Monday, November 23, 2015

Nation Spotlight: Lize


During the War of Faith, The Anchored Duchy of Lize ran blockades of naval ports around the continent, and lent it's land armies to the Duchy of Yole against the coalition led by the Duchess Dorothea of Kile. The Duke of the time, Baritor, exiles the clergy that oppose the free rule of Yole, and begins to hire Ophiduan psions and psychic warriors to train his troops in these esoteric techniques that were so alien to humanity at this time. Though progress is slow, as the war neared its end, many squadrons had a psionically trained individual of some kind.

When the breaking occured, the Dukes armies were massed on the eastern border to oppose the continued aggression of Zynos, and the Navy was far from danger sailing home near the Horns. When the meteor struck Yole, wiping the Duchy from the map, most of the other Duchies had their military might obliterated in one horrific moment. Since Zynos had begun to fall into disarray after the nation was gouged in twain, their armies fell back. Baritor looked to the Duchies of Seme, Bule and Dake. Seme and Dake had lost their rulers in the cataclysm, and Bule was held by a teenage girl. He married the girl, the Duchess Indora, and swept into Seme and Dake with his armies, encountering minimal resistance. As the world fell into chaos, Baritor worked ceaselessly to consolidate his power base, and his new wife assisted, as she was a cunning negotiator who ruled the newly combined court with sharp tongue and shrewd politics.

Now, Lize is no longer a Duchy, but rather "The Free and United Admiralty of Lize, Seme, Bule and Dake". Its rulers long ago shed the title of Duke, and now style themselves in the Naval command structure. However, the Admiralty consists entirely of the Duke's descendants and the most trusted advisors. The current ruler is High Arch-Admiral Gerod, a man in his late 40's who patrolled the seas around the continent, who has commissioned exploreres to search the seas farther afield.


The free people of Aexe were conquered over a millennium ago by the Astori, but Aexen culture survived. Where Imperial Culture focused on the sense of self and the belief in their place in destiny, The Aexe that became part of the Imperium continued with their close ties of family and community. When the Imperium was split and the duchies were formed, Aexen culture came back into resurgence, with traditional fashions and architecture replacing the Imperial.

Lize culture prides itself on its sense of community and family. However, this can also lead to nepotism and insularity in some cases. Joining the military is a prestigious career path, and the Navy especially so. Though there are no longer any "Noble" families with formal titles and lands, most nobility have held their power through military appointments and careful promotion of those that can be of benefit to them.

Clothing styles in Lize follow a combination of old Aexen styles mixed with Imperial fashions prior to the breaking, which have subtly changed to create a new fusion style. Men wear darker colours, and women tend towards pastels, but military uniforms are standardised. One quirk is that both men and women tend to carry decorated or plain canvas parasols to avoid the sun and the rain, as fair skin runs common in Lize, and inclement weather can strike without warning.

Language and Names

Though Aexen Culture has come into resurgence, for the most part the language is only spoken in remote pockets of isolated villages, and even then it is fading from use. Imperial is the official language of Lize, and most names are Imperial, but some Aexen names still survive.

Male names: Corid, Danior, Emberi, Isaari, Liburin, Nostin, Petriop, Quelo, Umbare, Zeemod.

Female names: Aride, Benthian, Ferlarla, Giniarn, Herdione, Jennirafe, Raquine, Xinifare,

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Nation Spotlight: Broken Horn


When the Gods broke the world, their followers were temporarily abandoned. the echo gods were shadows of their former power, and they could no longer grant their faithful the power of new magic. The world needed their divine power, but the clerics were forced to hoard their strength. The faithful were seen as cruel and miserly during this time, in a world that was already torn by conflict between the Faithful and the Free, and one by one, the surviving nation began to exile their faithful members.

The Faithful Flight, as it is known in the Broken Horn, was a decade of exile, as they faithful lost more and more of their number to violence, as well as many abandoning their faith as they felt the gods had abandoned them. The Faithful were driven further and further underground, having to keep their faith a secret from their neighbours lest they be exposed and driven from their homes.

A glimmer of hope came when a venerable priestess of Vanur, Lasinia, managed to forge a reconnection with her god's echo, slowly regaining her divine power, and teaching the technique to others. Some of the seeds of Delan discovered this fact, and fearing a resurgence of the divine, led a campaign against the faithful once more. The Faithful were driven from the south at first, ever northwards. The tactic was to exterminate any divine wielders, and eventually move northwards in an effort to finally cleanse the world of the divine. The tactic was brutal, and effective. Some managed to remain hidden in their homes, but most were driven out or slain.

Eventually, Lasinia took action. She sacrificed her own life to fuel a powerful spell, breaking the eastern horn away from the mainland, turning the peninsula into an island. The faithful fled to this land, claiming it as their own, and fortified themselves. They were unable to be rooted out, but they were not able to strike back against their foes in the mainland without fear of retribution, as a decade of harsh reality in the new broken world had turned the common folk away from the divine.

Now, the clergy rules with an iron grip of theocracy, with the divine servants holding all the power, cowing a population of people whose entire lives are governed by faith, ritual and a fervent belief that one day, the gods will return to reward their true and faithful servants.


Originally,the eastern Horn was a small collection of fishing villages and towns nominally ruled by the Astorina Imperium under the Counts of the Horn, the Alsbergis. The family was a faithful one, and still holds some sway in the nation. However, the true power is with the council of Heirophants, an organisation made up of the highest ranking cleric of each Echo God, with one amongst their number voted as Supreme Heirophant of the Faithful for life.

As originally the Broken horn was a refugee nation from around the continent, their culture began as an amalgam of all the other cultures of the continent: Imperial arches would sit over Northiran doors, Terichtlan clothing would be paired with a Baxish sash and hat. Now however, this has merged into a monoculture that adopts the strongest points of each culture, and ruthlessly weeds out undersirable traits. Though the overwhelming majority of the populace is Human, some of the other races do live here, those that were called to faithful service, or their offspring. Every year, some citizens escape to the mainland, and some mainlanders come to the Broken Horn to live their lives in faith.

Most of daily life is governed by church life. Every citizen at maturity is required to register their patron deity, though all gods must be worshipped and respected. Church and formal worship is a daily occurrence at the minimum, and the clergy are respected and held as the ideal. The clergy takes the best and brightest of the youth for formal training regardless of their desires, though any others that volunteer are accepted.

Languages and names

As the nation was founded from a racially and culturally diverse population, a variety of languages are spoken freely, though Imperial has emerged as the dominant language. Even then, most people pepper their language with phrasing from other languages. Names are diverse, with no naming conventions or restrictions. IT is not uncommon to hear first and last names that come from two different languages, or names that have been subtly changed from their root language and culture.

Nation Spotlight: Hastrix


Hastrix is a Kingdom located at the north-western point of the continent of Senithax, consisting of one of the Horns, the surrounding islands, and former holdings of the Astorina Imperium. The early history is one of warring tribes on the coasts and islands, as well as those that carved a living from the ancient pine forests. When the Astorina imperium came, they began a campaign to conquer the various tribes, who were fractured and held long standing grudges against each other. However, the Astorini were unprepared for the ferocity with which the tribes of Hastrix would defend themselves. As much as the Hastrix hated each other, they hated the Astorini more.

It took 36 years, but the Astorini were finally able to conquer the Hastrix tribes, putting their King, Brynjor, to the sword, and parading his shamed and naked body through the empire. The Hastrix never forgot this insult, and had actually managed to hide his youngest son, Balvar, from the Imperium, keeping the bloodline of their Kings alive.

When he reached maturity, Balvar began a campaign to reunite the fractured clans, and within a decade, had managed to drive the Astorini from the peninsula and reclaim his throne. In the final battle, he captured the crown prince of the empire. As vengeance for his father, he decapitated the Emperor's son, sending his head back to him in a box with a message, explaining how the rest of the body had been torn apart, each section buried and hidden.

This act of vengeance so enraged the Astorini, that a few decades later, they brought the full force of their military against the Clans again, slaughtering them until they surrendered. But once again, after a short time, a new King arose, to throw off the shackles of Astorini rule. This cycle continued for centuries, with neither side holding the peninsula for more than a few decades.

When the Breaking struck, the Imperium, already weakened by war, was further ravaged by the Rotting. Hastrix, which was freshly independent again, gathered their strength and swept down from the cold pine forests, razing the north-western corner of the Imperium, claiming new territories for the first time in centuries. To this day, the Hastrix clans hold these lands, fortified and watchful of any attack from the imperium.


In previous centuries, the Clans warred against each other for any reasons: Resources, honour, glory, vengeance. However, once the Astorini conquered them, they set aside their previous rivalries and differences. Though each Clan is still distinct with their own Jarlaird, they operate as a united force behind their current King, Hjelmir the Unbroken.

The Hastrix admire physical prowess and fighting skill, but do no treat those with different skills with contempt. An untested warrior does not hold a higher place to a psion of great skill, or to a craftsman who makes items of unmatched quality. The Hastrix generally pick a single path to take, and pursue it with a single minded ferocity, attacking each task like an enemy to be conquered. Men are traditionally expected to take the lead in conflicts, but women are not forbidden from any particular path they choose for themselves, though the pressure to marry and bear children is obvious.

