Masters of Ioun

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Masters of Ioun

Post by Batgirl III » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:53 am

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Chapter One: Ioun
We made our way across the Red Wastes, for days, but still no sign of the Lost Temple of Ge Xagyg, I’m beginning to wonder if the information I got from my usual source was correct. Gakusha, the gnome scholar that was usually good at finding lost things wasn’t having much luck either.

“Over here,” the strong voice of Horoki Skywatcher thunders over the desert, proving once again the goliath was strong voice as well as arms and legs, “I think I’ve found something!” Sure enough, the crumpling remains of a long lost and forgotten temple recently revealed by a large sandstorm is on the horizon; our quarry found.

A search of the ruins didn’t improve our moods. “There isn’t anything here,” bellowed Vreeto, our Grippli scout.

There was supposed to be a gold-laced altar here; surely the desert tribes haven’t found and pillaged the ruins this quickly? We did avoid one of their patrols just yesterday, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable that they might have already been here.

But, alas, our luck worsened even more as we began to leave. “Look on the horizon, something is coming,” Horoki informed us as she made her way to our group. All I could see was a large disturbance of sand. In short order, a large group of Thark warriors came upon us. We took positions along the ruins and prepared to receive our “guests.”

We would learn today who of us were to be the Masters of Ioun!
—Karsen Katar, Knight of Zodanga: A Memoir
Welcome to Ioun

Ioun is a world of beauty, danger, drama, and horror. A world where swashbuckling heroes battle merciless villains across ancient vistas or above shining cities, in a world where science is magic, and adventure is always a whisper away.

Noble warriors ride dinosaurs into battle, swords in their hands and blaster pistols on their hips. Crafty sky-traders dodge air-pirates and thread the needle of storm clouds in the name of profit. Scholars sift through ancient ruins, looking for bits of eldritch technology to complete their new inventions. Kings and revolutionaries alike poor over antique maps, looking for high ground and choke points, ever wondering if their energy crystals will hold out just a little longer.

Adventurers abound in Ioun. Explorers and scouts are always in demand, as are mercenary warriors, bodyguards, spies, smugglers, and scientists. In a world of danger, those willing to face that danger can make a lucrative living—for as long as they remain alive

What adventures await you?

The Nine Nations
The known world was once dominated by a continent-spanning empire, but is now divided into nine major nations, each striving to forge its own destiny.

Exum: /ɛkˈ.s(j)um/ The Serpent Queens of Exum are cruel, but their land is full of dark beauty and artistic de-lights.

Kaol: /kɑː oˈleɪ/ The savage jungles of Kaol hide ancient ruins and the secrets of lost technology.

Korad: /koə æd/ Formerly the center of the Koradan Em-pire, Korad boasts the highest technology of all Ioun.

Lothar: /loʊ ðɛɚ/ Once a colony of Torquas, Lothar is a strict theocracy that values cold steel and hard work over modern, fallible technology.

Thark: /ðɛɚk/ This desert nation is known for its no-mads, ironglass, and vicious raiders.

Dusar: /do͞o sɑːr/ This isolated land of poets and plantations is as gray and gloomy as the people who live here.

Torquas: /tɔɹk æs/ This once-proud nation has been all but destroyed by mysterious invaders from the north-ern skies.

U-Gor: /yo͞o ɡɔɹ/ The hunters of this southern land stalk the snow in search of game, ever wary of predators, both natural and human.

Zodanga: /zoːdāng-ɑː/ The main rival of Korad, Zodanga boasts a kingdom of modern factories defended by dinosaur-riding cavalry.


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History of Ioun

The Ancient Age
No one knows who the so-called Ancients were or where they went, but they left amazing technology in their wake. The most common theory has it that, when faced with some calamity, the Ancients hid their mysterious machines in vaults beneath the earth. When the crisis ended, the Ancients were gone, leaving these technological tombs untouched, for a time.

The Darkness
Records from the time before the Koradan Empire are spotty, but it's known that Ioun was populated by people much as it is today, though there was much more conflict between the various cultures. Empires rose and fell as one kingdom conquered another, only to be conquered by another in kind. Koradan historians call this “Age of Darkness” a time of terrible chaos and barbarism which, while tainted as Koradan propaganda, is probably somewhat true.

It was during this time that old kingdom of Korad was founded, and the seeds of the Empire were sown.

Elder Machines and the Ancients
Zephis the Scholar, a citizen of Korad, was exploring a system of caves along the western sea when he made a world-shaking discovery.

He found a crack in one of the walls of the deepest cave. Slipping through it, he discovered a vast un-derground city that had clearly been left by the Ancients. While the Ancients had left plenty of other ruins across the land, none were as intact and untouched as this city.

The legends claim Zephis spent a year in the abandoned city, experimenting with the elder ma-chines there and decoding what he could of the Ancients' glyphs, until he made the ultimate breakthrough: ioun crystals. Once he realized that these crystals were the key to bringing the forsak-en machines back to life, everything changed. The power of the Ancients was his.

He took his new-found knowledge to the king of Korad, who gave the young scientist anything he wanted in order to study the elder machines.

Zephis gathered the brightest scholars in all of Korad. With their wisdom to help guide him, and the riches of the king to support him, he established an organization to systematically study the secrets of the Ancients. Working together, the group used the principals of the elder machines to create their own ioun crystal powered devices known collectively as "crystal machines."

After his passing, this informal group of scientists and engineers became known as the Philosophical and Technological Order of the Elder Machines — or more commonly, the Machinist Order.

Rise of the Empire.
As the Machinist Order unlocked the secrets of the elder machines, the king of Korad used those ma-chines to improve the nation. He built roads, canals, and massive buildings. Korad became the shining jewel of the west.

But all that was nothing compared to the first airships. Barriers to overland travel became a thing of the past. Rough hills, rushing rivers, dense forests, and even towering mountains were no longer obstacles to the ambitious Koradans.

Clearly, the king realized, it was time to expand. It was time for conquest.

Over the next three hundred years, Korad spread across the whole continent, overpowering the other tribes and nations with the power of their crystal machines. The best army in the world was of little use when faced with an enemy that could fly.

Conquered territories were garrisoned by military personnel and heavily taxed, but largely allowed to maintain their current government systems, so long as those governments agreed to follow Impe-rial edicts. Life under the Empire could be harsh, as its taxes and quotas cared little for the circum-stances of the people who had to pay the levies or produce the goods. If a drought all but wiped out a nation's food supply, its people were still expected to offer the required tribute. Those that were una-ble to keep up with the Empire's demand had their people taken as slaves to serve either in Korad proper or inone of the other conquered territories.

