I got the recent itch to run a small D&D style game, y'know, like...3-5 players (with one character apiece); I'll take on the role of GM (Game Master) or ST (Story-Teller), whichever you prefer to call it. *lol* I'll narrate the scenes and dilemmas, and the characters get to respond and react as best they can. No dice involved, just pure role-playing. I'll be deciding outcomes, sometimes using my own judgment, other times leaving it to chance. =)
The point would be to run a fun, quest-oriented game of some sort where I'll be basing the story around the characters themselves (though I'll have a prompt outline). Once I know who's playing who, I'll already be on the road to putting together some wicked things for you guys, muwahahahahaha!!!! XDDD
I'm actually a friendly GM, and I generally want to see the characters achieve their goals. I'm not one of those "KILL YOU NOW" GMs. *lol* XDDD
Course it won't be easy. ;D
I'm not worried about a certain level of quality, however spelling and grammar must be in order so everyone can understand one another. No chat-speak and all that nonsense, etc. *lol* But I hate to say Free, so...I'll say Casual to split the difference.
I hate to use preset worlds so…here’s something I drafted up in the last couple hours. *lol*
• Tanali is the world, a lush planet of climate extremes not all that unlike our own. Three major continents dominate the planet along with nine great oceans. The northern continent of Hak’roth is halfway trapped in ice, the frigid wasteland dominating much of its expanse. Further south the climate warms, and if one goes east he would reach the continent of Shal’i, a desert continent covered in the lushest of jungle at its southernmost edge. Due west from Shal’i sits the wooded continent of Kanarra, its northernmost stretches trapped in an eternal winter. While the nine oceans have no names the inner sea between the continents does, it is called the Crossroads, a series of canals (sometimes mere feet in distance) and wider channels (that can stretch for leagues) that weaves between the three continents like the veins of a living being. Many of these waterways are used as trade routes, others as the perfect point for pirate ambush.
• Jotun – The northernmost race of Hak’roth. Jotun are, in essence, giants. Though they can range from blue-skinned frost giants to the brawny lower-hill giants, they are all formidable and can be known for their temper…or their cheer. It’s one or the other. The tallest of Jotun grow to be somewhere around 12’ tall while the stumpiest of their kind will cap out around 7.’
• Ursolo – The midland and southernmost race of Hak’roth. The Ursolo are what some might call bearfolk, but that would be incorrect. Ursolo might translate into more accurately “spirit bears.” These shape-shifters actually possess two spirits within their body, one is that of their very humanoid soul while the other can suddenly possess control of the host, changing it into its Spirit Bear form. The Spirit Bear form is that of a massive werebear, more feral than humanoid, it lacks the dexterity for complex, human tasks; not that it matters. Once an Ursolo activates his Second Spirit, he loses all control of his body. The Bear Spirit is in control and, in some case, can lash out violently and inadvertently at allies. It takes an Ursolo many years to master the wildness of the bear spirit he shares within his body, and once at peace, the two live and breathe as one in divine harmony; able to utilize the spirit’s greatest gifts. But this can take decades to achieve. In humanoid form Ursolo still retain much of their wildness, shunning traditional clothing for the simple garb of the woods and wilds. They live in almost tribal fashion, following chieftains whom, more often than not, wind up being matriarchs. Ursolo grow to average human heights, but in their Spirit Bear forms will grow to be nearly 9-10’ in height when on their hind-legs.
• Utukku – Ruling over the hottest, northernmost stretches of Shal’i are the Utukku. Like the Ursolo, the Utukku are shape-shifters, shadow-cats. While all possess a dark-skinned humanoid form of some sort, so too does that form bear some of their feline traits; namely ears, tails and sometimes claws and fangs. On rare occasion an Utukku will be born with cat’s eyes, and this is seen as a great symbol of good luck. Other than their human form an Utukku can also take that of his Shadow, or alternate-self. The Shadow manifests as a tall, anthropomorphic representation of a large predatory cat, its patterning and species usually corresponding to the Utukku’s origin within Shal’i. These Shadow Forms can often times utilize shadow magic and phasing, but it can’t be maintained indefinitely. Like the Ursolo Second Spirit, the shift draws upon the host’s energies. Once the host has no more magical energy to offer, the form can no longer be maintained and will dissolve. Utukku grow to generally a human height, but their Shadow forms can be nearly two feet taller than their normal form.
• Berengi and Loxodo – The alliance between the Berengi Apefolk and the Loxodo Elephant’e was one of necessity and survival. Pushed south from allied forces of common enemies, the Loxodo were forced into the Berengi’s jungles. Seeing that their people were not all that uncommon, the Berengi Silverback offered a tentative treaty. If the Loxodo were willing to help keep their tribal lands safe, they would lend their aid in helping them reclaim their own. It’s a project still in-progress, though there have been great strides made on the Loxodo’s behalf, thanks much in part to their Berengi allies. Now the two are nearly considered one, and while they may have their differences, they realize how important the other is and wouldn’t risk their alliance for anything. Now both races live in relative peace in the Berengi jungles of southern Shal’i. While Berengi generally grow to a height of about 8-10’ their Loxodo allies can break 12,’ the tallest having been 14’ tall.
