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Expanding beyond Shanri

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:16 pm
by shadowclasper
So me and some friends absolutely love Houses of the Blooded, but we felt it was lacking something major.

External Influence.

Shanri has only one set of influences that are not of the world itself. There are Ven, and then there are Orks, nothing else matters. We wanted to increase the scope of our stories, we wanted to tell about a world far beyond Shanri itself. So we had a thought. "What about the Hyperboreans, Atlanteans, and Lemurians?" They're all mentioned as being contemporaries of the Ven.

So we're setting up something. We figure that all 4 civilizations begin fairly isolated to begin with, in those first 200 years after the fall of the Sorcerer-Kings. They are a part from one another, and we're working on making a set up for each of the other three during that period.

WHen we get all 3 done. We're going to fast forward another 200-500 or so years. We're going to put the focus in the lands of modern day asia, a place that at one time, was the heart of the sorcerer-kings. (We're probably going to make all of this more ambiguous as time goes on, but the point is that Asia is sorta the meeting spot between all 4 civilizations, the place they really begin competing over).

The Ven will be the first people to get to this place, but the last civilization to come into contact with the other 3. So self consumed with themselves, they mark the other 3, officially, as a kind of Ork. The central powers pay little attention to the machinations and such, but the border Blooded have to play the parts and interact with them frequently.

Re: Expanding beyond Shanri

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:17 pm
by shadowclasper
There are 4 great civilizations at the time of the Ven.

The Ven (Civilization and Society)

The Hyperboreans (Survivability and Morality)

The Atlanteans (Knowledge and Magic)

The Lemurians (Worship and Madness)

There are 6 virtues for each of them. But each of them shares two virtues with each of the others.

For the Ven their virtues are:
-Strength and Courage (Shared with the Hyperboreans)
-Beauty and Cunning (Shared with the Atlanteans)
-Wisdom and Prowess (Shared with the Lemurians)

The Hyperboreans are a civilization predicated upon familial ties, honor, and strength. They are seen as Ork by the Ven, assuming the Ven ever encounter them. They would survive the return of the Sorcerer Kings and live out the long darkness that would obliterate most of humanity. It is they who repopulated the world and are our ancestors.

Their virtues are:
-Strength and Courage (Shared with the Ven)
-Mercy and Ingenuity (Shared with the Atlanteans)
-Faith and Patience (Shared with the Leumerians)

The Atlanteans were a race of mages. Their root stock was from that of the Hyperboreans, the root humanity from which all of the races are drawn. But unlike the Ven, who were directly exposed to the Sorcerer-Kings and feared their legacy, and the Lemurians, who worshipped the ages past, the Atlanteans came upon the ruins left behind with fresh minds and a will to reposess what had been left behind by their former masters. The Atlanteans dedicated themselves to mastery of the occult arts, but rather than ritual and sorcery, they seek to explain the world through arcane spell-mastery.

Their Virtues are:
-Beauty and Cunning (Shared with the Ven)
-Mercy and Ingenuity (Shared with the Hyperboreans)
-Mastery and Moderation (Shared with the Lemurians)

The Lemurian civilization arose in after the fall of the Sorcerer Kings like the Hyperboreans, Ven, and Atlanteans. Unlike any of the others, they did not forget, fear, or seek to surpass their ancient masters. The Lemurians seek their return. Guided by the few remaining Ophidians, who the House of the Serpent can trace their roots back top, the Lemurians know more of the unseen world than any other race existing. They use ritual and sorcery to tap into the unseen forces of the world and call out to the star-born to return to their rightful thrones, refusing to believe their masters died out from the fires of their own conflicts.

Their virtues are:
-Wisdom and Prowess (Shared with the Ven)
-Faith and Patience (Shared with the Hyperboreans)
-Mastery and Moderation (Shared with the Atlanteans)


The new virtues I came up with are still something I'm tinkering with. I have some basic ideas of how they function right now, but I'm thinking each of these 3 factions preforms radically differently. Where the Ven are about internal politics, the Hyperboreans are about adventure and danger, while the Atlanteans are about knowledge hunting. The Lemurians are about faith and understanding and doing the will of their absent gods I feel.

