View Full Version : The Lands of Erebus
Mar 01, 2009, 10:57 PM
I have a feeling this request is a bit too complicated to be fulfilled, but it never hurts to ask. I am trying to put together a players guide to Erebus for DnD 4.0. This mostly consists of reading the civilopedia and copying large portions of it so someone who has never played FFH could make a character and understand Erebus. But there is one major part I need that will take a lot of effort: a map of Erebus. I don't mean a map made in world builder for FFH, but a nice fantasy map that a gaming group could get lost in. Are there any artists out there?
Okay, that may be a bit much. In an effort to get it started, could someone help me list all of the canon places that exist in FFH, so they can be (hopefully) put together like a puzzle? I don't mean cities or unique features, I mean land masses. Here are a few that I can think of off the top of my head. I will probably have to dig through the Civilopedia to get more.
Grigori Plains - Grigori location.
The Wastelands - Sheaim location. Bradeline's Well.
Aefon Isle - Mostly sunk, once home to the Aefon.
Cliffs of Hastur - Borders Balseraph and Bannor lands
Labscrum - Orc jungles. Pyre of the Seraphic
Desert of Myrh - Malakim and Calabim location. Mirror of Heaven.
Aegian Sea/Isles - Lanun location(?)
Deruptus Mountains - Khazad(?)
The Umbra - Home of the Once Elves(?)
Lowlands - Sidar location(unnamed location)
Any help is appreciated.
Mar 02, 2009, 12:03 AM
This is actually one of Perpentach's titles, not the name of a place. Perpentach is the Momus; his little game takes place at the Cliffs of Hastur.
AFAIK, Erebus' geography is ill-defined. Take the places that are defined, and piece them together in a way that seems fitting, but expect to use your imagination a lot.
Thinking about the biomes the civs traditionally inhabit...
Cold: Doviello, Illians, Amurites? (I'd place them in a Canada-like latitude.)
Tropical: Clan, Bannor (who emerged in Clan territory... it's hard to think of the Rome-like Bannor as a tropical culture, but this seems to be the case.)
Coastal Tropics: Lanun, Balseraphs? (The Lanun and Balseraphs are apparently close, geographically. If you don't like the Balseraphs as an island civ, I'd place the Lanun at something equivalent to the Carribean, and give the Balseraphs a piece of the continent nearby and a few islands of their own.)
Desert: Malakim, Calabim (although they start out more in the grasslands/savannah near the desert, IIRC)
Mar 02, 2009, 01:12 AM
This is actually one of Perpentach's titles, not the name of a place. Perpentach is the Momus; his little game takes place at the Cliffs of Hastur.
I can't believe I made that mistake. :lol: I was trying to remember the name of the orc lands in the scenario where you fight them in the jungles.
There is a new one, the Cliffs of Hastur. Although I was under the impression that the Bannor empire was located there. I believe they tossed a witch off of a cliff?
I know the various climates and areas of the civilizations, I just need more details to put them where they go. Right now, for basic geography, I know that Erebus is flat, there are at least two continents (the Lanun civ entry states that the eastern Lanun were cut off from the western [although that could just refer to the Aegean Isles...]), there is a large section of islands, and the northern and southern reaches are frozen, although not proper poles (as it is flat). As I get more information, I hope I can get a better picture.
Also, I am going to edit the first post as I go along.
Mar 02, 2009, 01:16 AM
Technically, The Momus is the host body that Perpentach's mind possessed shortly after escaping the Palus.
The Cliffs of Hastur is where Lita the Witch was thrown before becoming the mother of Mardero and his brothers. It may be that the Bannor border the Balseraphs, or later expanded into that land.
The Malakim live in the Desert of Myrh, as did the Calabim (near the desert's edge) before Decius founded his empire.
We know that Decius's Empire includes "Everything from the taiga bordering the Umbra down the coast of the great Ocean to the Deruptus mountains, and west to the foothills of Tempus Mor." We also know that south of the Deruptus pass the land drops in elevation very sharply and leads to the marshy lowlands where the Sidar dwell.
Mar 02, 2009, 02:07 AM
It's not an 'official' map, but Nikis-Knight's map (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=247328) seems to be as close to official as it can get, seeing as many of the official scenarios take place on near exact portions of it.
Mar 02, 2009, 08:03 AM
Funny coincidence, that ;)
The Orc lands are the Labscrum.