Spread of the Order
One of the reasons the Koradan Empire was forced to expand was that it needed resources for its ma-chines. Most of them required ioun crystals for power, which were found in deposits all across Ioun. Other regions also had vaults of elder machines hidden beneath ruins of the Ancients, which the Machinist Order needed to advance its studies. Finally, the Empire's economy was fueled by raw materials: for example, wood from Zodanga and ironglass from Thark.

As the Empire spread across Ioun, the Machinist Order spread with it. The Order established chap-terhouses in each conquered region that served as clearing houses for any elder machines that were discovered. Because of the great distances in-volved, the chapterhouses were largely independ-ent, and did much of their own research and study without the oversight of the central Machinist headquarters in Korad.

The Order also added new members to its ranks from the occupied regions. Locals who showed an exceptional aptitude for technology were adopted into the Order, given a top-notch education, and allowed to rise to the highest ranks. Parents often pushed their children towards the Machinists, knowing it was one of the few ways for non-Koradans to get ahead in the Empire.

The Imperial Age
The so-called Imperial Age was a time of glory, decadence, and stagnation for the Koradan Empire. For centuries, the Empire had been expending its resources on expanding its infrastructure in order to conquer the rest of Ioun. Now that it had done so, it turned those same efforts towards achieving the pinnacle of comfort for those living in Korad. (Outside Korad, crystal machines were strictly regulated, and ordinary citizens were prohibited from owning them.)

The Koradans built enormous, sky-scraping buildings, fleets of flying vehicles, and eccentric crystal machines that offered little practical value but required vast amounts of resources to produce. They didn't care about the costs. The resources came from the provinces: that's why those provinces were there.

But the people who lived in those conquered terri-tories were unhappy with the imbalance of power and wealth and began to resist the Imperial occu-pation. The Zodangan rebellion was certainly not the first, and would have been crushed easily by the Empire's military might, except that at the same time, the Order was having its own crisis of conscience.

The Schism
The Machinist Order was established to learn the lore of the Ancients. When the Empire grew, it took much of its strength from the technology the Order provided, and in return gave the Machinists the resources they needed to fund their exploration and research. But over the centuries, as the Empire's domination of Ioun became secure, the Empire gradually stopped supporting the Order. This was especially true for the chapterhouses in the outer provinces, which were largely left to fend for themselves while the Order headquarters in Korad wanted for nothing.

As a result, the provincial chapterhouses relied more on the locals and set deeper roots into the societies around them. They started teaching the local children basic math, literacy, and history in exchange for the resources they needed. As more children from the provinces showed they had a gift for technology, many of them stayed in the province rather than going to Korad for training, thus strengthening the ties between the local chapter-houses and their neighbors.

All this came to a head when the chapterhouse in Zodanga discovered a vault of elder machines. This was the first major discovery in decades, and the Machinists in Korad were very excited. They demanded the cache be turned over to them at once.

The Zodangan Machinists refused. It was their find, they said. They had the first rights to it.

Enraged at this insubordination, the Koradan Machinists called for the other chapterhouses to shun the Zodangan house. Only a few of them did. Many sided with the Zodangans, saying it was time the outer houses got the same respect and resources that those in Korad did.

The Machinist leaders turned to the Imperial military and asked for its help to bring the unruly Zodangan chapterhouse to heel. The military agreed. But when its forces arrived in Zodanga, they found that the locals had joined in the defense of the chapterhouse and were armed with the Machinists' own crystal machines. The army was repulsed and forced to flee back to Korad.

This was the first victory of the rebellion. And the first step in the fall of the Empire.

Fall of the Empire
Zodanga had been trembling on the edge of insurrection for years. The incident with its Machinist chapterhouse pushed it over the edge into all-out rebellion. Armed with Machinist gear, its people rose up against their oppressors... and lit the flame that would eventually burn the Empire down.

The Empire had grown corrupt and complacent. By the time its leaders realized the seriousness of the situation in Zodanga, other provinces had already started their own revolutions. The Machinist chap-terhouses in those provinces were joining the lo-cals and arming them with Imperial-grade weap-ons, vehicles, and other crystal machines.

The Empire didn't fall in a day, or even in a decade. But within fifty years of the Zodanga uprising, Korad’s sphere of control was pushed back to the coastal plains. Rather than face war on its own doorstep, the Empire signed peace accords with the newly-freed provinces and officially halt-ed its policy of conquest and colonialism.

Provincial Interim
The century immediately following the fall of the Empire was one of freedom and chaos. Some of the provinces, such as Thark, had been devastated by the war. Others, like Torquas, remained relatively unharmed because most of the fighting had been far from them. Leadership and governance was in question: did the provinces go back to the governments they'd had before the Empire, or had those governments betrayed their people by serving the Empire for years?

Without strong leaders or the Empire to keep the peace, ancient rivalries reared their heads. Tribe turned on tribe and province on province in innumerable border skirmishes and retaliatory attacks. This was made all the worse by the weakening of the Imperial infrastructure, which devastated some of the provinces' economies. Things were looking grim... and then they got worse.

Invasion of the Black Ships
No one knows where the black ships came from. The most likely theory is that there is another empire in the far north of Ioun, but no one truly knows. Of those who have gone to seek the black ships' source, none have ever returned.

What is known is this:

After the fall of the Koradan Empire, when the provinces were just getting back on their feet, a fleet of black ships appeared on Ioun's eastern shore. Each was at least fifty feet tall, propelled without sails, and full of horrors. The ships stopped offshore in Torquas, where they disgorged flying vehicles filled with soldiers, war machines, and caged monstrosities.

The invaders washed over Torquas like a black wave. Their weapons were obviously crystal ma-chines, but of such power as to make Koradan designs look like toys. They destroyed anything and anyone in their way, demolishing entire cities as they blasted their way inland. They captured people as they went, rounding them up in invisible nets of force and hauling them back to their giant black ships.

No one could tell if the soldiers of the black ships were even human. Even today, there is debate. They were encased in hard black armor, full helmets and solid faceplates. When killed, the fallen were found to be humanoid, but pale and sunless, with overly-large eyes. None were ever captured alive.

As refugees streamed from Torquas to nearby Zodanga and Lothar, those two nations sent what troops they could to help defend the rest of the nation, and contain the invaders. Zodanga reached out to Thark and Kaol, who contributed what they could to the effort. Zodanga even dis-patched ambassadors to Korad and Exum, who sent airships full of food and weapons.