For Hyperboreans, Courage isn't something used to do dangerous things, it's something used to ENHANCE already fantastic things. For the, Patience is the virtue they need to use to avoid doing crazy shit for glory and honor. It's also something the have to roll for when they're insulted to avoid trying to kill the other guy on the spot.

For the Atlanteans, that's Moderation. They have a habit of over doing and going over the top with whatever they're planning. Think mad scientists. If the can make it bigger and better, they have to roll to reel it back in and avoid over extending themselves.

For the Lemurians I'm not sure, but I'm leaning towards Mastery. The Atlantians use it for spell working and combat, but the Lemurians would use it for mastery of the self, to stick to the creeds of their gods when temptation beckons (or maybe that should be faith?)


Finally we have the mechanics that focus on what each group strives for.

A Blooded of the Ven seeks out to expand his Domains and to gain more Vassals to support those domains. It is about being a member of the peerage. The primary focus is upon Romance and Politics.

A Hero of the Hyperboreans seeks out to expand his Legacy and Tribe, and to call more Bannermen to himself to help his tribe and take up his legacy. The focus is upon prestige and adventure.

A Mage of the Atlanteas focuses upon his Thesis (or maybe his Lab or Sanctuary?) and calls to him Students to learn more about the world. The focus is upon learning and exploration

A Mystic of the Lemurians focuses upon his Path (the path he carves in the invisible world in his search for their lost god-kings and for personal power) and calls to him acolytes to maintain his Legacy for others to expand upon.. The focus is upon worship and madness.

Of all of them, the Heros of Hyperborea would be closest to the 'DnD' style story that HotB has tried to avoid. That said, we're going to try and gear it towards how DANGEROUS such a life is, how you focus upon your LEGACY and those called to follow it. A Hero falls, and another Hero comes on to take up his legend, to succeed him. Where in DnD you are the eternally youthful adventurer, as a Hyperborean Hero, you know some day you will die on the steppes or in the mountains or caverns below them. You know that someone will take inspiration from your legend and succeed you, continuing it. Rather than being the eternally youthful her, Hyperboreans are short lived, hardy people, and the focus is upon your blood line and what you leave to them. Over the course of a campaign, you are training up whoever your next character is, and have to decide whether you go out with your slowly and carefully gathered equipment, or finally retire and let youth take over (though less experienced). Gameplay would be geared towards the 'Cohen the Barbarian' ideal from Diskworld. Survival is a skill. It's hard to survive at first, equipment and skills you have learned from those before you can help, but it's field experience that assists the most. Eventually a Hero would be so old his experience couldn't keep up.


In terms of geography, it is necessary to understand the world as it was somewhere between 2.3 million and 400,000 years ago when the Sorcerer Kings took power. No records of their existence remain except in third and fourth hand accounts.

It was around 100,000 years ago when they finally drove themselves into extinction, ripping the existing world to pieces and creating the continents in the process but not before engineering hundreds of different species, including several distinct forms of hominid diverged from the root source of humanity in modern day Africa.

When they finally fell apart, it is suspected the primary battle ground lay in Asia. This region was a nightmare of biological monsters, ancient spells and rituals left active, and terrible creations of the sorcerer kings. Populating it was nearly impossible for any kind of human by and large. By and large, this left two major sources of ruins and remains left. The vast island archipelagos that once existed in the pacific, the home of the Ven, and in south america, which was plundered ruthlessly by the inquisitive Atlantean peoples from their home on the lost continent in the atlantic ocean.

The Hyperboreans controlled the northern hemispheres of the great mother continent (what would become Europe, Asia, and Africa), where as the Lemurians controls the southern reaches in Africa.

The relative little interaction the Ven had with these three other powers had a great deal to do with the fact that most survivors left were in what could be called 'backwaters' to the sorcerer kings, compared to the untold damage wrought in Asia and the Americas, leaving only shattered island chains and ruins in between them, where the Ven managed to survive in the most treacherous part of the world.

