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{kjd-gaz} celtic-type setting

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Keith Davies

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May 23, 2007, 8:11:30 PM5/23/07
to
Hi All,

here are some initial thoughts on a celtic-type region IMC. I haven't
worked out much by way of names and the like yet; here I'm sketching out
what game entities could be expected to be found.

In short, a fairly heroic celtic-style campaign setting. Largely late
bronze age culture technologically, there are more advanced nations that
interact (enough that they do show up, not so much to be common). Lots
of interaction with the fey (which is probably part of the reason they
still use bronze -- those bringing in iron would probably be... firmly
discouraged from continuing to do so). Religion is fairly animistic
(no big religious structures, though culturally similar from area to
area; some fairly common strictures, and those who travel generally know
enough to realize they are ignorant of local rules and behaviors and to
adapt as needed).


Races:
humans certainly. Other races, not so sure.

Dwarves may be a type of fey who can actually handle iron (though they
won't provide it to those who would act against their cousins). Elves
may be present as 'part-fey' creatures (or replaced entirely by them);
probably won't be present in RAW form. Halflings, may or may not
(could be 'lost fey' -- were trapped in this world or barred from
returning to Faerie, gradually lost their fey natures). Gnomes and
goblins, similar. Half-elves *might* be present, dunno. Probably no
orcs or half-orcs.

Classes:
Barbarian definitely present (rage was a common trait of heroes)
Bard probably present, but may replace with a prestige class
Cleric probably not present in its current form, 'locally'.
There would probably be 'foreign' clerics, but they
would probably not be very well thought of. Could be
clerics with appropriate domains, but I don't know yet.
Druid definitely present
Fighter definitely present
Monk probably not
Paladin probably not 'locally', some foreign. May allow holy
warriors (Green Ronin class) with appropriate domains
Ranger definitely present
Sorcerer present, but not common and not terribly trusted.
Those with fey derivation (enchantments and illusions)
would merely be untrusted, those with more overt magics
would likely be feared as demonspawn or dragonkin (I'll
probably come up with different spell sets for each).
Wizard not common locally

Skills:
all present unless otherwise indicated. Literacy would not be
assumed.

Feats:
all present unless otherwise indicated. Probably no heavy armor,
probably not much medium armor. Weapon proficiencies would be reduced
(technology reasons, more or less).

Combat:
normal rules unless otherwise indicated

Equipment and Gear:
bronze age, more or less. Some iron or steel *possible* from foreign
sources, but the fey don't like it and come down very hard on people
who bring it in.

Spells:
druidic and enchantment/illusion, mostly. Other types may be
possible, but I would expect it to be 'foreign' and very untrusted (as
would be those using it). Subtle magics (abjurations, divinations)
might not be noticed much at all. Some transformations, if they make
someone more heroic, might be accepted.

Monsters:
Aberration very uncommon
Animal very common
Construct almost completely unheard of
Dragon present, not common, best avoided
Elemental not common
Fey fairly common, sort of
Giant fairly common, hero bait
Humanoid mostly human, some (but not many) others
Magical Beast uncommon
Monstrous Humanoid uncommon
Ooze fairly uncommon
Outsider almost unheard of
Plant uncommon
Undead almost unheard of
Vermin uncommon

--
Keith Davies "History is made by stupid people
keith....@kjdavies.org "Clever people wouldn't even try
keith....@gmail.com "If you want a place in the history books
http://www.kjdavies.org/ "Then do something dumb before you die."
-- The Arrogant Worms

Shawn Roske

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May 23, 2007, 8:30:11 PM5/23/07
to
Keith Davies wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> here are some initial thoughts on a celtic-type region IMC. I haven't
> worked out much by way of names and the like yet; here I'm sketching out
> what game entities could be expected to be found.
>
I'm sure someone will mention it, but there was a 2ed published campaign
book. I'm sure you could get a pdf of it somewhere... perhaps it is sold
for download...

The Mad Afro

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May 23, 2007, 9:06:19 PM5/23/07
to
On May 23, 7:11 pm, Keith Davies <keith.dav...@kjdavies.org> wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> here are some initial thoughts on a celtic-type region IMC. I haven't
> worked out much by way of names and the like yet; here I'm sketching out
> what game entities could be expected to be found.

>


> Races:
> humans certainly. Other races, not so sure.
>
> Dwarves may be a type of fey who can actually handle iron (though they
> won't provide it to those who would act against their cousins). Elves
> may be present as 'part-fey' creatures (or replaced entirely by them);
> probably won't be present in RAW form. Halflings, may or may not
> (could be 'lost fey' -- were trapped in this world or barred from
> returning to Faerie, gradually lost their fey natures). Gnomes and
> goblins, similar. Half-elves *might* be present, dunno. Probably no
> orcs or half-orcs.

I had a wierd idea, based on this entry about Dispater in Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dis_Pater

What if your "celtic dwarves" are actually Prime Material servants or
even descendants of Dispater, in his incarnation as "chthonic god of
riches, fertile agricultural land, and underground mineral wealth?"
In this manner, your dwarves might not be a PC race necessarily,
perhaps even Outsiders or Elementals.

>
> Classes:

[snip]

> Cleric probably not present in its current form, 'locally'.
> There would probably be 'foreign' clerics, but they
> would probably not be very well thought of. Could be
> clerics with appropriate domains, but I don't know yet.

Admittedly, this surprised me, given the number of gods present in
Celtic myth. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_gods)

I realize, though, that you're modeling the Celts within the framework
of your own campaign world, with gods probably already mapped out. It
just seemed to me that with such a rich religious framework to mine,
you might get quite a bit of mileage from the cleric class.

> Druid definitely present
> Fighter definitely present
> Monk probably not

Actually...

http://ejmas.com/jwma/articles/2000/jwmaart_pfrenger_0300.htm

You could re-tool your "Celtic Monks" as ascetics devoted to mastery
of wrestling, bare-handed fighting and grappling. Sure, you could just
as easily model this with a specialized feat tree or PrC that caters
to unarmed combat, but it might be worth going the extra mile with the
monk.

> Paladin probably not 'locally', some foreign. May allow holy
> warriors (Green Ronin class) with appropriate domains

See my thoughts on Cleric. I think "holy warriors" might be worth a
look, although not necessarily the paladin per RAW.

> Ranger definitely present
> Sorcerer present, but not common and not terribly trusted.
> Those with fey derivation (enchantments and illusions)
> would merely be untrusted, those with more overt magics
> would likely be feared as demonspawn or dragonkin (I'll
> probably come up with different spell sets for each).

Good stuff.


> Feats:
> all present unless otherwise indicated. Probably no heavy armor,
> probably not much medium armor. Weapon proficiencies would be reduced
> (technology reasons, more or less).
>
> Combat:
> normal rules unless otherwise indicated
>
> Equipment and Gear:
> bronze age, more or less. Some iron or steel *possible* from foreign
> sources, but the fey don't like it and come down very hard on people
> who bring it in.

Heh. This might be a plot hook to bring in Dispater and his dwarves,
in some epic conflict with the fey over the presence of iron in the
"pure lands." :)

>
> Spells:
> druidic and enchantment/illusion, mostly. Other types may be
> possible, but I would expect it to be 'foreign' and very untrusted (as
> would be those using it). Subtle magics (abjurations, divinations)
> might not be noticed much at all. Some transformations, if they make
> someone more heroic, might be accepted.
>
> Monsters:
> Aberration very uncommon
> Animal very common
> Construct almost completely unheard of
> Dragon present, not common, best avoided
> Elemental not common
> Fey fairly common, sort of
> Giant fairly common, hero bait

This made me think of the story about the Cornish chief hurling the
giant Gog Magog into the sea.

> Humanoid mostly human, some (but not many) others
> Magical Beast uncommon
> Monstrous Humanoid uncommon
> Ooze fairly uncommon
> Outsider almost unheard of
> Plant uncommon
> Undead almost unheard of

Corporeal undead might not work thematically, but you could get some
flavor from ghosts and their ilk. Of course, the rarity of such would
reinforce the horror.

Keith Davies

unread,
May 24, 2007, 12:56:38 AM5/24/07
to

HR3: Celts Campaign Sourcebook. I don't need to download it, I bought
it when it came out. Thanks for reminding me.