• Nii’phal – The nymph-like Nii’phal are perhaps the strangest and most ethereal races of Tanali. Magical beings by nature, all Nii’phal possess the ability to change gender, making it difficult to know what sex the Nii’phal in front of you actually is. It has bred a wealth of equality and a lack of hatred amongst their people, making them friendly, out-going and even eager to mix their blood with other races; something most other cultures wouldn’t dream of doing. Elf-like in appearance, Nii’phal skin and hair pigments can range as wildly as the flora which surrounds their lush forest home in southern Kanarra. Though it’s not uncommon for their males to reach 7’ in height, the females only ever grow to be 6’ but are more commonly around 5’7.” All Nii’phal possess some form of magical affinity, but most are born under an element or specific force which corresponds to the child’s birthday. They have a calendar of 7 Zodiac Sigils for the forces which follow a cycle of: life, death, earth, wind, water, fire, chaos, life, etc. A Nii’phal’s Zodiac may very well affect his personality, and some will even assume based on certain stereotypes now associated with certain sigils.
• Jotnar – Not a far cry from Jotun, it is believed both races were one at some time. They split some time ago, the Jotnar departing for brighter horizons towards the northern corner of Kanarra in the Frozen Pine Forest. There they have resided ever since, evolving into a blue-skinned race of frost trolls with an ettin-like appearance bordering on something human. Large eyes which seem to only bear a solid milky color stare at the world from their ogre-like face. Round, chubby noses, sometimes slightly upturned; wide mouths with protruding lower canines. If one could imagine a slightly lean, troll-like, blue orc with tufts of fur-like hair and long arms…they’d be on the right track. Except for one, major, difference…all Jotnar bear two heads. Fully-functional, fully-sentient and fully loaded with personality, it’s not at all uncommon for Jotnar heads to disagree and possess very opposite personalities. In fact, it is SO rare that Jotnar heads ever agree with one another that they have a special name for it: weird. Jotnar generally grow to be somewhere between 7-8’ tall, regardless of sex.
Religion and Beliefs:
• Jotun – The Jotun function on a structure similar to that of Nordic Vikings. They follow the strongest of their kind that bear the wits to remain alive the longest. While they pray to no deity (for they believe in no such thing) they do believe in a heaven for warriors not unlike Valhalla which they call Jotunheim.
• Ursolo – Shamanistic in nature, the Ursolo worship two figures, Mother Bear and Father Bear (both grander spirits of the spiritual triat: being, benevolence and balance), but also worship the earth and its wilds in all their natural forms and flaws. They are able to tap into the world’s natural energy, a power they call muun’ah, or mana, in the common tongue. To help restore this energy they meditate each night, generally before their sleep cycle but some may prefer to meditate directly after battle or a worthy conflict.
• Utukku – The Utukku bear a pleasant mixture of African and Arabic influences. All Utukku worship the Greatcat Rash’a, the Grand Master of Shadow and therefore all shadowcats. The cat-Taur bodied, five-armed, grander spirit represents the chaotic nature of the world and the instinctive nature of that chaos. Rash’a teaches all cats to be fair, open-minded and without bias, reminding them to keep their “cat’s eye” open to everything and to close it to nothing.
• Berengi – The Berengi are odd in the fact they never once formed any form of religion. Berengi society is so familial and based so much on battle and survival that they didn’t really have the time to waste on philosophical nonsense. Time was far better spent building armor, crafting weapons and preparing for war. The Berengi were not always so bitter, but centuries of feudal warfare had hardened their spirits and forced them to become something far more savage than they would have liked. The gorilla apefolk are trying desperately to reconnect with their peaceful roots now that the fighting is easing into the background and tempers are settling. And currently, it’s their Loxodo allies whom are aiding them the most.
• Loxodo – Taking inspiration from Indian Hinduism, Loxodo have not forgotten their peaceful roots. Through the worst of their hardship, the outright slaughter of their people and their near extinction they have remained calm, collected and understanding; but not without rage. Forced into fighting, Loxodo warriors proved to be the deadliest of them all, and laid utter waste upon their enemies. But they never once forgot their spirituality, their faith in their grander spirit, Bal’ash. The elephant deity’s four tusks represented the very essence of their faith: inner peace, harmony, acceptance and forgiveness. Ever do the Loxodo preach for peace, hoping to resolve issues before they become conflicts; but they do not hesitate to fight when the time comes, and have shed more than their fair share of blood since the start of their decline many years ago. They are on the recovery path now, with their numbers swelling again in the heart of Berengi land. Soon they plan to make a great stance in re-claiming their land, once they have more warriors of fighting age.
