Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 17

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 16

The lull continues. But as we get closer to the present day the great figures start having names! Or at least we were more motivated to give the great figures names. There have been gods and direct servants of gods with names previously, but that hardly counts.

We also start seeing the Rana develop a different branch of foreign policy besides the typical pacifism of the Monks of Gossamer Waves. Violence is a reality that cannot always be successfully confronted with pacifistic magic and healing techniques. Sometimes the best way to reduce suffering is to cause pain to others. The Monks are unwilling to engage in righteous combat themselves and after witnessing the pervasiveness of human cruelty, they aren’t willing to arm the masses either. The Monks instead elect to arm a few champions of order and good with the finest weaponry the world has ever seen. If you read or watch Game of Thrones then you can think of Rana swords as being similar to Valarian swords.

539 NA: A new generation of Metal Dwarves was still racked with indecision. Navillus clearly must be defeated, but their grand invasion failed miserably. The world must be united in peace and harmony, but even the good Merfolk and the Bwarlor, sworn enemies of Navillus, turned against the Dwarves. The Books told them that the world must be made to follow the Dwarven way to be a good and just place, but this new entry into the cycle changed the predictions of the Books. The Dwarves knew not where to strike next with physical force or where to push with gentle words of encouragement. Lost, they descended into isolationism. They interacted only with the Gnomes and Halflings of Hearthland. The Dwarves still traded through the little people with the Merfolk, but few Metal Dwarves left the seclusion of their mountain homes. Fearful of the outside world, the Dwarves formed armies to defend themselves from the retribution they feared would come.

541 NA: The Elves, seeing that their forest was no longer safe, enacted a plan to evacuate. The Elves lived long and thus could plan for many generations ahead of time. They constructed a road through the forest to the east. The Freedom Road was defended by magical traps that similar to those that surrounded Crodolan. The Road stretched all the way from Crodolan to the Great Canal. Bridges spanned the various rivers and streams along the way. The Elves planned to construct a huge bridge over the Great Canal, so high that the mightiest ship could still pass underneath.

553 NA: The Rana, able servants of the world, began to expand their perspective as their Monks traveled the world. They learned the necessity of might even as they taught compassion and the peaceful way. The Rana lived to serve and so with somber hearts they began to make tools for the righteous to instigate change when faced with the towering forces of destruction. Practice and perfection came simply to the Rana, and soon Rana-forged swords became legendary. Rarely used and rarely gifted, the blades are an art form.

562 NA: The Empire Dwarves saw the corruption in their society, but only a rare pure soul could rise to a position of power within the Empire Dwarf society without being tempted and corrupted by bribes offered by Najar. The cycle ended with Lord Cormak, not a pure soul, but an exceedingly cruel one. Cormak gathered the Syluki Dwarf forces and marched to Najar. They brought along all their luxurious attendants, followers, silks, fine wines, and sweet desserts. After all, what is a conquest without a victory banquet afterwards? They planned to delve into the caverns of the volcano and smoke out Navillus.

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 18

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An Overview of Gurutama Part 12

D&D Races

Previous: An Overview of Gurutama Part 11

I lied! There was one more Gurutama Overview of Races post left.

Dawn of Worlds has a slightly different game definition of what a fantasy race is.

In D&D a fantasy race is any genetic group similar to humans in shape, intelligence, and power (no angels or demons).

In Dawn of Worlds a fantasy race is a construct for influencing the world.

A Dawn of Worlds race doesn’t even strictly need to be people. It could be something like a combination of computer programs.

What this means is that some of the typical fantasy races in D&D were not created in our Dawn of Worlds game.

Orcs, halflings, gnomes, gnolls (dog people), etc, were not created as official races in the Dawn of Worlds game that created Gurutama.

That doesn’t mean those races don’t exist in Gurutama!

All that means is that we decided the world’s history already had enough forces influencing it with the races we had created.

So what place do the other races have in Gurutama?

It depends on which race you’re asking about.

Halflings and gnomes exist in Western Hearthland, the dwarven continent.

The halflings and gnomes are also buddies with centaurs that live in that area.

Goblins (smaller versions of hobgoblins) live all over the place, but have a large concentration within the Turashtegal Jungle.

Orcs live all over the place too.

We’ve been discussing the placement of other races within Gurutama such as gnolls and bugbears, but nothing concrete has been decided yet.

My plan is to hammer out the timeline over my next few posts on Gurutama and then get into the specifics of other parts of the fantasy world.

I just wanted to let you all know that the other races were not left out. They were just not heavy-hitters in our Dawn of Worlds baseball game.

-Mister Ed

An Overview of Gurutama Part 5

A section of Gurutama that covers the human territories along the Upper and Eastern portions of the Maw.
A section of Gurutama that covers the human territories along the Upper and Eastern portions of the Maw.