What followed was a brutal, nine-year war pitting every nation in Ioun against this mysterious invader. In the end, the black ships withdrew. Nothing would ever be the same.

Aftermath
Torquas was destroyed. What was once a thriving seaside province full of fishermen and merchants was reduced to smoldering wreckage. A large part of its population was taken captive or killed; those who survived fled to Lothar or the other provinces.

The black ships left weird horrors behind. The ruins of Torquas were now dotted with strange pylons made of unknown metals that thrummed and hummed and glowed. Their purpose and origins are unknown. Scientists, soldiers, and treasure seekers alike are certain, that, at the very least, they hint at the possibility of other elder ma-chines buried beneath the wreckage.

The invaders also brought a menagerie of strange beasts trained to protect their camps, hunt for prisoners, and kill their enemies. They left their beasts behind, whether by accident or intent is left to debate.

Many still prowl Ioun, hunting for prey, both human and otherwise, living reminders of the bloody battles that nearly destroyed the land.

Ioun Today
It has been fifty years since the black ships sailed from the northern skies. In that time, the provinces have rebuilt as best they could, and re-established themselves as Free Nations. While peace may be on their lips, their hearts still strive for power, and the peace has been uneasy at best. Tensions rise and fall as the seasons, and angry words often given rise to battle. Border skirmishes and the like are not uncommon, despite numerous calls for unity.

Korad has officially put its aggressive policies be-hind it, and embraced its new role as the center of an economic empire rather than a military one. Zodanga has arisen as a new political and economic power, rivaling that of Korad. The two nations are engaged in a cold war, as they continually jockey for political and economic dominance over Ioun.

In this time of rebuilding and change, there are opportunities for fortunes to be made and adventures to be had.

What's All This Then?
Ioun is a setting for the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition role-playing game. It owes a massive and intentional debt to the "sword and sorcery" fiction of Robert E. Howard, the "planetary romance" fiction of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and the many other homages to their work that has come before. Ioun, as a setting, seeks to use the Dungeons & Dragons rules in a few unique ways... Namely, there's no magic!
Last edited by Batgirl III on Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Batgirl III
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Re: Masters of Ioun

Post by Batgirl III » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:30 am

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Chapter Two: House Rules
If your vocation be shoeing horses, or painting pictures, and you can do one or the other better than your fellows, then you are a fool if you are not proud of your ability. And so I am very proud that upon Ioun no greater fighter has ever lived than Karsen Katar, Knight of Zodanga...
—Karsen Katar, Knight of Zodanga: A Memoir
D&D Without Magic!
As a general principle, I prefer to use as few house rules as possible when running roleplaying games. However, the themes and setting of the campaign I have in mind do require that we make several changes to the default rules. I'll try to handle most of them in this document, but I may have missed a few things. So always try to keep in mind the following "rule of thumb" for this setting: player characters should have no spellcasting, spell-like special abilities, or other magical effects as a benefit of any features from their class, race, or other source.

What follows is a quick list of variant rules compared to the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Players’ Handbook:

Chapter One: Character Creation
• Ability Scores are created with the Variant: Customizing Ability Scores method, aka "Point Buy," as detailed in the Player's Handbook (PHB p. 13)
• Starting Equipment is not determined by your character's class and background. You have the maximum possible number of gold pieces (gp) to spend based on your class, as shown on the Starting Wealth by Class table (PHB p. 143).
• All characters start at with 300 XP.

Chapter Two: Races
• The standard Players' Handbook races, except for the Human and Gnome, are not used in this campaign. Instead only the following races are available: Aarakocra, Goliath, Gnome, Grippli, Human, Human (Variant), Tabaxi, Tortle, and Yuan-Ti Pureblood.
• The Goliath racial ability score increase has changed to +2 CON, +1 STR.
Goliath are based on the existing D&D race, but have been changed significantly in appearance and culture, see the below for details.
Grippli are "homebrew," although based on an existing D&D monstrous creature, see the below for details.

Chapter Three: Classes
• Many of standard classes have been flat-out banned, others have been tweaked in other ways, and most have lost access to some of their Archetypes. See the below for details.

Chapter Five: Equipment
• The Variant: Equipment Sizes rule is in use (PHB p. 144)
• Spears gain the Reach weapon property (PHB p. 149) when used with one hand; If using two-hands, per the Versitile property, they do not have Reach.
• Alchemist's Fire, Ball Bearings, Potions of Healing, Magnifying Glass, Silk Rope, Spy-glass, and Vials (PHB p.150) are not available.
• Spellcasting Services (PHB p. 159) are not available.
• Several new weapons – most notably force ray blasters! – have been added.

Chapter Six: Customization Options
Grappler: Selecting this feat also automatical-ly grants you the Tavern Brawler feat.
Mage Slayer: This feat is unavailable.
Magic Initiate: This feat is unavailable.
Observant: Add a new bullet point saying "You double your Proficiency Bonus on Wisdom (Perception) and Intelligence (Investigation) skills."
Polearm Master: Add spear and pike to the list of weapons.
Ritual Caster: This feat is unavailable.
Tavern Brawler: Selecting this feat also automatically grants you the Grappler feat.

Chapter Seven: Using Ability Scores
• The Variant: Skills with Different Abilities rule is in use (PHB p. 175)
• The Variant: Encumbrance rule is in use (PHB p. 176)

Banned Classes
These classes are not available to Player Characters: Bard, Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard.

Allowed Classes
Barbarian
Allowed Archetypes: Battlerager (SCAG), Berserker (PHB), Zealot (XGE)
House Rules:
Battlerager: The archetype is not restricted to any particular race.
Berserkers: The "Mindless Rage" ability also grants Advantage at all checks to resist social skills (e.g, Bluff) for the duration of the rage.
Zealot: The "Divine Fury" ability deals normal damage, not necrotic or radiant. All of this class's abilities are "mundane" and not magical, although most Zealots are still religious fanatics.

Fighter
Allowed Archetypes: Battle Master (PHB), Cavalier (XGE), Champion (PHB), Purple Dragon Knight (SCAG), Samurai (XGE)
House Rules:
Cavalier: When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain the Martial Adept feat.
Champion: The "Improved Critical" ability weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 18, 19, or 20.
Purple Dragon Knight: When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain the Martial Adept feat.