A noticeable part of the Hastrix culture to foreigners is their mistrust and contempt for the Astorini. In some ways, parts of their culture are a direct reaction to the customs and ways of the Astorini. One such example is that the Hastrix leave large sections of skin bare, and readily touch one another, as the Rotting is rare in the colder climate.

Language and Names

Due to the history of conquest, Imperial is a known language for the Inhabitants of Hastrix. However, it is rarely spoken unless in trade negotiations. Hastrixan is a gruff and blunt language, but not without it's particular lyrical qualities at times.

Hastrixans have a first name, and a clan name. Names follow along the male line.

Male Names: Auden, Branjer, Endride, Halder, Hjelmir, Jorle, Kaldr, Olson, Ovur, Ringvildr, Stigr, Tjornbaal, Troelstev, Vadiir, Welhelch.

Female Names: Alfhilda, Bergilda, Eira, Gydea, Hella, Jorunna, Magnhilda, Rhagnilda, Rovanha, Runja, Sigradha, Torhilda, Ylvia.

Great Clan Names: Ahlmach, Engmaerl, Hilmjoor, Landvhir, Naesmir, Stendohl.

Lesser Clan name prefixes and Suffixes: Bllar-, Dal-, Fjir-, Mor-, Rjel-, Urkh-, -ach, -farn, -geln, -llaren, -wulst.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Nation Spotlight: Isle of dreams


The Isle of Dreams was a protectorate of the Astorina Imperium since the foundation of the empire. It was ruled by the Mestori family for the century before the breaking, and was rich in pearls from the shoreline, as well as other gemstones from the central mountains of the isle. Many noble families had holiday estates on the island, though they hired groundskeepers to battle against the jungle trying to reclaim the manicured fields of the estates.

When the Raging storm formed during the breaking, the island was trapped in the eye of the storm. The seas raged against the coastlines, and the winds would occasionally rip along the island as the eye shifted and moved without warning. The safest places on the isle were now inland, despite the uncharted depths of the jungle being a mystery.

The Mestori led their people inland, and made contact with small hidden tribes of lost ophiduans. Some of these ophiduans had preserved ancient druidic traditions, and shared them with the desperate humans. The ophiduans and humans banded together against the dangers of the forests and the elements, and it is an alliance that exists to this day.

For two centuries, the storm ravaged the island, converting lush tropical jungle into sodden, marshy mangroves, except for the centre where the survivors huddled. Vicious predators from the sea migrated inwards, and found rich hunting grounds in the mangrove lakes and swamps. The heightened state of adaptations from the curses of Garnaea and Ithiriae have allowed strange and dangerous new beasts and monsters to breed almost unchecked. The survivors were pushed ever inwards, and eventually were forced to take shelter in the mountains themselves, carving tunnel systems as a natural defense against the dangerous weather and the new beasts.

The new society began to value those that could control the weather and those that could shape the earth and stone of the mountains, as well as those that could hunt and grow crops in the hardy areas that could still be cultivated. Druidic traditions are strong on the Isle now, as well as Kineticists and Shapers amongst psionic disciplines.

Eight years ago, the Raging storm dissipated. Although storms are still frequent, the island is no longer cut off from the rest of the continent by sea travel. In the last few years, the inhabitants have begun to branch out, reclaiming land and territory ceded to the storm and beasts. Some have even begun to travel to the mainland, and some people of the mainland have begun to travel to the island too.


Out of necessity, the culture of the Isle is one of co-operation and toil. Idleness is frowned upon, as expecting others to do your work for you weakens the chances of survival overall. After a few generations, the humans see their ophiduan brethren as equals, and the ophiduans have learned a respect for the humans ability to adapt and survive. Many ophiduans alive remember the time that humans came into the deep jungle, and over time have developed an attitude akin to a mentor and pupil towards the humans. Humans outnumber the ophiduans 3 to 1, but both factions see the benefits of co-operation still.

Life on the Isle was harsh and cruel for 2 centuries, but now, in the last few years, the survivors have made serious inroads back into the wilds, and in just 2 years an expedition re-discovered a large noble estate, and haveused it to create a small settlement, and now use it as a base to re-establish contact with the world. The rare visitors that have started to come to the Isle find that the inhabitants are direct, forthright, and hardworking, and care little for frivolity or luxuries.

Languages and names:

Most people of the isles, regardless of race, can speak both Imperial and Ophiduan, and have begun to teach themselves Polyglot to begin to establish trade with the mainland. Names follow both ophiduan and Imperial standards, but many imperial names have sibilant sounds added after the influence of ophiduan language. Some ophiduans have even taken to Imperial "ncknames" given to them by their human allies.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Nation Spotlight: The Astorina Imperium


The Astorina Imperium is the oldest and greatest of the human founded nations. It has existed for over a thousand years, ruled by the Astori Dynasty in an unbroken line from oldest child to oldest living child for centuries. It was founded by the Emperor Dyash Astori, who took warring human factions and tribes and forged them into a unified force, pushing out the other races of the goblinoids in the south and the Ophiduans of Seshmishta in the north. For centuries, the empire conquered more and more land in a controlled and cautious campaign of expansion.

Prior to the breaking, the empire was unfortunately past it's glory, and in decline. At their peak, they controlled almost the entire western half of the continent of Senithax, and had eyes on the remaining half. However, a succession of foolish rulers, decadence and hubris weakened the empire, allowing some smaller states to break away in some shape or form.

A great blow was when a civil war broke out, and the arcane council of the Northire declared independence. a bloody war followed, but the Astorina could make little inroads against the arcane might of the Northirans, and the Northirans lacked the manpower to push into Astorina. After three decades, a peace settlement was agreed to, making Northire a vassal state, self governing, but required to pay significant tribute. This nearly proved to be the undoing of the Astori family, but a year later, the Emperor Domar died, and his formidable daughter Empress Derlara ascended. She managed to halt any further sedition, and began investment in arcane colleges around the empire, even hiring some disaffected Northiran mages. She also tripled the size of the standing army through forced conscription of every low born citizen for 5 years of their life, and ensured they learned a trade should they choose to.

However, Derlara was a brief shining light of the Astori. Another blow struck when her grandson, Mivar, split the empire between his two beloved twin sons, Aexe and Amvar. No one was certain of which of the twins was firstborn, and divinations to discern this came up ambiguous. To prevent civil war, he declared them both heir, Amvar to the west, and Aexe to the east.

Aexe was grateful, but Amvar was furious. When he learned of this, he and his supporters struck. He imprisoned his own father, and attempted to do the same with Aexe. However, Aexe and his mother managed to escape, and fled to the east, garnering their own support. Amvar is said to have tortured his father to have him change his decree, and successfully provides an imperial decree. However, the broken emperor is a shell of himself, and many of the noble families turn from Amvar to follow Aexe's banner.

The war was bloody, but was brought to a head by single combat in the fog of battle between the brothers. In the end, Aexe stood over the broken body of his twin, victorious and full of sorrow. Hoever, instead of pressing to the capitol, he simply shored up his borders, and founded the Duchy of Aexe. He allowed his infant neice, Nimara, to be crowned as Empress, over an empire now reduced in size.

Since that time, the Imperium was in slow decline, the nobility grabbing more and more power, bickering amongst themselves for whatever influence they could. They still believed the Empire to be the cradle of civilisation, and in many ways, it was.

The breaking was a third powerful blow to the Empire. The isle of dreams, with it's rich gemstone mines, was cut off in a raging cyclone. The large stone mesa of the Noble Estates was cracked, many families being wiped away in the disaster, and the summer palace of the Astori left teetering on the edge of the break.

However, the worst effect, and the effect still felt to this day, was the Rotting. A vile disease, the Rotting could be transmitted via a single touch with infected flesh, and ripped through the empire in a matter of weeks. Funerary pyres burned night and day, and without the gifts of the divine, their was almost no way to curb the spread of the plague. To this day, minor outbreaks of the Rotting still arise in the imperium, changing the society from a hedonistic one to a cautious and calculated people.


The Empire is now a constitutional monarchy, though both the Emperor and the Imperial Parliament wield equal power. Each Noble family is given a single seat in the parliament, and all legislation must receive a majority vote. However, the Emperor must approve any legislation, and can veto any laws that come to him. The veto can be overturned by a 3/4 majority in the Parliament. To add a further complication, the emperor can Title any family should he wish to, granting them a seat in Parliament in perpetuity, but only if 1/4 of the parliament approves. The only way a family may lose their seat is treason or if no heirs remain on the death of the title holder. At present, there are 213 seats in the Parliament.

The Astorini, as the people of the empire are called, are a cautious and somewhat modest people. They wear long clothing, with high collars, long sleeves and are covered to the ankle. Most will also wear gloves, except in the warmer months, they may allow their hands to be free. This is actually a holdover from the height of the Rotting, to prevent accidental skin contact. Men will also have short trimmed beards, male hairstyles tend to the functional. Female hair styles, however, tend to be works of carefully sculpted art; braids, woven ribbons, wigs, and even art objects woven into the hair. Even commonfolk will carefully attend to their hair and grooming, and some will forego food to ensure they can save face to their neighbours and appear as more successful.

