Ravnica-Inspired Setting: I need help

VoidDrifter

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#91
The Necromunda model has the authorities too weak to lay down the law, leading to fighting among the lower classes. Ravnica kind of has the opposite problem; the authorities are very powerful but not at all united, leading to fighting among the upper classes.

The difference is important for random low-level gangs. The Boros really can be everywhere, and if you don't have another guild to back you up they're very likely to just roll over you.
Ah, see, I've given you the wrong impression; the authorities in Necromunda can lay down the law, they just don't care to. The Adeptus Arbites only have a specific area of criminal activity that they're supposed to focus on - think of them as a grimdark version of the FBI in the 1950s, the Houses actively encourage their agents to carry out this low-key war as a way to "subtly" fight it out over vendettas, potential contracts, etc, and the aristocracy in the Spires? They literally don't value the lives of anyone in the lower parts of the Hive - hell, the nobles' coming of age rite is to suit up in specialized suits of power armor, go down to the Underhive and go on a serial murder spree, Predators style; only the noble youths who survive this trial by blood and make it back up the hive with a sufficiently impressive kill count are allowed to become heirs to their family fortune.

Human life means nothing in the Hive. The "police" (actually enforcers for the noble houses) actually go on mass murder sprees every so often to try and cull the population of the Underhive, that's how little they value their people.

Plus, I mean, don't get me wrong, you're right that the Boros have a massive amount of power, but it is actually Ravnican canon that there are non-Guild criminal bands all over the place - heck, Krenko the non-guilder goblin crimeboss is central to the sample adventure in the GGR. So... I mean, doesn't that mean that there's potential for non-Guild adventure relating to cults, gangs, etcetera? The Boros are powerful, but they can't be everywhere at once.
 

Sanctaphrax

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#92
Makes sense.

Still, I think you'd need to change the attitude of the law-oriented guilds quite a bit to take the situation from Ravnica's "crime happens" status quo to Necromunda's "gang-war nightmare" status quo.
 

VoidDrifter

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#93
Maybe? I just... ah, I don't know; I want to present this setting as perhaps a little closer to the Ravnica of the old fluff and/or the cards; civilization and the "wilderness" are intertwined, so adventurers have plenty to do, be it raiding the holdings of other guilds or trying to stake out their own slice of no man's land in the places that the Boros are content to ignore, you know what I mean?

I guess the best reference I can make is Sigil itself, or maybe Shadowrun; things are mostly civil on the surface, but everybody knows there's tension underneath, and the factions subtly push and pull against each other in the shadows, you follow me?
 

Naxuul

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#94
Ravnica does have some of Necromunda's crazy lawlessness, it just expresses differently because the Guildpact constrains how the Guilds treat each other heavily but does little to effect the treatment of the guildless, who are half the population. So Golgari deciding to claim a guildless neighborhood by killing them all and using their corpses to fertilize the reclamation is normal, Rakdos deciding to round people up for some murder carnival is very typical, the Simic can kill hundreds of guildless legally when testing out a new plague, the Dimir and Orzhov perform pretty much open assassination as a daily operation etc. Unless it's guild on guild violence it's largely legal so the Azorius and wojeks can't do much of anything and the greater Boros will only get involved if it gets to 'glorious battle' levels of out of hand.

-Naxuul
 

VoidDrifter

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#95
So... I still want to work on and refine my races for this setting, and I've actually been doing some discussion of the matter on /tg/. It has been... surprisingly helpful, in fact, so I intend to post draft concepts here for discussion. But, to ease us in, I wanted to discuss why I'm thinking to give rabbitfolk a bit of reproductive weirdness in this setting:

Rabbits have an association with breeding. There's a saying about multiplying like rabbits for a reason. On the other hand, sapient level creatures can't reproduce at the same rate as normal rabbits AND have a human-level lifespan, or that's a disaster waiting to happen. Add in that rabbitfolk most likely are an accidental race to come out of the labs of the not-Simic Combine, and... yeah, that they're a little weird makes sense, yeah?

The "Selonian Style" arrangement is a nice balance between homaging this fertility association and respecting population control; with a single fertile female per 500 individuals, she spends her life pregnant, but she still keeps the population growth under control. This also nicely emphasizes the White aspect of their color slice, since it makes them a eusocial race whose entire culture revolves around the family unit.

Making them hermaphroditic, on the other hand, embraces their fertility association, because now you can literally pull off "two bunnies go in, two dozen come out" gag with any two individuals. This meshes well with an extremely passion-centric mentality & culture, which emphasizes Red (and, to a lesser extent, Green). At the same time, it can be easily balanced by either 1)giving them a 15-30 year lifespan, thus forcing them to live by the maxim of "cram the most into every day" (which strengthens their Red Mana association) or by giving them a human-esque lifespan and vastly reduced fertility - they retain the libido, but not the sheer potency.

So... yeah. Both are valid interpretations. Both have their strong points. But I can't choose between. Any opinions? Suggestions? Preferences?
 

Manitou

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#96
Why not due both? Like elves have 50 different version, and that's just in 3rd edition D&D.
So have there be 2 or 4 subraces.
Perhaps one a hermaphroditic version who only live 30-40 years. Any two members of the subrace can reproduce with each other(but secretly have trouble reproducing with the main subrace though their children are almost always a mix of each subrace). Perhaps have them be a highly honored subrace of the more common humanlike version. Which has a humanlike lifespan and reproduces normally, but have "humans in D&D" levels of interspecies fertility,s o there are halfbunnies/half elfs/humans/etc around.
 

VoidDrifter

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#97
Why not due both? Like elves have 50 different version, and that's just in 3rd edition D&D.
Mostly because... well... I don't really feel like just the reproductive method alone would be enough to justify the subraces, and I don't have a strong enough vision to differentiate them in other ways.