Monk
Allowed Archetypes: Drunken Master (XGE), Kensei (XGE), Open Hand (PHB)
House Rules:
Restricted Levels: The Monk class ends at 11th Level. Any further advancment must be done in another class.
Kensei: Change the first sentence of the "Kensei Weapons" bullet point to read: "Choose one the of the following sets of weapons to be your kensei weapons: (a) one martial melee weapon and one ranged weapon, (b) two simple melee weapons and one ranged weapon, or (c) one martial and one simple melee weapon."
Kensei: Change the "Agile Parry" bullet point to read: "When you are wielding your Kensei Weap-on, you can use it to defend yourself if it is a me-lee weapon. You gain a +2 bonus to AC until the start of your next turn, while the weapon is in your hand and you aren’t incapacitated."
Open Hand: Replace the "Tranquility" ability with the following: "'Enlightenment' At 11th level, you gain two (2) extra Ki Points in addition to those determined by your Monk level."

Ranger
Allowed Archetypes: Beast Conclave, Hunter Conclave
House Rules:
Revised Class: The Ranger has been extensively rewritten for this campaign. Details below.

Rogue
Allowed Archetypes: Assassin (PHB), Bard (Below), Inquisitive (XGE), Mastermind (XGE), Scout (XGE), Swashbuckler (SCAG), Thief (PHB)
House Rules:
Bard: This is a new Roguish Archetype, detailed below.
Thief: Replace the "Use Magic Device" (13th level) ability with gaining the Martial Adept feat.

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Ioun Ranger
New Base Class
Knowledgeable, patient, and skilled hunters, the Ioun Rangers hound man, beast, and monster alike, gaining insight into the way of the predator, skill in varied environments, and ever more lethal martial prowess.

With their unique mastery of specialized weapons, skill at stalking even the most elusive game, and the expertise to defeat a wide range of quarries, few can match wits with a Ranger.

[table]
[tr][td]Level[/td][td]Proficiency Bonus[/td][td]Class Features[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1st[/td][td]+2[/td][td]Favored Enemy, Natural Explorer[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]2nd[/td][td]+2[/td][td]Combat Superiority, Fighting Style[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]3rd[/td][td]+2[/td][td]Poultices, Ranger Conclave[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]4th[/td][td]+2[/td][td]Ability Score Improvement[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]5th[/td][td]+3[/td][td]Range Conclave Feature[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]6th[/td][td]+3[/td][td]Greater Favored Enemy[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]7th[/td][td]+3[/td][td]Range Conclave Feature[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]8th[/td][td]+3[/td][td]Ability Score Improvement, Fleet of Foot[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]9th[/td][td]+4[/td][td]Natural Antivenom[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]10th[/td][td]+4[/td][td]Hide in Plain Sight[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]11th[/td][td]+4[/td][td]Range Conclave Feature[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]12th[/td][td]+4[/td][td]Ability Score Improvement[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]13th[/td][td]+5[/td][td]Additional Fighting Style[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]14th[/td][td]+5[/td][td]Vanish[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]15th[/td][td]+5[/td][td]Range Conclave Feature[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]16th[/td][td]+5[/td][td]Ability Score Improvement[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]17th[/td][td]+6[/td][td]Relentless[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]18th[/td][td]+6[/td][td]Feral Senses[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]19th[/td][td]+6[/td][td]Ability Score Improvement[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]20th[/td][td]+6[/td][td]Foe Slayer[/td][/tr]
[/table]

Class Features
An Ioun Ranger gains the following class features.

Hit Points
Hit Points: 2d4 per Ioun Ranger level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + you Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 2d4 (or 5) + you Constitution modifier per Ioun Ranger level after 1st

Proficiency
Armor: Light Armor, Medium Armor; Shields
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
Skills: Choose three from Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Stealth, and Survival

Favored Enemy
Beginning at 1st level, you have significant experience studying, tracking, hunting, and even talking to a certain type of enemy commonly encountered in the wilds. Choose one type of favored enemy: beasts, fey, monstrosities, plants, or undead. Alternatively, you can select two races of humanoids (such as gnomes and humans) as favored enemies.

You gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with weapon attacks against creatures of the chosen type. Additionally, you have advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track your favored enemies, as well as on Intelligence checks to recall information about them. When you gain this feature, you also learn one language of your choice, typically one spoken by your favored enemy or creatures associated with it. However, you are free to pick any language you wish to learn.

Natural Explorer
At 1st level, you are a master of navigating all of the natural world, and you react with swift and decisive action when attacked. Whenever you are in natural terrain, whether it be a forest or under a natural cave system, it grants you the following benefits:

• You ignore difficult terrain.
• You have advantage on initiative rolls.
• On your first turn during combat, you have advantage on attack rolls against creatures that have not yet acted.

In addition, you are skilled at navigating the wilderness. You gain the following benefits when traveling for an hour or more:
• Difficult terrain doesn’t slow your group’s travel.
• Your group can’t become lost except by magical means.
• Even when you are engaged in another activity while traveling (such as foraging, navigating, or tracking), you remain alert to danger.
• If you are traveling alone, you can move stealthily at a normal pace.
• When you forage, you find twice as much food as you normally would.
• While tracking other creatures, you also learn their exact number, their sizes, and how long ago they passed through the area.

Combat Superiority
At 2nd level, you learn maneuvers that are fueled by special dice called superiority dice.

Maneuvers: You learn two maneuvers of your choice, which are chosen from the list of maneuvers available to fighters with the Battle Master archetype. Many maneuvers enhance an attack in some way. You can use only one maneuver per attack.

You learn one additional maneuver of your choice at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels. Each time you learn a new maneuver, you can also replace one maneuver you know with a different one.

Superiority Dice: You have four superiority dice, which are d8s. A superiority die is expended when you use it. You regain all of your expended supe-riority dice when you finish a short or long rest.

You gain another superiority die at 9th level and one more at 17th level.

Saving Throws: Some of your maneuvers require your target to make a saving throw to resist the maneuver’s effects. The saving throw DC is calcu-lated as follows:
• Maneuver Save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice)

Fighting Style
At 2nd level, you adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can’t take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.

• Archery: You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.
• Defense: While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.
• Dueling: When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.
• Two-Weapon Fighting: When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.

Poultices
At 3rd level, you can create special herbal poultices that have healing power comparable to some potions. You can spend 1 hour gathering herbs and preparing herbal poultices using treated bandages to create a number of such poultices equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). You can carry a number of poultices at one time equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). The poultices you create cannot be applied by anyone but you. After 24 hours, any poultices that you have not used lose their potency.