Language and Names:

Imperial is the dominant language of the Imperium, and many citizens choose not to learn any other language. Imperial is an expressive and florid language, and in the imperium it is common to use many embellishments and metaphors during the most mundane of conversations.

Humans of the imperium  have a first and last name, and generally have one to three middle names. the following are some examples of common names.

Male names: Astor, Bonare, Davor, Francan, Godare, Ivor, Justone, Menthar, Natane, Ovor, Quastar, Rogare, Testor, Victare, Zonare

Female names: Astoria, Chelia, Davina, Envaria, Glorianna, Honouria, Justina, Nevarrine, Ovora, Pellaria, Pellarina, Rannia, Savine, Visania.

Last names: Bortista, Comulach, Fortistis, Garoustas, Hidalgis,  Imperostis, Kimarost, Lustari, Menithirus, Ostarim, Penthire, Quom, Rovairan, Tastoris, Westarin.

The common tongue

So, one thing I don't like about most fantasy settings is the language "Common". Some settings describe it as a trade language, whilst others as a unifying language that all people speak. No matter how they describe it though, it is mechanically the same; a language that absolutely everyone speaks, to get past the fiddling around with not having a common language.

To me however, it feels like laziness. What is the point of all of these rich and varied languages based on race and geography, then completely negating the need for them. Sure, having a doorway inscribed with elvish script can be nice flavour, and a warning sign in druidic can have some affect on an adventure, but there is little real effect.

So, for Broken World, I have decided on a slight change. Common in this setting is called "Polyglot" and is a mix of many different languages. It is a true "trade language" in that it is mostly used for trade and when no true common language exists. You can communicate through Polyglot, but complex ideas and instructions are hard to convey in a language usually designed for basic trade discussions between two merchants. Here is an example of what I mean:

First discussion between two merchants that speak Imperial:

Menthar: "Greetings my friend! I see you have Chenar fruit from Quesaras available. It must be difficult to keep them fresh on such a long journey, yes?"

Bonare: "It is indeed. However, we managed to convince an elven druid to do one of their little tricks and the fruit has remained fresh and will continue to do so for another week. Of course, this was an expensive option, to keep this fruit in pristine condition....."

Menthar: "Good fortune. I may have a buyer interested from the Quesaran embassy. Perhaps you would like me to act as middle-man for negotiation? For a small fee of course."

Bonare: "My good friend, If you would be so kind, of course I would be able to compensate you for your time. After all, there is a chance that I could  bring more in future, and no one loves Chenar more than the Elves after all."

Same discussion using Polyglot:

Menthar: "Hello. Chenar fruit look good. Fresh?"

Bonare: "Yes, magic fresh. Stay fresh more weeks. Expensive."

Menthar: "Good Good. I know buyer. I come back with offer?"

Bonare: "Okay. More fruit may come."

In the first instance, we can see not only has the sale been discussed, but also a future trade deal has begun to be discussed. In the second instance, a deal for the shipment is discussed, but little else due to the limits of Polyglot.

In mechanics terms, Only being able to communicate through Polyglot has the following penalty to skills:

Bluff and Sense Motive: As these skills are in direct opposition, there is no negative to these skills, as both simply cancel each other out.

Diplomacy: Diplomacy is a complex skill, and relies on understanding exactly what everyone wants, needs, and the subtle interplay of language. Diplomacy relying on Polyglot is at a -4 penalty.

Intimidate: Though language dependant, a great deal of this skill can also be non-verbal and blunt. it suffers a -2 penalty.

Perform (orate): It is incredibly difficult to perform this skill effectively in Polyglot. this skill receives a -4 penalty.

In addition, and spell, power or effect that is listed as "Language dependant" that uses polyglot may add a bonus to the target's will save, depending on the complexity of the effect. This is determined at the time by the DM.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Now begins the arduous task of nation building. I have already designed some basic maps, and once I have nicer versions done, I will make them available.

Each nation post will be a work in progress and somewhat fluid for now. They could be edited at any stage, so keep an eye out.

My intent is to make each nation feel organic and plausible. For this reason, I created cultural and political landscapes pre and post breaking. Some states survived but were changed, and some successor states have arisen. Some old states were completely wiped off the map, either literally or politically.

All of these posts are intended to give a taste of the nation, a snapshot of stereotypes and culture. A few important cities will be mentioned, but for now, consider these upcoming posts more as a trailer for the actual long explanation document that is incoming.

Thoughts on "Post-apocalyptic"

When I originally conceived this setting, my idea was a very different one. I imagined a world that was a shell of its former glory, a world dying and people struggling to live.'

Now however, I have clearly gone in a different direction. The world was broken, millions died, and the aftershocks can still be felt even 2 centuries later. The deserts of the wastes continue to grow. Millions of undead dwarves lurk in their ruined cities, and outbreaks of the rotting continue in the Astorina Imperium. Earthquakes rip through the world, and the great volcano erupts without warning.

However, the lush ash fields near the volcano have begun to be reclaimed by some druidic circles. The elves are flourishing in a world that has never been tested by their strength. New nations have sprung up, new trading routes have opened, and all races are finally beginning to climb in population.

In short, this is a very different form of Post-apocalyptic. Yes, life is difficult for the majority of citizens. Food supply is precarious with the curses of the nature goddesses, and dangerous creatures abound. Political factions and secret societies continue their work to destabilise or to heal. Armies mass on borders, whether it be a threat or merely posturing.

In short, the Breaking changed the world, but it has not yet struck a mortal blow.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Oracles of the Broken world

In some other settings, Oracles are directly chosen and cursed by the gods to wield their power and be emissaries of their will. This is not the case in Broken World.

When the Breaking occurred, divine vengeance ripped through the world, causing misery and suffering, as curses and disasters befell the mortal inhabitants. Even now, after 2 centuries, aftershocks can be seen with new natural disasters and plagues. But the most insidious and cruel of these, is the birth of Oracles. Sometimes, an oracle is clear from birth, born crippled but with some strangeness about them. Sometimes a healthy child is struck suddenly with the curse, and even more rare, someone in the later stages of their life may fall prey to the curse. Any race may be cursed, but humans tend to be the majority of Oracles, perhaps due to their historical worship.

Oracles are not heralds of divinity, they are reminders of divine retribution. For this reason, they are shunned by almost everyone. The faithful shun them, as they are living embodiments of the failure of the faithful to appease the gods. The Unfaithful shun them, as they have the taint of the divine. The life of an Oracle is usually harsh, miserable, and short. However, some Oracles embrace their power, as they are able to channel divine power without having to give fealty to the gods. There are some rare areas that welcome this, giving them rare exceptions to the often harsh laws restricting divine power.

Mechanically, there is no change to Oracle other than the removal of any mention of alignment.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Druids and Rangers of the Broken World

Though they are both wielders of Divine power, Druids and Rangers are mostly free of the persecution that Divine practitioners suffer in most parts of the broken world. This is in part due to an important distinction: Druids and Rangers do not worship the Echo Gods, and never did. Instead, they draw their power from the life-force of the earth, harnessing it and strengthening it, only to use that power to protect the world as its healers and wardens.


Druidic traditions were seen as backward and heretical in most human lands for centuries prior to the breaking, as the churches tried to stamp out rival faiths. However, amongst the tribes of the Ilthunwe elves, druids often rose to positions of prominence, offering guidance to their people in the forests. The Ophiduans also had some Druidic traditions, though they were more seen as tenders to the jungles, those who kept them under control and safe. Amongst the Dwarves, the tradition was unknown, and the Dromite hive mind was unable to connect to the power of the wilds. Hobgoblin druids were not unheard of, but rare and usually outcasts from their militaristic society.

Since the breaking, Druidic circles have been rising in number, with several traditions rising in the aftermath. There is even a tradition that has recently arisen that blends the divine power of nature with psionic potential, a connection described as "The Worldmind". Most druids are welcomed openly now, as they seek to heal the world and curb the monstrosities birthed by the vengeance of the goddesses Garneae and Ithiriae.

Mechanically, very little has to change with the druid. Removal of any reference to alignment is the only change.


Some see Rangers as the subordinate member in a Druidic hierarchy. In reality, the two traditions are more allies than partners. Whilst druids protect nature through Divine power first and martial second, the Rangers are the opposite. Also, Rangers are not content to merely drive the defilers of nature out, but instead continue to hunt them like prey, tracking them down and ending their threat permanently. Rangers also guide those less skilled through the wilds as needed, and accept payment for these services. 

Most races had some tradition of Rangers through history: Ranger traditions were tolerated more than Druidism in human lands prior to the breaking, as their more martial bent and useful skills made the clergy see them as less of a threat. The Ilthunwe practiced the ranger traditions for untold centuries, and often a Ranger will be the leader of their hunting parties and Warden forces. The military of the Hobgoblins of Maryx were supported by scouting forces and snipers, able to deal with minor threats quickly and quietly.

There are no mechanical changes to Rangers other than the removal of any reference to alignment.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Paladin Changes: Updated as needed.

