Saturday, July 17, 2010

Eiru: Part 2 - Danu

Continuing my description of the new fantasy world I've created, we now look at the second race, the Danu. (Danu, by the way, is both the singular and plural form).

Again, to be safe, we shall have the official disclaimer: 

The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with the GURPS system from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.

So, the Danu. They are giants, standing around 9 feet tall, but otherwise, they look like muscular humans. They live underground; specifically, they live in communities called 'sheehers' which translates roughly to 'hollow hills.' They find a hill, dig a passage down to the centre of the hill, and then tunnel a massive underground city off of that first passage. In essence, they build massive underground settlements vaguely similar to anthills, but they always have a single entrance/exit, which must be bored into the side of a hill.

Their original belief is that hills are a geological result of an underground portal to a magic otherworld, which they call Tir Nell, and that by tunnelling into them, they are entering Tir Nell. Some Danu believe that their cities are actually in Tir Nell, while others believe that  they're close to the portals, but no one has yet actually found one. A few believe that there is no otherworld, and that they simply live in a labyrinth of subterranean passageways.

One thing is certain: the magical mineral known as clanasolse can only be found under hills. Zealots point to this fact as evidence of the presence of portals to Tir Nell. But the truth is, no one really knows why clanasolse is only found beneath hills.

Nine sheehers are known as 'ardeers,' and are the seats of the nine kings of the Danu. All other sheehers owe allegiance to one of the ardeers, but contact between a sheeher and its ruling ardeer is infrequent at best. There is one important point to be mentioned concerning the Danu kings: regardless of what nation they rule, they have an ancient law that says no Danu king can be imperfect in mind or in body. Thus, if a king suffers a serious injury in battle, he is required to abdicate his throne. The most famous of this is Duanu, the king of Midir, who lost his arm in a war against the Fomors. Although his wizards crafted a replacement of silver, he was still considered 'imperfect,' and was thus forced to abdicate. 

Danu do like to travel, and are fond of adventure, combat, and tales of glory. Thus, a Danu may be encountered anywhere, but they will always return to their sheeher after a time. All Danu speak a language called Milish. Dialects exist, but any Danu can understand any other Danu speaking Milish.

It costs 85 points to play a Danu. They have the following modifiers:

Attribute Modifiers: ST +4 (Size: -10%) [36]; DX +1 [20]
Secondary Characteristics: Will +2 [10]; FP +1 [3]; SM +1
Advantages: Charisma +2 [10]; Damage Resistance +1 (Tough Skin: -40%) [3]; Night Vision +5 [5]; Fit [5]; Magery 0 [5]; 
Disadvantage: Code of Honour (Danu) [-10]
Quirks: Congenial [-1]; Proud [-1].

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Eiru: Part 1 - Humans

As mentioned in the last post, I will start detailing the fantasy setting I've created. I could use this setting for a book, but I think it would be more fun and more rewarding it to make it freely available for anyone to use. Tell stories in this world, and if you like, tell me about them!

This setting is designed for use with GURPS, 4th Edition. If you know GURPS well enough, you should be able to easily convert to most other systems. Even if you don't, you should get a general idea of how it works. Obviously, I can't post the actual rules here, but you can get GURPS Lite for free from the SJ Games Website. This also means that I'm required to post the following disclaimer:

The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with the GURPS system from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.

Ok. That's out of the way. Now, to start with, I will detail the first race: the Humans.

The setting takes place on Eiru, a large continent completely surrounded by water. It's roughly 1300 miles across from east to west, and about 1200 miles across from north to south. I will post the map once I've finished it. It has a mostly temperate climate, warmer in the south than the north, but with minor exceptions, there are no tropical, sub-arctic, arid, or other climates in the region. There are a few mountain ranges, lots of rivers, a few lakes, and loads of forests, plains, and hills. You can find some swamps, deserts, &c., but they are very rare.

Humans live in the plains. Wherever there is grassland, you can find humans living there. They are TL 2, although they are retarded in construction and transportation. Generally, they live in small cities and villages, each ruled by a mayor. Most cities belong to a kingdom, and offer fealty to a specific king. There are many kingdoms, generally governing between ten and one hundred cities and towns.

There are six closely-related human languages: Belgae, Wodish, Mannish, Dorish, Laegel, and Borin. Belgae is the most common, and many people (both human and non-human) choose to learn it as a lingua-franca, so in many ways, it can be treated as a 'common' tongue, but not everyone knows it, so it's not a guarantee. Balgae, Wodish, and Mannish are especially similar; anyone who speaks one of the three at Native level can understand someone speaking one of the other two at Native as if they were speaking it at Broken level. 

It costs 0 points to play a human. They have no modifiers.

That more or less sums up the humans. Next time, we'll introduce the Danu.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

New Fantasy Setting

Perhaps I should have mentioned this a while ago, but I'm finally gaming again. I've joined a co-worker's D20 Star Wars campaign. I'm playing a Kel Dor Jedi. Not an ideal situation, but better than not gaming, right?

I tried to get the group to give GURPS a shot, but one of the players was adamantly opposed to learning a new system. So instead, I've begun a short game for the other two players, just as a brief intro/taster to GURPS. We settled on a fantasy/supers crossover; one of them is playing a flying elf who shoots bolts of flaming spirit energy from his hands, and the other is playing a super-speed human. Much hilarity has occurred.

But this has given me the motivation to start reading my gaming books again. I recently started reading the 4th Edition version of GURPS Fantasy. Thus, I have developed two new ideas for fantasy settings.

I know I've posted about this before (apparently twice), so I'll just say: these settings are different. The first was inspired by Celtic mythology. At first, I wasn't sure how to make new fantasy races based on the creatures in the stories of Irish Tuatha de Danann, but I've since devised a way. 

The second was inspired by a section in GURPS Fantasy about mana levels. Normally, the mana level determines who can use magic, and how easily, and governs the entire campaign. But it's possible to have areas of a different mana level to the norm. And I started thinking, Why does it have to be different places? What if the mana level changes depending on the time? This reminded me of how the Aztecs thought that specific days could be lucky or unlucky. So I found myself thinking, what if the days aren't lucky or unlucky, but have higher or lower levels of mana than normal?

So the second setting is based on Aztec mythology, and takes place in a world in which the mana levels rise and fall throughout the year.

I won't bore you with the details of the Aztec-inspired setting (unless I get a good response). But for the next few installments, I think I'm going to share with you what I develop for the Celtic-inspired setting. So look for that. Coming soon to a Gaming Corner near you!