If you spend 1 minute applying one of your poultices to a wounded humanoid creature, thereby expending its use, that creature regains 1d6 hit points for every two ranger levels you have (round-ed up).

Ranger Conclave
At 3rd level, you choose to emulate the ideals and training of a ranger conclave: The Beast Conclave, or the Hunter Conclave Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 5th, 7th, 11th, and 15th level.

Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature. Alternately you can take a Feat in place of your Ability Score Improvement.

Greater Favored Enemy
At 6th level, you are ready to hunt even deadlier game. Choose a type of greater favored enemy: aberrations, celestials, constructs, dragons, ele-mentals, giants, or fiends.

You gain all the benefits against this chosen enemy that you normally gain against your favored enemy, including an additional language. Your bonus to damage rolls against all your favored enemies increases to +4. Additionally, you have advantage on saving throws against the spells and abilities used by a greater favored enemy.

Fleet of Foot
Beginning at 8th level, you can use the Dash ac-tion as a bonus action on your turn.

Natural Antivenom
Starting at 9th level, you have advantage on sav-ing throws against poison and have resistance to poison damage. Additionally, you can use one of your poultices to cure one poison effect on the creature you are applying it to, in addition to re-storing hit points.

Hide in Plain Sight
Starting at 10th level, you can spend 1 minute creating camouflage for yourself. You must have access to fresh mud, dirt, plants, soot, and other naturally occurring materials with which to create your camouflage.

Once you are camouflaged in this way, you can try to hide by pressing yourself up against a solid surface, such as a tree or wall, that is at least as tall and wide as you are. You gain a +10 bonus to Dexterity (Stealth) checks as long as you remain there without moving or taking actions. Once you move or take an action or a reaction, you must camouflage yourself again to gain this benefit.

Additional Fighting Style
At 10th level, you can choose a second option from the Fighting Style class feature.

Vanish
Starting at 14th level, you can use the Hide action as a bonus action on your turn. Also, you can’t be tracked by nonmagical means, unless you choose to leave a trail.

Relentless
Starting at 17th level, when you roll initiative and have no superiority dice remaining, you regain 1 superiority die.

Feral Senses
At 18th level, you gain preternatural senses that help you fight creatures you can’t see. When you attack a creature you can’t see, your inability to see it doesn’t impose disadvantage on your attack rolls against it. You are also aware of the location of any invisible creature within 30 feet of you, provided that the creature isn’t hidden from you and you aren’t blinded or deafened.

Foe Slayer
At 20th level, you become an unparalleled hunter. Once on each of your turns, you can add your Wisdom modifier to the attack roll or the damage roll of an attack you make. You can choose to use this feature before or after the roll, but before any effects of the roll are applied.

Ranger Conclaves
Across the wilds, Ioun Rangers come together to form conclaves — loose associations whose members share a similar outlook on how best to protect nature from those who would despoil it.

Beast Conclave
Many Ioun Rangers are more at home in the wilds than in civilization, to the point where animals consider them kin. Rangers of the Beast Conclave develop a close bond with an especially loyal beast.

Animal Companion
At 3rd level, you learn to create a powerful bond with a creature of the natural world. With 8 hours of work and the expenditure of 50 gp worth of rare herbs and fine food, you call forth an animal from the wilderness to serve as your faithful compan-ion. You normally select your companion from among the following animals: ape, black bear, boar, giant badger, giant weasel, mule, panther, and wolf.

However, your DM might pick one of these ani-mals for you, based on the surrounding terrain and on what types of creatures would logically be present in the area. At the end of the 8 hours, your animal companion appears and gains all the benefits of your Companion’s Bond ability.

You can have only one animal companion at a time.

Companion’s Bond
Your animal companion gains a variety of benefits while it is linked to you:

• The animal companion loses its Multi-attack action, if it has one. It's essentially replaced by "Coordinated Attack" and "Storm of Claws and Fangs".
• The companion obeys your commands as best it can.
• It rolls for initiative like any other creature, but you determine its actions, decisions, atti-tudes, and so on.
• If you are incapacitated or absent, your com-panion acts on its own.
• When using your Natural Explorer feature, you and your animal companion can both move stealthily at a normal pace.
• Your animal companion has abilities and game statistics determined in part by your level. Your companion shares your alignment, and has a personality trait and a flaw that you can roll for or select from the tables be-low. Your companion shares your ideal, and its bond is always, “The ranger who travels with me is a beloved companion for whom I would gladly give my life.”
• Your companion uses your proficiency bonus rather than its own for attacks and skills which it is proficient in.
• An animal companion also adds its proficiency bonus to its AC and to its damage rolls.
• Your animal companion gains proficiency in two skills of your choice.
• It also becomes proficient with all saving throws.
• For each level you gain after 3rd, your animal companion gains an additional hit die and in-creases its hit points accordingly.
• Whenever you gain the Ability Score Improvement class feature, your companion’s abilities also improve. Your companion can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or it can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, your companion can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature un-less its description specifies otherwise.
• Your animal companion gains the benefits of your Favored Enemy feature, and of your Greater Favored Enemy feature when you gain that feature at 6th level. It uses the favored enemies you selected for those features.

Beast’s Defense
At 7th level, while your companion can see you, it has advantage on all saving throws.

Storm of Claws and Fangs
At 11th level, your companion can use its action to make a melee attack against each creature of its choice within 5 feet of it, with a separate at-tack roll for each target. This does not interfere with Coordinated Attack.

Superior Beast’s Defense
At 15th level, whenever an attacker that your companion can see hits it with an attack, it can use its reaction to halve the attack’s damage against it.

Hunter Conclave
Some Ioun Rangers seek to master weapons to better protect civilization from the terrors of the wilderness. Members of the Hunter Conclave learn specialized fighting techniques for use against the direst threats, from rampaging ogres and hordes of orcs to towering giants and terrifying dragons.

Hunter’s Prey
At 3rd level, you gain one of the following features of your choice.

Colossus Slayer: Your tenacity can wear down the most potent foes. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, the creature takes an extra 1d8 damage if it’s below its hit point maximum. You can deal this extra damage only once per turn.

Giant Killer: When a Large or larger creature within 5 feet of you hits or misses you with an attack, you can use your reaction to attack that creature immediately after its attack, provided that you can see the creature.

