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Erebus RPG Player's Guide (Work in progress)

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Lore' started by Nikis-Knight, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Nikis-Knight

    Nikis-Knight Chieftain

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    2nd version attached
    -work in progress, but open to suggestions. Currently working on geograpy and backgrounds.-

    I've seen many people (well, at least a dozen or so) express some intent to play an RPG such as D & D in the wonderful setting Kael created and has elaborated in this Civ 4 mod. I'm considering doing likewise (largely because it's hard for me to stay interested in multiple worlds at once, and this one is more interesting to me at the moment than 7th sea or Warhammer, and seems like a good fit for my currently board game only group). So I started writing this players' guide, and am sharing it here for feedback and for anyone else to use.

    It was supposed to be a sort of crash course into Erebus for the unitiated, though it is bloating a bit. There's also spoilery bits, such as the fact that the Sheaim want to destroy the world and that the Calabim are vampires; I'm on the fence about including that or keeping it secret. But in general it is being written with a lower level of knowledge about the world assumed, the details of which would come out later in play. [Edit--I've removed some of these, but you may wish to go further.]

    Plenty here is copy-and-pasted, but I think the format is useful. There is also plenty of my assumptions and extrapolations, which are of course only cannon in my world. Feel free to point out discrepencies with something else commonly known that I've forgotten, of course, but if it's not conflicting with something in-game, I might just say I like my version better.;)

    One last thing, it assumes D & D 4th edition, which I kinda like and plan on using personally, but it would be easy enough to throw out a bit of that terminology should you want to use something else. My goal was to make an easy translation of the setting back to the RPG, so in some cases things will take a name from each. If this bugs you, ignore it.:p

    (In case you missed the above implication, Kael gets most of the credit for original ideas herein. Also, on the off chance that you like this, please don't post it elsewhere in the current state.)
     

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  2. evanb

    evanb Chieftain

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    I have only one question: is it KYLORIN or KYORLIN? :)
     
  3. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    I think it is supposed to be Kylorin, but I like the sound of Kyorlin better. Both are found in the civilopedia, but Kylorin is more common. Kyorlin is only found in the Govannon entry, the German version of the gift of Kylorin, and the English version of the AoI maceman pedia entry. I thought it was Kyorlin for the first 2 years, but now I think that is probably just a typo.


    I considered claiming that Kylorin changed his name to Kyorlin when he repented from his evil ways or when he defeated Mulcarn, as Kyorlin only seems to be used when he is spoken of in his more heroic aspects. I don't really have anything to back this up, but I probably could have convinced some people to believe it and might have made it true.
     
  4. Verdian

    Verdian Chieftain

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    Wow, great! I have only skimmed it, but I just glad someone (else) has taken up the project. I have been busy lately and waiting for the Players Handbook 2, so I put my work on hold. I would love to share my notes with you, though. I know you asked in the other thread, but I would rather keep everything together.

    Lore Changes
    I changed three main things with the lore, and even then they are pretty mild.
    Spoiler :
    1) Octopus Overlords had their name changed to Whispers of the Wave for aesthetic reasons.
    2) I altered the creation story of Erebus so that the One does not exist. Note that the One does still exist, I just did not want to players to know about him. The excuse for Agares rebelling is that once the gods created Creation, they decided to no longer share their powers. Agares became jealous and turned some of the gods to his side. I know it is flimsy, and I like it that way. If a player questions it, and figures out on his own that there is a greater God, fantastic.
    3) The fact that the Calabim are vampires is not well known, and so the lore makes no mention of them. Instead, I wrote them to be an especially cruel aristocracy that treats their serfs like cattle. Again, this is just representative of the people of Erebus not knowing.


    Civilization Changes
    The Elohim, Sheaim, and Sidar are not countries.
    Spoiler :
    The Elohim have one city, which is more like a monastary. They have shrines scattered around the holy sites of the world, some of which may be fairly extensive, depending on the site.

    The Sidar have one hidden city.