In the time period of Houses of the Blooded, it is unlikely they had any encounters at all with any of these powers.

it wouldn't be until the rise of Mu, which rose from the ashes of a terrible war between Atlantis and Lemuria in modern India or further east that the Ven would have had first contact with the rest of humanity, and by that time, the return of the Sorcerer Kings was well underway, all but unstoppable. The great city state of Mu was drawn from refugees of both Atlantis and Lemuria, those who spurned both their mother civilizations and sought refuge elsewhere. The terrible war that would follow and annihilate the Ven and Mu, and leave only 4000 or so Hyperboreans left on the planet earth.

It is unclear what happened, but the last war shook the planet to it's core, and caused the great super volcano in yellow stone park to go off. Covering the world with a great ice age that scoured it of life. The creations of the Sorcerer Kings undone, their remaining forces and spells guttering out as energy and life was sucked from the world and it was as if the earth itself died, leaving behind almost nothing that could be used as evidence, a great blank spot in the archeological record, myths, legends that echo as truth throughout time, memories of god like beings and world that was entirely different. All of humanity today is descended from 4000 hyperborean savages who happened to take shelter against the great ice age in Africa, amongst the ruins of the Lemuria. These last remaining ruins would be used up and destroyed with the rise of the Fertile Crescent civilizations, and any remaining ones that might have once been left in Africa were destroyed during the imperial era by the European powers cementing their dominance over the african colonies.

That's what I have so far. I hope you guys find it interesting, and I look forward to your feedback.

Re: Expanding beyond Shanri

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:42 pm
by shadowclasper
Virtues that already exist:

The ones I'm adding are:

Some of these I have ideas about already... and others not as much. They need to accomplish, broadly, the same goals as the Ven's traits.

That means each of the races needs one virtue they must use to overcome something (I've been over those already). But basically operates as Courage does for the Ven.

They need one that they use to define the world beyond what is immediately available to them. Such as how Wisdom does for the Ven.

They need one that they use to define the world around them. Such as how Cunning does for the Ven.

They need on that can be used to limit their banking of style points (or the equivalent). Like how Beauty limits how many points you can have in fancy clothing used to bank style.

Sometimes there can be overlap. Othertimes perhaps not. We'll see.

Hyperborean Stats:
Courage - Covers how much style (or equivalent) you can accumulate?
Ingenuity - Define the immediate world?
Patience - Must be rolled to avoid doing something brave but stupid that could enhance your legend? (Feels like a bad choice. Preferably should be rolled for when you WANT to do something, not when you want to AVOID doing something?)

Atlantean Stats:
Beauty - Style stat here too. Representing well put together whatevers.
Cunning - Used to define the world not immediately present. But rather than representing 'knowledge' as wisdom does, it represents that Atlanteans extrapolate from small to big, their research, all that good stuf.
Ingenuity - Used to define the immediate world as Hyperboreans do?
Moderation - Must be rolled to avoid going overboard with magic and research? (Again, same problem as Patience for Hyperboreans)

Lemurian Stats:
Wisdom - define the rest of the world.
Faith - Perhaps used to avoid going insane while in the invisible world? Journeying deeper requires it?
Patience - Defining the immediate world through meditation upon it?
Mastery - Style Point equiv banking limit stat representing mastery of self?

Just my thoughts on it.

edit: Expanded thoughts.

Just hit me that redefining the stats might be a good thing. Since there is a very easy way to create stats that don't overlap.

We have 6 stat types basically (unconnected to names)
-Overcoming physical challenges (Strength)
-Defining the world immediately around you. (Cunning)
-A thing to be rolled to limit behaviors (Courage)
-A thing to limit style point banking items(Beauty)
-Defining the world not within your immediate space and time (Wisdom)
-Weapons and Combat (Prowess)

So then. We know that there will always be two civilizations (never three) that share two of these stats at the same time.

EG: Only Ven and Hyperboreans have strength and courage for virtues. Atlanteans and Lemurians do not.