Paladins have changed from Divine paragons, to weapons of vengeance and retribution, but also guards and allies of the cleric. The Paladin of Broken World has a few minor changes, and a big one.

Aura of good: No alignments make this ability redundant. An easy removal.

Detect evil: Also an obvious removal. However, an obvious replacement comes to mind as follows:
     Detect Unfaithful: A paladin can detect the unfaithful as per the spell of the same name. A paladin can, as a move action, concentrate on a single item or individual within 60 feet and determine if it is unfaithful learning the strength of its heresy as if having studied it for 3 rounds. While focusing on one individual or object, the paladin does not detect lack of faith in any other object or individual within range.

Smite Evil: Change this to "Smite Unfaithful", but otherwise functions in the exact same way.

Lay on hands: This is still perfectly acceptable. However, the paladin is intended to also strike down the enemies of the church as well, and this ability must become more flexible to compensate. The paladin may select each day whether to choose positive or negative energy for this ability. This choice also affects whether she can channel positive or negative energy when she gains the ability at level 4.

Mercy: This ability is fine for when the paladin chooses positive energy, but makes no sense for negative. For this reason, when a Paladin chooses negative energy for Lay on hands, this ability changes to:

Torment: Reverse the effect of your applicable mercies. The save DC for these is 10+1/2 your paladin level. Each Torment must be saved against separately. Each status change has a differing duration as per below:

(Work in Progress)

Aura of faith: No longer makes sense in context. Instead, all attacks from aura of faith bypass any and all damage reduction against attacks from a non-divine source.

Aura of righteousness: Remove the word "Evil" to simply make it DR 5/- against any attack from a non divine source.

Holy Champion: Again, simply change DR 10/Evil to 10/-. Instead of the banishment effect, the target is affected by a targeted Dispel magic.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Cleric Changes: Updated as needed.

So, with the changes to the deities themselves, in that they are bare echoes of their former power, Cleric as a class has to go through some minor changes for several reasons.

Aura: Previously, Clerics of a particular alignment radiated that alignment as an aura. Since alignment no longer exists, the need for this class feature is removed.

Domains: Here is the most drastic change. Though Tavost, god of justice still exists, his sacrifice to become the first echo god had a profound change on the pantheon. Every deity was granted the Retribution domain, and to this day, it affects the clerics of the faithful. Every cleric must select Retribution as one of their core domains.

Spontaneous casting/Channel Energy: Remove alignment restrictions, as alignments no longer exist. Clerics choose each day whether to channel positive or negative energy for Spontaneous casting and Channel Energy.

Spells: A cleric is a conduit for divine energy. However, that divine energy has gone from a roaring fire to a flickering candle. Clerics still cast spells of equal power to the glory days of the gods, but they recover them much more slowly. A cleric is only able to recover as many spell levels per day equal to their level in the cleric class. Domain spell slots are unaffected, and refresh normally. This represents a weakness for player Clerics, which will have to be balanced.

Gift of the believer: To balance the change to spells, Clerics are given strange gifts for their devotion. Clerics may choose one of the following gifts. This gift can be changed at each even numbered level. Unless otherwise stated, you may use your ability as many times per day as 1+your wisdom modifier. THESE ARE ROUGH DRAFTS, and i would appreciate feedback on how to fix any glaring problems.

Castigation: You may smite the faithless.To affect the target, you must speak words of holy vengeance and touch the target. You deal damage equal to your cleric level, and no energy resistance or saving throw against this damage applies. Damage reduction applies normally, but this attack counts as if used my a magic or psionic weapon.

Proscription: You may touch a faithless target and forbid them from harming any being for 1d4 rounds. A will save reduces this to one round, and no being may be the target of this ability more than once per day. The dc is 10+ 1/2 your cleric level + your wisdom modifier.

Abnegation: A cleric can use this ability only when he takes no standard action in his turn. Instead, he donates his standard action to an ally within 30 feet, who may then take an extra standard action in his turn.

Dereliction: With a successful touch attack, you can force an enemy to take either a move action next turn, or a standard action, but not both as normal. There is no save against this ability.

Ascension: You gain wings of divine power, and you are able to fly for 1 minute per level of the cleric class you have. you may use this ability in 1 minute increments, and the total duration refreshes when you next gain spells.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Approved classes (Updated as needed)

Here is a list of all approved base classes. This list is a work in progress and will be updated on this post as needed.

Aegis: A psionic warrior that focuses on the power of a suit of ectoplasmic armor, granting various abilities.

Cryptic: A master of seeing patterns, the cryptic is in some ways a psionic rogue. They excel at manipulating patterns to change the world, and get glimpses of prescience.

Dread: A master of fear and intimidation, the dread uses their psionic might to reduce their enemies to snivelling wretches.

Marksman: A master of the ranged weapon, a marksman melds a keen eye with a focused mind to make ranged combat a deadly option.

Psion: The master of the mind, the psion can do feats of power that are truly magnificent and terrible.

Psychic warrior: A warrior of varied paths, one who can meld the mind and the body to make a whole greater than the two halves.

Soulknife: The soulknife is a warrior that forges their very mind into a weapon of force.

Tactician: Joining allies into a single cohesive unit, the tactician uses his psionic power to unlock the potential of others, as well as himself.

Vitalist: A psionic healer, that can place his allies into a collective, bolstering their effectiveness as a unit, and heal from afar.

Wilder: A manifester that fuels their powers with their emotions, gaining great power at a risk to their own psyche.

Barbarian: A warrior that fuels powerful combat abilities with a furious rage.

Cleric: Priests of the echo gods, they seek retribution against the unfaithful, wishing to bring a return to their divine masters.

Druid: Wardens of the Land and Nature, they seek to heal the broken world.

Fighter: A martial fighter of great versatility or focus.

Monk: an ascetic of strange abilities, the monk is a path that is rooted in the mental discipline of psionics, but with strange effects.

Paladin: Warriors of the Echo gods, these armoured Templars mete out the retribution and justice of the divine on a world that has abandoned them.

Ranger: A hunter and tracker, they are the wardens of the druids, protecting them and hunting those that would further damage the world.

Rogue: a master of stealth, traps, and precision combat, capable of mastering a multitude of skills.

Cavalier: A mounted warrior with a bonded mount, capable of challenging foes to battle.

Gunslinger: A master of the black powder gun, this strange specialist can do amazing feats and deadly attacks with these rare weapons.

Inquisitor: The remaining divine followers have the open champions of the Paladin, but also the secret enforcers, the inquisitors.

Oracle: These poor souls have been cursed by the divine, but also receive strange and forbidden powers.

Blues and Goblins of the Broken world

Goblins have long been residents of the hordelands, and have lived short and miserable lives. They are however, a hardy people, though never a great power in the hordelands.

When Delan was travelling through the hordelands, he discovered a small tribe of psionically gifted goblinoids with bluish skin. Curious and interested, he trained them in various psionic techniques and theories, before moving on, wishing them well. He could not have known the powerful new race he had just helped spawn in the Blues.

Blues are still members of the goblin race, psionically attuned and cunning. Over the centuries, the goblin people persecuted this strange mutation, exiling or outright slaughtering any goblins that were born of this lineage. When Delan found them, they were on the verge of extinction, reduced to a handful of males and a single female. However, Blues can still interbreed with goblins, and their blood runs stonger, with any progeny having a 3/4 chance of being born as a blue. Strangely, the males of this species outnumber the female at a ratio of 3:1, meaning that goblin females are usually taken as mates by this race. Though still smaller in number, they have grown to a significant faction within the chaotic Hordelands, and have begun to travel the world in search of knowledge and diplomatic contacts.

Physically, Blues are identical their goblin kin, with the only difference being the bluish cast to their skin, their electric blue irises, and lacking the sharp mouth of teeth of a goblin. Goblins tend to a sandy brown skin tone, though it ranges from dark to light. They are smaller in stature than most races, comparable to the Dromite. They have pointed ears, and thin limbs.

Age table (Both Blues and Goblins)

12 years+1d4 years (13-16 years)+1d6 years (13-18 years)+1D12 years (9-18years)

GenderBase HeightHeight ModifierBase WeightWeight Modifier
Male3 ft. 10 in.+2d4 in. (4 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 6 in.)40 lbs.x1 lb. (42 - 48 lbs.)
Female2 ft. 10 in.+2d4 in. (3 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 6 in.)35 lbs.x1 lb. (37 - 43 lbs.)