    The Sheaim is a cult that has gathered in the Wastes. They have one city as well, but no reason to expand yet. This was a time line decision, as I wanted to run a game before the Scenarios took place.


    Game Mechanics
    Races
    I assigned a FFH race to what I felt was an appropriate DnD race.
    Spoiler :
    Humans - Humans
    Dragonborn - none
    Dwarves - Khazad
    Eladrin – Sidar (you are not a fae)
    Elves – Ljosalfar and Svartalfar
    Half-elves – Elohim (cannot take Elven feats)
    Halflings - Luchirip
    Tieflings - none
    I have my doubts about halflings as Luchirip, but that is as close as one can get without changing the race a lot. Half-elves just seemed to fit very well for the Elohim, but they could work as humans, too.

    Feats
    I went through all the feats in the PHB1 and edited and changed them where needed. Here is a list of what they were called, what I changed the name to, and the new prerequisites.
    Spoiler :
    *Armor of Bahamet – “Armor of Junil” Requires worship of Junil.
    *Avandra’s Rescue – “Ceridwen’s Rescue” Requires worship of Ceridwen.
    Burning Blizzard – Requires Illian.
    *Corellon’s Grace – “Tali’s Grace” Requires worship of Tali.
    Dragonborn Frenzy – Requires Orc.
    Dragonborn Senses – Requires Amurite.
    Eladrin Soldier – “Guardsman Training” Requires Bannor.
    Enlarged Dragon Breath – Not used.
    Ferocious Rebuke – Not used.
    Group Insight – No prerequisites.
    *Harmony of Erathis – “Chosen of Camulos” Requires worship of Camulos.
    Hellfire Blood – Requires worship of Bhall or Whispers of the Waves.
    *Ioun’s Poise – “Sirona’s Foresight” Requires worship of Sirona.
    *Kord’s Favor – “Aeron’s Favor” Requires worship of Aeron.
    *Melora’s Tide – “Sucellus’s Kiss” Requires worship of Sirona.
    *Moradin’s Resolve – “Kilmorph’s Resolve” Requires worship of Kilmorph.
    *Pelor’s Radiance – “Arawn’s Call” Requires worship of Arawn.
    Raging Storm – Requires worship Tali?
    Raven Queen’s Blessing – “Amathon’s Blessing” Requires worshipping Amathon.
    Sehanine’s Reversal – “Dagda’s Reversal” Requires worship of Dagda.
    Wintertouched – Requires Illian or Doviello.

    You'll note that I have assigned each cleric feat power to a new, specific god, marked with a *. I still have not added powers for Lugus, Nantosuelta, Oghma, Mammon, and Esus. This is mostly because I wanted to wait for the new book.

    Classes
    I have not yet finished this, as I was waiting for the PHB2.
    Spoiler :
    All I really changed was Warlocks. They are now like the priests of specific religions, although a player could still play a cleric of one of those religions. The pacts are now associated with the religions.
    Fey Pact – Fellowship of the Leaves​
    Infernal Pact – Ashen Veil (requires evil)​
    Star Pact – Whispers of the Wave​
    This may change depending on the new classes, though.

    Other than that, I only changed the fact that the paladin and cleric spells do, in fact, come from the gods themselves, and not the human (I don't know why this was changed for DnD 4).


    I hope it is of use to you. I would much rather someone involved in the official lore write this kind of thing. :lol:

    Edit: I really like your history, mine was waaaaay to long and specific. It sums things up nicely while not giving everything away. Your god summary is well done as well. I've been wanting something like that for a while. I take it the Undertow is your name for the Octopus Overlords?
     
  5. LDiCesare

    LDiCesare Chieftain

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    You turned Dagda and Oghma into goddesses? It will be hard for Irish-lore-knowers to view the Dagda, the god famous for the 'track of his club' as a female. Sounds a bit like calling John and Jack goddesses.
     
  6. mahazel

    mahazel Chieftain

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    Gnome could be better.
     