That means we have 12 stats total at the end of the day. We can make them do the same things each time.

So that takes some rearranging of things, or they can be maintained as they are and do some name changing.

So let's look at the Ven and Hyperboreans, the two are near polar opposites. The Hyperboreans are short lived, barbaric, warriors. The Ven are civilized and cultured aristocrats.

But the Hyperboreans are still mortal. They fear death? So that might be a reason for them to have courage as a stat.

Or perhaps because Hyperboreans believe in a soul and their culture is about living in the moment, they don't see courage as a virtue so much as a base state of being. A Hero of Hyperborea is never going to be afraid of any enemy or fear for his life. If he dies now, that was his destiny and his soul will be taken up by the gods. Far worse would be to die cowardly.

So instead the Hyperboreans would perhaps share Strength and Prowess with the Ven, and they would have an alternative to Courage, maybe Faith?

Strength - ???
Cunning - Ingenuity?
Courage - Faith?
Beauty - ???
Wisdom - ???
Prowess - Mastery?

edit: further thought suggests this won't work well, since there would be overlap where there's none intended now that I think about it. Not positive on that front... need to do a diagram. Will post it when I'm done.

Re: Expanding beyond Shanri

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:17 am
by shadowclasper
So got done reading Wilderness and Coronets but Never Crowns.

Going to focus on Hyperborea first, a lot of the ground work is lain in the whole adventuring companies dealy.

For one, there is Glory, not Style. Which makes sense for Hyperboreans. They're seeking to add glory to their legacy, to their clan.

Hyperboreans are divided into 6 tribes I'm thinking. Each tribe has it's clans under it. There are many, many, many clans under each tribe.

When you play a Hyperborean Hero, you are adding to the glory of your Legacy, your Clan's legacy. You are not necessarily the child of the current leader, because Hyperboreans take a very meritocratic approach to life. They're not lucky like those bloody Ven and Atlanteans and Lemurians. Their lands are all effectively wilderness. Probably going to add some types like savanah and steppes.

The Hyperboreans probably follow a nomadic life style. Seasons and maps matter, but they play a different role.

I think Glory probably goes to a clan, not to any single Hero. Most clans don't have more than 1 Hero, but anyone in the clan can gain and spend Glory for actions. Making glory very important. Glory is the currency for a player above and beyond simple barter. Each region has resources that are gathered, but it's hunter-gatherer style, farms that are grown in a single season then abandoned. Things like that. This means that if a clan cannot make something itself, it must either trade for it with another clan, or use it's glory to gain it from another clan.

Remember, when you play as a Hyperborean Hero, your guy is NOT going to last long. Your goal is to promote your clan, to improve it's standing, to advance it's knowledge of the world, and what resources it has access too, what stomping grounds they can claim, what places they have the right to travel in, all of these things are important. Your goal as a Hero of Hyperborea is to tell a multigenerational story.

Re: Expanding beyond Shanri

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:10 pm
by wunderworks
WOW. This is all awesome. :) Keep it up! :)

Re: Expanding beyond Shanri

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:34 am
by Nihilistic Mind
I'm really liking where you're going with this.

When you have things more developed, I will see about playtesting some of your new Virtues/ways to play the game!

Re: Expanding beyond Shanri

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:37 am
by shadowclasper
My thoughts at the moment are to focus each of these guys in their own separate parts of the world. Not interacting. That explains why the archeological record doesn't cover the Ven encountering them for a long time.

Once the 3 are made up and finished, then we expand into other regions. What I've been doing is trying to figure out ways of making these work with one another and use similar, but different mechanics.

Let's take a look at devotions first. This is where the 'magic' of Shanri happens.

For Hyperboreans, they're even lower magic than the Ven. They can barely use artifacts (and they are hit even harder by DOOM than the Ven are because they understand them even less). Instead of Suaven and Devotion, they have Myths and Stories. A Myth is something like the tales of Hercules, a long tale involving several trials and broken up into several stories. Stories focus on how MUCH of a particular myth any one Hero of Hyperborea knows by heart. It's a lot like the story telling mechanic in King of Dragon Pass, where you use stories to gain super natural bonuses. A Hero of Hyperborea can draw upon a story to pull off super human feats.