Keith

Keith Davies

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May 24, 2007, 1:32:14 AM5/24/07
to
The Mad Afro <mad...@grandecom.net> wrote:
> On May 23, 7:11 pm, Keith Davies <keith.dav...@kjdavies.org> wrote:
>> Hi All,
>>
>> here are some initial thoughts on a celtic-type region IMC. I haven't
>> worked out much by way of names and the like yet; here I'm sketching out
>> what game entities could be expected to be found.
>
>>
>> Races:
>> humans certainly. Other races, not so sure.
>>
>> Dwarves may be a type of fey who can actually handle iron (though they
>> won't provide it to those who would act against their cousins). Elves
>> may be present as 'part-fey' creatures (or replaced entirely by them);
>> probably won't be present in RAW form. Halflings, may or may not
>> (could be 'lost fey' -- were trapped in this world or barred from
>> returning to Faerie, gradually lost their fey natures). Gnomes and
>> goblins, similar. Half-elves *might* be present, dunno. Probably no
>> orcs or half-orcs.
>
> I had a wierd idea, based on this entry about Dispater in Wikipedia:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dis_Pater
>
> What if your "celtic dwarves" are actually Prime Material servants or
> even descendants of Dispater, in his incarnation as "chthonic god of
> riches, fertile agricultural land, and underground mineral wealth?"
> In this manner, your dwarves might not be a PC race necessarily,
> perhaps even Outsiders or Elementals.

Hmm. Interesting idea. Could tie in well with the norse-type region --
dwarves were direct servants of the gods, not short guys living on
Midgard.

I'm *definitely* having humans. Anything else is likely to be... well,
inhuman. Good chance of fey, possibility (outside chance) of outsider.


>> Classes:
>
> [snip]
>
>> Cleric probably not present in its current form, 'locally'.
>> There would probably be 'foreign' clerics, but they
>> would probably not be very well thought of. Could be
>> clerics with appropriate domains, but I don't know yet.
>
> Admittedly, this surprised me, given the number of gods present in
> Celtic myth. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_gods)

I've read too many sources that presented celtic religious figures as
great heroes (who may or may not still be around, depending). Many of
these sources are fiction (outright and honestly, not casting aspersions
on research), but I'm okay with that.

I have in mind less 'we worship these great beings' so much as 'I want
to be like this guy' -- the stories have spread and grown in the
telling, to the point where they become mythic figures.

> I realize, though, that you're modeling the Celts within the framework
> of your own campaign world, with gods probably already mapped out. It
> just seemed to me that with such a rich religious framework to mine,
> you might get quite a bit of mileage from the cleric class.

Actually, I haven't nailed hardly any of the gods down yet. I've got
lots of room to work with here. I'm trying to come up with the basic
cultures before trying to determine the gods that shaped them.

There is a religion, but I think it consists largely of Small Gods.
They actually walk the earth, and IMC the gods can no longer do that.
OTOH, this feels like it may actually be set *before* the empire was
formed (assuming the same world) and conquered the neighboring regions
(and possibly this one), in which case the true gods could still walk
the earth.

Hmm. There's a thought. Perhaps clerics only came about after the gods
left? Before that, there was a chance you could actually *find one* and
ask for help? I've already documented incidents where a god did take a
direct (if minor) hand in events.

In any case, I don't see there being a large number of celtic clerics.
Druids take care of much of the priest role, intervening between mortals
and the Small Gods. Bards might do the same, or be the link between
mortals and the fey. Or mix and match.

I'm brainstorming here.

>> Druid definitely present
>> Fighter definitely present
>> Monk probably not
>
> Actually...
>
> http://ejmas.com/jwma/articles/2000/jwmaart_pfrenger_0300.htm
>
> You could re-tool your "Celtic Monks" as ascetics devoted to mastery
> of wrestling, bare-handed fighting and grappling. Sure, you could just
> as easily model this with a specialized feat tree or PrC that caters
> to unarmed combat, but it might be worth going the extra mile with the
> monk.

I'd probably go with feat tree (you know me). I just don't see the rest
of the monk stuff being appropriate for the setting.

>> Paladin probably not 'locally', some foreign. May allow holy
>> warriors (Green Ronin class) with appropriate domains
>
> See my thoughts on Cleric. I think "holy warriors" might be worth a
> look, although not necessarily the paladin per RAW.

http://www.kjdavies.org/wiki/index.php/Holy_Warrior_Handbook

(just the OGC parts.) I can see building an appropriate paladin
substitute using this material.

>> Ranger definitely present
>> Sorcerer present, but not common and not terribly trusted.
>> Those with fey derivation (enchantments and illusions)
>> would merely be untrusted, those with more overt magics
>> would likely be feared as demonspawn or dragonkin (I'll
>> probably come up with different spell sets for each).
>
> Good stuff.

Whoa. Missed Rogue. Also here, probably not a really *common* role to
fill, compared to the others.

>> Feats:
>> all present unless otherwise indicated. Probably no heavy armor,
>> probably not much medium armor. Weapon proficiencies would be reduced
>> (technology reasons, more or less).
>>
>> Combat:
>> normal rules unless otherwise indicated
>>
>> Equipment and Gear:
>> bronze age, more or less. Some iron or steel *possible* from
>> foreign sources, but the fey don't like it and come down very hard
>> on people who bring it in.
>
> Heh. This might be a plot hook to bring in Dispater and his dwarves,
> in some epic conflict with the fey over the presence of iron in the
> "pure lands." :)

I've always pictured it as being present but not accessible to the local
humans. The dwarves, in an agreement with the other fey, don't share.

Hmm. In later centuries this might help explain their isolationist
attitudes and why they don't share their steam engines and firearms.

*cough* Anyway, the presence of dwarves may indicate that there is iron
in the area, but they largely control access to it. Local humans have
to make due without. Foreigners may have iron and steel, and someday
may manage to make a strong enough presence here to drive the fey back.

Until then, though, the fey work rather hard to keep iron away from the
locals.

>> Spells:
>> druidic and enchantment/illusion, mostly. Other types may be
>> possible, but I would expect it to be 'foreign' and very untrusted (as
>> would be those using it). Subtle magics (abjurations, divinations)
>> might not be noticed much at all. Some transformations, if they make
>> someone more heroic, might be accepted.
>>
>> Monsters:
>> Aberration very uncommon
>> Animal very common
>> Construct almost completely unheard of
>> Dragon present, not common, best avoided
>> Elemental not common
>> Fey fairly common, sort of
>> Giant fairly common, hero bait
>
> This made me think of the story about the Cornish chief hurling the
> giant Gog Magog into the sea.

Wrestling giants is a suitable (and suitably heroic) pasttime. If you
can survive it, of course.

I would expect mostly ogres and hill giants, of course. Other types
might be possible, but I don't expect they would be common.

>> Humanoid mostly human, some (but not many) others
>> Magical Beast uncommon
>> Monstrous Humanoid uncommon
>> Ooze fairly uncommon
>> Outsider almost unheard of
>> Plant uncommon
>> Undead almost unheard of
>
> Corporeal undead might not work thematically, but you could get some
> flavor from ghosts and their ilk. Of course, the rarity of such would
> reinforce the horror.

That's why I said 'almost unheard of' rather than 'do not exist'. I can
see after a while dropping an undead into the mix.

*roll crit* "Yes! 57 points of damage!"
"With a mighty blow you drive your sword down, cleaving the figure's
head in two, before finally withdrawing the blade from it's breast. You
start to relax, the last enemy falling before y... turning it's recently
split face toward you as it reaches for your heart."


y'know, that sort of thing.


There could be other undead and spirits, but I expect they'd be special
events. You might go to a barrow at night to find the spirit of a dead
king, to ask his advice. Zombies and skeletons would not be a common
thing here, though.


Keith

Eric P.

unread,
May 24, 2007, 2:22:29 AM5/24/07
to
On Wed, 23 May 2007 17:11:30 -0700, Keith Davies hath written thusly
(in article <slrnf59m1h.5d...@kjdavies.org>):

> Hi All,
>
> here are some initial thoughts on a celtic-type region IMC. I haven't
> worked out much by way of names and the like yet; here I'm sketching out
> what game entities could be expected to be found.

A setting after my own (partly) Welsh heart :D A friend of mine worked
up a nice little Iron Age setting once, based more on what I'd call
Saxo-Scandinavian than anything else. I was supposed to create the Land
Beyond the Veil for the setting, but I never got anything good put
together. I'll rummage through my HD for the notes and give you a look,
for whatever ideas you might like to incorporate.

> In short, a fairly heroic celtic-style campaign setting. Largely late
> bronze age culture technologically, there are more advanced nations that
> interact (enough that they do show up, not so much to be common). Lots
> of interaction with the fey (which is probably part of the reason they
> still use bronze -- those bringing in iron would probably be... firmly
> discouraged from continuing to do so). Religion is fairly animistic
> (no big religious structures, though culturally similar from area to
> area; some fairly common strictures, and those who travel generally know
> enough to realize they are ignorant of local rules and behaviors and to
> adapt as needed).

So, early culture, and that's important to keep in mind. At that point
in development, I take it that religion among these Celts is closer to
superstition than to reverence for the classic Celt pantheon.

As there are other cultures fairly near, there's opportunity for some
cross-pollenation, depending on the nature and frequency of contact.