Mar 02, 2009, 09:24 AM
Also keep in mind that there are two factions in the Khazad empire, one led by Arturus and one by Kandros. They're both near to the Hippus lands, according to Arturus's Civilopedia entry.
Mar 02, 2009, 04:23 PM
Yes, Kandros Fir's Capital is Halowell, and I guess Arturus Thornes's Capital is Kazak.
Mar 02, 2009, 09:19 PM
Yes, I love Nikis's map. ;) I was considering taking it and assigning name places to it, but I was not sure how accurate it would be. Is it intended to be the whole world, or just one section of it? That would certainly make things a lot easier. I never even noticed that places were taken directly from it for the scenarios. :crazyeye:
Edit: I updated the first post a bit more. Known locales are places that I vaguely understand where they are or what is in them. Unknown locales I am a clueless on, or guessing as to what is there. Clarifications or confirmations?
Mar 02, 2009, 09:35 PM
I used it for my scenarios, because it was already the best way to fit the puzzle pieces together in my mind. Of course, changes were made for the sake of better playability, and it doesn't match the locales of all the other scenarios completely. I was trying to make the whole world, and made it wrap because that's the only way that I could get it all to work out well--plus, in a round world civs can't be as far apart as they are in a flat one, so more interaction is possible, though that may not be an advantage for your purposes.
Also, I don't like continents much in civ gameplay; maybe you would prefer them, or prefer some unexplored lands.
Mar 03, 2009, 12:09 PM
Will you be sharing your work with the public? I have long thought about doing what you plan to as well. Perhaps we could get a group of D&D fans to all participate? My dream of playing that Chaotic Neutral Balseraph Bard may finally come to fruition.
Mar 03, 2009, 04:54 PM
I'd love to. As soon as I am done with the first draft I will post it. I have never played 4.0 before, so I am learning about what has changed as well as converting to Fall From Heaven lore. Right now I have a slightly modified history (I wanted to keep the One and Vampires a secret), reassigned races, the religions outlined, the various civilizations histories, and feats reassigned (to the proper gods and races). All of that is in its first versions. I also made some very minor changes to the philosophy of divine spells.
The hard part I have yet to start is taking all of the arcane and divine combat abilities and reworking them to fit the FFH magic system. For example, most of the wizard arcane spells are cold based, which doesn't make sense to me. I will probably start on that this weekend, but balancing something I have never played will be tricky. On the plus side, the concept of Rituals will make converting FFH specific spells a heck of a lot easier. I can actually make all of the spells in FFH, even Spring and Unyielding Order, plausible and balanced choices.
Mar 03, 2009, 06:34 PM
The easiest way would be to simply have new descriptions of the wizard (and cleric) powers, though that won't as satisfying, so you'll doubtless want some mechanical variation to the spheres/gods. But I'd stay close to the powers as designed initially.
Mar 03, 2009, 10:46 PM
I was thinking of doing a straight damage type change (ice becomes lightning or something). But that does seem like a bit of a cop out. Unfortunately, 4.0 seems have removed all non-combat spells and put them into Rituals, so the only thing that can be changed is damage type (or a description of why your enemy is dazed or fell asleep or whatever).
I am concentrating on arcane magic first, as that seems like it will be easier. I would love some feedback on my planned changes so far. This does, of course, require some knowledge of DnD 4.0.
I took the Warlock's three paths and assigned them to three of the religions:
Fey Pact – Fellowship of the Leaves
Infernal Pact – Ashen Veil
Star Pact – Whispers of the Wave
This fit surprisingly well. I am thinking of making these the replacement for Priests of those religions.
What I would like to do for Wizards is keep their Powers as they are, but change the damage type of Cold to either Lightning or Thunder. This would be easy to balance. The spheres would come into play by limiting what Rituals you can learn. I would divide up the rituals that currently exist into the Erebus spheres, and then add more (based on FFH spells) to even the number out.
I am trying to make this as easy a transition as possible. As for playing a chaotic neutral Balseraph bard... Chaotic neutral no longer exists as an alignment and bard is no longer a class. In fact, there is not even a perform skill (or craft). :( Crazy, I know.
edit: After looking on Amazon, I guess the bard class is being introduced in the Players Handbook 2. Great. Another book to buy. :P
Mar 04, 2009, 12:13 AM
Yeah I haven't bought any 4th books yet either. My roommate has a few but I refused to do so until I get the best class ever created back. You know, the Bard. Taking Bards and Druids out of the PHB was just stupid.