I've gotten our notes so far written down here: ... HZlE/edit#

Take a look, and make comments if you like. It's still kinda coming together and I'm wrestling with the traits. The only way I found to make them work was with some adjustments to their functioning. The idea being that from a set of 12, they are paired off into similar functions.

One of the things I was trying to get going was a duality for strength.

Strength is "The Ability to Stand Alone"

What would be interesting is giving the Hyperboreans and Atlanteans a virture for "The Ability to Support Others" same deal, physical strength, but the virtue is entirely different.

The one problem is that I'd have to rearrange the entire lay out of alternate virtues as they stand now, since Strength would go to Ven-Lemuria, and that means I have to change the pairings up all over the place. Any ideas on that front would be appreciated because we're running into a stumbling block on that front :S

Re: Expanding beyond Shanri

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:45 pm
by Velocirapture
This is really cool, and something that I had penciled in as a potential avenue of expansion in my current game!

I'll take a look at everything you have so far and see if I can come up with any suggestions for you to consider.

Re: Expanding beyond Shanri

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:47 pm
by Velocirapture
First, let me apologize for the length of this post and the following. I tend to wax lengthy (a trait my players hate), but I find I can't help myself. :|

I'm breaking this into three posts to make it easier for people to parse through, primarily because the first two posts can be used together, or not, without any real modification to what I'm suggesting (you can, of course, modify them to hell and back, but they still can be taken separately). The first two posts are also mostly fully fleshed out ideas. The third post, builds off of both my first two posts, so any modifications to the first two may require modifications to the third - if you want to use it - and it is more of a musing than a fully formed idea.

That aside, start by saying that I've really enjoyed reading through everything you've put together and I fully intend to incorporate it into my own game should it move in that direction (or if I can push it in that direction). Ok, now to the meat of my first post.

I'm a lover of symmetry, so I'd suggest having a fifth civilization running around out there that's diametrically opposed to the Ven. That is, they possess none of the Ven's Virtues and all of the second group of Virtues that you've suggested. This would mean that there's one civilization with all of group 1 (the Ven), one civilization with all of group 2 (described below) and three that split the difference in various ways.You don't need them to show up in play, necessarily, unless you wanted an absolute foil to the Ven.

There are plenty of potential assumed antediluvian civilizations to choose from that are supposed to be contemporaries of Atlantis and Mu. My suggestion: pre-destruction of Atlantis, the Mediterranean was supposed to have been a massive fertile valley, and the Nile River is presumed to have traveled along the entirety of this basin. The Osirians are presumed to have lived in this valley along the Nile. Moreover, it is believed that they built massive earthquake proof megalithic structures, that there was an abundance of conveniences for its citizens (including electricity), and that they were prolific traders with other antediluvian civilizations. This valley could be protected by natural or artificial features which prevented its ruin during the war among the Sorcerer Kings. Or, maybe, the Sorcerer Kings avoided destroying this valley for reasons of their own. Perhaps, as an overt call to the Osiris myth, the key to their resurrection lay within the valley and none of them wanted to risk harming it.

Regardless, ultimately there was a cataclysmic change in the Atlantic (perhaps the destruction of Atlantis) which caused the Mediterranean Basin to flood and this civilization to be destroyed. It is supposed that its peoples moved to higher grounds and resettled in modern day Egypt.

The name "Osirian" can be loosely translated as either "Strength of the Eye" or "He Who Sees the Throne." Assuming that the Sorcerer Kings were most active in Central Asia, this could be a reference to how close the Osirians were to that location (e.g. they could 'see' the throne of the Sorcerer Kings), but I'm not sure I like that interpretation. Rather, I like the idea of that name stemming from before the fall of the Sorcerer Kings. To wit, they were the Sorcerer Kings favored servants and, literally, could 'see the throne' from their place in society. While the Ven were the footmen, foot soldiers, and sacrificial offerings to the Sorcerer Kings; perhaps the Osirians were the court clerks, concubines and research assistants. Still slaves, but ones with chains of precious metal and silk, rather than the course hemp and rough iron that the Ven labored under.