> Races:
> humans certainly. Other races, not so sure.
>
> Dwarves may be a type of fey who can actually handle iron (though they
> won't provide it to those who would act against their cousins). Elves
> may be present as 'part-fey' creatures (or replaced entirely by them);
> probably won't be present in RAW form. Halflings, may or may not
> (could be 'lost fey' -- were trapped in this world or barred from
> returning to Faerie, gradually lost their fey natures). Gnomes and
> goblins, similar. Half-elves *might* be present, dunno. Probably no
> orcs or half-orcs.

I'm likin' the concept for Dwarves here. Elves should definitely be
included, retooled as needed to be properly represented as the Tuatha
de Danaan, or as my Welsh ancestors called 'em, the Tylwyth Teg, the
fair family. Brings to mind Titania and Oberon. I'd include the Gnomes
and Goblins, among the host of mischievous supernatural folk (Pixies,
Brownies, etc.). You'll want to sort out the good, the bad, and the
ugly here :) And yeah, I wouldn't include Orcs, as they're not part of
Celtic lore.

> Classes:
> Barbarian definitely present (rage was a common trait of heroes)

Indeed, Celt warriors were fierce and passionate, sometimes brave to
the point of foolhardy. I'd retool the Barbarian to make it fit
culturally.

> Bard probably present, but may replace with a prestige class

Either a retooled core class, or a PrC that requires one or more druid
levels, and experience in one or more additional core classes. They
don't all need to be combat-focused, but they do need to be skilled
performers and knowing in the ways of druid lore.

> Cleric probably not present in its current form, 'locally'.
> There would probably be 'foreign' clerics, but they
> would probably not be very well thought of. Could be
> clerics with appropriate domains, but I don't know yet.

Entirely appropriate, as religion is the province of druids in Celt
society.

> Druid definitely present

Arguably THE Celt class :) You might want to add to the class to
reflect that the druids were the keepers/interpreters of the law, and
as such they were the arbitrators of legal matters (judges), as well as
being spiritual leaders. Many children would be fostered off to druid
communities to receive their druidic training, before returning to
their homelands to make their way in the world. You may be familiar
with these things already...

> Fighter definitely present
> Monk probably not

I could maybe see a pugilist fighter, but yeah, monks don't appear to
fit the culture. There's really no precedent that I'm aware of, anyway.

> Paladin probably not 'locally', some foreign. May allow holy
> warriors (Green Ronin class) with appropriate domains

Works.

> Ranger definitely present

Why? I mean, this IS my favorite core class by far, and it probably is
easy to fit it into the Celt mold, but you might consider simply taking
elements from the core class and incorporating them into whatever turns
out to be your bard class. Might make the bard even more appealing than
it promises to be :)

> Sorcerer present, but not common and not terribly trusted.
> Those with fey derivation (enchantments and illusions)
> would merely be untrusted, those with more overt magics
> would likely be feared as demonspawn or dragonkin (I'll
> probably come up with different spell sets for each).
> Wizard not common locally

Good and good. What about witches? This culture as a framework is ideal
for some solitary witches, here and there...but then again, they could
be offshoots of the druids...still, you could have a witch class, along
the lines of the witch from Monte Cook's _Complete Book of Eldritch
Sorcery_.

> Skills:
> all present unless otherwise indicated. Literacy would not be
> assumed.

Indeed, a rare thing for the culture's level of development.

> Feats:
> all present unless otherwise indicated. Probably no heavy armor,
> probably not much medium armor. Weapon proficiencies would be reduced
> (technology reasons, more or less).

Exceptions would be some unique and specially made magic items, whether
fashioned by Man or by Fey...

> Combat:
> normal rules unless otherwise indicated
>
> Equipment and Gear:
> bronze age, more or less. Some iron or steel *possible* from foreign
> sources, but the fey don't like it and come down very hard on people
> who bring it in.

Plenty of spears, naturally, and many weapons might be remade from, or
serve the dual function of, tools such as farming and smithing
implements.

> Spells:
> druidic and enchantment/illusion, mostly. Other types may be
> possible, but I would expect it to be 'foreign' and very untrusted (as
> would be those using it). Subtle magics (abjurations, divinations)
> might not be noticed much at all. Some transformations, if they make
> someone more heroic, might be accepted.

Anál nathrach, orth' bháis's bethad, do chél dénmha ;)

Your monster frequencies look spot on. I'll be very interested in the
development of this project, as I have a fascination with and keen
interest/fondness for all things Celtic, most especially Cymric!

Happy gaming,
Eric


==============================================================
Posted with Hogwasher. Mac first, Mac only:
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==============================================================

Loren...@gmx.de

unread,
May 24, 2007, 2:48:55 AM5/24/07
to
On May 24, 2:11 am, Keith Davies <keith.dav...@kjdavies.org> wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> here are some initial thoughts on a celtic-type region IMC. I haven't
> worked out much by way of names and the like yet; here I'm sketching out
> what game entities could be expected to be found.

My campaign "world" is a celtic style island.
Some infos on (variant) races, classes, cosmology,
religion can be found on my site:

http://www.carrilion.de/carrilion/en/Rules_Index.html

Always under construction, of course :)

> In short, a fairly heroic celtic-style campaign setting. Largely late
> bronze age culture technologically, there are more advanced nations that
> interact (enough that they do show up, not so much to be common). Lots
> of interaction with the fey (which is probably part of the reason they
> still use bronze -- those bringing in iron would probably be... firmly
> discouraged from continuing to do so). Religion is fairly animistic
> (no big religious structures, though culturally similar from area to
> area; some fairly common strictures, and those who travel generally know
> enough to realize they are ignorant of local rules and behaviors and to
> adapt as needed).

I always wondered where this "fey and iron" stuff originated.
I never read it in any fairy tale or book on celtic myths, just
in modern fantasy stories etc...

> Races:
> humans certainly. Other races, not so sure.

IMC humans, elves and dwarves are the so-called human races.
Gnomes live in the faerie realms, as an NPC fey race.
Their gods are the Tuatha De Dannan.

> Dwarves may be a type of fey who can actually handle iron (though they
> won't provide it to those who would act against their cousins). Elves
> may be present as 'part-fey' creatures (or replaced entirely by them);
> probably won't be present in RAW form. Halflings, may or may not
> (could be 'lost fey' -- were trapped in this world or barred from
> returning to Faerie, gradually lost their fey natures). Gnomes and
> goblins, similar. Half-elves *might* be present, dunno. Probably no
> orcs or half-orcs.

No orcs and halflings IMC. The gods of goblinoids (goblins and
bugbears are common), giants (ogres, hill giants mostly) and
other monsters are the Fomoraigh.

> Classes:
> Barbarian definitely present (rage was a common trait of heroes)
> Bard probably present, but may replace with a prestige class
> Cleric probably not present in its current form, 'locally'.
> There would probably be 'foreign' clerics, but they
> would probably not be very well thought of. Could be
> clerics with appropriate domains, but I don't know yet.

Clerics IMC are allowed by many gods, but the class is
much more dependent on the chosen god and domains.

> Druid definitely present
> Fighter definitely present
> Monk probably not

As others have mentioned, wrestling could be an option
for a monk-like class. Although some of the class abilities
don't fit at all.

> Paladin probably not 'locally', some foreign. May allow holy
> warriors (Green Ronin class) with appropriate domains

In more civilized areas and flavoured like the knights
of the round table perhaps?

Assuming animal or magical beast shape (like griffon or dragon)
is abundant in celtic tales...

> Monsters:
> Aberration very uncommon
> Animal very common
> Construct almost completely unheard of
> Dragon present, not common, best avoided
> Elemental not common
> Fey fairly common, sort of
> Giant fairly common, hero bait
> Humanoid mostly human, some (but not many) others
> Magical Beast uncommon

Gigantic animals often with magical powers (and more
than one head) frequently appear in celtic tales.

> Monstrous Humanoid uncommon
> Ooze fairly uncommon

I don't like oozes.
They *never* appear in any fairy or folk tales.
IMHO they are gygaxian "screw-the-PCs-monsters"...
;)

> Outsider almost unheard of
> Plant uncommon
> Undead almost unheard of

Ghosts should be more common than that imo.
Name a scottish castle without one...

> Vermin uncommon

Giant beetles, dragonflies etc make great mounts for fey IMO :)

LL

Justisaur

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May 24, 2007, 12:27:01 PM5/24/07
to
On May 23, 5:11 pm, Keith Davies <keith.dav...@kjdavies.org> wrote:

> Fighter definitely present

>
> Feats:
> all present unless otherwise indicated. Probably no heavy armor,
> probably not much medium armor. Weapon proficiencies would be reduced
> (technology reasons, more or less).

I'm somewhat wary of this, I ran an ancient Greek campaign in 2e and
the lack of heavier armor and weapons seemed to make fighters pretty
poor characters. Of course it was also a low magic campaign, so that
may have had more to do with it.

- Justisaur

Keith Davies

unread,
May 24, 2007, 12:55:21 PM5/24/07
to

I expect to give at least one feat in exchange. Probably not for the
lack of tower shield proficiency (I've never seen anyone use one, and no
one has ever taken the proficiency feat IME), but for the heavy armor
proficiency. These guys would simply have never been exposed to it.
Also, it's fairly counter to their culture to hide inside a shell like
that.