Mar 05, 2009, 10:18 AM
They will finally make their return in 2 weeks time (especially glad about the druid making its return myself... And the bard looks neat as well so far.).
I agree that it was truly lacking in that part so far.
But can basically understand why they did exclude those classes from a design perspective (time for testing the mechanics which make the new core and covering different aspects of the game in different books each (while churning out books like crazy. No more comprehensive things mostly. DMG excluded.).
4th is much more of a tabletop than 3rd has been. RP is even more dependent on the GM as has been in 3rd (basically everything RP-Related is now in the hands of the GM with few rules on the matter.).
They probably speculated that the old fans would come aboard anyways later on (when the more story-based classes and races come along. If that will hit the mark will be seen...) and thus focused on acquiring new players first (while conveniently harvesting those players who migrate despite the lacking classes / races. ;)). Hence the selection of races in PHB1 as well which i have also not been very fond of... In spite of that all i migrated to 4th and have had quite some opportunity to play. All in all I'm glad i did. The even much stronger focus on Teamwork is what i like most..
I wouldn't be very surprised if PHB2 would be much more about the RP part of the game. Since the combat + character creation part is mostly covered in PHB 1. And i doubt that the PHB 2 will be much thinner than PHB1.
If that's true for content as well will have to be juged when it comes out....
I would recommend you wait at least until PHB 2 comes out in mid-march (to have at least some sensible selection of classes to cover all the basic lines. The classes after all are much! more narrow then in 3rd.
As is multiclassing (which is very hard to do compared to a 3rd Edition sense. The multiclass feats are mostly a side-note now... That in fact might be a boon in what you try to do here since mixing and matching the paths in FFH2 while possible is rather hard.).
I guess about 25-30 will be needed to cover the full scope of the 11? classes of base 3rd Edition. Thats inherent in the new system. Expect many more Players Handbooks to fill the various mechanics covered in 3rd.), use the classes which fit to a concept mechanically! and then strongly re-flavor those classes to match the lore.
No need to stick to wizards as arcanes (or especially clerics as divines which by no way will cover the divine line of FFH") just because they are called that way in the PHB and trying to reinvent the wheel. When you just need to go shopping for the fitting mechanics and slap the fitting lore (which already exists in the mod galore.) on top.
The other way is bond to be pain and by no means guaranteed sucess.
I for one would suggest you go with the cleric class for the arcane line and use a reflavored "channel divinity" feats for the spheres (3 per sphere. Fits with 1 cast per turn as well with channel divinity being an encounter power. ;)).
(because wizards are much more crippling / battlefield control-oriented in 4th. Invokers from PHB 2 might fit here as well... One of the primal classes (don't know for sure if its the druid or the shaman) encompasses summoning. So that might be a good fit here as well.)
The only problem here would be healing which should be the domain of the divine line. But thats not as hard to slap on the "wizard class" / other controllers as trying to get the rest right... (balancing it well would still take some work but i guess that could be compensated by adding a bit of versatility via some utility things here because the cleric is a rather narrow class by itself focused on healing and channel divinity as well as some ranged and some melee powers.)
The Warlock and to a lesser extent the Wizard might be a good base for the very diverse divine line (with the Paladin for the more combat-oriented part of the divines like Crusader, Stygean Guard or Paramander and the things following it). (and of course possibly Shaman and Druid in PHB2. Perhaps the Sorceror whould fit in here as well for some religions...)
Just make each of the 7 main religions a different class. Or at least the more strongly difering religions (or possibly do so with different paragorn-paths.).
For the recon-line Rouges of course still fit. (Wardens + Avengers from PHB 2 might fit here as well.)
For mounted line the Ranger oddly might be fitting (combination of skirmishing tactics, solid ranged + melee possibilities.). The Ranger is much less wilderness oriented now (thats the domain of the primal classes now mostly) than the class has been in 3rd (some other classes might fit in here as well).
While retaining enough features to still have the necessary skills light cavalry needs to process. (heavy cavalry like chariots and knights on the other hand might better be covered by other classes.)
(The barbarian might be a good fit here to. Remains to be seen.)
Here the problem might be that the ranger would also be a the most obvious good fit for the archery line (warlock or sorcerer might fit as well if strongly re-flavored.).
