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MoonHunter Sayeth 20180725


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Setting: Fardalon, World of the Ice Claws
A Fantasy World

It has been nearly 200 turns since The Great White began, (an ice age by a poetic name). The various beings of the world Fardalon have all adapted to the changes. A some live in towns carved of ice and snow. Some have taken to living in the limited areas that thaw slightly every year. Most live in and on the rocky areas that are the tops of carved valleys. Of all the various folks on Fardalon, those that have thrived since The Great White are The Ursoids. They adapted their sea ships to the vast ice sheets that have covered the Norlands. (Some can do both.) Wind powered ice barges on skis or blade travel along the frozen seas and along the ice plains. These ships link the various Halls and Mining sites that have always been the Ursoid homes, as well as the towns and outposts of other Folk.

The Dragon Kings still rule the world, though they spend more and more time in their lairs. They have begun to take more and more from the Ursoids (who feel honor bound to give it to the rightful rulers) and the other Folks. Now they are using Ursoid Runners (Ice ships) to transport Cat Folk mercenaries and armies to take more from the Other Folks who are barely surviving in the World of White. It seems wrong, yet it is within their rights.

Grumbling is something that many folk do under the rule of the Dragon Kings. Grumbling does not befit a proud Clansone and Crewone of the Ursoids. (Or any folk crew who are on an Ursoid runner).

The High Kings of the Ursoids can not disobey their lords, that would be treason or open rebellion ..... however, if some rebellious Ursoids or perhaps some "thieving scum" interfered with these treasure barges and maybe stranded a few of these troop transports on the ice.... while publicly it would be a "bad thing", they would smile about it in private.

Hmmm. You know, your friends just happen to know about an accidentally unattended Ice Barge and where some under guarded supplies are. You know, I am sure I saw you elsewhere than near the Ice Barge dock.

The question is, "Do you want to be a pirate?"
Fardalon is a world with many Humanoid "furry" species. The ones that I would concentrate on are Bears, Rabbits, Cats (large and medium sized wild cats), Foxes, and Dragons. One can think of them as Vikings, medieval rabble, barbarians, Italians, and Nobility-Dragons in that order. However, other folks could be (and are) there. This is effectively a no-magic world, though there are people who claim to be wizards who are all about being odd, mysterious, doing prophecy, and cowing people with their rep. (Wizardry is more about showmanship and being a con man. They might know real magic, but it requires a lot of effort for very little results. I spend eight hours to curse him... good, he now takes a -1 MOD to all rolls in the next important scene.)

The non-folk animals are there, but they look like early ice age animals or small saurians. They are there for color, as most of the drama is interpersonal. (The difference between folk and non-folk is speech, upright stance, and the obvious gleam of intelligence in the eyes... the folk can tell right away, even though the Sabercats look like a very feral Cat Folk (lions, tigers, etc). There are no feathered Folks that I have thought of...

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Fantasy: This makes the world easier to deal with, as there are no preconceptions about history or locations or technology. It also makes "The Rule of Cool" much more applicable. The game is set in a magical ice age where gamers don't have to deal with as many "less fun" factors of a minor ice age. Thus through the rule of cool there are ships on skis on vast plains, the bitter cold is not as bitter, there are still small agricultural patches, and so on. Oh, and Dragons rule the world. (Well, more cool and not so much a fantastical stretch.)

Pirates: The default character framework is about Pirates. You could set the chronicle to some other framework in this setting (Viking politics, village survival, resistance against the occupation, mercenary companies doing what they are hired to do), with pirates in the background. To be honest, it is the most fun with pirates. (Maximum freedom for the players, daring-do, and so on. )

This world and its pirates avoids most of the issues that gamers seem to have with games in a historical setting (balk at pirate chronicles in particular and historical chronicles in general. I am not sure why the particular and I could go on and on about the general.) This other world negates most of the objections to a historical setting.

Ships: The same rules about ship to ship combat would work, minus the cannons. Grapple firing ballistas and flaming shot from a catapult would be the replacements. No, it is "get close" and board (either by swinging over or getting out and running to the other ship). Think of the Ursoids as Vikings, so it is mostly about hand to hand combat.

Furry: This is where the GM will lose most players when pitching this chronicle. The furry community has received some unflattering attention on the internet which has left many with "a bad taste" when dealing with furry anything. Even furry rpgs (Furry Pirates, Jade Claw, Shard, and others) are a hard sell to most gamers because of it. As was said in the blurb Bears, Rabbits, Cats (large and medium sized wild cats), Foxes, and Dragons. These could be reskinned to Vikings, medieval rabble, barbarians, Italians, and Nobility-Dragons. However, other folks could be (and are) there.

Now you can stick with the various Folks or you could reskin them to being "people of various ethnic/ cultural groups". The choice is yours.

Bears will just be bigger and stronger with increased stat adds to strength and constitution and bonuses to any size/ mass charts. They are effectively Vikings, being sailors and skiff/ barge sailors, so will have similar skills. (They will also be the buffest species in terms of bonuses, so everyone looking for a mechanical advantage will have to be them.)

Rabbits are just "average European peasants", people who live in countrysides, towns, and so on. They will have those skills and no modifiers to skills. (Unless you have to give them some bonus to jump/ run)

Cats will be stronger and faster, so minor bonuses to strength and dexterity/speed. These are your Franks, Picts, Celts, etc. They have been subjugated by the Dragon Lords... but pay their taxes by being feet on the ground.

Foxes: Notable bonuses to speed/dex and intelligence/skills. These are your very civilized people. They are not doing as well as other groups because of the change of conditions. Still, a Fox might find their way from the Southern Cities to the chronicle area.

Dragons: They are the only species that does easily translate easily. If you want to make them massively powerful sorcerers that maps quite easily. If you want to just keep them as actual dragons, that also works. You could just have one noble have a few dozen warriors at their disposal to keep the power level.

Now the second paragraph in the furry section of the write up covers something that confuses some gamers, "Animals in a game of animals?". It is something to consider when playing a furry game. (I like the Usagi Yojimbo solution, the other animals are all similar looking reptiles of various sizes with some features.

Magic: This is often a deal breaker for many gamers. The thought process here is: "It is fantasy, it must be magical". They want magical powers or spells or items. Here the magic is not that magical (see example above). The magic dial can be shifted to their being actual magic. (Have you seen some of my magic systems?)

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There are lots of elements to discuss about this chronicle. The one that has not been touched upon in other of these setting threads is .... Pitching

This chronicle is a lot of fun, but it is a hard sell to more troupes.

Pitching a game is sometimes hard. (How you seen how I do it? Lots of things to do in steps 1 to 5. ). You often have to wiggle things and compromise things to some degree.

Remember, find pieces players like. Do some horse trading (support this setting and we will run what you really want next time). Oh, you want that, we can add that. Once you know what they like and what deals you can strike, you can do a proper pitch.

As a GM pitching the game, remember you can often trade off objections. So if people have a big problem with the lack of magic and a small problem about the furry nature. You can add magic, if they play with the furry races.

Now in some ways, this is all a reskinning of a conventional Viking pirate chronicle. This chronicle allows us pirates on the sea without historical pirate issues. Viking is an appeal point, because of axes, grog, and such. The Ice makes it interesting and complex. You have trading points with magic and furry. Now, I think this one is perfect as it is. However, there is wiggle room. If all you wanted to play was pirates from some era, there you have it... start from here and see what develops.
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