  7. KillerClowns

    KillerClowns Chieftain

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    Funny, that. Erebus is kind of like [wiki]Planescape[/wiki]; it can be reshaped by belief. Except, unfortunately for Os-Gabella, the re-shaping belief is external, not internal... still, her loss, our gain.
     
  8. Darksaber1

    Darksaber1 Secret Emperor

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    I agree, and even think that the Luichuirp have been refrenced as gnomes in the past.
     
  9. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    The Luchuirp were gnomes instead of dwarves in Kael's D&D campaigns. Technically they are still gnomes, but when Kael made FfH he decided that it is better for gnomes to be a subcatagory of dwarf rather than a seperate species.
     
  10. kenkrajen

    kenkrajen Chieftain

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    i like kael's explanation of gnomes. i couldn't figure out how to fit them in my campaign naturally, so i said they were luchuirp that the balseraph enslaved and experiment on. kind of explains there bardic leanings with their natural spell like abilities, but kael's version make's much more sense.

    on another note, it's a great intro to ffh for those who haven't played the mod.
     
  11. Verdian

    Verdian Chieftain

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    Gnomes have been grossly changed from DnD 3.5 to 4. They are fae tricksters now, and really do not fit the Luchirip. Besides that, there are currently no rules on how to make a gnome character. :(
     
  12. Nikis-Knight

    Nikis-Knight Chieftain

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    I do believe the it is kylorin, although I have to confess to spelling errors not infrequently due to an inability to pronounce most of the celtic names.

    I agree with changing the name because I want to preserve some mystery about what happened to Danalin, and Octopus Overlords makes it sound like the followers know who is in charge. I like your suggestion.
    Yeah, as I rewrote the history I was quite vague about the origin of the universe and didn't mention a creator of the gods themselves.
    I think that is the path I will take for the evil nations with their secrets, although at present I have it explicit (mostly because I really like how most of the civ descriptions are phrased on the website)

    I will take a similar approach, though with different nations. I think the Kuriotates will be only one *huge* city, the Doviello will have very few if any actual cities, and the Balseraphs will probably only have one very famous city. Sidar should probably be very few in number, you are right.
    Since this isn't a nation-centric strategy game, they can have quite different power levels.

    I think a year or two would be a good time for a default starting point, although Age of Magic, Dawn of Rebirth, or Post War of Auric's Ambition would also be fun milieu to explore. In game time, I would put this at about 100-150 turns in, at 2-3 turns per year.

    This is a good thought, as the undersea monsters of Danalin's nightmares are a good match for abominations or whatever far realm (D&D) creatures are called; but so are creatures from realms only cerdiwen knows how to reach, so it could go either way.

    Ach, you know, I actually have a list with genders elsewhere that I guess I didn't consult closely enough. This is a rough draft, and I'll fix that, thanks. Although both of them would work equally in either gender, based on the personality if not the name.

    Here is what I am planning:
    Dragonborn--lizardman (My origin for them is Gastrius experimentations on some captured Elohim and dragon bones created the race, though few if anyone know it. Dragonborn is what they call themselves, most others use the derisive lizardman. They are associated with the Clan, Kuriotates, and some few Grigori cities.
    Dwaves--Both Khazad and Luchuirp. I like the idea of the Luchuirp being Dwarves, even if that's not how it was in Kael's day, plus it is a source for more advanced Dwarven arcane characters.
    Warforgedwould be for PC golems, although awakened golems would be few in the world.
    Eladrin: A group of elves, numbering in the hundreds, were taken into Sucellus’ heaven (Feywild) in the Age of Ice after his death by his Archangel Cernunnos. Upon the death of Mulcarn they were returned to Erebus. Their time in the nature vault has changed them.
    Halflings: I don't know of a place for them. Perhaps a nationless people in the Kuriotate/Grigori region. They would provide a good origin for goblins (transformed halflings) though.
    Half-elves are just that, as humans and elves come from common stock way back.
    Tieflings: Stigmata on the Unborn occured about twenty years ago in a Sheaim city. For one year, and periodically since, every baby born there has had demonic features. They number in the hundreds, and tend towards evil out of the expectations of their homeland.
    (from the PHB2) Shifters would be descended from the old Baron Duin; Goliaths would be renamed wildmen and used for Doviello; Deva would be Mercurians, when they get around to showing up; Half-Orcs might be just that, or be Orcs that don't undergo dedication to Bhall; I don't have a place for Gnomes in my mind, but I'm not against them.