What I've read of celtic heroes suggests they could do some *insane*
things that bordered on the unnatural. I'd like to see those things
moved into 'personal abilities of high-level characters'.

In fact, with a bit of bending I can see using Bo9S here. I'll want to
look carefully at the maneuvers and probably come up with appropriate
disciplines, but I think there could be a good fit here, system-wise.
Especially if I do as I was considering, and making them 'prestige
abilities' -- give them some prereqs that push them to slightly higher
level. Probably don't use the Bo9S base classes (they don't really
fit), but expand the ability to get them.

Also, remember that magic is getting toned down somewhat too. Losing
(mostly) the 'xplody-type magics makes a difference at higher level.
Not so much at lower level (buffing the others is a better path to
survival, usually), but at higher level being able to blast the
opposition is a useful thing.

So, I expect balance between most combatants and most spellcasters
shouldn't get too far out of whack. Druids... druids I should take a
look at. As written, they don't get much adjustment, and they're
already pretty damn nice. I might want to tone that down a little to
make them fit the others better.


Keith

Keith Davies

unread,
May 24, 2007, 1:14:34 PM5/24/07
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Loren...@gmx.de <Loren...@gmx.de> wrote:
> On May 24, 2:11 am, Keith Davies <keith.dav...@kjdavies.org> wrote:
>> Hi All,
>>
>> here are some initial thoughts on a celtic-type region IMC. I haven't
>> worked out much by way of names and the like yet; here I'm sketching out
>> what game entities could be expected to be found.
>
> My campaign "world" is a celtic style island.
> Some infos on (variant) races, classes, cosmology,
> religion can be found on my site:
>
> http://www.carrilion.de/carrilion/en/Rules_Index.html
>
> Always under construction, of course :)
>
>> In short, a fairly heroic celtic-style campaign setting. Largely late
>> bronze age culture technologically, there are more advanced nations that
>> interact (enough that they do show up, not so much to be common). Lots
>> of interaction with the fey (which is probably part of the reason they
>> still use bronze -- those bringing in iron would probably be... firmly
>> discouraged from continuing to do so). Religion is fairly animistic
>> (no big religious structures, though culturally similar from area to
>> area; some fairly common strictures, and those who travel generally know
>> enough to realize they are ignorant of local rules and behaviors and to
>> adapt as needed).
>
> I always wondered where this "fey and iron" stuff originated.
> I never read it in any fairy tale or book on celtic myths, just
> in modern fantasy stories etc...

Y'know, I'm not sure either. However, I like the meme so I'm going with
it.

>> Races:
>> humans certainly. Other races, not so sure.
>
> IMC humans, elves and dwarves are the so-called human races.
> Gnomes live in the faerie realms, as an NPC fey race.
> Their gods are the Tuatha De Dannan.

Right now I'm leaning toward the 'gods' being powerful fey (the horned
king isn't *actually* a god (outsider with divine ranks), but he *is* a
fey that is not to be crossed).

I don't know that I *will* have gods. As I said to Jay, I've read too
many things (mostly fiction, but I'm cool with that) where the 'gods'
were just really powerful heroes and the like, mortals that had gone
mythic. Certain to be respected, their names may be invoked in various
situations (probably to no real effect), but they aren't *worshipped*.

What worship there is is likely to natural forces, handled by the
druids. Some of these may be named, and some may even have names common
across the region (the sun probably, the big river or forest maybe, the
grove over there probably not).

To outsiders they may look like gods, but they don't provide domains or
the like.

>> Dwarves may be a type of fey who can actually handle iron (though they
>> won't provide it to those who would act against their cousins). Elves
>> may be present as 'part-fey' creatures (or replaced entirely by them);
>> probably won't be present in RAW form. Halflings, may or may not
>> (could be 'lost fey' -- were trapped in this world or barred from
>> returning to Faerie, gradually lost their fey natures). Gnomes and
>> goblins, similar. Half-elves *might* be present, dunno. Probably no
>> orcs or half-orcs.
>
> No orcs and halflings IMC. The gods of goblinoids (goblins and
> bugbears are common), giants (ogres, hill giants mostly) and
> other monsters are the Fomoraigh.

Goblins may be lost fey. I expect there'll be feats for lost fey that
let them regain some of their heritage (they have 'purer blood' than the
others, perhaps); this could apply to goblins and halflings and so on.

>> Classes:
>> Barbarian definitely present (rage was a common trait of heroes)
>> Bard probably present, but may replace with a prestige class
>> Cleric probably not present in its current form, 'locally'.
>> There would probably be 'foreign' clerics, but they
>> would probably not be very well thought of. Could be
>> clerics with appropriate domains, but I don't know yet.
>
> Clerics IMC are allowed by many gods, but the class is
> much more dependent on the chosen god and domains.

Indeed. In this setting, lacking gods they don't have clerics.


>> Druid definitely present
>> Fighter definitely present
>> Monk probably not
>
> As others have mentioned, wrestling could be an option
> for a monk-like class. Although some of the class abilities
> don't fit at all.

It's the other abilities that irk me. The unarmed combat, I've got no
problem with. I'd probably want to drop the requirement to be lawful,
though.

>> Paladin probably not 'locally', some foreign. May allow holy
>> warriors (Green Ronin class) with appropriate domains
>
> In more civilized areas and flavoured like the knights
> of the round table perhaps?

"not 'locally', some foreign"

>> Spells:
>> druidic and enchantment/illusion, mostly. Other types may be
>> possible, but I would expect it to be 'foreign' and very untrusted (as
>> would be those using it). Subtle magics (abjurations, divinations)
>> might not be noticed much at all. Some transformations, if they make
>> someone more heroic, might be accepted.
>
> Assuming animal or magical beast shape (like griffon or dragon)
> is abundant in celtic tales...

Druids can do (much) of this, and /polymorph/ could be allowable. It'd
be available, but using it for the wrong reasons could be bad.

>> Monsters:
>> Aberration very uncommon
>> Animal very common
>> Construct almost completely unheard of
>> Dragon present, not common, best avoided
>> Elemental not common
>> Fey fairly common, sort of
>> Giant fairly common, hero bait
>> Humanoid mostly human, some (but not many) others
>> Magical Beast uncommon
>
> Gigantic animals often with magical powers (and more
> than one head) frequently appear in celtic tales.

'uncommon'. Most people would never see them, heroes may run into them
from time to time (and the story spreads).

>> Monstrous Humanoid uncommon
>> Ooze fairly uncommon
>
> I don't like oozes.
> They *never* appear in any fairy or folk tales.
> IMHO they are gygaxian "screw-the-PCs-monsters"...
> ;)

True enough. I'll probably save them for horror-type stories.

>> Outsider almost unheard of
>> Plant uncommon
>> Undead almost unheard of
>
> Ghosts should be more common than that imo.
> Name a scottish castle without one...

Not many castles at this point. We're talking mostly fortified villages
and the like.

Looking at the monster types I plan to have, and the level of
technology, they don't *need* castles. Yet.

>> Vermin uncommon
>
> Giant beetles, dragonflies etc make great mounts for fey IMO :)

Hmm. Maybe, yeah. As individually-encountered monsters, though, I
don't expect them to be around much.


Keith

Tetsubo

unread,
May 24, 2007, 4:34:02 PM5/24/07
to

You could give an increased Defense Value to shields and perhaps a
bonus to it based on class level (like a Monk's AC bonus). Maybe
something based off of the BAB... I'm stealing this idea from the OGL
Steampunk book (though I'm sure it has been used elsewhere). OGL
Steampunk is the last gaming book I've read and it's fresh in my head...

--
Tetsubo
--------------------------------------
"The apparent lesson of the Inquisition is that insistence on
uniformity of belief is fatal to intellectual, moral and spiritual health."
-The Uses Of The Past-, Herbert J. Muller

BLUP

Keith Davies

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May 24, 2007, 4:55:33 PM5/24/07
to
Tetsubo <tet...@comcast.net> wrote:
> Justisaur wrote:
>> On May 23, 5:11 pm, Keith Davies <keith.dav...@kjdavies.org> wrote:
>>
>>> Fighter definitely present
>>
>>>Feats:
>>> all present unless otherwise indicated. Probably no heavy armor,
>>> probably not much medium armor. Weapon proficiencies would be reduced
>>> (technology reasons, more or less).
>>
>> I'm somewhat wary of this, I ran an ancient Greek campaign in 2e and
>> the lack of heavier armor and weapons seemed to make fighters pretty
>> poor characters. Of course it was also a low magic campaign, so that
>> may have had more to do with it.
>
> You could give an increased Defense Value to shields and perhaps a
> bonus to it based on class level (like a Monk's AC bonus). Maybe
> something based off of the BAB... I'm stealing this idea from the OGL
> Steampunk book (though I'm sure it has been used elsewhere). OGL
> Steampunk is the last gaming book I've read and it's fresh in my
> head...