Horde Breaker: Once on each of your turns when you make a weapon attack, you can make another attack with the same weapon against a different creature that is within 5 feet of the original target and within range of your weapon.

Extra Attack
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Defensive Tactics
At 7th level, you gain one of the following features of your choice.

Escape the Horde: Opportunity attacks against you are made with disadvantage.

Multi-Attack Defense: When a creature hits you with an attack, you gain a +4 bonus to AC against all subsequent attacks made by that creature for the rest of the turn.

Steel Will: You have advantage on saving throws against being frightened.

Multi-attack
At 11th level, you gain one of the following features of your choice.

Volley: You can use your action to make a ranged attack against any number of creatures within 10 feet of a point you can see within your weapon’s range. You must have ammunition for each target, as normal, and you make a separate attack roll for each target.

Whirlwind Attack: You can use your action to make melee attacks against any number of creatures within 5 feet of you, with a separate attack roll for each target.

Superior Hunter’s Defense
At 15th level, you gain one of the following fea-tures of your choice.

Evasion: When you are subjected to an effect, such as a red dragon’s fiery breath or a lightning bolt spell, that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you in-stead take no damage if you succeed on a saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.

Stand Against the Tide: When a hostile creature misses you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction to force that creature to repeat the same attack against another creature (other than itself) of your choice.

Uncanny Dodge: When an attacker that you can see hits you with an attack, you can use your re-action to halve the attack’s damage against you.

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Ioun Bard
New Roguish Archetype
Life is an endless adventure for those who live by their wits. Ever just one step ahead of danger, rogues bank on their cunning, skill, and charm to bend fate to their favor.

Although many rogues favor cities and the innu-merable opportunities of civilization, some em-brace lives on the road, journeying far, meeting exotic people, and facing fantastic danger in pursuit of equally fantastic riches. For some rogues, their desire to shape their fates and live life on their own terms leads to becoming adept manipu-lators, inspiring performers, and master charmers.

The Ioun Bard is an archetype available for 3rd level Rogues. This archetype choice grants you features at 3rd level and then again at 9th, 13th, and 17th level.

Inspired Performance
At 3rd level, whenever you make a check to sing or play an instrument you are proficient with, you have advantage on the roll.

Inspired Mockery
In any turn in which you deal Sneak Attack dam-age, you may use a Bonus Action to also cause the target to have disadvantage on the next attack roll, ability check, or saving throw it makes before the end of its next turn.

You can choose to use this feature after the crea-ture makes its roll, but before the GM determines whether the attack roll or ability check succeeds or fails, or before the creature deals its damage. The creature is immune if it can’t hear you, un-derstand your language, or if it’s otherwise immune.

Inspired Resilience
Beginning at 9th level, you can use soothing mu-sic or oration to help revitalize your wounded al-lies during a short rest. If you or any friendly creatures who can hear your performance regain hit points at the end of the short rest by spending one or more Hit Dice, each of those creatures re-gains an extra 1d8 hit points.

The extra hit points increase when you reach cer-tain levels in this class: to 1d10 at 13th level and to 1d12 at 17th level.

Inspired Heroism
At 17th level, your words bolster confidence and awaken courage in others. As a bonus action, you can choose one creature within 60 feet of you. If the target creature can see and hear you, roll 1d12. The target creature gains a number of temporary hit points equal to the number rolled. These temporary hit points last until they are lost or the target creature completes a long rest. While it has these temporary hit points, the creature becomes immune to the frightened condition.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (a minimum of once). You regain expended uses when you finish a long rest.
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Re: Masters of Ioun

Post by Batgirl III » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:31 am

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Ioun Goliaths
At the extreme edges of the artic tundra, dwell the reclusive Goliaths of Ioun. Few can claim to have seen a goliath, and fewer still can claim friendship with them. Goliaths wander a bleak realm of rock, wind, and cold. Their grey skin looks as if they are carved from mountain stone and their thick white pelts seem part of the tundra. Their spirits take after the wandering wind, making them nomads who wander following the herds of mamoth and rehmoraz. Their hearts are infused with the cold regard of their frigid realm, leaving each goliath with the responsibility to earn a place in the tribe or die trying.

Driven Competitors
Every day brings a new challenge to a goliath. Food, water, and shelter are rare in the subarctic wastes. A single mistake can bring doom to an entire tribe, while an individual’s heroic effort can ensure the entire group’s survival.

Goliaths thus place a premium on self-sufficiency and individual skill. They have a compulsion to keep score, counting their deeds and tallying their accomplishments to compare to others. Goliaths love to win, but they see defeat as a prod to im-prove their skills.

This dedication to competition has a dark side. Goliaths are ferocious competitors, but above all else they are driven to outdo their past efforts. If a goliath slays a frostwurm, he might seek out a larger, more powerful dragon to battle. Few goli-ath warriors reach old age, as most die attempting to surpass their past accomplishments, a goliath elder is a fearsome veteran who has overcome great foes in order to survive as long as he did. There is a U-Gor maxim that translates into the common tongue as "Beware an old man in a young man's role."

Fair Play
For goliaths, competition exists only when it is supported by a level playing field. Competition measures talent, dedication, and effort. Those fac-tors determine survival in their home territory, not reliance on tools, money, or other elements that can tip the balance one way or the other. Goliaths happily rely on such benefits, but they are careful to remember that such an advantage can always be lost. A goliath who relies too much on them can grow complacent, a recipe for disaster in the tundra.

This trait manifests most strongly when goliaths interact with other folk. The relationship between peasants and nobility puzzles goliaths. If a chief-tan or king lacks the intelligence or leadership to lead, then clearly the most talented person in the kingdom should take his place. Goliaths rarely keep such opinions to themselves, and mock folk who rely on society’s structures or rules to main-tain power.

Survivalists
Among goliaths, any adult who can’t contribute to the tribe is expelled. A lone goliath has little chance of survival, especially an older or weaker one. Goliaths have little pity for adults who can’t take care of themselves, though a sick or injured individual is treated, as a result of the goliath concept of fair play.

A permanently injured goliath is still expected to pull his or her weight in the tribe. Typically, such a goliath dies attempting to keep up, or the goli-ath slips away in the night to seek the cold will of fate.

In some ways, the goliath drive to outdo them-selves feeds into the grim inevitability of their de-cline and death. A goliath would much rather die in battle, at the peak of strength and skill, than endure the slow decay of old age. Few have ever meet an elderly goliath, and even those goliaths who have left their people grapple with the urge to give up their lives as their physical skills decay.