Previous: An Overview of Gurutama Part 4

Last time I talked about the humans of Najar pushing the Bwarlor humans off the continent.

Today, I’d like to talk about a few of the other human tribes.

One of them got very little attention in the Dawn of Worlds game, the Alrador.

The Alrador lived in the eastern forests of the Great Valley.

When the Najar ascended to prominence with the help of Navillus, the Alrador were absorbed into the Najar tribe.

Another tribe, the Tylanor, lived to the west on the other side of the Western Red Peaks.

The Tylanor were never subjugated by the Najar and only became important later on in the history of Gurutama.

The Najar people formed an Empire that spread throughout the Great Valley and then eastward around the edges of the Maw.

Two other cities were colonized by the Najar, Farpoint in the shadow of Mount Solorum and Hykma.

Eventually the Najar Empire fell and Farpoint and Hykma declared their independence.

Farpoint remained a city-state for a long period, but Hykma had a different fate.

Hykma became a major economic player after the fall of the Najar Empire.

Hykman became synonymous with wealthy and Hykman influence spread far and wide.

The Hykman formed alliances and established colonies. Eventually a larger governing body was required to rule the many people that owed allegiance to the city.

The Hykman League spreads from Farpoint (a recent addition through conquest) and south and west all the way to New Prestounasi.

The Hykman League includes members of all races, Merfolk, Dwarves, Elves, Avians, Hobgoblins, humans, halflings, gnomes, and Rana (a frog race that live in Tonsil Lake in the east.

Events near the end of the Dawn of Worlds game induced revolts throughout the Hykman League.

The Hykman hold on territory south and west of the city is tenuous at best, but they still claim the region as their own.

That’s all for the first glimpse at the humans of Najar. Next up are the Dwarves!

-Mister Ed

Next: An Overview of Gurutama Part 6

An Overview of Gurutama Part 1

The map I made of Gurutama using Campaign Cartographer.
The map I made of Gurutama using Campaign Cartographer.

Starting off the posts on Gurutama will contain information my D&D group has already written.

After we’ve covered that background information I plan to post more indepth descriptions of places or cultural aspects. Religion, art, holidays, monuments, military, civil administration, all these things were touched on but not explicitly described in our Dawn of Worlds game. I’ll do what I can to get those ideas fleshed out here.

So first up, what are these continents we’re looking at on the map? There are four continents on Gurutama, Glacierstone, Hearthland, Rontu-Aru, and the Maw.

The Maw is split up into four sub continents, the Upper Maw, the Eastern Maw, the Lower Maw, and the central islands (islands aren’t really a continent, but inner oceans are still defined by tectonic plates).

Rontu-Aru, the southern continent, is inhabited mostly by bird people called Avians.

Avian culture is loosely based off of Aztec, Mayan, and Inca cultures. Avians build ziggurats like the Aztecs and Mayans did. They live high in the mountains like the Inca did. They sacrifice intelligent beings like the Aztecs and Mayans did. I avoided the term human sacrifice, because in there are more races than humans in our fantasy world.

The Avians came into contact with the Merfolk early in our world’s history. The Merfolk are fish people that live around the islands in the central sea of the Maw.

This map shows the Avian continent of Rontu-Aru and the central islands of the Merfolk.
This map shows the Avian continent of Rontu-Aru and the central islands of the Merfolk.

The Merfolk wished to make trade easier with the southern sea, The Neck. They prayed to their god, Drolfo, to open up a quick path to the Neck.

Drolfo summoned a giant octopus named Selcatnet which dug a trench through the mountain range on the northern edge of the Lower Maw. This trench became the Great Canal that separates the Lower Maw from the Eastern Maw.

The Merfolk came down to Rontu-Aru and set up trading outposts with the Avians.

The Avians were resistant to the outsiders. Eventually a prophet rose up and formed an army to attack the Merfolk.

War raged for many years and eventually the Merfolk won. The fish people enslaved the bird people. Now intelligent beings are exported along with goods from the jungles and marshes of Rontu-Aru.

The Merfolk are in an excellent position for trade at the physical center of Gurutama. They trade with all the civilized races of our world, humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes, halflings, and the Rana. Rana are frog people that live in the Eastern Maw.

There’s more to get into, but that feels like enough for one blog post. That’s all for now!

-Mister Ed

Next: An Overview of Gurutama Part 2

A Short D&D Glossary

A photo of the glossary page in the 4th edition D&D Monster Manual
A photo of the glossary page in the 4th edition D&D Monster Manual

There’s a few words that get tossed around a lot in D&D. I often forget that other people don’t know the specific D&D meanings of those words, so I thought I’d provide a short glossary of terms today.