Middle aged: 30 years
Old: 45years
Venerable: 60 years
Maximum age: +1d20 years


•+2 Intelligence, +2 Dexterity, –2 Strength: Blues are smart and quick, but their small size makes them weak.
•Goblinoid: Blues are of the humanoid (goblinoid) subtype.
•Small: Blues are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
•Normal Speed: Blues are fast for their size, and have a base speed of 30 feet.
•Darkvision: Blues can see in the dark up to 60 feet. See Vision and Light.
•Naturally Psionic: Blues gain the Wild Talent feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. If a blue takes levels in a psionic class, he instead gains the Psionic Talent feat..
•Psionic Aptitude: When a blue takes a level in a favored class, he can choose to gain an additional power point instead of a hit point or skill point.
•Imperious: Blues are raised to believe themselves superior to those around them, usually compared to the more savage and foolish goblins. They receive a +1 bonus on Intimidate checks, but a -1 on diplomacy checks. In addition, they receive a +1 to the DC for abilities with the [Compulsion] descriptor.
•Repletion (Su): A blue can sustain his body without need of food or water. If he spends 1 power point, a blue does not need to eat or drink for 24 hours.
•Keen Senses: Blues receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception skill checks.
•Stealthy: Blues receive a +2 racial bonus on Stealth and Ride checks, and blues always treat Stealth as a class skill
•Weapon Familiarity: Blues treat any weapon with the word “goblin” in its name as a martial weapon.
•Languages: Blues begin play speaking Common and Goblin. Blues with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Draconic, Dwarven, Gnoll, Gnome, Halfling, and Orc.


  • Ability Score Racial Traits: Goblins are fast, but weak and unpleasant to be around. They gain +4 Dexterity, –2 Strength, and –2 Charisma.
  • Type: Goblins are humanoids with the goblinoid subtype.
  • Size: Goblins are Small creatures and thus gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their CMB and CMD, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
  • Base Speed: Goblins are fast for their size, and have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Languages: Goblins begin play speaking Goblin. Goblins with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Gnoll, Gnome, Halfling, and Orc. See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.
Feat and Skill Racial Traits
Movement Racial Traits
  • Fast Movement: Goblins gain a +10 foot bonus to their base speed (this is already added to their Base Speed above.)
Senses Racial Traits
  • Darkvision: Goblins see perfectly in the dark up to 60 feet.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Hobgoblins of the Broken World

Most populous within the lands of True Maryx and Maryx, the Hobgoblins are a hardy race of guerrilla warriors and assassins, honed with centuries of warfare and the struggles of survival. The Hobgoblins were affected by the breaking mostly through the repercussions to other races. Maryx and the Hordelands were ravaged to a lesser extent than other locations, but the new political landscap allowed them to seize new lands, only to in some ways lose them again due to the rise of the Maenad's psions and thrallherders. The true free Hobgoblins have carved out a smaller land of True Maryx, a land at constant struggle against Maryx.
Physically, Hobgoblins are slightly taller than the average human, but have a stooped appearance that makes them of equivalent height. Their skin colours vary, from a dusky brown, to a sickly green, to a bluish grey, and gangrenous yellows. They have pointed ears, and slight lower tusks that can protrude from their mouths in some members of their race.
Culturally, Hobgoblins are a militaristic and focused people. The idea of idleness offends them, and toil and training are seen as virtues. Luck is also seen as weakness, and any warrior or commander that relies on it rather than careful planning and tactics is seen as a fool, no matter their successes. Success is applauded, and failure is not lamented if it was caused by external forces. To the Hobgoblins, a "failure" who toils for success is superior to a "Hero" that blindly succeeds.

Psionics was an alien concept to the Hobgoblins for so long, but recently they have begun to embrace its effectiveness and utility. Many Psychic warriors now fight in their War-bands and armies, and lately a small number of vitalists have begun to be trained by a disaffected member of the Collective.

15 years+1d4 years
(16 - 19 years)
+1d6 years
(16 - 21 years)
+2d6 years
(17 - 27 years)

GenderBase HeightHeight ModifierBase WeightWeight Modifier
Male4 ft. 2 in.+2d8 in.
(4 ft. 4 in. - 5 ft. 6 in.)
165 lbs.+(2d8×5 lbs.)
(175 - 245 lbs.)
Female4 ft. 0 in.+2d8 in.
(4 ft. 2 in. - 5 ft. 4 in.)
145 lbs.+(2d8×5 lbs.)
(155 - 225 lbs.)

 Age Categories

Adulthood: 15 years
Middle age: 30 years
Old: 45 years
Venerable: 60 Years
Maximum age + 2d10 years

Ability Score Racial Traits: Hobgoblins are fast and hardy. They gain +2 Dexterity, and +2 Constitution.
Type: Hobgoblins are humanoids with the goblinoid subtype.
Size: Hobgoblins are Medium creatures and thus have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Base Speed: Hobgoblins have a base speed of 30 feet.
Sneaky: Hobgoblins receive a +4 racial bonus on Stealth checks.
Languages: Hobgoblins begin play speaking Common and Goblin.
Darkvision: Hobgoblins can see perfectly in the dark up to 60 feet.
weak Willed: Hobgoblins receive a -2 to will saves, as they are trained for obedience.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Elans of the Broken World

After the Breaking, the remaining mind seeds of Delan's personality met in secret, deciding what the future held for them. They agreed that being the echo of a dead man was no way to live, and considered mass suicide. However, an early mind seed mentioned a discussion she had with Delan, in which he talked of the birth of a new race, one free from any taint of the gods. They worked in secret for decades as the world and societies crumbled around them, until they perfected the technique to create such a being.

The first was born, and woke with no memories of it's former self. They called her Elan, after their former life as Delan. She learned quickly, and was infused with psionic power, quickly outstripping her former mentors. She helped to create more of her kind, guiding the newborns as they were formed from the bodies of the mind seeds. When the last of them had been converted into this new race, the last echoes of Delan left the world.

Elan formed a council from those that showed the greatest potential. They all agreed that more of them must be born from the ashes of the other races, but only those with the greatest potential should be used. Elan left, promising to return one day, saying that she would find the greatest amongst the races to be used. In honour, the entire race now carries her name.

Elan are a secret race and secret society bundled together. Though independently minded, they all answer to the Elan council, a secret group of their race that decides on who is worthy to become the newest Elan. Rumour exists that those Elan that displease the council or go against their long term goals are "removed".

Elan's look like humans for the most part, but sometimes have unique physical characteristics, such as metallic hints to hair, or oddly coloured skin markings. This is usually selected on purpose by the Elan Council, but for unknown reasons.

Elan do not age, and have no ageing table.

Elan names tend to closely mirror Human names, but not always.

  • +2 to one ability score: Elans gain a +2 bonus to one ability score chosen at creation to represent their varied nature.
  • Aberrant Blood: Elans are of the humanoid (aberrant) subtype.
  • Medium: Elan are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Elans have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Aberrant Nature: Although human in appearance, elans suffer from a nature slightly off from the rest of the non-elan society. They suffer a -1 penalty to Charisma-based skill checks when dealing with non-elans.
  • Naturally Psionic: Elans gain the Wild Talent feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. If an elan takes levels in a psionic class, she instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.
  • Resistance (Su): Elans can use psionic energy to increase their resistance to various forms of attack. As an immediate action, an elan can spend 1 power point to gain a +4 racial bonus on saving throws until the beginning of her next action.
  • Resilience (Su): When an elan takes damage, he can spend power points to reduce its severity. As an immediate action, he can reduce the damage he is about to take by 2 hit points for every 1 power point he spends.
  • Repletion (Su): An elan can sustain his body without need of food or water. If he spends 1 power point, an elan does not need to eat or drink for 24 hours.
  • Psionic Aptitude: When an elan takes a level in a favored class, he can choose to gain an additional power point instead of a hit point or skill point.
  • Languages: Elans begin play speaking Common. Elans with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Dromites of the Broken World

For most of their history, Dromites were of a single, unified hive mind. This great hive mind operated as if each individual dromite was simply an insignificant part of the greater whole of itself. However, when their hive city collapsed during the breaking, killing so many of them, the weakened Hive mind imbued individuality to the Dromites, and changed their life and breeding cycles.

Dromite society is a new creation, but a unique one. Dromites are asexual, being neither female nor male, except in the case of the Hive Queen and Hive Consorts. In this situation, rituals are performed that grant gender and reproductive capabilities. The royal couple form a council with the leaders of each caste of dromites within each of the newly established Hive cities. These councils rule for 10 years, and after this time the king and queen retire, another ritual removing their gender characteristics, and a new royal couple is selected. The only limit on the amount of royal couples that can be created is that a large number of Dromite's in the city necessary to provide the background psionic energy to sustain the transformation. At this stage, only 5 Hive cities are large enough to allow a royal couple, but they work together to monito their populations, and decide if and when a sixth city can be founded.

Despite their communal living arrangements and breeding requirements, fully a quarter of Dromites strike out from the Wastes that they call home, and learn from other races. They usually return home to their Hive cities at some point, where they are welcomed with open arms.

The caste of a Dromite is easily recognized by the coloration of the carapace: red for Fire Caste, pale blue for Ice Caste, white for Voice Caste, and green for Glimmer Caste. The skin of the dromite not covered by chitin ranges from a pale white to a dark tan. Dromites have faceted eyes which often shine with a psionic energy, and large antennae that constantly quiver. Their small mouths are devoid of external mandibles, but when eating, small internal mandibles are used to help eat. Dromites have three fingers and a thumb, each covered in a pointed carapace, with the same for their four toes.

Dromites are not as long lived as other races, but are an incredibly fecund race. Each queen can lay 1 or 2 eggs a day, and a Dromite is mature within 10 years. Dromites are raised by broodwardens, and as their carapace hardens and reveals their caste, they are sent to learn from family units. Family units are 2-7 Dromites that live communally and have formed close bonds, more than friendship alone.