Because of their risk-taking, goliath tribes suffer from a chronic lack of the experience offered by long-term leaders. They hope for innate wisdom in their leadership, for they can rarely count on a wisdom grown with age.

Goliath Names
Every goliath has three names: a birth name as-signed by the newborn’s mother and father, a nickname assigned by the tribal chief, and a fami-ly name. A birth name is up to three syllables long; male names always follow the pattern of vowel-consonante/vowel-consonante/vowel-consonante; Female names reverse this. Clan names are five syllables or more and, as Goliath society is matrilineal, follow the female con-sonate-vowel pattern.

Birth names are always linked to gender and gender is always tied to sex. Goliaths see females and males as equally capable in status, but they see a sharp divide between a man's role and a woman's. Goliaths tend to find societies without distinct gender roles to be puzzling or worthy of mockery. To a goliath, the person who is best at a job should be the one tasked with doing it and it is self-evident that a man is better at men's work than any woman and vice-versa.

A goliath’s nickname is a description that can change on the whim of a chieftain or tribal elder. It refers to a notable deed, either a success or fail-ure, committed by the goliath. Goliaths assign and use nicknames with their friends of other rac-es, and change them to refer to an individual’s notable deeds.

Goliaths present all three names when identifying themselves, in the order of birth name, nickname, and clan name. In casual conversation, they use their nickname. Birth names are rarely used ex-cept amongst close friends or immediate family.

Male Birth Names: Anukan, Egogur, Ilikan, Ororor, Unazig
Female Birth Names: Korori, Gatahu, Tetero, Vanunu, Zozoha
Nicknames: Boneater, Daydreamer, Fearfinder, Horncarver, Eyegouger, Longleaper, Skywatcher, Orphankeep-er, Wordpainter
Clan Names: Bakakalata, Gahakanahe, Golakano, Lanitininy, Tunukalati, Vameligazu

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Goliath Traits
Goliaths share a number of traits in common with each other.

Ability Scores: Your Constitution score increases by 2, and your Strength score increases by 1.

Age: Goliaths have lifespans comparable to humans. They enter adulthood in their late teens and usually live less than fifty years due to their harsh lifestyles, but goliath elders have been known to live up to a century.

Alignment: Goliath society, with its clear roles and tasks, has a strong lawful bent. The goliath sense of fairness, balanced with an emphasis on self-sufficiency and personal accountability, push-es them toward neutrality.

Size: Goliaths are between 7 and 8 feet tall and weigh between 280 and 340 pounds. Your size is Medium.

Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Natural Athlete: You have proficiency in the Athletics skill.

Stone’s Endurance: You can focus yourself to occasionally shrug off injury. When you take damage, you can use your reaction to roll a d12. Add your Constitution modifier to the number rolled, and reduce the damage by that total. After you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Powerful Build: You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.

Tundra Born: You’re naturally adapted to cold climates, as described in Chapter 5 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common and Goliath.

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Grippli
Though they build no cities and claim no kingdom, the Grippli are one of the most feared races on Ioun. Individually, they pose little harm, and most of the time Grippli have little interest in associating with anyone outside of their tribe, others of their kind included. When they gather, however, few forces can stand against them.

Spawning Pools
Most Grippli families live in small groups in wild jungles of Kaol, providing for themselves by hunt-ing and trading. For them, however, family is not a function of blood. Once a year, Grippli migrate to ancestral pools to mate. Once, these pools were left behind by adult Grippli, and the young were allowed to hatch and grow on their own. Now, however, the Grippli understand that they have enemies, and each year the mating pools are guarded by a cadre of Grippli either too young or too old to participate, who watch over the tadpoles until they reach adolescence, perform their guard duties, and go on their own into the wider world.

Bonds of Trust
Despite the mating habits of the Grippli, they do fall in love. Grippli love comes in many varieties, from camaraderie to romantic attachment, but it is always separate from reproduction. It is, in-stead, connected to trust. Grippli cling tightly to the people they trust, and do not trust easily, even other Grippli. A Grippli might watch a potential ally for days before revealing themselves, carefully weighing every action. Once a Grippli does give its trust, however, the bond is nearly unbreakable. This is how Grippli tribes are formed. Once formed, a Grippli tribe moves together, fights to-gether, lives and dies together. When Grippli mate the bond lasts for just moments at a time, but when a tribal bond is formed, it is for life.

Guerrilla Warriors
When the Grippli go to war, its scale is either intimate or catastrophic. When a tribe is threatened, it will go to war to defend its members, and it may be joined by a few nearby allies. When the jungles and swamps of the Kaol are threatened, however, the Grippli go to war as a nation. When they do, leaders are chosen and ranks are formed: Grippli know their business, and want nothing more than to finish their task and return to their lives. Unlike other races, however, who make war riding terror-lizards and commanding mighty airships, the Grippli use stealth, poison, and their blow-guns. While a Human army might make paste of an equivalent force of Grippli on an open field of battle, the Grippli never allow that to happen. They fight from secret, using terror and thinning their foes’ ranks with poison and disease, until their enemy can fight no longer. This is the only reason Grippli congregate in large numbers.

Beyond Kaol, Grippli form small communities within particularly large cities of other races. In Zodanga, a small tribe of Grippli have been hired by Prince Rhialto as his personal guard and its leader, Chief Jipjiptoo, has become a regular speaker in King Cugel's court. In other cities, individual Grippli move away from their traditional hunting and gathering roles, and find success as alchemists, thieves, and spies.

Grippli Names
Grippli names are never tied to clans or families, but are usually a single word with meaning in their tongue. Outsiders usually cannot tell the difference between male and female names, and often can’t distinguish between Grippli names and other words in their language. Grippli who interact with Humans and other races on a regular basis will usually adopt a nickname of some kind.

Male Names: Brooaka (Hunter on High), Cho-raka (Hunter from Below), Jipjiptoo (Speaking with Clarity), Vreeto (Prizes Clarity)
Female Names: Hurrupana (Slayer of the Hated Foe), K’k’k’lock’k (Many Running Waters), Groakarup (Hunter of Her Enemy’s Heart)
Nicknames: Broo, Hunter, Pana, Speaker

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Grippli Traits
Grippli characters share a variety of natural abilities, the result of thousands of years of evolution.

Ability Scores: Your Wisdom score increases by 2, and Dexterity score increases by 1.

Age: Young grippli are born tadpoles and grow into full-grown grippli over the course of a few months, reaching adulthood within a year. The natural lifespan of a grippli is 40 years.