Ah, right, that was something else I was expecting to include -- defense
bonus. I might use UA's version, which doesn't stack with armor bonus,
but does with shields. I may instead use Green Ronin's version
(Advanced Player's Handbook, IIRC), which isn't as generous but does
stack with armor. I haven't decided yet.

Between defense bonus (which is probably better than armor -- AFAICT it
applies to touch attacks) and the additional feat, fighters are probably
back where they should be.

That it encourages them to dump their armor fits the setting, too.


Keith

Peter Knutsen

unread,
May 25, 2007, 12:24:59 AM5/25/07
to
Keith Davies wrote:

> Shawn Roske <NOSPAM.sr...@ncf.ca> wrote:
>>I'm sure someone will mention it, but there was a 2ed published campaign
>>book. I'm sure you could get a pdf of it somewhere... perhaps it is sold
>>for download...
>
> HR3: Celts Campaign Sourcebook. I don't need to download it, I bought
> it when it came out. Thanks for reminding me.

I have it too. Supremely unimpressing, and an excellent demonstration of
the inflexibility inherent in AD&D. It would be neat to see 3E udpates
of the 3 "D&D Historicals" that I have: Vikings, Charlemagne and Celts.

--
Peter Knutsen
sagatafl.org

Keith Davies

unread,
May 25, 2007, 12:28:21 AM5/25/07
to
Eric P <ericpN...@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> On Wed, 23 May 2007 17:11:30 -0700, Keith Davies hath written thusly
> (in article <slrnf59m1h.5d...@kjdavies.org>):
>
>> here are some initial thoughts on a celtic-type region IMC. I haven't
>> worked out much by way of names and the like yet; here I'm sketching out
>> what game entities could be expected to be found.
>
> A setting after my own (partly) Welsh heart :D A friend of mine worked
> up a nice little Iron Age setting once, based more on what I'd call
> Saxo-Scandinavian than anything else. I was supposed to create the
> Land Beyond the Veil for the setting, but I never got anything good
> put together. I'll rummage through my HD for the notes and give you a
> look, for whatever ideas you might like to incorporate.

That'd be cool, thanks.

>> In short, a fairly heroic celtic-style campaign setting. Largely late
>> bronze age culture technologically, there are more advanced nations that
>> interact (enough that they do show up, not so much to be common). Lots
>> of interaction with the fey (which is probably part of the reason they
>> still use bronze -- those bringing in iron would probably be... firmly
>> discouraged from continuing to do so). Religion is fairly animistic
>> (no big religious structures, though culturally similar from area to
>> area; some fairly common strictures, and those who travel generally know
>> enough to realize they are ignorant of local rules and behaviors and to
>> adapt as needed).
>
> So, early culture, and that's important to keep in mind. At that point
> in development, I take it that religion among these Celts is closer to
> superstition than to reverence for the classic Celt pantheon.

That's more or less where I'm going, though it's arguably 'substition'
(since the things they observe actually *do* exist).

> As there are other cultures fairly near, there's opportunity for some
> cross-pollenation, depending on the nature and frequency of contact.

Yes. My notes in the original post are for this area, and sometimes
mention how other areas provide other things.

>> Races:
>> humans certainly. Other races, not so sure.
>>
>> Dwarves may be a type of fey who can actually handle iron (though they
>> won't provide it to those who would act against their cousins). Elves
>> may be present as 'part-fey' creatures (or replaced entirely by them);
>> probably won't be present in RAW form. Halflings, may or may not
>> (could be 'lost fey' -- were trapped in this world or barred from
>> returning to Faerie, gradually lost their fey natures). Gnomes and
>> goblins, similar. Half-elves *might* be present, dunno. Probably no
>> orcs or half-orcs.
>
> I'm likin' the concept for Dwarves here. Elves should definitely be
> included, retooled as needed to be properly represented as the Tuatha
> de Danaan, or as my Welsh ancestors called 'em, the Tylwyth Teg, the
> fair family. Brings to mind Titania and Oberon. I'd include the Gnomes
> and Goblins, among the host of mischievous supernatural folk (Pixies,
> Brownies, etc.). You'll want to sort out the good, the bad, and the
> ugly here :) And yeah, I wouldn't include Orcs, as they're not part of
> Celtic lore.

I'm mining Bastion Press' _Faeries_ for this. It's one of the better
supplements I've found (WotC or other), and the only one I've read and
thought "yeah, I'll use this" without already planning tweaks and
changes.

>> Classes:
>> Barbarian definitely present (rage was a common trait of heroes)
>
> Indeed, Celt warriors were fierce and passionate, sometimes brave to
> the point of foolhardy. I'd retool the Barbarian to make it fit
> culturally.

It probably doesn't need much retooling, though. The skill list looks
appropriate, the class abilities look about right. I'm not entirely
sure about trap sense (traps probably aren't all that common, though
ambushes may be... but honorable warriors would actually call each other
out, so probably not that common... among humans, at least).

>> Bard probably present, but may replace with a prestige class
>
> Either a retooled core class, or a PrC that requires one or more druid
> levels, and experience in one or more additional core classes. They
> don't all need to be combat-focused, but they do need to be skilled
> performers and knowing in the ways of druid lore.

Right now I'm leaning toward PrC. Fionn mac Cumhail was a bard... but
mostly a warrior, if what I've read is correct. I haven't worked out
details yet, though. At the least they'll need a certain degree of
knowledge (several, I expect) and perform. I'm not sure if I'd require
bardic music ability (which I expect to make available via feats, if the
bard base class goes away), or if it's added by the PrC. Probably the
latter.

>> Cleric probably not present in its current form, 'locally'.
>> There would probably be 'foreign' clerics, but they
>> would probably not be very well thought of. Could be
>> clerics with appropriate domains, but I don't know yet.
>
> Entirely appropriate, as religion is the province of druids in Celt
> society.

That's what I figure, yes.

>> Druid definitely present
>
> Arguably THE Celt class :) You might want to add to the class to
> reflect that the druids were the keepers/interpreters of the law, and
> as such they were the arbitrators of legal matters (judges), as well
> as being spiritual leaders. Many children would be fostered off to
> druid communities to receive their druidic training, before returning
> to their homelands to make their way in the world. You may be familiar
> with these things already...

Lots of knowledge skills.

. Arcana probably (I don't see constructs being appropriate,
but the rest are fine)
. Architecture
and Engineering no (not a lot of heavy building here)
. Dungeoneering unlikely
. Geography yes
. History yes
. Local yes
. Nature yes
. Nobility and
Royalty yes (lineages were important)
. Psionics no (N/A)
. Religion probably (no true gods, but there are Small Gods;
rituals and the like are still important. 'no
undead', though)
. The Planes no (unless I bend this to be about Faerie (which I
might)

>> Fighter definitely present
>> Monk probably not
>
> I could maybe see a pugilist fighter, but yeah, monks don't appear to
> fit the culture. There's really no precedent that I'm aware of, anyway.

Not that I can see. As I've said, I don't have a problem with unarmed
combatants, and being good at it (I'm sure some of the old celtic heroes
could do a good job busting heads). It's the other stuff that comes
with the class that doesn't fit.

Ascetics? *Celts*?

>> Paladin probably not 'locally', some foreign. May allow holy
>> warriors (Green Ronin class) with appropriate domains
>
> Works.
>
>> Ranger definitely present
>
> Why? I mean, this IS my favorite core class by far, and it probably is
> easy to fit it into the Celt mold, but you might consider simply taking
> elements from the core class and incorporating them into whatever turns
> out to be your bard class. Might make the bard even more appealing than
> it promises to be :)

Into *bard*? I don't think so. It seems more likely that I'd either
keep the class more or less as-is. I'd want to replace the combat
styles -- neither TWF nor archery was really common, I think[1], and the
latter wouldn't have been seen as all that heroic from what I've read.

[1] though there were warriors who could throw spears with either
hand... but that's an ambidexterity thing more than TWF. Except
that it *would* be faster. I'm inclined to go with a feat that
allows pseudo-TWF for this purpose, rather than having TWF.


>> Sorcerer present, but not common and not terribly trusted.
>> Those with fey derivation (enchantments and illusions)
>> would merely be untrusted, those with more overt magics
>> would likely be feared as demonspawn or dragonkin (I'll
>> probably come up with different spell sets for each).
>> Wizard not common locally
>
> Good and good. What about witches? This culture as a framework is ideal
> for some solitary witches, here and there...but then again, they could
> be offshoots of the druids...still, you could have a witch class, along
> the lines of the witch from Monte Cook's _Complete Book of Eldritch
> Sorcery_.

Witches could be sorcerers, druids, some mix of the two, or something
else. I'll take a look at CBoES. I'm pretty sure I've got it around
here somewhere.

More likely I'd have Witch be a PrC, rather than a base class.

