, why are most of them female, and was their design at all inspired by the She-Creature from the classic B-movie of the same name? Cause the lady ones do give me that vibe, and I always appreciate a good Paul Blaisdell tribute!

 

Also question, I've heard the name "Maersuluth" brought up a couple of times in the mini line, with seeming implicit connections to some aquatic deity with a sealife theme who's vaguely malevolent. Is she in the setting? Got any info on her?

The slithe are our sea devils i.e. sahaugin. Same old monster, different name although our slithe queens are like the xenomorph queens in aliens. The males are smaller dabbling in alchemy and primitive artificing.

Maersaluth is discussed a bit in the Brinewind and Savage Coast gazetteers. The Kraken Matron is Ursula from Little Mermaid on a really bad day. She's nasty and her cultists are even worse.


MAERSALUTH

Intermediate Goddess    

The Serpent Mother, the Kraken Matron, the Brine Hag, Mother of All Monsters

Symbol: A vicious sea serpent whorled about a wicked fish hook with a black pearl in its mouth.

Portfolio: storms, mysteries, black pearls, sea monsters, shipwrecks, coral reefs, nightmares, jealousy, predators, survival

Worshipers: fishermen, evil mariners, sea-faring barbarians, pirates, witches, evil wizards,  sorcerers, deranged aquatic druids, sea hags.

Favored Weapon: Gaff hook

 

Maersaluth is sister to the twin suns, daughter to Lumis, goddess of the moons, and the handmaiden and one-time consort of Gustan god of the seas. A dual-natured being, Maersaluth has two forms depending upon her mood, which like the sea, can change without warning. One, a comely woman with hair of the deepest green, silver-scaled skin, and webbed fingers and toes, Around her neck and cascading over her ample bosom is a string of black pearls. Her other form reflects her role as a frightful, merciless deity of the angry sea with long nails like coral, hair like slimy grasping seaweed, and the leering predatory grin of a moray eel. In this, her most easily recognizable form, her lower torso is that of a nightmarish tentacled horror with grasping barbs.

Maersaluth is reputed to be the mother of all sea monsters, which are pitiless manifestations of the cruelty and anger of the open ocean. Like the oceans she rules, Maersaluth is dark and mysterious, ever-changing ,and full of malice lying unseen just beneath the surface.

 

Dogma

Ever the proponent of natural selection, Maersaluth’s clergy embody the kill or be killed mentality by constantly being at one another’s throats. When the infighting among the clergy escalates in violence, the winner of the struggle garners the spoils, and the loser ends up in the belly of some great marine grotesque. Such competition pleases the Serpent Mother to no end.

           

Clerics & Temples

Maersaluth’s temples are usually located in caves below water, or along cliff faces near submerged reefs where ships run aground and break up. The caves are filled with flotsam, jetsam, and pools in which dangerous ocean predators lurk. The high priests see to it that the bodies of the dead are re-animated and continue to serve, Maersaluth’s preferred servants are bloated zombie sailors known as Sea Dogs and malevolent giant zombie sharks. These underwater temples are universally known to contain huge amounts of booty and priceless relics recovered from the lightless bottom of the ocean.

On the mainland, shrines dedicated to the Mother of All Monsters are always located within sight of the shoreline, usually along the docks where shady goings ons will be overlooked. Pools of venomous sea creatures and sharks are always on hand to dispose of the remains of sacrificial victims.

Maersaluth’s priests and priestesses adorn themselves with garments incorporating debris from storm-wracked shipwrecks. Priests wear rotten netting, rigging, pieces of shells once belonging to venomous sea creatures, and black pearls over dark leather cowls. As dark clouds blow in from the ocean, the high priests officiate over cruel rituals celebrating the breaking of the storm with sacrifices of blood, valuables, and -- most prized of all -- shipwreck survivors. Such persons are prized most of all as they are viewed as having cheated the Goddess of her due.

10 hours ago, GoldenPiggy said:

 

The 2e Monstrous Manual says that the Mind Flayers "spend the first 10 years of life as tadpoles, swimming in the elder-brain pool until they either die (which most do) or grow into adult illithids," so at least at some point in 2e they were not reproducing through host bodies.  This is one of those monsters that seemed to keep changing, though.

 

 

 

The 2e Monstrous Manual explicitly said that Mind Flayers were hermaphroditic.  Obviously, Bathalians do not need to be the same, but it really does seem to make sense for both monsters.  The 2e MM also says that they each produce just two tadpoles in their life, which, coupled with the claim that most tadpoles die, does not make all that much sense.  The species should be dying out based on those facts, since the average Mind Flayer produces less than one offspring in its life.  Oh, the silly inconsistencies in those old D&D books.  I'm sure there will be no such problems in the Dungeon Dwellers rules.

Not yet anyways. 🙂

The Bathalians are one of those eldritch races. There's an island off the coast of Telluria which is a major freeport and I plan to have a Bathalian (female persona) sage who lives there.

As for their diet, I suspect they dine on brains, spinal fluid, and the like but it doesn't have to be from other folk although they're malnourished as a result of the nutrient poor diet.

Stay toon'd!

>>ReaperWolf

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You don't have the right book.  Your TOC is from Warlord 2nd edition.   You want to find the follow on volume called Savage North.   It has a blue frost giant on the cover:

Or do you somehow have a binding of Warlord with a Savage North cover?  

 

51Ke81v9JcL._AC_.jpg.2dfc7b34bf70f235dc8dfa8fa9fbb9f8.jpg

 

14 hours ago, WKNolen said:

Yep.  That’s exactly why I’m asking, @Inarah.

i feel kinda foolish, or something.  I know I’m supposed to be able to find it, and shirt if reading the entire book front to back, I’ve searched and searched in it, and I can’t find those. 
the back cover even specifically mentions them. 
but, I’ve flipped and flipped, and poured up and down the Table of Fontent… and I feel foolish. 
 

I know I have the right book. 
But I don’t see them anywhere.  

Oh,. holy Toldeo ... those images take on my phone just now are **huge**.   I'll see if I can crop them or something. 
**SO SORRY**.

 

image.thumb.jpeg.d68ee1c184d17a20fd8e944430d1cf0b.jpeg

 

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30 minutes ago, Inarah said:

Or do you somehow have a binding of Warlord with a Savage North cover?  

Yep.  This is precisely what I'm beginning to think I have. 

I will have to see if I can find publishing information, or something, that indicates if they produced a printing of the Core Rules for Warlord: Seccond Edition that used the Savage North cover to indicate it was the new one. 
It appears  that the actual "Savage North" book that has the info on the Factions has the SN logo at the top, rather than the bottom.  
I guess the one I have would maybe properly be Warlord: Second Edition, Savage North or something?

So, it seems I have:

  • Apocalypse
  • The 12th Journal of Johann Kruger
  • Warlord: First Edition
  • Warlord: Second Edition (Savage North cover)
  • All the Army Faction Books

But I don't have the actual "Savage North" supplement. 

 

The photo is of the book I have, and the link to ReaperMinis.com that you posted eariler.

IMG_6468.JPEG.01ce5397d5dfd121c953c3e8e43296b5.JPEG

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Weird, I wonder how many of those are out there.  AFAIK they only did one printing of SN.  The game lost support shortly thereafter.  Gus Landt, the guy behind a lot of the coordinating and promoting for the tournaments has since retired and most of the old players no longer hang out here.  Too bad the old army creator site is gone. 

 

I have a bunch of old pdfs from back in the day, mostly army lists and copies of tournament scenarios.  If you are interested PM me.  There may be small nuggets of lore in some of it.  Unfortunately it all predates Savage North. 

 

 

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