Adulthood: 10 years
Middle age: 25 years
Old: 35 years
Venerable: 50 Years
Maximum age +2d4 years

A Note on Names Dromites have no gender, and thus their names are not divided between male and female. Generally, a dromite has a personal name, a caste name, and a homestead name - typically a hive city.
Personal Names Niks, Rask, Sask, Neksak, Leksa, Heneks, Seleks, Seksa, Aksa, Olak, Leik, Svek, Hakkor.
Caste Names Fire, Glimmer, Ice, Shatter, Thunder, Flash, Lightning, Sunspark, Icespear, Stormstrike.

  • +2 Charisma, +2 Dexterity, –2 Strength: Dromites are self-willed go-getters and naturally agile, but are weaker due to their small size.
  • Insectoid Blood: Dromites are of the humanoid (insectoid) subtype.
  • Small: Dromites are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
  • Slow Speed: Dromites have a base speed of 20 feet.
  • Chitin: Dromites receive a +1 natural armor bonus and one of the following kinds of energy resistance of their choice at creation: cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5, or sonic 5. This choice is permanent and stacks with any future energy resistance gained through other effects.
  • Naturally Psionic: Dromites gain the Wild Talent feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. If a dromite takes levels in a psionic class, he instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.
  • Dromite Psionics: Dromites gain the following psi-like ability: 1/day—energy ray. A dromite always deals the kind of energy damage that its chitin has resistance to (for example, a dromite who has resistance to cold 5 deals cold damage with its energy ray). The manifester level for this effect is equal to 1/2 the dromite's level (minimum 1st).
  • Scent (Ex): This special quality allows a dromite to detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell. Dromites with the scent ability can identify familiar odors just as humans do familiar sights. Dromites can detect opponents within 30 feet by sense of smell. If the opponent is upwind, the range increases to 60 feet; if downwind, it drops to 15 feet. Strong scents, such as smoke or rotting garbage, can be detected at twice the ranges noted above. Overpowering scents, such as skunk musk or troglodyte stench, can be detected at triple normal range. When a dromite detects a scent, the exact location of the source is not revealed—only its presence somewhere within range. The dromite can take a move action to note the direction of the scent. When the dromite is within 5 feet of the source, it pinpoints the source's location.
    A dromite with the scent ability can follow tracks by smell, making a Wisdom (or Survival) check to find or follow a track. The typical DC for a fresh trail is 10 (no matter what kind of surface holds the scent). This DC increases or decreases depending on how strong the quarry's odor is, the number of creatures, and the age of the trail. For each hour that the trail is cold, the DC increases by 2. The ability otherwise follows the rules for the Survival skill. Dromites tracking by scent ignore the effects of surface conditions and poor visibility.
  • Compound Eyes: Dromites receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
  • Psionic Aptitude: When a dromite takes a level in a favored class, it can choose to gain an additional power point instead of a hit point or skill point.
  • Languages: Dromites begin play speaking Common, as prior to the breaking they were of a single mind and had no need for language, they have had to adopt the human common language.
  • Maenads of the Broken World

    Maenad are a race born of divine rage and pain. Their emotional states are akin to a tempest, even as they struggle to retain an outward fa├žade of calm. Small in number, they breed true with themselves and sometimes with humans. any children born of a Human-Maenad pairing have an equal chance of being a member of either parent race. There are no Half-Maenads, as one parentage is dominant.

    When the god of arcane magic, Uthirian, committed suicide, his spellstorm ripped through his followers battling in Northire. The arcane practitioners lost their magic, and were infected with insanity and rage. It also slightly changed their physical bodies, making the typical Northiran ethnic build more solid and taller. When they calmed, their former enemies found that their memories were gone, but that their former arcane potential had left a void filled naturally by psionics.

    Maenad culture is incredibly similar to old Northiran with a few differences. Maenad's can appear stilted and formal to some other races, and many consider them a little too reserved. This is a cultural adaptation to the raging emotions inside them, as they speak and act in such away to make their intentions perfectly clear and logical to prevent causing offense.

    Maenad's have spread out, but are still more common in areas formerly held by Northire. They are also common in Maryx, secretly holding the reigns through a network of psionic thrallherds controlling from behind the scenes.

    Wilders are especially common amongst Maenad psionic characters, as the emotional release is appealing to many of them.

  • +2 to one ability score: Maenads gain a +2 bonus to one ability score chosen at creation, to represent their varied nature.
  • Medium: Maenads are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Maenads have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Naturally Psionic: Maenads gain the Wild Talent feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. If a maenad takes levels in a psionic class, he instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.
  • Maenad Psionics: Maenad gain the following psi-like ability. 1/day—energy ray. A maenad can deal only sonic damage with this ability. It is accompanied by a tremendous scream of rage. The manifester level is equal to 1/2 Hit Dice (minimum 1st). The DC for this power is equal to 10 + the power's level + the maenad's Charisma modifier.
  • Sonic Affinity: Maenads add a +1 to the DC of any spell or power with the sonic descriptor.
  • Outburst: Maenads can dampen their mental processes for an increase in raw power called an outburst. As a result, they take a -2 penalty to Intelligence and Wisdom but gain a +2 bonus to Strength. The character must spend one power point at the beginning of each round during an outburst and may stop an outburst at any time.
  • Inner Rage: Maenads are able to rage one additional round per day should they have the rage ability and they gain an additional round per day every odd character level. In addition to using these rounds for rage, maenads may use them to fuel their outburst, instead of power points.
  • Psionic Aptitude: When a maenad takes a level in a favored class, he can choose to gain an additional power point instead of a hit point or skill point.
  •  Calming Training: Maened gain a +2 racial bonus to Autohypnosis tests, and a +1 bonus to will saves that effect their emotional states.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Maenads are proficient with flails. Maenads treat any weapon with the word “maenad” in the name as a martial weapon rather than an exotic one.
  • Languages: Maenads begin play speaking Common and Maenad.
  • Saturday, April 25, 2015

    Ophiduans of the Broken World

    The most ancient of races, the Ophiduans are a society that has existed for untold millennia, going through multiple rises and falls. The current Ophiduan empires of Sytheros and Sytheria are considered parts of the 7th age of Ophiduans. Ophiduan's worry that their race is now in a terminal decline, though some believe they are merely at the lowest nadir of their cycle of destruction and restoration.

    Society is a ruthless meritocracy. Those that show use and power rise to the top, and those that fail are shunted to the lowest rungs. Ophiduan children are raised communally by brood-keepers, and the concept of family is alien to them, making them highly individualistic. However, they are not necessarily cruel, believing that anyone can turn their lives around with dedication and opportunity.

    Sytheria and Sytheros are closely aligned, though Sytheros has a more aggressive bent than Sytheria, and Sytheria a more diplomatic outlook. There is tension, but no real bad blood between the two nations, as they prefer to deal with each other than any other nation.

    Ophiduan obsession with success and self improvement coupled with their tenuous position as a race, has made some Ophiduans incredibly bitter towards other races. There is a small, but not insignificant faction that blames humanity for the breaking, and speaks of a glorious war of genocide. Most Ophiduans see this as ridiculous and unrealistic, but many younger Ophiduans have a sympathetic ear.

    Sisthassian is a sibilant language that many non-ophiduans find difficult to master, as tone and length of sounds vary wildly in tense and structure. Also, the language uses vocal clicks that are hard to duplicate without Ophiduan vocal cords.

    Ophiduans are a long lived, but slow breeding race. The typical Ophiduan matures quickly, reaching adulthood at approximately 25 years of age, but they age slowly once mature, staying vital for much longer than any other race. Ophiduans can also fall into a deep torpor for close to a decade, ageing the equivalent of one year physically during this time. It is not unheard of for Ophiduans to reach 4 centuries of age.

    Physical Description Reptilian scales cover the ophiduans' hairless bodies, and their yellow, slitted eyes and sharp teeth give them a striking appearance. They stand tall, often a head above most humans, but are typically slimmer than humans, being lithe in build. Ophiduans have no ears, and their ridged brows are often what define their face. Most ophiduans are green-scaled, but there are those of blue, purple, black, or yellow in tone, a trait which is often passed along to progeny. The only common color among all ophiduans is the dull grey of their stomachs, which reflects their common ancestry.

    Male Names Mixal, Xiphoter, Maxev, Ioxua, Iaxot, Nixokas, Antax, Tanix, Tyxor, Kraxan.

    Female Names Azlei, Iezi, Sazari, Krizani, Emizi, Samazi, Amazi, Kazeri, Mezan, Kriza.