Maybe, if you want to go further than this. and establish them as more of a foil to the Ven, they're not even human (so the peoples of Egypt - after the coming cataclysm - are their cultural, but not physical descendants). Perhaps they're Ven as well. Bred and created by the Sorcerer Kings, but separated into a higher class for unknown reasons. Or, maybe they're the Ven 2.0. Perhaps the Ven were a first experiment in creating useful servant life that - while not a true failure, was neither a true success. The Osirians, then, were the refinement of that ritual and accorded a higher place in society to suit their drastically enhanced usefulness.

Or, the historical record might support the thought that not all of the Sorcerer Kings were power hungry demi-gods intent on forcing their will upon the world. Maybe there was a subset of this ancient race that sought enlightenment and knowledge without abusing their power. Perhaps the war was between these two factions or, perhaps, the war was between the power-mad Sorcerer Kings and this faction merely found itself trapped in the middle. If that were true, then perhaps the Ven embody the worst aspects of the Sorcerer King continuum of potentiality while the Osirians embody the best aspects of that continuum. The other civilizations, somewhat further removed from the Sorceror Kings than the Ven and Osirians split the difference. But, of course, the thought of "good" Sorcerer Kings is just silly. Right? Of course it is ... right?

So, we have the Osirians (Tradition & History), capable of tracing their lineage (human or otherwise) back to the height of the Sorcerer King empire. Their purpose is not to understand the world, or to conquer it, or to hasten the return of the Sorcerer Kings. No, each of those things presumes to overstep the limitations handed down to them by their Masters, and who are they to question the dictates of their immortal creators. Rather, they prepare for the return of the Sorcerer Kings no matter how long that may take. To that end, they construct megalithic buildings that can withstand the test of time, and everything the natural world may unleash. They trade with their neighbors in order to gather information on the civilizations that will one day be subjugated once again. They gather and safely store Artifacts so that they will one day be ready for use by their rightful owners. They also keep to the old ways, and stagnate under the weight of Ages and rules whose purpose may have long ago been forgotten.

Their individual House equivalents could be based around the traditional tasks performed in the Courts of the Sorcerer Kings. For example, the 6 Orders (replaces Houses):

The Order of the Craftsmen (Ingenuity) - Once assistants in the creation of Artifacts, Puzzle Houses, and wonders great and small, these Osirians now focus on gathering the creations of the Sorceror Kings and storing them safely to ensure that they are ready for the return of their Masters. They also keep the minor wonders allowed to the Osirians by ancient laws functional and in working order. In conjunction with this, they police society to ensure that none stray beyond the limits set on their knowledge by edicts handed down by the Sorceror Kings.

The Order of the Viziers (Insight) - Once researchers and scribes, these Osirians now seek to catalog the partially fallen world in order to ensure that their Masters will have the knowledge necessary to reconquer the world. They also keep track of those experiments begun by the Sorcerer Kings that have not yet concluded. But their purpose is not to know these forbidden things, merely to record them, and so they have mastered the art of intentional ignorance: recording their wisdom and, at once, forgetting it. They also police the Osirians to ensure that none plumb the depths of forbidden wisdom.

The Order of the Guardians (Domination) - Once lieutenants and captains, these Osirians now protect the once and future homes of their Masters. They also, when requested by another Order, venture into other lands, and even - occasionally - into the magic tainted battlegrounds of the Sorcerer King's great war, to recover some relic or knowledge that should be taken into the charge of the Osirians. [NOTE: This group basically remains unchanged (although potentially far more effective) if you combine it with the proposed virtue "Unity" discussed in my next post.]

The Order of the Courtesans (Honor) - Once the physical playthings of the Sorcerer Kings, these Osirians now serve as the political and mercantile elite of society. They ensure that all of the aspects of Osirian society move with the same purpose. They also conduct trade missions with other nations, both to ensure the economic security of the Osirians, but also to recover the knowledge and artifacts needed by the other Orders.