>> Skills:
>> all present unless otherwise indicated. Literacy would not be
>> assumed.
>
> Indeed, a rare thing for the culture's level of development.

Partly that, partly that they appear to *prefer* to remember it
themselves. Writing it down lets it pass from the mind, which cheapens
the knowledge.

ISTR reading something like that, but hey -- I didn't need to remember,
because it was written down.

>> Feats:
>> all present unless otherwise indicated. Probably no heavy armor,
>> probably not much medium armor. Weapon proficiencies would be reduced
>> (technology reasons, more or less).
>
> Exceptions would be some unique and specially made magic items, whether
> fashioned by Man or by Fey...

Or imported goods. No, you're not going to find steel full plate around
here... but if you travel to one of the more advanced nations nearby you
might be able to. Bringing it home may be a challenge, though.

>> Combat:
>> normal rules unless otherwise indicated
>>
>> Equipment and Gear:
>> bronze age, more or less. Some iron or steel *possible* from foreign
>> sources, but the fey don't like it and come down very hard on people
>> who bring it in.
>
> Plenty of spears, naturally, and many weapons might be remade from, or
> serve the dual function of, tools such as farming and smithing
> implements.

Not among the warriors they wouldn't be. Among free men, perhaps, but
warriors should have proper weapons (spear and sword for preference,
axes are tools).

>> Spells:
>> druidic and enchantment/illusion, mostly. Other types may be
>> possible, but I would expect it to be 'foreign' and very untrusted (as
>> would be those using it). Subtle magics (abjurations, divinations)
>> might not be noticed much at all. Some transformations, if they make
>> someone more heroic, might be accepted.
>
> Anál nathrach, orth' bháis's bethad, do chél dénmha ;)

? I don't have a clue what this is supposed to be.

> Your monster frequencies look spot on. I'll be very interested in the
> development of this project, as I have a fascination with and keen
> interest/fondness for all things Celtic, most especially Cymric!

Thanks for the comments and the interest.


Keith

Keith Davies

unread,
May 25, 2007, 12:29:46 AM5/25/07
to

Heh. I was thinking much the same thing. When I was flipping through
it I was going 'that's a feat, that could be a feat, that's... dumb'.

I expect that most of them, rules-wise, could be modeled fairly quickly
and easily with 3e. I've found that looking through some of the other
books.

Peter Knutsen

unread,
May 25, 2007, 3:22:35 AM5/25/07
to
Keith Davies wrote:
> Peter Knutsen <pe...@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:
>>Keith Davies wrote:
>>>HR3: Celts Campaign Sourcebook. I don't need to download it, I bought
>>>it when it came out. Thanks for reminding me.
>>
>>I have it too. Supremely unimpressing, and an excellent demonstration of
>>the inflexibility inherent in AD&D. It would be neat to see 3E udpates
>>of the 3 "D&D Historicals" that I have: Vikings, Charlemagne and Celts.
>
> Heh. I was thinking much the same thing. When I was flipping through
> it I was going 'that's a feat, that could be a feat, that's... dumb'.

It's like the AD&D approach to "historical" was to only *remove* stuff,
remove some more stuff and then remove even more stuff, completely and
utterly failing to *add* anything. Stupid.

But it's not fair to blame the guys who wrote the "Historical" books,
because the material they had to work with did not, at all, lend itself
well to the addition of "stuff".

> I expect that most of them, rules-wise, could be modeled fairly quickly
> and easily with 3e. I've found that looking through some of the other
> books.

Much of it, yes. I'm not sure you could do Vikings without a little bit
of hard design work, though. I'm not seeing much, in D&D3.5, that would
work well for simulating any kind of runic magic.

--
Peter Knutsen
sagatafl.org

Keith Davies

unread,
May 25, 2007, 3:43:21 AM5/25/07
to
Peter Knutsen <pe...@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:
> Keith Davies wrote:
>> Peter Knutsen <pe...@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:
>>>
>>>I have it too. Supremely unimpressing, and an excellent demonstration
>>>of the inflexibility inherent in AD&D. It would be neat to see 3E
>>>udpates of the 3 "D&D Historicals" that I have: Vikings, Charlemagne
>>>and Celts.
>
>> I expect that most of them, rules-wise, could be modeled fairly
>> quickly and easily with 3e. I've found that looking through some of
>> the other books.
>
> Much of it, yes. I'm not sure you could do Vikings without a little
> bit of hard design work, though. I'm not seeing much, in D&D3.5, that
> would work well for simulating any kind of runic magic.

I've seen a couple of runs at it. It depends what is intended by way of
runic magic.

It could be treated similarly to bardic spells. Divinations, bindings
(abjurations?), enhancements, and so on, all requiring a somatic
component (drawing the rune on an appropriate surface), possibly with
increased casting time.

Runes could also be treated fairly simply as magic items. They could be
either spell completion (you have to know what you're doing) or use
activated/command word (you just have to know how to activate it, which
is usually pretty simple[1]). Runewands and runestaves could be just
wands and staves (normal rules). Runeswords are simply magic swords
with runes on them. That sort of thing.

[1] I had some in a campaign years ago, to activate a runestick you just
had to break the stick. These were largely limited to benign
effects, since they targeted the person breaking the 'stick.

IOW, 'rune magic' could be done as simply as saying it's just flavor
text around normal magic.


I wouldn't mind seeing magic traditions, though.

. Bardic tradition focuses on buffs, enchantments, and illusions, and
requires the use of music or other performance (no, probably not
interpretive dance);

. Rune magics focus on divinations, bindings and enhancements, and
require the use (carving and empowering) of runes;

. Theomancy[2] calls on the power of the gods and can potentially do
anything, but requires that the gods be properly petitioned for the
power;

[2] includes diabolism and demonology, arguably -- all call on powerful
beings from other planes to provide power


Actually have different types of magic work in different ways, and often
do different things.

Justisaur

unread,
May 25, 2007, 11:20:40 AM5/25/07
to
On May 25, 12:43 am, Keith Davies <keith.dav...@kjdavies.org> wrote:

> Peter Knutsen <p...@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:
> > Keith Davies wrote:
> >> Peter Knutsen <p...@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:
>
> >>>I have it too. Supremely unimpressing, and an excellent demonstration
> >>>of the inflexibility inherent in AD&D. It would be neat to see 3E
> >>>udpates of the 3 "D&D Historicals" that I have: Vikings, Charlemagne
> >>>and Celts.
>
> >> I expect that most of them, rules-wise, could be modeled fairly
> >> quickly and easily with 3e. I've found that looking through some of
> >> the other books.
>
> > Much of it, yes. I'm not sure you could do Vikings without a little
> > bit of hard design work, though. I'm not seeing much, in D&D3.5, that
> > would work well for simulating any kind of runic magic.
>
> I've seen a couple of runs at it. It depends what is intended by way of
> runic magic.
>
> It could be treated similarly to bardic spells. Divinations, bindings
> (abjurations?), enhancements, and so on, all requiring a somatic
> component (drawing the rune on an appropriate surface), possibly with
> increased casting time.
>
> Runes could also be treated fairly simply as magic items. They could be
> either spell completion (you have to know what you're doing) or use
> activated/command word (you just have to know how to activate it, which
> is usually pretty simple[1]). Runewands and runestaves could be just
> wands and staves (normal rules). Runeswords are simply magic swords
> with runes on them. That sort of thing.

Artificers perhaps?

- Justisaur

Justisaur

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May 25, 2007, 11:44:45 AM5/25/07
to
On May 24, 9:28 pm, Keith Davies <keith.dav...@kjdavies.org> wrote:

> Eric P <ericpNOSPA...@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> > On Wed, 23 May 2007 17:11:30 -0700, Keith Davies hath written thusly
> > (in article <slrnf59m1h.5d1.keith.dav...@kjdavies.org>):

> > Good and good. What about witches? This culture as a framework is ideal
> > for some solitary witches, here and there...but then again, they could
> > be offshoots of the druids...still, you could have a witch class, along
> > the lines of the witch from Monte Cook's _Complete Book of Eldritch
> > Sorcery_.
>
> Witches could be sorcerers, druids, some mix of the two, or something
> else. I'll take a look at CBoES. I'm pretty sure I've got it around
> here somewhere.
>
> More likely I'd have Witch be a PrC, rather than a base class.
>

There's the witch in the DMG, I think warlock would work pretty well,
with perhaps a few changes (not sure about the whole blasting
everything every which way). Even a retooled bard would work pretty
well, what with all the enchantments.

- Justisaur


Eric P.

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May 25, 2007, 1:17:23 PM5/25/07
to
On Thu, 24 May 2007 21:28:21 -0700, Keith Davies hath written thusly
(in article <slrnf5cpf3.2r...@kjdavies.org>):

[snip]


>>
>> Good and good. What about witches? This culture as a framework is ideal
>> for some solitary witches, here and there...but then again, they could
>> be offshoots of the druids...still, you could have a witch class, along
>> the lines of the witch from Monte Cook's _Complete Book of Eldritch
>> Sorcery_.
>
> Witches could be sorcerers, druids, some mix of the two, or something
> else. I'll take a look at CBoES. I'm pretty sure I've got it around
> here somewhere.