    Ageing table:

    Adult: 25 years
    Middle age: 200 years
    Old age: 300 years
    Venerable: 350 years
    Maximum: 350 + D%

  • +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, –2 Charisma: Ophiduans are lithe, quick, and intuitive, but cold in demeanor and monstrous in appearance.
  • Reptilian Blood: Ophiduans are of the humanoid (reptilian) subtype
  • Medium: Ophiduans are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Ophiduans have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Scaled Hide: An ophiduan's skin is hardened scales and grants the character a +1 natural armor bonus to AC.
  • Naturally Psionic: Ophiduans gain the Wild Talent feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. If an ophiduan takes levels in a psionic class, he instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.
  • Serpent's Bite (Ps): Once per day, an ophiduan can alter his jaws, gaining a bite attack that deals 1d8 points of damage, plus an extra 1d8 points of damage per fve character levels beyond 1st. This effect lasts for 1 minute. The manifester level is equal to the ophiduan's level.
  • Darkvision: Ophiduans can see in the dark up to 60 feet due to heat sensing pits along their jawlines and psionic senses.
  • Poison Resistant: Ophiduans gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison.
  • Psionic Aptitude: When an ophiduan takes a level in a favored class, he can choose to gain an additional power point instead of a hit point or skill point.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Ophiduans treat any weapon with the word “ophiduan” in the name as a martial weapon rather than an exotic one.
  • Languages: Ophiduans begin play speaking Common and Ophiduan.

  • Elves of the Broken World

    Elves were an unimportant race, never high in number, and politically isolated. However, they escaped the breaking relatively unharmed, and are now growing in power in their region. Whilst not as xenophobic as the Dwarves they were isolationist, but are now beginning to spread out into the world.

    Elven culture is best described as three allied subcultures.

    The most numerous is the Quesaran, those that live in cities and settlements around and on the lower sections of their central mountain range. These Elves are the most welcoming to outsiders, and openly curious, but cautious.

    The Ilthunwe are those elven tribes that live deep in the Ilthun forest which surrounds the central mountain range. They consider themselves wardens of this sacred wood, and have a deeply connected druidic tradtion. They are distrustful of outsiders, but will guide them through the woods to the lands of the Quesarans.

    High on the peaks of the mountain ranges in secluded monastaries live the Ascetics, the most psionically talented and least numerous of the elven people. They welcome outsiders to study with them towards psionic enlightenment.

  • Ability Score Racial Traits: Elves are nimble, both in body and mind, but their form is frail. They gain +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, and –2 Constitution.
  • Size: Elves are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Type: Elves are Humanoids with the elf subtype.
  • Base Speed: Elves have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Languages: Elves begin play speaking Common and Elven.
  • Elven Immunities: Elves are immune to natural diseases and gain a +2 racial saving throw bonus against Telepathy powers and effects.
  • Keen Senses: Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Elves are proficient with longbows (including composite longbows), longswords, rapiers, and shortbows (including composite shortbows), and treat any weapon with the word “elven” in its name as a martial weapon.
  • Low-Light Vision: Elves can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
  • Elven Training: Choice of:
  • Elven Psionics: Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Manifester level checks made to overcome power resistance. In addition, elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Psicraft skill checks made to identify the properties of psionic items.
  •  OR
  •  Elven Druidism: Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance. In addition, elves receive a +2 racial bonus on knowledge: Nature.
  •  OR
  •  Silent Hunter: Elves are renowned for their subtlety and skill. Elves with this racial trait reduce the penalty for using Stealth while moving by 5 and can make Stealth checks while running at a –20 penalty (this number includes the penalty reduction from this racial trait).
  •  OR
  •  Graceful: Elves are renowned for their grace and fluid movements. Elves with this racial trait gain a +2 racial bonus on Acrobatics and Perform (dance) skill checks.

  • Flavour changes:

    Elven lifespan is comparable to humans.
    Elven culture has existed around the same time as human culture.
    Elves sleep and dream.

    Dwarves of the Broken World

    Dwarves lived for centuries behind their insurmountable walls of stone and magic. However, during the breaking, the Hungering ripped through their populace, turning many of them into slavering undead creatures, forcing them into a wide diaspora as they fled their homelands.

    Now, Dwarves have integrated into all other societies as traders, merchants and craftsmen. Dwarven culture is torn between those that have settled into their new enclaves (Dokari), those that wander and trade (Vetakis), and those that try to fully integrate into their new societies (Imbrukar).

    The Dokari consider themselves "True Dwarves" and attempt to keep old traditions of isolation, family loyalty and clan culture. Though they deal with outsiders, they resist integrating fully into their new cultures, trying to keep their culture alive.

    The Vetakis are the wandering traders, and their caravan trains are renowned for security and reliability. Each caravan train is almost a clan unto itself, and each has their own unique traditions and quirks.

    "Imbrukar" began as a pejorative slur for those dwarves who abandoned the old ways. Now many such dwarves use the term with pride.

    The three subcultures intermarry often, and are not fixed absolutely.

  • Ability Score Racial Traits: Dwarves are both tough and wise, but also a bit reserved. They gain +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, and –2 Charisma.
  • Size: Dwarves are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Type: Dwarves are humanoids with the dwarf subtype.
  • Base Speed: (Slow and Steady) Dwarves have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
  • Languages: Dwarves begin play speaking Common and Dwarven.
  • Defensive Training: Dwarves gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the undead type.
  • Hardy: Dwarves gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, psionics, and psi-like abilities.
  • Stability: Dwarves gain a +4 racial bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt while standing on the ground.
  • Lorekeeper: Dwarves keep extensive records about their history and the world around them. Dwarves with this racial trait receive a +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (history) checks that pertain to dwarves or their enemies. They can make such skill checks untrained.
  • Mercantile: Dwarves gain +2 bonus to appraise checks and diplomacy checks during any negotiations involving the exchange of goods or services.
  • Sense Undead: Dwarves can sense undead up to 60 feet with a successful perception check The DC is equal to 10+ creature CR+ Creature Cha bonus. A successful check denotes the presence of undead, but not specific location. This is an immediate action check, with no activation required. A psionic dwarven character can spend one Power point to try to pinpoint the creature at a -5 to the check.
  • Hatred: Dwarves gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against creatures of the Undead subtype because of their special training against these foes.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves are proficient with battleaxes, heavy picks, and warhammers, and treat any weapon with the word “dwarven” in its name as a martial weapon.

  • Human Ethnicities

    So, after 2 weeks of no updates, it is time to kick off Races, starting with humans.

    Humans are the most populous of all the races on the continent, and are also the most diverse. Even in the lands of the Elves and Ophiduans, Humans are not too uncommon. However, Humans are also the most politically fractious race, seeing themselves separated by national borders and ideologies more than any other race.

    Humans fall broadly into 6 different ethnicities. These are described by traditional area and physicality below, as well as stereotypes associated by others.

    Deeram: Short, blonde/light hair tones, pale skin tones with blue to green eye colour being common. Traditionally from  central to central-northern areas. Deeram folk are traditionally seen as calm and level headed types.

    Shenite: Short, pale skin, curled or wavy dark hair and dark eyes. Traditionally from western and north-western areas. Often perceived as imperious, and many consider themselves the prime human race.

    Terichlan: Lean, average height, dusky skin tone, no facial hair with dark hair tones and angular features. geographically separated from most of humanity for so long in Terichticlan. This ethnicity is often the source of many strange rumours.

    Erfanic: Powerfully built, varying pale to olive skin tones with reddish brown hair hues. Found mostly in eastern and north-eastern areas. Often considered brutish and blunt.

    Wastile: Dark skin tones, straight black hair and medium heights and builds. Wastile have a reputation as liars and shrewd negotiators. usually found in Bax and the fringes of the Wastes.

    Northiran: Powerfully built, with varied hair hues and thick hair. Skin tones are usually on the darker end of medium and tan easily. This ethnicity is seen as either docile or imperious depending on social class.

    The different ethnicities have no racial modifiers or abilities to differentiate themselves, but will have access to slightly different ancestry traits, and possibly even feats. Human ethnicities are mostly for character development and flavour, as well as showing a diversity in the race with the largest population.

    This is a flexible and by no means final list, and I may add some at a later date.

    Sunday, April 12, 2015

    Political landscape 200(ish) years post breaking

    So here is the working post apocalypse world.

    Isle of dreams: This island off the Western coast was part of the Astorina Imperium until it was swallowed into the raging cyclone. With the cyclone finally beginning to abate and move, the isle was freed again, revealing a hardy people that had survived in the eye.

    Hastrix: Hastrix took the opportunity to move against the Astorina Imperium following the Breaking, and now controls the northern edge of the Imperium. (Language: Hastran, Imperial. Culture: Hastran/Imperial. Government: Monarchy)

    Broken Horn: Another former holding of Astorina, the 2nd great peninsula is now an island, self governed by a council of those still faithful to the gods. It is isolated both geographically and politically from the rest of the continent now. The council, and the people, are of the belief that turning back to the gods will heal the world.(Language: Imperial. Culture:Eclectic. Government: Theocracy)

    The Astorina Imperium: Despite crippling setbacks, the empire still survives, ruled by the Astori. Much of it's former glory and power has faded, and the population still suffers the occasional outbreak of the rotting. Many Noble families have seceded, forcing the Astori to elevate ruthless mercantile families to noble status. There is also now a parliament to advise the Emperor, though both the imperial and parliamentary factions wield equal power in an uneasy alliance. (Language: Imperial. Culture: Imperial. Government: Constitutional Monarchy)

    Lize: Once the Anchored Duchy, a former duke proclaimed himself Duke-Admiral after cowing other surviving duchies and absorbing them. Lize still commands the most powerful navy in the world, and tests the water's and borders of its neighbours constantly. (Language: Imperial. Culture: Aexen. Government: Monarchy)

    The Kingdom of Zynos: When the nation of Zynos was cleft in twain by the gods, millions died and were misplaced. the survivors and the military forces claimed lands traditionally held by the southern Bule and northern Zene and has survived, although barely. (Language: Zynan Culture: Zynan. Government: Monarchy)

    Republic of Mynar: Mynar was also cleft in twain by the gods, but the area that was taken was sparsely populated woodlands. Mynar has continued as a democracy, and has slowly claimed lands abandoned by the abandonment of Zynos.