For line Melee fighter of course is a good fit (as might be the Barbarian from PHB 2.)
The warlord class might fit into different lines (as might the Bard from PHB 2.) and might fill what lines are not covered to your liking if the mechanics are to what you envision for the line.
Siege would have to be covered by equipment since no class i can think of could sensibly emulate that.. (But large-battlefield things are high-paragorn or low epic tier + now anyways where the high-tier units can deliver simmilar results anyways.)
For Races its similar. Better stick to fitting mechanics and then slap the flavor on top (Elves still likely fit for elves.
But Eladrin for example might be better fit mechanically for the amurites for example.
Humans wouldn't really fit all the human civs in FFH2. ;) But still need to cover multiple ones since the selection isn't 21 even with the PHB2).
What plays very much into your hands is that the new tiered system of D&D 4th coincides quite nicely with the tiers of FFH2.
Heroic tier can be conveniently used to depict Units of Tier 2 Melee (Axemen), Recon(Hunters), Mounted (Horsemen/Chariots) and Archery (Archers) as well as Tier 1 of Divine (desciples) or Arcane lines (adepts.).
Since Heroic Tier in 4th already skips the very start of the career with even the Level 1 Chars already being formidable combatants you should just skip Tier 1 (Warriors and Scouts) outright.
With the Paragorn tier used to depict Tier 3 Melee (Champions), Recon (Rangers and Assasins), Mounted (Horse Archers and the likes, perhaps Rathas or metal Chariots) and Archery (Longbowmen, Nightwatches) as well as Tier 2 of the divine (various Priests) and Arcane (Mages) lines.
But be cautious! not to try to solve all! the different spheres / faiths just by differing them via paragorn path (which even can provide slightly more than that anyways.).
Since the base class and the at-wills are the most influential choice for a character in 4th (paragorn multiclassing which is real multiclassing in the old sense conveniently ignored here. ;)), effecting the character trough his whole career with about equal (albeit quite a margin lesser than the class choice) importance of paragorn / epic choices.
If you try for example to differentiate Confessors and Ritualists via a Paragorn-Path that is bond to fail mechanically.
1 class may! encompass 2 or at best 3 different faiths of FFH2 (the mechanically and morally close ones mostly...).
And epic tier might conveniently depict the various Tier 4 Units (Archmages, Druids / Paladins/..., Phalanx and Immortals.). I think the biggest deal will be to get the classes and paragon-paths right
Provided you want to go with 4th at all since it really is a different game mostly (with the same core D20 system but the rest is changed so it becomes a different game.). I have my doubts if 4th in its current condition
(new, not fully fleshed out. Narrow selection possibly even with the Phb 2 tossed into the mix) can do the World of FFH2 justice (perhaps in a year or 2 with another set or 3 of additional classes.
But that doesn't mean of course it wouldn't make sense to get the basics right and expand later when additional classes come into the mix.).
Mar 05, 2009, 04:01 PM
Thanks Blackmantle. I will indeed be waiting until the PH2 comes out before I try modifying the classes more. I will probably be working on the map this weekend.
But I think you may have misunderstood what I am trying to make... I am not trying to create a table top version of FFH2. I am trying to create a guidebook to running an adventure in the FFH universe. I don't need (or plan on creating) tiered units, or siege equipment, or an exact copy of FFH2. If someone wants to play a Hippus horse archer, they can choose ranger (or warrior or whatever) and take feats and write a back story to fit that.
I may make some of the Paragon paths and Epic paths into the better units from FFH2, but that would mostly be in name. I am not trying to create a whole new game, and certainly not going to convert everything in FFH2 into a DnD game. I mostly want the lore.
Mar 05, 2009, 07:35 PM
random q: what's the whisper of the wave? did u make that up or is part of the lore? sounds interesting
Mar 05, 2009, 08:40 PM
I changed "Octopus Overlords" to "Whispers of the Wave". I think Octopus Overlords sounds a little silly, and the last thing you want in a dark fantasy setting is something that will make the players joke and get side tracked for 15 minutes. The new name was largely inspired by the pedia entry for OO Temple. I like the idea of many voices slowly driving someone crazy (whispers) and they come from the sea (wave). I think it also sounds mysterious and alluring, and so would not scare potential worshippers (or player characters) away.
That is just my personal preference, though. :p
Mar 19, 2009, 08:31 PM
I would be interested to see what you end up writing for this, as I may do something similar.