Yikes! I cited the wrong source. It's _Complete Book of Eldritch
Might_. Sorry about that!


>>
>> Anál nathrach, orth' bháis's bethad, do chél dénmha ;)
>
> ? I don't have a clue what this is supposed to be.

Didn't come through that well, clearly, but it's the Charm of Making
from the movie Excalibur. It's Old Irish.

- E


==============================================================
Posted with Hogwasher. For a free Test Drive click on:
http://www.asar.com/cgi-bin/product.pl?58/hogwasher.html
==============================================================

Keith Davies

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May 25, 2007, 4:49:06 PM5/25/07
to

Warlock's a little too overt for my tastes, for this region.

I'd like to find a way to have warlock replace sorcerer altogether,
though, generally. I think it'd be a better 'natural magic user'
alternative to wizard than sorcerer is.

Keith Davies

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May 25, 2007, 4:51:15 PM5/25/07
to
Eric P <ericpN...@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> On Thu, 24 May 2007 21:28:21 -0700, Keith Davies hath written thusly
> (in article <slrnf5cpf3.2r...@kjdavies.org>):
>
> [snip]
>>>
>>> Good and good. What about witches? This culture as a framework is ideal
>>> for some solitary witches, here and there...but then again, they could
>>> be offshoots of the druids...still, you could have a witch class, along
>>> the lines of the witch from Monte Cook's _Complete Book of Eldritch
>>> Sorcery_.
>>
>> Witches could be sorcerers, druids, some mix of the two, or something
>> else. I'll take a look at CBoES. I'm pretty sure I've got it around
>> here somewhere.
>
> Yikes! I cited the wrong source. It's _Complete Book of Eldritch
> Might_. Sorry about that!

I'm sure I would've caught that when I picked the book up. *g*

>>> Anál nathrach, orth' bháis's bethad, do chél dénmha ;)
>>
>> ? I don't have a clue what this is supposed to be.
>
> Didn't come through that well, clearly, but it's the Charm of Making
> from the movie Excalibur. It's Old Irish.

Ah. I watched that just a few months ago (within the last year,
anyway). I'd first watched it shortly before the end of my first year
of university, and it was one of the first DVDs I'd bought (gotta watch
this again, sort of thing).

Keith Davies

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May 25, 2007, 4:52:42 PM5/25/07
to

Maybe, yes.

Rune magics can be modeled in several ways. As I said, it depends
exactly what you're trying to model. Once that's decided it's fairly
easy.

Peter Knutsen

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May 26, 2007, 1:49:52 AM5/26/07
to
Keith Davies wrote:
> The Mad Afro <mad...@grandecom.net> wrote:
>>On May 23, 7:11 pm, Keith Davies <keith.dav...@kjdavies.org> wrote:
>>> Cleric probably not present in its current form, 'locally'.
>>> There would probably be 'foreign' clerics, but they
>>> would probably not be very well thought of. Could be
>>> clerics with appropriate domains, but I don't know yet.
>>
>>Admittedly, this surprised me, given the number of gods present in
>>Celtic myth. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_gods)
>
> I've read too many sources that presented celtic religious figures as
> great heroes (who may or may not still be around, depending). Many of
> these sources are fiction (outright and honestly, not casting aspersions
> on research), but I'm okay with that.
>
> I have in mind less 'we worship these great beings' so much as 'I want
> to be like this guy' -- the stories have spread and grown in the
> telling, to the point where they become mythic figures.

I'm not sure that "worship", or even "prayer", makes any actual sense in
a pagan northern European context.

--
Peter Knutsen
sagatafl.org

Christopher Adams

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May 26, 2007, 7:03:01 PM5/26/07
to
Eric P. wrote:
>
> Yikes! I cited the wrong source. It's _Complete Book of Eldritch
> Might_. Sorry about that!

Aren't you thinking of Arcana Unearthed/Evolved, actually, for witches?

--
Christopher Adams - St Ives, New South Wales
-------
What can change the nature of a man?
-------
Sydney-based gamers - Get in touch with
SUTEKH at the University of Sydney!
http://forum.sutekh.info/


Christopher Adams

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May 26, 2007, 7:10:29 PM5/26/07
to
Keith Davies wrote:
>
> In fact, with a bit of bending I can see using Bo9S here. I'll want to
> look carefully at the maneuvers and probably come up with appropriate
> disciplines, but I think there could be a good fit here, system-wise.
> Especially if I do as I was considering, and making them 'prestige
> abilities' -- give them some prereqs that push them to slightly higher
> level. Probably don't use the Bo9S base classes (they don't really
> fit), but expand the ability to get them.

The Stone Dragon discipline, in particular, with its focus on strength and sheer
toughness, is really appropriate for the Celtic hero. Stone/Iron/Adamantine
Bones, for instance, or the Overwhelming/Irresistible Mountain Strike/Colossus
Strike chain.

Christopher Adams

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May 26, 2007, 7:23:08 PM5/26/07
to
Keith Davies wrote:
>
> here are some initial thoughts on a celtic-type region IMC.

I have been kicking around the idea of a setting inspired by early medieval
Britain, a generation or two after the Anglo-Saxon invasions. One of the things
which appeals to me about this sort of period is how different it is from the
plate armour, castles, knights, and other faux-medieval trappings of the
standard D&D setting - it's sort of the inverse of my preference for an almost
completely non-medieval setting like Eberron.

I really like the idea of a setting where a king is king of his people, not of a
nation in the sense of a nation-state.

Keith Davies

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May 28, 2007, 3:22:43 PM5/28/07
to
Christopher Adams <mhacde...@yahoo.invalid> wrote:
> Keith Davies wrote:
>>
>> In fact, with a bit of bending I can see using Bo9S here. I'll want to
>> look carefully at the maneuvers and probably come up with appropriate
>> disciplines, but I think there could be a good fit here, system-wise.
>> Especially if I do as I was considering, and making them 'prestige
>> abilities' -- give them some prereqs that push them to slightly higher
>> level. Probably don't use the Bo9S base classes (they don't really
>> fit), but expand the ability to get them.
>
> The Stone Dragon discipline, in particular, with its focus on strength
> and sheer toughness, is really appropriate for the Celtic hero.
> Stone/Iron/Adamantine Bones, for instance, or the
> Overwhelming/Irresistible Mountain Strike/Colossus Strike chain.

Hmm. Perhaps. And mobility-based stuff is also appropriate.

Thinking about it, even bits from desert wind could be -- flaming spears
show up in a few places in Celtic myth.

I'd still want to review things, but a fair amount could still fit.

Keith Davies

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May 28, 2007, 3:25:05 PM5/28/07
to
Christopher Adams <mhacde...@yahoo.invalid> wrote:
> Keith Davies wrote:
>>
>> here are some initial thoughts on a celtic-type region IMC.
>
> I have been kicking around the idea of a setting inspired by early
> medieval Britain, a generation or two after the Anglo-Saxon invasions.
> One of the things which appeals to me about this sort of period is how
> different it is from the plate armour, castles, knights, and other
> faux-medieval trappings of the standard D&D setting - it's sort of the
> inverse of my preference for an almost completely non-medieval setting
> like Eberron.

That's part of what appeals to me here, too. You just don't have some
of the standard stuff. I want to make sure there's enough other stuff
to keep it interesting for the players, though.

And having the standard biggies (dragons, demons, undead) around but
rare, and lacking the standard gear to deal with them, puts them back
where they should be -- scary.

> I really like the idea of a setting where a king is king of his
> people, not of a nation in the sense of a nation-state.

I expect there'd be lots of kings in this setting. King, chieftain,
whatever. *Lots* of border clashes between the tribes.

Keith Davies

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May 28, 2007, 4:34:48 PM5/28/07
to
Peter Knutsen <pe...@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:
>
> I'm not sure that "worship", or even "prayer", makes any actual sense
> in a pagan northern European context.

I don't know enough to comment on this, to be honest. I don't know what
relationship these people had with their gods. I've read versions of a
bunch of the stories (the slaying of Baldr, the maiming of Tyr, etc.),
but not the actual religious end of things.


In 'olden tymes' in this campaign (i.e. before the gods left) I might
not even have clerics and the like at all. I mean, you can possibly go
up to the god himself and ask for what you want.

He might smite you on the spot, of course; annoying gods isn't a healthy
activity. However, you don't need someone else to talk to a god for
you. It's only after the gods left that clerics started to show up.

Eric P.