    Glad this is useful. :D I hope to finish in a week or two.

    (By the way, this character builder (demo free) is pretty cool)
     
  13. Verdian

    Verdian Chieftain

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    Well timed reply, as I just finished skimming the Players Handbook 2 (and got my internet back).
    I actually did the same thing with the Kuriotates, giving them one giant city with a few outposts. That will be interesting with the Balseraphs. I suppose an insane empire does not work as well as one City of Pleasures. The Sidar don't even need a city, really. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea that they just wander.

    In regards to your races:
    I was not aware that humans and elves could reproduce together? But the more the merrier.

    I like your idea for making Khazad and Luchirip both dwarves, as that fits the lore and is just easier. :p I would like to make a suggestion of changing the race a bit for the Luchirip, though.
    Spoiler :
    Get rid of Dwarven Weapon Profeciency and Stand Your Ground. Instead they would gain Golem Builder.
    Luchirip would also be considered small.


    I actually found an even better race for the Sidar, which I will mention below.

    I took a look at the new races in the PHB2, and here is what I thought would work well for them. Please note that I usually make these decisions based on mechanics, not lore.

    Deva – Human
    Gnome – Sidar, but you are not small. The gnome can turn invisibile, gets bonuses to arcana and stealth, and can hide easier than the average person. Seems appropriate.
    Goliath – Human, Khazad, Clan of Embers
    Half-Orc – Clan of Embers or Doviello
    Shifter – Clan of Embers or Doviello

    By Clan of Embers, I mean any of the races they are composed of. With a bit of imagination, there is no reason a person could not play a goblin, ogre, or orc with any of those races. The Doviello's feral nature and bloodlust makes Half-Orc and Shifter seems appropriate, too.

    Deva does not have to be a supernatural being, and there are plenty of divine creatures in the MM to choose from for the Mercurians. Deva could just be a skilled or lucky human. Assuming Half-elves are not possible, this means that Humans, Half-Elves, Deva, Goliaths could all be possible humans with different backgrounds and specialties. This gives the player the option to be different while still making humans the dominant species of Erebus.

    What do you have planned for magic users? Right now I am thinking changing all cold-type spells to electricity (unless you are Illian) is the simplest way of changing them, but there is probably a more elegant way. I was also going to divide the Rituals into the spheres and have anyone that could use Rituals choose a sphere every few levels. The trade off would be you do not need to purchase Rituals.

    In general though, the more I look changing classes (like I did with warlock), the less I like it. I think it limits the player too much. With some creativity and direction from the DM, any class/religion/race combo could work.

    Looking forward to reading your next draft!
     
  14. Nikis-Knight

    Nikis-Knight Chieftain

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    I'll point out that I haven't dove too deep into the system yet; I like the concepts, but have been waiting on buying in. I'll probably change as little mechanically as possible; in FfH, Ice magic, for example, is restricted to the Illians, but I don't see why it couldn't be drawn from it's plane even after Mulcarn is dead (Clerics of Mulcarn, of course, are right out for the moment) for the purpose of not changing powers too much.

    I asked Kael about it once, thinking that perhaps Talia should have Decius' child. Kael said it was possible, but her suicide would then be a much crueler act, and make her much less sympathetics.

    Anyway, I have a generous bit written on all the races, but it didn't attach right to my e-mail from work, so I'll post it later.

    But, if anyone would like to help, I think it'd be great to have a few sentences on important locations for each nation. Maybe 1-3 cities each, describe one or two things that makes it important, and perhaps a natural or non-city area as well.
     