The Order of the Priests (Faith) - Once the Ritual assistants of the Sorcerer Kings, these Osirians now lead their nation in fervent and unending rituals dedicated to their Masters. These rituals provide the raw power needed by the Order of the Craftsmen to repair and build artifacts, and help to ensure that the nation remains focused on their rightful tasks and place in history. Members of this Order are forbidden to be literate or receive instruction on the use of Artifacts. This is so they can serve as custodians for the vast storehouses of books and artifacts gathered and preserved by the other Orders without risk of falling prey to temptation.

Patents (replaces Devotion)
The Osirians understand that they are nothing before the might of the Sorcerer Kings, and they know that their place is not to serve a singular member of that great race, but to serve the race in its entirety and at its whim. They internalize the tasks given to their ancestors by the Sorcerer Kings and become better able to serve in specific ways through that process. For example, one Courtesan may seek to serve by internalizing the task of being a delight at parties; while another might be serve by becoming the perfect herald. These are demonstrated by patents awarded, or assigned, by the highest members of the Orders.

Privilege (replaces Style)
The Osirians, through loyal service to the Sorcerer Kings, would be rewarded with unique rights and privileges unknown to other slaves. The ability to go forth into the great cities alone, the ability to marry for love, the ability to own possessions, and etc. While the Ven seek to emulate the Sorcerer Kings with their Style, the Osirians set aside that false benefit in favor of true power. That is, privilege gained through devoted services, unfailing loyalty, and true actions.

Random idea that got stuck in my head on the drive home from work - Each Osirian was given a patent by their Sorcerer King masters which described and defined the limits of their privilege and permissions in society. A contract, inherently one-sided but a contract nonetheless, that put the Osirian and others on notice as to what that individual was permitted to do in society. Some time after the disappearance of the Sorcerer Kings the Osirians gathered in what would become their capital city and enshrined all of the patents that had been handed down through the generations in great books. These patents formed the base of their laws. For example: What weapons may the Order of Guardians wield? An examination of the patents shows that their ancestors were given permission to bear both long swords and spears, but nothing else. For that reason, no proper Guardian will carry a bow or even use a knife against anything more threatening than their dinner.

Re: Expanding beyond Shanri

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:48 pm
by Velocirapture
Post 2 of 3:

What about this for a new Virtue in place of Domination:

None of us is as strong as all of us. When we stand together there is no force in Creation that can bring us to our knees, no army that can stand before us, and no obstacle that we cannot overcome. We are both the immovable object and the unstoppable force.

This virtue allows you to work together to achieve truly momentous tasks. Alone we are not strong enough to lift that gate, but working together we have strength to spare. Alone we cannot run down that mammoth, but together we can harry it until it collapses and we are victorious. Alone we cannot survive the army at the gates, but together we will route the invaders, pursue them into their homes and destroy their cities with our might.

Unity covers the same conceptual space that Strength does - that is, physical exertion - but it functions slightly differently. When working alone treat your Unity score as 1/2 its actual value, rounded down (minimum 1). When two people are working together then only one roll is made, but the roller treats their score as being its normal value and adds 1/2 the value of his assistant's Unity value to that roll (rounded down, minimum 1). Unity allows for any number of individuals to assist one another, which means that a large group of individuals with Unity working together can accomplish truly mind bogglingly difficult tasks with relative ease. Although, note, this does require that they recognize one individual as the leader - the person making the roll - and that they commit to working together. I note, you must have Unity in order to work with someone else who has Unity. If two people are working toward the same goal and one has Unity and the other has Strength, then they're not actually working together and the player with Unity takes the penalty (although both get to roll separately).

In place of the above, you could subtract 2 dice from any Unity action you take by yourself; and add 2 dice for any Unity action for each person helping you who also has Unity (only the leader makes the roll). I haven't crunched the numbers between these two options to see which is more reasonable.

With that in mind, I'd suggest that the Virtues be rearranged as follows: