Waterbrick Down

Heroica RPG 2.0

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7 hours ago, Lord Duvors said:

@Waterbrick Down @Endgame @Goliath @samurai-turtle @Kintobor @Classic_Spaceman

I've been a bit unsatisfied with my writeup for Arcadia, so I thought I'd revise it a little. See what you think:

The Arcadian Union
The Arcadian Union is one of the larger and more influential nations of the League. It was born from the unification of several planets primarily occupied by humans, elves, and dwarfs centered around the three species' supposed homeworld of Arcadia. The exact history of the three species spread to the stars is unclear however, as populations are known to have been present on most inhabited planets back to the beginning of recorded history. The only reason Arcadia is known to be their homeworld (and the surmised reason for their diaspora) is the relics of the mysterious Ancient Empire scattered throughout Arcadian space. While most of the writing on these objects remains untranslated, what little can be gleaned suggests Arcadia as being a sort of 'center' around which the empire formed.
During the war, the Union was chosen to be the staging ground for the League's combined militaries due to it's proximity to the enemy. The war was not kind to Arcadia however, aside from losing the most territory out of any League member several worlds that were disgruntled with the Union's leadership took advantage of the situation to secede, forming the Colonial Alliance. This series of events has left the population of the Union very dissatisfied with the war's outcome, with some demanding the government seek the return of lost territory and re-annexation of the Alliance.

The Colonial Alliance
The Alliance (formally known as The Alliance of the Seven Colonies) were until recently part of the Arcadian Union. Unlike most members of the Union they did not join at it's founding but instead much later. This was due to the fact that there exists no direct connection between the Colonies and Arcadia via Jump Gate, leaving them completely isolated from one another for most of their history. Due to this isolation the colonies formed a distinct culture from the rest of the Union despite consisting mainly of the same species.
While the Colonies acceded to the Union entirely willingly, much of their population later became convinced that their relative isolation was leading to them being disregarded by the Arcadian government. This feeling only grew in strength as the Union repeatedly refused to hold any referendums on independence. Feeling deprived of any other options, the Colonies took advantage of the outbreak of war to secede from Arcadia. While Arcadia wished to reconquer them as quickly as possible, those plans were shot down by the League's Assembly in order to prevent any resources being taken away from the main front. In the postwar era The Colonies remain independent from any major power, a state of affairs enshrined in the Drandora Accords. How successful they will be remains to be seen.

It seems a bit American, but I might be reading into it. :laugh: While I like giving players options to be from one of the classic races while being associated with a more rough and tumble background, I'm not sure if this is the best way to approach it.

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15 hours ago, Waterbrick Down said:

It seems a bit American, but I might be reading into it. :laugh: While I like giving players options to be from one of the classic races while being associated with a more rough and tumble background, I'm not sure if this is the best way to approach it.

I think that's mostly due to the use of the term 'colonies' (something I fully admit to stealing from Battlestar Galactica). They aren't really colonies in any sense, as their inhabitants have lived there since recorded history began. I honestly think of them as being politically more like an equivalent to post-independence India. I did conceive the idea that relics from the Ancient Empire would be just as common there as Arcadian space to emphasize that they're just as 'legitimate' a representation of the three species as the Union.

On that point, I have some elements of the Ancient Empire (and some other things) that I'd like to talk to you about in private if you don't mind.

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22 hours ago, Lord Duvors said:

I think that's mostly due to the use of the term 'colonies' (something I fully admit to stealing from Battlestar Galactica). They aren't really colonies in any sense, as their inhabitants have lived there since recorded history began. I honestly think of them as being politically more like an equivalent to post-independence India. I did conceive the idea that relics from the Ancient Empire would be just as common there as Arcadian space to emphasize that they're just as 'legitimate' a representation of the three species as the Union.

On that point, I have some elements of the Ancient Empire (and some other things) that I'd like to talk to you about in private if you don't mind.

Feel free to send me a PM.

I was only thinking because of the whole "wanting to be independent thing", but I guess that could apply to a lot of Britain's colonies. :laugh: So would the Union be composed of mainly Elves/Dwarves/Humans or would there be other species?

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42 minutes ago, Waterbrick Down said:

Feel free to send me a PM.

I was only thinking because of the whole "wanting to be independent thing", but I guess that could apply to a lot of Britain's colonies. :laugh: So would the Union be composed of mainly Elves/Dwarves/Humans or would there be other species?

Thanks! I'll get back to you soon.

I think Elves/Dwarves/Humans would be the primary species, but immigration would've lead to significant populations of other species. This is probably heightened due to them being members of the League. Emigration would've also lead to the three species being distributed throughout other nations. The former territory of the Ancient Empire is meant to be their ultimate origin, not the place they all live.

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On 9/22/2020 at 1:51 PM, Waterbrick Down said:

On to the subject of building and DMing, when Heroica 1.0 was around Zepher, JimBee we debated rewards to encourage DMing. One thought would be to include XP that can go towards a character, additionally in order to help new DM's a photo repository could be created with enemies, set locations, etc. to help those with smaller collections to still be able to host. So rewards would look something like below:
Host a quest: +5XP
Submit an enemy: +1 XP
Submit a set location: +2 XP
Submit a battle map: +2 XP 

 

I was wondering if this is a totally good idea. If I submit 20 items at the beginning my character is going to have an extrem edge against everyone else's character. But maybe if "credits" was an option (or even items). Some people might want to pick those options or mix and match stuff. 

And do you have any template for "enemies" (or locations)? I do have some ideas rattling around in my head for standard enemies. 

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4 minutes ago, samurai-turtle said:

I was wondering if this is a totally good idea. If I submit 20 items at the beginning my character is going to have an extrem edge against everyone else's character. But maybe if "credits" was an option (or even items). Some people might want to pick those options or mix and match stuff. 

And do you have any template for "enemies" (or locations)? I do have some ideas rattling around in my head for standard enemies. 

Nothing quite yet, I'd imagine we'll roll out the regular game first and then one it's a bit established and in a groove we can add in the Quest Resource bit with appropriate prices. The idea is to generate quality content for other QM's to utilize, so that'll be the priority over quantity.

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1 hour ago, Lord Duvors said:

@Goliath @samurai-turtle @Classic_Spaceman @Kintobor

A quick question for all of you, what are your thoughts on my writeup for the orcs in the backstory? I'm in need of some feedback on that particular front.n

I think you might need to remind me (and everyone else) what you have written on them and what you need help with. 

On 10/5/2020 at 12:27 AM, Waterbrick Down said:

Nothing quite yet, I'd imagine we'll roll out the regular game first and then one it's a bit established and in a groove we can add in the Quest Resource bit with appropriate prices. The idea is to generate quality content for other QM's to utilize, so that'll be the priority over quantity.

I was wondering how to do some of it and here is what I have so far. 

 cyber_slime_square.jpg Picture = should be self explanatory what the enemy looks like (I imagine their can be more that one picture here too). 

Name - Cyber Slime = what is the enemy called in general but I also thought of...

Nickname = this is optional information like if you have a certain way to identify different units, for example; Al 22, Bob 45, Cal 99, or 76 Dan, 36 Ernie, 31 Frank. 

Stats = you know the same thing your character gets. For example Cyber Slime...

Vitality - 10 (health) 

Strength - 4 

Skill - 2 

Smarts - 1 

Spirit - 1 

Proficiencies - 3 close range weapons, 2 athletics, 2 agility 

Points Used = I figured this could tell you how difficult and enemy is spouse to be, the above example uses 21 points (if I did my counting right) 

Equipment = this tells you what the enemy is wearing AND possibly what it could drop for treasure 

Inventory = similar to equipment but you know it is not wearing the things AGAIN another possibility for treasure dropping 

Special Skills = I am thinking maybe the enemy does something that the players normal can't do like have a chance to poison, this might be considered an optional feature 

Legends = this information is considered colorful stuff and maybe help the DM run an enemy in combat. For example on: Cyber Slime - No one knows how these things came about, one theory is all the virtual viruses, spyware, malware and just bad programming bugs just fused together. Their single goal seems to be absorb everything in sight. They are mostly found in virtual realms but been know to hijacked hologram projectors and show up in other ways. Cyber Slime is considered one of more aggressive of the Techno Slimes and should be destroyed quickly before it gets out of hand and takes up everything. 

Well this is what I have for now, if you think I missed something let me know (this goes for anyone) or something needs adjusting again let me know. 

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@samurai-turtle
I was referring to this:

On 9/25/2020 at 12:02 AM, Lord Duvors said:

Orc Clans
Until very recently the idea of orcs at the head of a major power would've gotten more then a few laughs. Seen as little more than barbarians incapable of even ruling themselves properly, the orcs were mostly notable for sporadic raids against nations bordering their space. That all changed however when a single orc unified the clans under the infamous 'Red Banner' and lead them in an attack against their currently warring neighbors, only being halted by a desperate last offensive by their newly unified enemies. In a move that would've been unthinkable only a few years ago, the orcs were invited to a peace conference on neutral ground. Even more unthinkably, not only did they accept, but they agreed to retain their current borders and cease expansion, even agreeing to membership in the newly formed Interstellar Trade Authority. This was due to the unifier's sudden death and the need for the orcs to choose his heir. A few years and a new ruler on many have come to accept the orcs as a permanent fixture. However, many outside the clans wish for a return of the orcs to disunity. And though the new High King wishes for a more peaceful integration with their neighbors many are dissatisfied by the treaty's terms and wish to expand once more. Regardless, while the orcs were once at a disadvantage when dealing with others, now they speak from a position of strength.

I was planning on giving my basic lore writeup a second pass and was having some trouble with how to alter or otherwise polish this particular section.

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13 hours ago, Lord Duvors said:

@Goliath @samurai-turtle @Classic_Spaceman @Kintobor

A quick question for all of you, what are your thoughts on my writeup for the orcs in the backstory? I'm in need of some feedback on that particular front.

How does this look? 

Orc Clans 
Until recently, the idea of Orcs at the head of a major power would have garnered laughs at best, and outright derision at worst. Seen by most as little more than savage barbarians incapable of even ruling themselves properly (much less a major galactic government), and raiders who periodically attack planets that border their space, the Orcs are, in truth, a profoundly misunderstood species. Highly intelligent, artistic, and resourceful, the Orcs place high value on individualism and personal and ideological sovereignty, preferring nomadic lifestyles wherein each clan can actualise its own ideals. As a result of this diversity, Orcish culture is multifaceted and characterised by artistry and passion in all areas of life. Tending to view "politeness" and "manners" (as other cultures put these concepts) as not only deceitful but outright disrespectful of one another, Orcs can be extremely blunt in their interactions and quick to fight. The Orcs are far from warlike, however, as they simply regard conflict as an inevitability of the acknowledgment and respect of differing beliefs - Two Orcs might greet each other with an argument and a fistfight, only to sit down and share a meal together. This embrace of individual autonomy means that their fights are generally conducted over personal differences, rather than years of built-up resentment, thus tending to be brief and without many casualties. Orcish society was upended, however, upon the surprise entry of the Elves as an independent faction in the war, and the subsequent signature of the Drandora Accords - a peace agreement between the League of Independent Nations and the Pluuravian Empire. Fearing conquest, now that the major powers of the Euripides Arm were no longer preoccupied by centuries of near-constant war, the Orc clans broke their most deeply-held convictions and unified under the infamous "Red Banner", in an attempt to project a protective image of strength. This cultural shift was despised by nearly every clan, and it remains such to this day, but it was made under the belief that no other options were available. In the view of the majority of the Euripides Arm, the Orcs represented a fragmentary society, once perpetually at-odds with itself, that had suddenly turned outwardly-violent, and the major powers scrambled to address the situation. Unthinkably, to outsiders, at least, the unified Orcs not only accepted an invitation to attend subsequent peace talks at Drandora, but they also agreed to retain their current borders and halt expansion - even agreeing to membership in the newly-formed Interstellar Trade Authority. Internally, however, resentment amongst the Orcs has been building over the "Red Banner" of unification. Chosen to symbolise ferocity and singularity, many of the clans find it a despicable reminder of how many already see them - A monolithic and brutal race, who know only the language of war. 
 
 
I changed the Orcs from having been the third faction in the war, both because of @Waterbrick Down's concerns that they would fill too similar a role here to theirs in the original game, and in order to give them more concrete motivations. Additionally, I wanted to establish the Orcs as a diverse and dignified species by recoding/reframing the traditional tropes of Orcish culture, so that the faction would not fall into real-world racist stereotypes (Orcs in fantasy are often portrayed as strong, dumb, warlike brutes (in contrast with more "enlightened" species, such as Elves), which reflects historical (and, sadly, modern) views of Africans, Native Americans, and other colonised peoples). I also stripped out some of the more obvious references to Klingon history. 
I am not sure how well this fits with your plans, since I changed the duration of the war significantly (I envision the war between the League and the Pluuravian Empire as a sort of space-WW1 - A centuries-long war of attrition with heavy casualties and extensive manoeuvring, but with little progress for either side), but my intention in doing so was to make the current state of galactic politics a major deviation from an extended status quo (and, thus, a time of great change and barely-concealed turmoil, that could be ignited by almost any new power or change within an existing power). BTW, I have some ideas for the Elves (specifically how and why they became the third major faction of the war), that I will post once I finish writing them. 
 

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On 10/1/2020 at 5:45 PM, Lord Duvors said:

On that point, I have some elements of the Ancient Empire (and some other things) that I'd like to talk to you about in private if you don't mind.

Would you be willing to PM me about this, as well? I have been working on additional lore/background (for Blackstar (primarily), the Elves, additions to the lore surrounding Jump Gates, and a minor rework of the Colonial Alliance), and I want to make sure that my ideas will fit with what you have in-mind. 
 

Edited by Classic_Spaceman
I did not mean to double-post - I thought that this post would merge with my previous one. 😬

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12 hours ago, Classic_Spaceman said:

Additionally, I wanted to establish the Orcs as a diverse and dignified species by recoding/reframing the traditional tropes of Orcish culture, so that the faction would not fall into real-world racist stereotypes (Orcs in fantasy are often portrayed as strong, dumb, warlike brutes (in contrast with more "enlightened" species, such as Elves), which reflects historical (and, sadly, modern) views of Africans, Native Americans, and other colonised peoples).

That's reading modern things into classic tropes. "Strong dumb warlike brute" could be ripped directly from British propaganda about Germans - and the Germans tended to be colonizers, not colonized.

Nothing to do with "racist stereotypes" "of Africans, Native Americans, and other colonised peoples".

 

Edited by Lind Whisperer

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12 hours ago, Classic_Spaceman said:
I changed the Orcs from having been the third faction in the war, both because of @Waterbrick Down's concerns that they would fill too similar a role here to theirs in the original game, and in order to give them more concrete motivations. Additionally, I wanted to establish the Orcs as a diverse and dignified species by recoding/reframing the traditional tropes of Orcish culture, so that the faction would not fall into real-world racist stereotypes (Orcs in fantasy are often portrayed as strong, dumb, warlike brutes (in contrast with more "enlightened" species, such as Elves), which reflects historical (and, sadly, modern) views of Africans, Native Americans, and other colonised peoples). I also stripped out some of the more obvious references to Klingon history.

As much as I appreciate the effort you've gone to here I have to say I'm not a big fan of cutting them out of the war. If I'd intended to do that then I wouldn't need feedback in the first place. While I admit that WBD may be right in objecting to the way they're used in the original writeup (which is kind of the impetus for me wanting to change it in the first place) giving them no connection to the war leaves them rather disconnected from the history I'd written. My original scheme had them as a major player whereas your history leaves no reason to even mention them in the initial blurb.

I also feel you've misinterpreted the Red Banner somewhat. It wasn't in the lore writeup I did but back when we were all talking about races I mentioned a concept for a species called the Oruk. They were meant to be an ancestor species to the orcs that were technically extinct but still around in the form of undead and have a major place of esteem in orc society. The device on the Red Banner is supposed to be one of their skulls, chosen as a symbol because it's basically the only universal symbol the orcs posses.

I also have to say I'm not particularly a fan of the rather individualistic bent you've given them. In my mind the orcs were always a family-and-clan-oriented culture, as opposed to the state-oriented Puuravians and the individualistic League.

And what references are those? As I've said before I'm not very familiar with Star Trek outside the Original Series so I don't really know much about Klingon lore other then them being unified by some guy called Kahless. While I suppose that and the general 'fight-y species' aesthetic could be considered similar to what I wrote the unifier of the orcs was mostly based on historical figures rather than fictional ones.

13 hours ago, Classic_Spaceman said:
I am not sure how well this fits with your plans, since I changed the duration of the war significantly (I envision the war between the League and the Pluuravian Empire as a sort of space-WW1 - A centuries-long war of attrition with heavy casualties and extensive manoeuvring, but with little progress for either side), but my intention in doing so was to make the current state of galactic politics a major deviation from an extended status quo (and, thus, a time of great change and barely-concealed turmoil, that could be ignited by almost any new power or change within an existing power). BTW, I have some ideas for the Elves (specifically how and why they became the third major faction of the war), that I will post once I finish writing them. 

Why change the war's duration? There's nothing that really adds to the scenario (other than needless inflation of numbers) that couldn't be accomplished in it's original timeframe. You say it's done so that the current situation is a deviation from the status quo, but that was already the case to begin with. The only change you've made is that the war was the status quo rather than the catalyst for it's end. And to be honest it think that extending the war like that makes the entire scenario less believable. World War One only lasted a little over four years and is responsible for an estimated 15 to 22 million deaths, the fall of all continental empires in Europe, the creation of the Soviet Union, massive changes to the balance of power, and the Second World War. A conflict that lasted 6 years and a day and killed about 70 to 85 million people (approximately 3% one the world population at the time), lead to the invention and deployment of the first nuclear weapons, and set off the Cold War. Extending the war over multiple centuries makes the idea that the original nations would even exist afterwards rather unbelievable.

13 hours ago, Classic_Spaceman said:

Would you be willing to PM me about this, as well? I have been working on additional lore/background (for Blackstar (primarily), the Elves, additions to the lore surrounding Jump Gates, and a minor rework of the Colonial Alliance), and I want to make sure that my ideas will fit with what you have in-mind. 

Unless there are elements of what you've written that are supposed to be secret from the players at the start of the game there's no real reason not to just write it out here. I will warn you that @Waterbrick Down and I have already hashed out a fairly restrictive origin for the elves (and dwarves, and humans) so your ideas may not be entirely compatible with that. I do still want to see everything you've written though.

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3 hours ago, Lord Duvors said:

I'm not a big fan of cutting them out of the war. . . giving them no connection to the war leaves them rather disconnected from the history I'd written. My original scheme had them as a major player whereas your history leaves no reason to even mention them in the initial blurb.

In my mind, I was not cutting them out of the war, but rather making them a product of the war. They still have a connection, just of a different kind. Additionally, my writeup still has the Orcs as a major player going forward - I just pushed the timeline of their rise to power forward a bit (after, rather than during, the war). That said, since I took more of an internal perspective with my history, I can see how that may have been lost. 
 

3 hours ago, Lord Duvors said:

I also feel you've misinterpreted the Red Banner somewhat. It wasn't in the lore writeup I did but back when we were all talking about races I mentioned a concept for a species called the Oruk. They were meant to be an ancestor species to the orcs that were technically extinct but still around in the form of undead and have a major place of esteem in orc society. The device on the Red Banner is supposed to be one of their skulls, chosen as a symbol because it's basically the only universal symbol the orcs posses.

This actually fits extremely well with my ideas for the Orcs, and with the internal and external views of the Red Banner’s symbolism (outsiders see the skull as a symbol of violence, and many of the Orcs themselves feel that the placement of a quasi-sacred image on the banner of unification to be disrespectful (Perhaps the Oruk first developed the culture of individual autonomy, which was then passed down to the Orcs, so the use of an Oruk skull on the Red Banner is seen to run counter to what the Oruk actually stood for)). BTW, are you planning to use this piece for the “Red Banner”? 
 

3 hours ago, Lord Duvors said:

I also have to say I'm not particularly a fan of the rather individualistic bent you've given them. In my mind the orcs were always a family-and-clan-oriented culture, as opposed to the state-oriented Puuravians and the individualistic League.

Individualism would extend to the family/clan level, though. I see the League as characterised by collaboration more than pure individualism (since, as they have a central government, some ideological autonomy would need to be sacrificed for the sake of unity). Until the Red Banner, the Orcs never had any form of central authority - Each clan ruled itself as it saw fit, and the clans generally had a sort of agree-to-disagree policy towards each other. Were you thinking of the Orcs’ family/clan-orientation as a focus on tradition? I was actually envisioning the Elves as the traditional species, given their (typically) long lifespans. 
 

3 hours ago, Lord Duvors said:

And what references are those? As I've said before I'm not very familiar with Star Trek outside the Original Series so I don't really know much about Klingon lore other then them being unified by some guy called Kahless. 

I was actually thinking more about Klingon-Federation relations (specifically the Battle of the Binary Stars and the Khitomer Accords) than Kahless. 
 

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3 hours ago, Lord Duvors said:

Unless there are elements of what you've written that are supposed to be secret from the players at the start of the game there's no real reason not to just write it out here. I will warn you that @Waterbrick Down and I have already hashed out a fairly restrictive origin for the elves (and dwarves, and humans) so your ideas may not be entirely compatible with that. I do still want to see everything you've written though.

Just to be clear, nothing set in stone yet though. If there are more interesting ideas, there is still open-ness in suggesting them.

How would folks feel about a setting where the classical fantasy races still exist, but aren't necessarily the main players in the story anymore? The Starfinder RPG went this route with having the classic orc/dwarf/elf still be around, but not as forefront to the main story arcs as some of the newer species introduced.

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4 hours ago, Lord Duvors said:

Why change the war's duration? There's nothing that really adds to the scenario (other than needless inflation of numbers) that couldn't be accomplished in it's original timeframe. You say it's done so that the current situation is a deviation from the status quo, but that was already the case to begin with. The only change you've made is that the war was the status quo rather than the catalyst for it's end.

I lengthened the duration of the war primarily so that it would encompass multiple generations, and because I am not really sure what the status quo was before the war (since most of the changes to the galactic political dynamic have occurred since the war’s end). Rereading your original post, it seems that you had an overall younger universe in-mind, while I was thinking of something much older. 🤔
 

4 hours ago, Lord Duvors said:

And to be honest it think that extending the war like that makes the entire scenario less believable. World War One only lasted a little over four years and is responsible for an estimated 15 to 22 million deaths, the fall of all continental empires in Europe, the creation of the Soviet Union, massive changes to the balance of power, and the Second World War. A conflict that lasted 6 years and a day and killed about 70 to 85 million people (approximately 3% one the world population at the time), lead to the invention and deployment of the first nuclear weapons, and set off the Cold War. Extending the war over multiple centuries makes the idea that the original nations would even exist afterwards rather unbelievable.

When I said “space-WW1”, I meant it in an extremely general sense (you clearly know more about the conflict than I do!), and was focused more on the idea of trench warfare (long periods of stagnation between brief-but-deadly battles, little territory actually gained, an overall atmosphere of tension, etc). 
As for the duration, this is a universe with magic and Undead and long-lived fantasy races, so the idea of such a protracted war is completely believable to me
 

4 hours ago, Lord Duvors said:

there's no real reason not to just write it out here. I will warn you that @Waterbrick Down and I have already hashed out a fairly restrictive origin for the elves (and dwarves, and humans) so your ideas may not be entirely compatible with that. I do still want to see everything you've written though. 

Most of my ideas are actually things that I am thinking about, with a few specifics jotted down. I find that it is easier to develop ideas via discussion, since I often have general themes or character-elements that I know that I want to use, but that I am unsure of how to work into a complete story (Case-in-point: I was working on some broad ideas for the Blacktron faction, but it was not until I saw your original ‘Black Sun’ writeup that I had the necessary framework for developing those ideas). Moreover, I do not want to spend time working on an extensive backstory, only for it to end up contradicting core elements of your plan. 😕
 

Edited by Classic_Spaceman

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Well I do have some points on the Orcs. @Lord Duvors 

What if they come into the war late and they are the main reason it ended because they always seem to win every fight they got into. I guess the rest could be the same. 

For their personalities l imagine they have a tell it like it is (kinda like a family member) for example; they would rather call you a dumb @$$ and punch you in the face, instead of stab you in the back like they see other creatures might do. But you are better off being friends with an Orc(s) than have them as an enemy. 

As for the red banner, I got a China type of vibe from the whole  thing, if you need names maybe you could some from China. :def_shrug: 

3 hours ago, Classic_Spaceman said:

 

I don't know why you got quoted, but it does sound like you have a quest forming in your head. 

4 hours ago, Waterbrick Down said:

How would folks feel about a setting where the classical fantasy races still exist, but aren't necessarily the main players in the story anymore? The Starfinder RPG went this route with having the classic orc/dwarf/elf still be around, but not as forefront to the main story arcs as some of the newer species introduced. 

I somewhat thought it might go a similar route, so their is a similar vibe going on. 

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On 10/19/2020 at 8:09 AM, Lord Duvors said:

@Goliath @samurai-turtle @Classic_Spaceman @Kintobor

A quick question for all of you, what are your thoughts on my writeup for the orcs in the backstory? I'm in need of some feedback on that particular front.

It might be a long shot, but I know @CMP had a pretty detailed writeup on Orcs for the OG Heroica, if this is meant to be an extension of that world you might be able to ask him for a couple pointers.
 

9 hours ago, Waterbrick Down said:

How would folks feel about a setting where the classical fantasy races still exist, but aren't necessarily the main players in the story anymore? The Starfinder RPG went this route with having the classic orc/dwarf/elf still be around, but not as forefront to the main story arcs as some of the newer species introduced.

I do really like the idea of this; it allows for a really developed-feeling world. The impetus, then, is to have new races to fill that void, of course. Is the plan to have, like, major alien races, or to keep things still relatively bound to Olegaia (presuming that's a name that's staying)? 

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9 hours ago, The Legonater said:

It might be a long shot, but I know @CMP had a pretty detailed writeup on Orcs for the OG Heroica, if this is meant to be an extension of that world you might be able to ask him for a couple pointers.

The idea behind Heroica 2.0 is while it may pay homage to Heroica 1.0, it's its own universe. Races/Factions/Items/Classes may not necessarily be the same as Heroica 1.0. I like to think of it like easter eggs. If you played Heroica 1.0 you may see some things that'll make you smile, but playing Heroica 1.0 won't be a prerequisite for understanding anything in Heroica 2.0 lore wise.

9 hours ago, The Legonater said:

I do really like the idea of this; it allows for a really developed-feeling world. The impetus, then, is to have new races to fill that void, of course. Is the plan to have, like, major alien races, or to keep things still relatively bound to Olegaia (presuming that's a name that's staying)? 

It'd be free from Olegaia, I'm currently kicking around an idea where some of the old races (elves/dwarves/gnomes/some humans/maybe orcs) come from a star system that was recently destroyed for one reason or another and now are mainly nomadic/refugees amongst the other species. It's not that they don't exist, it's more that there aren't as many and they definitely don't have as much influence as some of the other species anymore. Instead the focus would be on a different set of species that fill the same arch types:
- The big and brawny enforcer types, generally more militaristic or honor focused
- Industrious and clever, generally fill the role of engineer or maybe scientist
- The cultural elite or high society type
- The scholarly type
- The one with more affinity to magic or the divine or nature
- The elderly or immortal race
- The new or young race with little experience in the universe
- The survivalist or lone wolf type
- The one with a truly alien perspective (i.e. hive minds/logic only processing/reincarnation life-cycle/etc.)

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12 hours ago, The Legonater said:

It might be a long shot, but I know @CMP had a pretty detailed writeup on Orcs for the OG Heroica, if this is meant to be an extension of that world you might be able to ask him for a couple pointers.

Her now, but yes, I'm still around, and yes I do still have all of the content I wrote for Heroica. But as WBD says...

2 hours ago, Waterbrick Down said:

The idea behind Heroica 2.0 is while it may pay homage to Heroica 1.0, it's its own universe. Races/Factions/Items/Classes may not necessarily be the same as Heroica 1.0. I like to think of it like easter eggs. If you played Heroica 1.0 you may see some things that'll make you smile, but playing Heroica 1.0 won't be a prerequisite for understanding anything in Heroica 2.0 lore wise.

It'd be free from Olegaia, I'm currently kicking around an idea where some of the old races (elves/dwarves/gnomes/some humans/maybe orcs) come from a star system that was recently destroyed for one reason or another and now are mainly nomadic/refugees amongst the other species. It's not that they don't exist, it's more that there aren't as many and they definitely don't have as much influence as some of the other species anymore. Instead the focus would be on a different set of species that fill the same arch types:
- The big and brawny enforcer types, generally more militaristic or honor focused
- Industrious and clever, generally fill the role of engineer or maybe scientist
- The cultural elite or high society type
- The scholarly type
- The one with more affinity to magic or the divine or nature
- The elderly or immortal race
- The new or young race with little experience in the universe
- The survivalist or lone wolf type
- The one with a truly alien perspective (i.e. hive minds/logic only processing/reincarnation life-cycle/etc.)

All of that. :laugh:

Part of it is that, generally, I think aliens should correspond to some of the more populous/available LEGOs at the time to make collecting the more ubiquitous races easier. If you ask anyone these days to dig up some orc-looking figs, you'd be a little more out of luck than back in 2010. 

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On 10/20/2020 at 5:08 PM, Classic_Spaceman said:

In my mind, I was not cutting them out of the war, but rather making them a product of the war. They still have a connection, just of a different kind. Additionally, my writeup still has the Orcs as a major player going forward - I just pushed the timeline of their rise to power forward a bit (after, rather than during, the war). That said, since I took more of an internal perspective with my history, I can see how that may have been lost. 

The problem here is that the major players in a post-war environment are usually the people who fought in the war, because they're the ones who sign all the treaties at the end. Furthermore if the orcs didn't want to unify, then they simply wouldn't have regardless of any pragmatical considerations.

On 10/20/2020 at 5:08 PM, Classic_Spaceman said:

This actually fits extremely well with my ideas for the Orcs, and with the internal and external views of the Red Banner’s symbolism (outsiders see the skull as a symbol of violence, and many of the Orcs themselves feel that the placement of a quasi-sacred image on the banner of unification to be disrespectful (Perhaps the Oruk first developed the culture of individual autonomy, which was then passed down to the Orcs, so the use of an Oruk skull on the Red Banner is seen to run counter to what the Oruk actually stood for)). BTW, are you planning to use this piece for the “Red Banner”? 

Yes, that is exactly the piece I was thinking of. But again, I don't agree with your interpretation of the lore. When a sacred symbol is placed upon a national flag it is usually done because that symbol is seen as inherently unifying. A common faith is, after all, one of the ways in which a national identity can be made. If the symbol used is seen as one of extreme personal autonomy then on nation would use it. It'd be like putting the anarchist 'A' symbol on a national flag.

On 10/20/2020 at 6:24 PM, Classic_Spaceman said:

I lengthened the duration of the war primarily so that it would encompass multiple generations, and because I am not really sure what the status quo was before the war (since most of the changes to the galactic political dynamic have occurred since the war’s end). Rereading your original post, it seems that you had an overall younger universe in-mind, while I was thinking of something much older. 🤔
When I said “space-WW1”, I meant it in an extremely general sense (you clearly know more about the conflict than I do!), and was focused more on the idea of trench warfare (long periods of stagnation between brief-but-deadly battles, little territory actually gained, an overall atmosphere of tension, etc). 
As for the duration, this is a universe with magic and Undead and long-lived fantasy races, so the idea of such a protracted war is completely believable to me

There are several issues I have with this. First of all, there's no reason to make the war that long other than having a massive timeline for the sake of having a massive timeline. The atmosphere you say you want to evoke could be achieved just as easily with a much shorter war. And to be frank it doesn't really matter what the atmosphere of the war was because it's been over for a long time at the point the game starts.
Secondly, the status quo was intend to be something along the lines of 'there are two big stable nations who don't like each other' and nothing more. That's really all anyone needs to know at start as the current situation is obviously different from that.
Thirdly, the war would not be fought solely by undead and elves, and even if it were having extended natural lifespans wouldn't actually affect the casualty rate. Your excuse complexly overlooks the fact that people get killed in war (and other things like resource scarcity or the general willingness of a population to see thousands of its members sent off to die).
Finally, the concept of a war lasting for centuries is such so unrelentingly grim that I personally find it kind of silly. A little grimness is fine, but that's so excessive it ceases to be interesting.

On 10/20/2020 at 6:24 PM, Classic_Spaceman said:

Most of my ideas are actually things that I am thinking about, with a few specifics jotted down. I find that it is easier to develop ideas via discussion, since I often have general themes or character-elements that I know that I want to use, but that I am unsure of how to work into a complete story (Case-in-point: I was working on some broad ideas for the Blacktron faction, but it was not until I saw your original ‘Black Sun’ writeup that I had the necessary framework for developing those ideas). Moreover, I do not want to spend time working on an extensive backstory, only for it to end up contradicting core elements of your plan. 😕

Well, as has been said nothing I write here is actually official, so you needn't worry too much about that. And again, none of this is a reason not to have the discussion here where other people can join in with their own ideas. You don't need to post a complete writeup right away if you don't have one. What you saw me put up earlier in the thread was the results of ideas I've had stewing around for about a year now and it's still not in a state I'd call complete. :classic:

 

On 10/20/2020 at 5:31 PM, Waterbrick Down said:

How would folks feel about a setting where the classical fantasy races still exist, but aren't necessarily the main players in the story anymore? The Starfinder RPG went this route with having the classic orc/dwarf/elf still be around, but not as forefront to the main story arcs as some of the newer species introduced.

I... don't like this. Not for any particular reason mind you, it just doesn't strike the right note in my head.

22 hours ago, Waterbrick Down said:

It'd be free from Olegaia, I'm currently kicking around an idea where some of the old races (elves/dwarves/gnomes/some humans/maybe orcs) come from a star system that was recently destroyed for one reason or another and now are mainly nomadic/refugees amongst the other species. It's not that they don't exist, it's more that there aren't as many and they definitely don't have as much influence as some of the other species anymore. Instead the focus would be on a different set of species that fill the same arch types:

The issue there is that, if they fulfill the same archetypes then why even have the original species to begin with? It seems highly redundant to have species overlap that much. If we went this route then I'd probably suggest ditching the classic races entirely.

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20 hours ago, CMP said:

Part of it is that, generally, I think aliens should correspond to some of the more populous/available LEGOs at the time to make collecting the more ubiquitous races easier. If you ask anyone these days to dig up some orc-looking figs, you'd be a little more out of luck than back in 2010. 

I totally agree with you. Unfortunately there hasn't been much to work with in a while:
Nexo-knights - 2018
Galaxy Squad - 2013
Alien Conquest - 2011
Chima - 2015

Apart from those, the closest we'll get to readily available sci-fi figures is Ninjago or Starwars. The former unfortunately all tend to look naturally evil and the latter are so closely tied to another sci-fi setting that I think it'll be hard to make them their own unique thing.

37 minutes ago, Lord Duvors said:

I... don't like this. Not for any particular reason mind you, it just doesn't strike the right note in my head.

The issue there is that, if they fulfill the same archetypes then why even have the original species to begin with? It seems highly redundant to have species overlap that much. If we went this route then I'd probably suggest ditching the classic races entirely.

I think there's naturally going to be over lap though. Even if we look back on Heroica 1.0 you had overlap between races. Think gnomes and dwarves, orcs and pogcanne or minotaurs or yeti, elves and Aoi or Fenarians, While different races can fill the same archtype, what makes them unique are how their particular features and background contribute towards that archtype. It's why I don't mind having Goblins/Orcs/Hobgoblins/Ogres all be different races. Yes the may all fill the same sort of roll, but their approach to it is different. Same could be said about your Krassar that you've shared previously. If we have a race like that what's the point of orcs or any strong militaristic species?

The point is giving people something new to build upon as opposed to relying too heavily on the pre-established races and all the baggage that comes along with them from other settings. And again it's not like that they don't exist, it's that they don't play as heavily a role in the setting compared to others. It also provides opportunity to explore a new background for those traditionally entrenched species with the destruction of their main galaxy.

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2 hours ago, Waterbrick Down said:

I think there's naturally going to be over lap though. Even if we look back on Heroica 1.0 you had overlap between races. Think gnomes and dwarves, orcs and pogcanne or minotaurs or yeti, elves and Aoi or Fenarians, While different races can fill the same archtype, what makes them unique are how their particular features and background contribute towards that archtype. It's why I don't mind having Goblins/Orcs/Hobgoblins/Ogres all be different races. Yes the may all fill the same sort of roll, but their approach to it is different. Same could be said about your Krassar that you've shared previously. If we have a race like that what's the point of orcs or any strong militaristic species?