  15. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    We know that Elves and Men can interbreed, as the Fellowship hero Kithral Kyrial is is the son of a human mother and elven father. It strongly implies that such matings had happened many times before, but always seem to end tragically. Usually the families disapprove of interracial marriage, but this was an exception. Kithra seems to have grown up more like a human than an elf, until he began a hero in Hemah's dream, and has since then been a legendary Elven champion.


    Meshabber's riddle also stated that "the Serpentine on the Half-Elven feed."


    The Ranger pedia entry says that the Rangers that serve human societies are "Rumoured to be the bastard offspring of Elves and Men." This is probably true for at least a few of them. I imagine that many of them would be mostly human with an elven ancestor many generations back, while others are just be humans whose closeness to nature had engendered elf-like qualities in much the same way it did in the early humans from whom true elves descended.




    How about an even darker compromise between NK's suggestion and Kael's: have Varn find out that Talia was pregnant after she kills herself, making this a murder-suicide even if Talia didn't know it.
     
  16. Nikis-Knight

    Nikis-Knight Chieftain

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    Well, if she didn't know about it then it was a manslaughter-suicide. ;)
    But I was thinking it would be interesting to have Varn adopt the off-spring of his wife and raise him as an heir, knowing it wasn't his. Obviously not possible if the child isn't delivered.
     
  17. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Yeah, I almost proposed that they cut the premature child from her dieing flesh, but that didn't fit very well with the notion that no one (except possibly the mother) knew she was pregnant. I doubt even a (half) elven infant could survive if the mother died before she was notably pregnant.

    Also, having a child to care for might make his voyage to avenge Talia unfeasible, or at least more unwise. I suppose he could have cared for an infant for a couple days and then departed to avenger her once his efforts to keep her son alive failed though.




    For some reason, I've always assumed that Eve got pregnant when she cheated on Kylotin too. I like to think that her lover was the Magister Equitum of the Patrian Emperor and the legendary progenitor of the Hippus (or at least of the Patrian-Civil-War-Era Nation from which they like to clam descent). I'd like to think that either the father or son was named Mealthiel, and that "Altheriol-ta-Mealthiel" vaguely translates to "monument," "tomb," "refuge," or "home" of Mealthiel.
     
  18. Nikis-Knight

    Nikis-Knight Chieftain

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    I wonder how the Cerdiwen influenced Kylorin would have treated such a child?
     
  19. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    I don't really know. Assuming he wasn't stillborn, I tend to think that Eve would have made Kylorin to swear to care for him as his own (whcih she may have done on her deathbed, as she never recovered from strain of childbirth). He may also have been murdered by an agent of Ceridwen or one of Kylorin's underlings, without the Emperors knowledge. The father may have continued to serve him just like Decius continued to serve Varn, but they would grow further apart and he may have lost his favored position. I tend to think that Kylorin would kind enough to Eve's son at first, but it would greatly pain him each time he saw him so he wouldn't let himself get very close. By the time the boy was mature his dislike for his presumptive heir (who would probably look eerily similar to his real father, but with his mother's eyes) would likely have grown and perhaps turned to homicidal rage. I imagine that his escape from Kylorin is one of the Hippus's oldest and dearest epics. Or, if died before that, a similar epic would be written about his father.


    Hmm...I just started thinking it would be really interesting if Eve's son found Eve's first reincarnation before Kylorin did, and they instantly bonded with each other. However, he didn't understand the nature of bond to this slightly younger woman, and had consummated a sexual relationship with her before introducing her to his father and finding out who she really was. That would be a really good trigger for Kylorin's homicidal rage, and the turning point after which the rulers of Patria stopped pretending to be righteous.


    Ceridwen might even have purposefully taunted Kylorin by making this type of thing happen repeatedly with several different reincarnations of Eve and her descendants (which technically isn't incest, as their physical forms are unrelated).
     
  20. Ribusprissin

    Ribusprissin Chieftain

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    I don't think the FoL would grant many, if any, of the powers that the Fey Pact grants.
     

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