    Caliphate of Bax: When the Breaking was over, Bax was in a strong position. Much of its military remained, and it occupied lands held by Kile and southern Zene. However, within 2 decades of the breaking, the 4 oases that provided the lifeblood in the desert turned salty and poisoned, forcing them to abandon lands as the wastes began to expand. The Caliphate holds none of its former holdings, and the ruling caliphs contend with a disloyal populace. Culture: Baxish/ Aexen. Language: Arasac/Imperial. Government: Allied Monarchies)

    Unbroken Duchy of Nove: Nove claims itself the sole remaining "true Duchy", having claimed no extra lands or cowed any other duchy. Many families of dukes deposed or conquered survive here, dreaming of one day reforming the duchies again. But Nove is a dying nation, with the crater to the north, the stronger nations of Astorina to the west and Bax to the east. But worst, the wastes to the south, which every year creep in, taking more lands, threatening to wipe Nove off the map forever.(Language: Imperial. Culture: Aexen. Government: Monarchic Oligarchy)

    The Salt Marshes: After the huge Tsunami shattered most of Sytheria to the north-east, the waters receded, leaving salty marshlands now ruled by Lizardfolk; degenerate cousins of the Ophiduans.

    Sytheros: The lands of western Sytheria had long held dissenting tribes of Ophiduans of a more aggressive bent. After the Tsunami, Sytheros broke away from Sytheria and formed an independent nation of Ophiduans. These Ophiduans see the breaking as the fault of humanity, and still harbour great anger in regards to it. Sytheros considers itself an ally to Sytheria, but is still fiercely independent. (Language Sisthassian. Culture: Ophiduan. Government: Meritocracy)

    Sytheria: Now controlling less than a quarter of the land it used to, the nation of Sytheria consists of the last great jungle that the Ophiduans call home. The ophiduans now research ways to increase their reproduction rates to try to recover before they are outbred by the younger races. (Language Sisthassian. Culture: Ophiduan. Government: Meritocracy)

    Quesaras: During the breaking, the Elves suffered the least, and have cautiously expanded their borders to the north and south.

    Umbractlan: Having put their priest-kings to death after the Breaking, the survivors of Tecnocticlan fled from the eternal night to the land that still received daylight, as well as the shadowy strip of twilight. IT is now ruled by a psionic council from the walled city of Penumbricht.(Language: Honichtic. Culture: Kerichtic. Government: Psionocracy)

    The Hordelands:  this barren and unhospitable wilderness houses tribes of goblinoids and other monsters. No unifying form of government exists in this wild land.
    The Hungering Lands: Formerly Thehn, these lands are filled with the remnants of Dwarven culture and glory, as well as the Hungering, zombie-like dwarves that occasionally push into the neighbouring wastes and nations, searching for new flesh to consume and increase their numbers.

    True Maryx: The new nation is made up of the free Hobgoblins that remain of Maryx. They viciously oppose Maryx, and defend their borders from incursions from the Hungering. (Language: Goblin. Culture: Hobgoblin. Government: Dictatorship.)

    Maryx: To the untrained eye, it would appear that the Maenad are a servitor race to the Hobgoblins in Maryx. However, the Maened are the true power, controlling with subtle psionic manipulation and Thrallherders. (Language: Goblin/Northiran. Culture: Hobgoblin/Northir. Government: Dictatorship/Psionocracy.)

    The Reborn Lands: After the raging volcano began to calm, it left behind rich fertile volcanic soil in what was the edge of south-western Northire, as well as new lands risen from the sea floor. The Maened, Humans, Dwarves and Elves of this land work in concert to reseed the lands here with lush forests and farmlands. The ash fields still dominate the centre of their lands, but each year the volcano quiets a little more, ceding new lands to this new nation. (Language: No official. Culture: No official. Government: Council.)

    Northire: This western nation is all that remains of old Northire. The arcane has been replaced by the psionic, but in many respects follows the old Northiran concept of the gifted controlling the populace through forced ignorance. (Culture: Northirian. Language: Northir. Government: Psionocracy.)

    Dorial: After the Imperial Mesa was broken, the Eastern side seceded from the Astorina Imperium. The nobles secluded themselves from the rest of the empire to prevent the Rotting from touching their estates. Dorial vigorously defends its borders, and has a strict population limit, banishing those it has no use for. (Language: Imperial. Culture: Imperial. Government: Monarchic council.)

    The Wastes: After the collapse of the Hive city, the surviving Dromite, now imbued with individuality, founded 5 new hive cities, so that no disaster could wipe them out again. The wastes expands it's border's every year, as more land is consumed by the dunes.

    Sunday, April 5, 2015

    The Breaking

    So, I guess it is finally time to discuss the actual events of the breaking.

    This also gives name to what the deities become: Echo gods. Shades of the former power they once wielded, and desperate to regain their former glory.

    After Kile falls, the altars are destroyed and the King of Zynos declares himself God-king, the weakened and wounded gods put aside all previous differences, and decide that mortals need to be punished; both the faithless for turning from them, and the faithful for failing them.

    First, Tavost imbued all other deities with his power of justice and retribution, filling them with righteous fury. Tavost became the first Echo god, sacrificing himself in the name of the justice he felt the world deserved.

    As a test, Vanur focused his will on the twin mountains in the Hordelands known as the Fangs. With divine fury, he shears the top off the two mountains, and throws the rubble high and allows it to land indiscriminately. Few mortals outside the monstrous and savage races of the Hordelands are aware this happens.

    Seeing his success, many deities imbue some portion of their strength in Vanur, making him the strongest, but not sole, instrument of their vengeance. In order, Vanur:

    • Creates a tsunami of immense power and strikes down the nation of Sytheria. the wave recedes, leaving broken lands that form into islands and swampy bayous over the years. Of the survivors, some slowly regress to lizardfolk, but true ophiduans further inland survive.
    • Gouges the very earth of Zynos, clearing the mountains and great gorge from the northern sea to the inner crystal lake, shattering Zynos' strength and slaughtering millions. Salt water rushes to the fresh water of the crystal lake, squickly poisoning the waters.
    • Cracks the large stone mesa in the heart of Astorina that holds estates for the most powerful families.
    • Forms a powerful cyclone off the coast of Astorina that still exists several centuries later, battering and reforming the coast, and cutting the Isle of Dreams off from the mainland.
    • Collapses the hive city of the Dromite Hive mind.
    • Pulls forth a mighty volcano from the sea bed off the south western coast of Northire.
    Dharaka has her vengeance next, and Curses the dwarves, untouched by the war, but never true worshippers. The Hungering strikes, turning many into ravenous undead, and the curse can pass from a simple bite. The dwarves, unprepared, at first try to fight against their own people, but the tide turns so quickly that less than 1 in 5 dwarves finally escapes their walled nation as refugees to the north and south. The Dwarven Diaspora begins.

    Dharaka also curses the lands of Astorina with a hideous rotting curse. Entire villages are wiped out in days, and cities become ghostly vestiges of themselves as funery pyres burn nigh and day to try to halt the spread of the Rotting.

    Reytare weakens foundation stones around the world, and great buildings and palaces begin to topple under their own weight. He also releases many automatons to their own free will and imbues them with murderous rage.

    Harichtlan, who was worshipped solely in his sun aspect in Kerichticlan, cloaks most of the nation in eternal night by the formation of a new small moon. The other moon he knocks off it's orbit, making tides unpredictable. The sun beats hotter in summer now and colder in winter, making seasons harsher.

     Garneae and Ithiriae work in concert. Crops and livestock begin to perish, and their fertility is much reduced, whereas the wilds are imbued with fecundity. Many of the most dangerous beasts are gifted with dangerous mutations, as are the most innocuous of creatures.

    Martov, with her iron sword, takes the fallen armour and weapons of the ages and imbues them with power and rage, sending them out on slaughtering rampages against the world.

    Sularin, in a strange twist, made himself mortal, and went down to the world and is never heard of again.

    Uthirian, driven made with loss and rage, commits suicide, causing arcane magic to go wild and to cause insanity amongst all the arcane practitioners of the world. Powerful Ether storms rip across northire, his pain and rage infecting some of his remaining followers, changing them as their minds break.

    Last of all the gods, Nishtia, who was mother to all others, looked down at the world and saw that through all the horror, the mortals were still fighting. She saw armies marching through Yole, and decided that it had to end. She pulled a stone from her glittering heaven, and with all her rage and pain, struck the earth with it, destroying Yole, and all that fought within its borders.

    Thus, the world was broken.