But... the thought has struck me that I could make the rabbitfolk hermaphroditic, for a Red Mana alignment, and give the Selonian Style eusocial breeding to the ratfolk: this makes both races have a clear "fertility" motif, but in very different ways. It also makes sense, given the ratfolk's division into yakuza-style clans (just now matriarchal rather than patriarchal), reinforces a thematic tie to the Orzhov Syndicate analogue faction, and even explains the sharp splinter between "mainstream" ratfolk culture and the "labrats" who join the Izzet League and Simic Combine.

Anyone see any particular reasons not to do things this way? Or maybe to flip things around, so it's the ratfolk who have the strong chaotic alignment (Black/Red/Blue) and it's the rabbitfolk who are eusocial-breeding White/Green/Blue race? ...Arguably, the latter way would be even stronger in terms of themes, so I'm still torn between directions... I really need somebody else willing to discuss that.
 

VoidDrifter

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#98
So, I've had a thread up on /tg/ where I was trying to get help on the races. Thread is dead, but my computer is in the shop, so I'm trying to sum up things I established there here so I can get a proper revision of my races done when I get my comp back. I'm using my 3ds, so I'm having to struggle to summarize everything.

* Elves are divisible into three subraces; High (Blue/White/Black), Wood (Red/Green/Black), and Dark (Black/Red/Blue).

* Goblins are a disenfranchised Undercity race with primal instincts who have descended into vice, scavenging, nihilism and violent escapism to cope with their near outcast status. Possibly female majority, haven't decided yet.

* Dwarves exist in this setting. They come in 5 subraces, names to be established, centered around the 5 Colors.

** Urdunnir are patient, thoughtful, slow-tempered and dedicated. They are shapers of earth and metal, workers of the earth's bounty and embodiments of its drive towards stability. They are slow to act, but unstoppable once in motion. Though quiet in their celebrations, they are steadfast and true, loyal to their friends and committed to the principle of a good day's work. They center on White Mana.

** Niddhogr are avaricious, grasping and covetous, drawn to the powers of death and shadow. They are pale-colored, wicked-tongued and cruel to those they dislike. Skilled necromancers, they were slavers in days of old. They are the Black Mana subrace.

** Buckawns are a quiet, almost shy race, with affinity for the things that grow. They are guardians of the earth's living bounty, and feel a closeness to nature. They're the Green Mana subrace, obviously.

** Promethians are chaotic, destructive; embodiments of the fire at the earth's heart, they relish in creation, destruction and chaos. This race of mad engineers and brilliantly crazy researchers are the Red Mana subrace.

** Kharadrons are the youngest of the dwarven breeds, and grew from the Promethian clan. They are thinkers, explorers, seekers of the new; to the bemusement of their kinsfolk, they have forsaken the earth for the conquest of the sky. These are the Blue Mana subrace.

* Clickclocks and Aetherals are being merged into one race; mechanical bodies, souls born from conflicting elemental energies.

* For PC undead, options will be feats to give "quasi-dead" traits and a flesh golem counterpart to the "Robotniks".

* Wyrms are based on Arcane Dragons, with Niv-Mizzet-homaging Flux Dragons (Red/Blue) to go along with the canonical Hex (Black/Green) and Tome (Blue/White) Dragons.

* So, I want to include gnolls in this setting; whilst they definitely have a thematic place with the Golgari, Gruul, and Cult of Rakdos, but I want to work with 4e's Playing Gnolls fluff and expand it by bringing in some of the psychic and blacksmithing lore from real world werehyena lore and hyena folklore. Does this sound like a viable basis, or do I need to elaborate on what I have roughly in mind to make things clearer?

* I'm thinking maybe replacing Nymphs with racial feats for elves, but I haven't decided.

* I may get rid of the orcs as a race, I haven't decided. At the least, I need to concrete the other races first.
 
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VoidDrifter

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#99
So, in a vain attempt to get somebody to talk to... there are three(ish) major things I want to do with this setting's analogue to the Cult of Rakdos:

1): Emphasize the Chaotic Neutral "base" of the Cult. Yeah, there's murderfests and bloodsports and all that stuff, but a lot of what the Cult does is provide a legitimate release for people, and gives them its own sense of spiritual fulfillment. Yeah, in our society we see an emphasis on embracing the physical world and enjoying the pleasures of life as fundamentally opposed to satisfaction and spiritual health, but that's half of what makes this faction interesting.

2): Bring in some more obvious elements from Slaanesh and the Society of Sensation. By which I mean that the Cult isn't just murder-rape central, it's about Passion, it's about Drive, it's about embracing the wonders of the physical world and the power that comes from your desire, it's about figuring who you want to be and [i[being it[/i].

3): Most prominently, I want to make the Cult into Cults; it's not one single homogenous religion, but a loose and fractious pantheon of hedonistic daemon-gods who unite over their shared interests, but pursue their own particular takes and goals, keeping the Faction/Guild in disarray due to an unusually high amount of internal disputes (read: infighting).

Do any of these sound workable?
 

Manitou

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I like all three of those ideas myself, while the skimming the source book today I noticed it mentions bloodwitchs who think of themselves as conduits/leaders for/of the daemon the cult worships but the daemon actually doesn't use leaders like that. It talks to it's worshippers directly if it wants something. However they do have power, so they have some influence within the cult(well lets just say cults since #3 seems pretty well in line with it's write up to me).
I know there is a Blood cleric domain, you might find some online info if you search for it, use that as inspiration for something similar.
Maybe have some bloodbending be a thing they cultists can do, but they can use it to heal just like waterbenders(different setting I know but similar idea maybe?).
 
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