• Nii’phal – The Nii’phal faith is simple and easy to remember: the great spirit that dwells within the earth is called Golgaia, a massive shambler whose roots permeate every inch of Tanali. Through these roots Golgaia gives the planet life, and in doing so gives all the other grander spirits and their follower’s life. So in essence, Golgaia is the deity of all deities, the grand spirits of all grander spirits; she who lives for all. It’s because of this one, proven fact that most of the other Tanali citizens tolerate the otherwise odd and eccentric Nii’phal.
• Jotnar – The Jotnar, unlike their Jotun kin, do believe and worship deities. Well, one…that is, with two heads of course. The Jotnar’s benefactor and grander spirit resembles that of a two-headed ice troll hunter, accompanied forevermore by his loyal, two-headed snowhound, Fenris and Fenrir. Jotnar’oth and Jotnar’ken (the spirits name) along with his two-headed hound are spirits of the hunt, of the wilds and its ways, of balance and fairness; for death is indiscriminate and comes for all creatures, men and beasts alike. To live in peace with the world around oneself is a far better way to live than to invade and impose and expect. No creature is entitled to anything and all must work equally for their share. Such is the law of the wild, that those who cannot die, and those who can live on.
Someone asked, so I’ll outline it. =)
• Jotun – Being highly influenced by Nordic Vikings, I would suggest Norwegian, Scandinavian or any other such structure to name Jotun characters.
• Ursolo – I suppose I never made it crystal clear that these guys are influenced by a Celtic/Gaelic and Pagan sort of structure, so names following suit with those cultures would do well.
• Utukku – African and Arabic names of all shapes and sizes work for these guys, but Iraqi and Iranian (Persian) would be more specifically accurate.
• Berengi – Reminiscent of Conga Bantus with Swahili influences, the apefolk would most often have very tribal names.
• Loxodo – And the Loxodo are a pleasant mixture of Berengi influences and Indian Hinduism, though Loxodo will most often bear very Indian names. (I suggest 20000names.com)
• Nii’phal – Having English and Greek influences will make Nii’phal names very recognizable.
• Jotnar – The Jotnar are probably a weird sort of mixture between Norse, Greek, English and goodness-knows-what-other-mythology. *lol* I think for them…we’ll use non-descript tribal-like names like but not limited to: Snowtracker, Nighthound, Bluepaw, Woodshaper, etc. The name would most likely denote something the Jotnar is known or recognized for, whether it be a physical trait or something they’d done.
• Magic is strong in Tanali, though not necessarily with all races. While most races are capable of some form of magic (since all possess mana), not all practice it. Namely, Berengi. They focused only on physical combat and warfare, which has made them masters of the art, but unfortunately they make poor mages and enchanters. The Jotun, too, lack quite a bit of mysticism; though it is not uncommon for certain women of theirs to be born seers or shamans within certain bloodlines.
Well…it’s not that I hate presets, I just felt like makin’ stuff up I guess. *lol* XDDD Plus I steal stuff from real-life mythology, so it makes it easier.
Almost forgot the prompt...lol
This will be the starting story's premise, so people have an idea what will be happening at the start. ;DIndari was a bustling port town filled to the brim with foreigners from overseas. It was the perfect middle point for the cultures, a hotspot of the Crossroads where the canals and channels merged into a highway filled with vessels lobbying for positions at the expansive docks. The town itself spanned three massive ports, one on each corner of the great continents. It was a great endeavor, the connecting of the races and cultural exchange. Sure it caused conflict at first but…that was all behind everyone now (or so it seemed…)!
Now the grand three-dock Indari port was hustling and bustling with all sorts of business. Jotun met for arena tournaments while Nii’phal chattered with anyone and everyone. Berengi and Utukku fraternized with Jotnar and Ursolo; it was quite a sight.
At the heart of it all is the Guild of Intrigue, a combined effort on all the races part to help uncover more magical relics and hotspots called “loci” which seemed to be hidden in various locales all over Tanali. The Guilds are also in magical study and the practical application of magic in everyday scenarios. The goal is to create a better life for all Tanali citizens, to utilize the natural energies of the planet itself and harness it for the good of all.
Or so was the Guild’s public goal, and they were never short on interests or tasks which needed doing, given the fact they had affairs to attend all over Tanali; and that alone was a large draw for treasure hunters, mercenaries and bright-eyed adventurers alike.
One such task was just announced, something that’s caused a murmur of interest and a rash of bad rumors. Word on the street was, the Guild wanted something in Utukku land, something even the shadowcats themselves wanted no part of and would offer no aid with.
So what, praytell, could be so interesting in the Utukku Badlands that the Guild would shell out more than 10,000 gold pieces just to send an explorative expedition…?
That’s what many spirited treasure hunters wanted to know…
When you're ready to draft your character, here's the skeleton you can fill out and PM to me -
Notable Skills and Talents:
Background & Personality: (If you prefer, this is something only I, the GM, will see. So make it as brief and to-the-point as necessary. I need the key-points so I can use them as plot devices later on.)