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May 29, 2007, 1:07:40 AM5/29/07
to
On Sat, 26 May 2007 16:03:01 -0700, Christopher Adams hath written
thusly
(in article <F036i.4511$wH4...@news-server.bigpond.net.au>):

> Eric P. wrote:
>>
>> Yikes! I cited the wrong source. It's _Complete Book of Eldritch
>> Might_. Sorry about that!
>
> Aren't you thinking of Arcana Unearthed/Evolved, actually, for witches?

That's also possible. At any rate, it's Monte Cook's work :)

- E


==============================================================

Christopher Adams

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May 29, 2007, 4:38:05 AM5/29/07
to
Eric P. wrote:

> Christopher Adams wrote:
>> Eric P. wrote:
>
>>> Yikes! I cited the wrong source. It's _Complete Book of Eldritch
>>> Might_. Sorry about that!
>>
>> Aren't you thinking of Arcana Unearthed/Evolved, actually, for witches?
>
> That's also possible. At any rate, it's Monte Cook's work :)

I like the witch class in Arcana Evolved, but I don't know if I would consider
it appropriate for legendary or folkloric witches. The various themes are very
cool, though.

cop...@yahoo.com

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May 29, 2007, 5:41:37 AM5/29/07
to
On May 28, 3:34 pm, Keith Davies <keith.dav...@kjdavies.org> wrote:

> Peter Knutsen <p...@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:
>
> > I'm not sure that "worship", or even "prayer", makes any actual sense
> > in a pagan northern European context.
>
> I don't know enough to comment on this, to be honest. I don't know what
> relationship these people had with their gods. I've read versions of a
> bunch of the stories (the slaying of Baldr, the maiming of Tyr, etc.),
> but not the actual religious end of things.

Gods of the cultures you are dealing with were less worshipped than
they were appeased, more like "Here are gifts, please don't screw with
us."

> He might smite you on the spot, of course; annoying gods isn't a healthy
> activity. However, you don't need someone else to talk to a god for
> you. It's only after the gods left that clerics started to show up.

It's worth noting that in Irish Celtic mythology, mortal humans
(Milseans) kicked the asses of the Irish gods, most of whom left
Ireland. Those that remained became the sidhe.

(One can take this as sign that the Irish gods were weak, but I think
it shows more how the Irish thought of their ancestors ;)

You may fing this:

http://www.geocities.com/copeab/Campaigns/gaels.htm

Brandon

Peter Knutsen

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May 29, 2007, 9:03:22 AM5/29/07
to
cop...@yahoo.com wrote:
> On May 28, 3:34 pm, Keith Davies <keith.dav...@kjdavies.org> wrote:
>>Peter Knutsen <p...@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:
>>>I'm not sure that "worship", or even "prayer", makes any actual sense
>>>in a pagan northern European context.
>>
>>I don't know enough to comment on this, to be honest. I don't know what
>>relationship these people had with their gods. I've read versions of a
>>bunch of the stories (the slaying of Baldr, the maiming of Tyr, etc.),
>>but not the actual religious end of things.
>
> Gods of the cultures you are dealing with were less worshipped than
> they were appeased, more like "Here are gifts, please don't screw with
> us."

Basically true, yes, although sometimes it wasn't so much an attempt to
appease, grounded in fear, as it was a sincere assumption that if you
gave to the gods (through sacrifice, and through participation in
communal rituals) they'd give back to you.

One of the common questions asked, during the conversion of Scandinavia,
was what *benefits* one would get from turning away from the old gods
and instead going with White Christ - and people weren't talking about
spiritual benefits for their immortal souls, but rather about immediate
and very, very worldly benefits.


It's very difficult to explain, especially since most people have grown
up encountering only religions of the "Abrahamic" type, since
"Abrahamic" religions differ much more from "pagan" religions than just
in terms of whether there's one god or many, but to some extent one
could say that the "Abrahamic" model has the god as a father and the
believer as a child (it doesn't change much, really, if you replace it
with a goddess as a mother), whereas in the "pagan" model of things, the
god is just like a really, really strong big brother whom you can
sometimes get help from, if you make sure to stay on his good side.
That's one place to start.

>>He might smite you on the spot, of course; annoying gods isn't a healthy
>>activity. However, you don't need someone else to talk to a god for
>>you. It's only after the gods left that clerics started to show up.
>
> It's worth noting that in Irish Celtic mythology, mortal humans
> (Milseans) kicked the asses of the Irish gods, most of whom left
> Ireland. Those that remained became the sidhe.
>
> (One can take this as sign that the Irish gods were weak, but I think
> it shows more how the Irish thought of their ancestors ;)
>
> You may fing this:
>
> http://www.geocities.com/copeab/Campaigns/gaels.htm

Perhaps I will as well. I know much less about the pagan Celts than I do
about the pagan Norse.


Some reading material that may be useful for Keith: "Mists of Avalon" by
Marion Zimmer Bradley, and the "Long Wind"-trilogy by Gillian Bradshaw
(I'm the one who created Bradshaws Wikipedia entry). Neither goes deeply
into the contrast between old (pagan) and new (Christian, Abrahamic)
religion, and both authors are actually Christian (even Bradley is a
Christian, in spite of what some assume), but it's a start, and quite
entertaining too.

--
Peter Knutsen
sagatafl.org

Peter Knutsen

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May 29, 2007, 9:13:02 AM5/29/07
to
Keith Davies wrote:
> Peter Knutsen <pe...@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:
>>I'm not sure that "worship", or even "prayer", makes any actual sense
>>in a pagan northern European context.
>
> I don't know enough to comment on this, to be honest. I don't know what
> relationship these people had with their gods. I've read versions of a
> bunch of the stories (the slaying of Baldr, the maiming of Tyr, etc.),
> but not the actual religious end of things.

Besides the two novels I mentioned in my reply to Brandon, there's also
Frans G. Bengtson's "The Long Ships", about 10th century Scandinavia.
Bengtson displays a fairly good understanding of (Indo-European, i.e.
Germanic as well as Celtic) paganism. Along with Bradshaw's trilogy,
this one is also on my list of all-time favourite novels.

> In 'olden tymes' in this campaign (i.e. before the gods left) I might
> not even have clerics and the like at all. I mean, you can possibly go
> up to the god himself and ask for what you want.

Even in a later era, such as the iron age (which AFAIK came early to the
Celtic world - I seem to recall having read that the Celts were the ones
who invented chain mail. I certainly play up their metalworking
expertise in my own Ärth setting), Clerics don't make much sense.

Worst of all, divine healing doesn't make much sense. There's something
quite "Abrahamic" about it. It's the obvious schtick of Jesus of
Nazareth, and therefore by inheritance the extremely closed related
religions of Islam and Judaism should also get healing.

But as something that is common for those who wield the power of pagan
gods? It doesn't look too good to me.

I get around the problem on Ärth, because the combat system is such that
hitpoint loss is not inevitable provided that one picks one's fights.
But the only way you can get by, without giving equal healing magic to
all the faiths of your setting, is to switch to a Wound/Vitality system
such as the one used in d20 Modern or either version of Spycraft. That
will probably greatly alleviate the problem.


Rather than healing, characters who wield divine magic of pagan gods
should get powers related to other things. Working with the natural
world, with plant and with animals, makes a lot of sense for Celtic
druids, as well as for those Norse characters who pay more attention to
the Vanir gods than to the Aesir gods. For priests "of" the Aesir gods,
or gods of a similar type, the kind that appeals more to the warrior
aristocracy than to the middle class farmers, go with powers related to
war, combat, fate and luck.

You can have some divine healing for pagans. Ärth has some, although
much of it deals with "common man" problems such as diseases, rather
than "adventuring man" problems such as wounds (or poisons).

> He might smite you on the spot, of course; annoying gods isn't a healthy
> activity. However, you don't need someone else to talk to a god for
> you. It's only after the gods left that clerics started to show up.

But if there are any kinds of rituals, such as sacrifices, then someone
should to officiate at them. Doesn't have to be a formal priesthood, of
course. The Celts had the Druids, but I'm not sure that the pagan Norse
had any actual priesthood. The local nobleman often officiated
sacrifices - there are even some people who assume that the "Blaatand"
nickname of Harald Bluetooth, the Danish king who converted to
Chrisianity, doesn't actually mean "blue tooth", but rather that he was
the "Thane" of the "Blot", the "lord of sacrifices", meaning he was a
very prominent leader of the communal religious activities, who then
somehow managed to get elevated to king-hood.

--
Peter Knutsen
sagatafl.org

Loren...@gmx.de

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May 29, 2007, 11:36:07 AM5/29/07
to

Interesting read! Thanks for sharing this.

LL

Christopher Adams

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May 29, 2007, 4:44:20 PM5/29/07
to
Peter Knutsen wrote:
>
> Basically true, yes, although sometimes it wasn't so much an attempt to
> appease, grounded in fear, as it was a sincere assumption that if you
> gave to the gods (through sacrifice, and through participation in
> communal rituals) they'd give back to you.

In Republican Rome, these arrangements were actually legally formalised.

Eric P.

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May 29, 2007, 7:59:14 PM5/29/07