The point is giving people something new to build upon as opposed to relying too heavily on the pre-established races and all the baggage that comes along with them from other settings. And again it's not like that they don't exist, it's that they don't play as heavily a role in the setting compared to others. It also provides opportunity to explore a new background for those traditionally entrenched species with the destruction of their main galaxy.

Why do you assume the Krassar are militarists? Or strong for that matter? And yes I know there's going to be overlap, but it seems to me as if you only want elves and dwarfs and such in the setting because you feel obliged to have them.

I mean, if you don't want to deal with their tropes and instead want to focus on these shiny new 'original' species then it seems kind of pointless to have them. The whole reason that elves and dwarves and goblins or whatever are so ubiquitous in fantasy RPG settings is precisely because the tropes associated with them mean that players don't need a lot of explantation about what they are and how to play them. If you're going to have 'elves, but they live in space and have tentacles and have a completely original culture we swear' then you've already passed the point where you need 'elves, but we gave them a grim and edgy backstory because we think they're boring and wanted to be original'. And on that subject I'm not particularly interested in the 'our planet dun got blowed up' backstory, it doesn't really add anything to them or change any of their tropes. In all honesty it feels tacked on and makes them feel tacked on rather than an integral part of the setting, like they were added as an afterthought or because someone made us.

If we're going to have a list of species that people choose from at start, then I'd rather that list be made of species we actually want rather than ones we aren't enthusiastic about but feel we have to shove in somewhere. I'd rather not define species at all at this point, either in number or characteristics, but I seem to be in the minority right now.

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4 hours ago, Lord Duvors said:

Why do you assume the Krassar are militarists? Or strong for that matter? And yes I know there's going to be overlap, but it seems to me as if you only want elves and dwarfs and such in the setting because you feel obliged to have them.

You mentioned Romans, hence I thought legionnaires. And they're reptilian gator people, hard not to imagine them being imposing. I'm good with still having elves and dwarves, I'm just mulling if the story has to give them the center stage.

4 hours ago, Lord Duvors said:

I mean, if you don't want to deal with their tropes and instead want to focus on these shiny new 'original' species then it seems kind of pointless to have them. The whole reason that elves and dwarves and goblins or whatever are so ubiquitous in fantasy RPG settings is precisely because the tropes associated with them mean that players don't need a lot of explantation about what they are and how to play them.

People can still play them, it's more that they don't dominate the storylines like they did in Heroica 1.0. It's still a science fantasy setting, so I don't think we have to totally abandon the classical races, but I don't think we're beholding to make them the main focus either.

4 hours ago, Lord Duvors said:

If you're going to have 'elves, but they live in space and have tentacles and have a completely original culture we swear' then you've already passed the point where you need 'elves, but we gave them a grim and edgy backstory because we think they're boring and wanted to be original'. 

Not sure where you're getting this... I wasn't trying to come off as completely erase all pre-conceptions of the fantasy races, more allowing freedom for people to explore other aspects.

4 hours ago, Lord Duvors said:

And on that subject I'm not particularly interested in the 'our planet dun got blowed up' backstory, it doesn't really add anything to them or change any of their tropes. In all honesty it feels tacked on and makes them feel tacked on rather than an integral part of the setting, like they were added as an afterthought or because someone made us.

That's what I'm saying, they don't need to be integral and that's not a bad thing. They don't need to be more important than everything else. The galaxy's destruction is a part of the setup that I'm stewing, I'd agree by itself it might feel tacked on, but it's supposed to be simply an aspect of the larger events of the time.

4 hours ago, Lord Duvors said:

If we're going to have a list of species that people choose from at start, then I'd rather that list be made of species we actually want rather than ones we aren't enthusiastic about but feel we have to shove in somewhere. I'd rather not define species at all at this point, either in number or characteristics, but I seem to be in the minority right now.

As I've mentioned privately, I'm starting to steer away from the species bonus for the time being in order to keep things streamlined. And the idea isn't to provide a conclusive list, its more to give an idea of how the setting is shaped. In a fantasy setting, there's so many tropes that most people's assumptions about the world have a good probability of being correct. In sci-fi, there are so many variations and settings, that things need to be a little more defined ahead of time to give some consistency. For those who need a list, here's what's I've currently got:

Basic Rules - 95% Complete
Magic Rules - 50% Complete
Class Rules - 75% Complete
Species Rules - None

Hall - 95% Complete
Training Room - 100% Complete
Library - 75% Complete
Embassy - 0% Complete
Vendors - 0% Complete

A few pictures of the training room and library to keep your curiosity piqued:

50443366521_a1610caea3_z.jpg

50400217457_2335f29514_z.jpg

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On 10/21/2020 at 10:08 AM, Waterbrick Down said:

- The one with a truly alien perspective (i.e. hive minds/logic only processing/reincarnation life-cycle/etc.)

Ooh... I had been kicking around an idea for a hive mind race to use somewhere. Something along the lines of the Replicators from Stargate, but organic. That could actually be incorporated really easily into LEGO. 

I don't have a lot of my bricks on me, but I am willing to collaborate on some lore if we really need species and such fleshed out. I've been hitting a wall in my personal writing and have been needing to switch up projects a little bit anyways.

On 10/21/2020 at 1:06 PM, CMP said:

Her now, but yes, I'm still around.

Congrats!

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