The first word that I realized others might not know was teleport. None of the auto-spellcheckers I have used ever recognize teleport as a correctly spelled word  (And now I’ve confirmed that WordPress’s spellchecker doesn’t catch it either). Teleport is a word that means to instantly appear somewhere else. The transporter in Star Trek and apparating in Harry Potter are essentially both teleporting. The act of teleporting is called teleportation.

Campaign: A series of adventures that the players undertake, often with an underlying theme. My players are in a campaign where they fight a vampiric empire. The campaign before that was an attempt to prevent the establishment of the vampiric empire (they failed in the end). Prior to that they were fighting an evil death wizard (or necromancer since this is the blog post to teach you these words).

Campaign World: The main fantasy world in which a campaign takes place. My campaign world is based off Greek and Roman mythology and takes place in a place far to the east that the Greeks called Cimmeria.

Plane: There are often other worlds connected to the campaign world. These alternate dimensions are called planes. They appear as pools in some of the prequels to the Narnia series. The other worlds could be parallel dimensions or versions of heaven or hell, or anything else you can think of.

Cleric: A cleric is a person who devotes their life to religion. In English we often associate specific words with specific religions. A minister is Christian, a rabbi is Jewish, an iman is Muslim, etc. To avoid that confusion, D&D uses cleric to refer to priests of all gods and religions.

Encounter: A single conflict between the players and an adversary represented by the DM. These conflicts are often violent, but they don’t need to be. A diplomatic negotiation could also be an encounter.

Adventure: A string of encounters that have a unifying villain or objective. Adventures are composed of encounters and campaigns are composed of adventures. Campaigns can also have overarching villains and objectives, but the individual villains in each adventure will often change. You fight the henchmen before you fight the villain (Deatheaters before Voldemort in Harry Potter).

Experience: When the players defeat an encounter their characters are awarded experience points (EXP or XP). These are used to make their character stronger. They’re an important extrinsic reward in the game. A character’s power is defined by how much XP they have. If a character is more powerful then they can take on greater challenges. A hero could start off slaying orcs, gaining more experience til he is slaying giants and dragons.

Level: As characters gain more experience they increase in level. Each level has a set amount of XP required to reach it. Thus power increases in a stepwise fashion. More and more XP is needed for the higher levels. D&D levels typically range from 1-20.

System: D&D is the most well known pen and paper roleplaying game, but its not the only one. Many others exist and most have their own acronyms as well. Generic Universal RolePlaying System (GURPS) favors realism over the fantastical heroism of D&D. Call of Cthulu (CoC) simulates the Lovecraftian horror genre instead of high fantasy. Star Wars is for science fiction and World of Darkness (WoD) is for playing in a world of vampires and werewolves. D&D is the flagship of roleplaying games, but it probably has less than half the overall market share within the business. The rules of D&D and the rules of all its competitors are called roleplaying systems.

Edition: All these roleplaying systems have different editions. D&D is about to release its 5th edition. I believe GURPS is on its 4th now. WoD is on its 2nd edition. My friends and I started off playing 2nd edition D&D and switched to 3.0 and then 3.5 when they came out. We became entrenched in 3.5 and never switched to 4th edition (4E) and are only considering it now. This unwillingness to change leads to what are called edition wars in D&D. Different groups will argue that their system or edition is far superior to any other. It’s a snobbish elitism that exists in any hobby from beer drinking to bird watching.

Class: A character in D&D must pick a class to decide what powers they have access to. Wizards can cast powerful spells, but can’t fight very well. Fighters can swing a sword, but they can’t sneak into buildings. Rogues can sneak around and lie to people convincingly, but they can’t heal wounds. Clerics can heal wounds and cast some of the weaker spells, but not the more powerful ones. The wizard, fighter, rogue, and cleric make up the 4 basic class types in D&D. Each character must be one of these classes or a variation on them. Each level a character has is in one of these classes. A character could have all of their levels in one class or spread them out as much as they like between the many variations on the basic four.

Race: Players pick a race or species when they first create their character. The basic races are human, elf, dwarf, halfling, half-orc, gnome, and half-elf,  but there are many more. Each race gives a character a few small bonuses and penalties along with a set of typical physical features to choose from and a racial history to assist in writing a character’s backstory.

Skills: Characters have a few things they are good at. This could be something like cooking, playing an instrument, climbing, or using magical items. Most if not all roleplaying systems have skills.

Feats: Feats give a character additional options or bonuses beyond what their race, class, and skills give. A character gets one feat every three levels. Feats are unique to D&D. A feat could be something like the ability to create magic items, running for long distances without tiring, or using one weapon much better than any other.

That’s enough for now! With this info you’ll be able to understand my future posts on D&D a little better.

-Mister Ed