Alignment: Grippli typically reject the structures and rules of society, and tend towards chaotic alignments. The battles between good and evil are uninteresting to most grippli, who are concerned only with survival and defending their homes from depredation. Grippli who lean towards good do this out of a purity of spirit, while evil grippli are more likely to hunt and kill would-be despoilers, often before they have a chance to act.

Size: Grippli average between 3 and 4 feet, but stoop slightly, and weigh about 30 pounds. Your size is Small.

Speed: Your base walking and climbing speed is 20 feet.

Mask of the Wild: You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena.

Leaper: Your long jump is up to 20 feet and your high jump is up to 10 feet, and you are always considered to have a running start.

Grippli Hunters' Training: You have proficiency with blowguns, nets, shortbows, and slings. You also have proficiency the poisoner's kit.

Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common and Grippli. The Grippli language is spoken from the throat, and what sounds like a single word to outsiders is often a number of smaller words joined together to create a new one, what would be a complex sentence of multiple distinct words in Common sounds like a single extended word in Grippli. Non-Grippli trying to speak the language often have a noticeable accent.
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Re: Masters of Ioun

Post by Batgirl III » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:32 am

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Re: Masters of Ioun

Post by Batgirl III » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:32 am

Dusar
Overview: An isolated land cut off from the rest of Ioun by water, wind, and xenophobia, Dusar has become an insular land of fishermen, farmers, poets, and mystics.

Before the rise of the Koradan Empire, the Gnomes of Dusar were known for their universities and tradition of rich literature. The best novels, plays, and poems came from Dusar, and were translated into multiple languages across Ioun. When the Empire nearly destroyed Dusar with mass aerial bombings, the nation closed its borders, isolating itself even further from the rest of the world.

Dusar is just now beginning to break through that isolation, unsure of its place in post-Imperial Ioun. Its novelists and scholars are going out into the world, looking for new stories to write. Its universities are opening their doors once more to the nobles of other nations. This is a time of awaken-ing of Dusar.

Physical Area: The island of Dusar covers an area of 971,701 square miles. Of this, 31% (305 thousand sq. miles) is arable land, and 68% (666 thousand sq. miles) is wilderness.

Population: Dusar has a total population of 38 million people, primarily Gnomes, although there is a sizable Human minority.

Settlements: The largest city has a population of 99,741 people, the second largest 49,357. There are eight other cities of note in the kingdom, and more than 160 towns. The Dusar, as a rule, prefer to live in well-ordered communities and isolated homesteads are rare.

Personality: The people of Dusar are fantastically literate; most have volumes of poetry and fiction memorized. Family and family honor are exceptionally important to them, and they will fight to defend either. They respect those of intelligence, education, and civility. The uncouth and illiterate are shunned.

Government: Dusar is ruled by a military dictator, the Shogun, who is the head of the Bakufu composed of representatives of all the nation's leading clans. The Bakufu is notoriously conservative and slow to change. Technically, Dusar has a hereditary Emperess, but she is little more than a figure-head and has been for generations.

Economy: Dusar supports itself through plantation farming and fishing. Its most famous exports are books, plays, and other publications.

Politics: On the international scene, Dusar is as isolated as it was under the Kordan Empire. While some families are cautiously exploring the idea of long-term trade arrangements with Zodanga, the Shogun refuses to officially ally with or against any other nation.

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Exum
Overview: Exum is home to universities and forests, and is equally defined by both. It's a land known for its scholars, philosophers, and artists – as well as its violent revolutionaries.

The nation balances on the brink of civil war. The Serpent-Queens who have ruled it for centuries are losing control, and the revolutionary rhetoric of their enemies is starting to take root in the hearts of the common people. Having been opressed for generations, the Tabaxi have begun to assert their independence. Even with the support of their close ally, Kordan, the queens may not be able to hold back the tide of anarchy to come.

Physical Area: The kingdom of Exum covers an area of 93 thousand square miles. Of this, 29% (27 thousand sq. miles) is arable land, and 70% (66 thousand sq. miles) is wilderness.

Population: The kingdom of Exum has a total population of 3.7 million people.

Settlements: The largest city has a population of 29,166 people, the second largest 17,028. There are four other cities of note in the kingdom, and numerous small farming hamlets. The Human majority of Exum is largely city-dwelling, with the farms and outlying areas predominatly home to the Tabaxi.

Personality: Exumians value intellectual and athletic pursuits, embracing those ideals that feed both the mind and the body. They are a passionate people. Once they attach themselves to a person or idea, they remain firmly committed to it, no matter the price they must pay.

Government: Exum is a feudal, matriarchal society ruled by the six Serpent-Queens and the Yuan-Ti Pureblood aristorcracy. The most powerful of the Serpent-Queens is High Queen Shura, who has no mercy or patience when it comes to those who defy her rule. She is dedicated to seeing the rebellion destroyed.

Economy: Rich in lumber, iron, and energy crystals, Exum is a major supplier of raw materials to the rest of the world—though mostly to Kordan. Its other major industry is education. Exum's universities attract the best, brightest, and richest students from across Ioun. Dusar’s growing interaction with other nations may threaten this in a few decades, but for now Exum remains a center of higher education.

Politics: Exum has been an ally of Kordan since before the Empire was founded. It was the first nation to join the Empire – by choice; it was never conquered — and the last to accept its independence when the Empire collapsed. Theirs is a sym-biotic relationship. Kordan provides the technolo-gy to keep the nobility of Exum in power, and Ex-um provides the raw materials to keep the tech-nology flowing.

Kaol
Overview: The nation of Kaol is covered in lush jungle whose danger is matched only by its beauty. Massive “terror-lizards” stalk the land as both hunter and prey, and tribes of Grippli, frog-men with ape-like intelligence, lurk inside crumbling, waterlogged temples that promise ancient treasures to the bold.

Kaol has been largely ignored by the other free nations until recently, when ioun crystal deposits were discovered here. Now there are foreign expeditions all over, buying up land, setting up mines, and fighting with both the native Grippli and with each other for another taste of crystal wealth.

Physical Area: The jungles of Kaol covers an area of 116,347 square miles.

Population: The exact population of Kaol is unknown and difficult to estimate.

Settlements: The largest Human town has a population of 760 people, the second largest 380. There are no other towns of note in the region. The majority Grippli population lives in numerous small hidden villages, isolated hill-forts, or simply wanders nomadically.

Personality: Because the jungle has always provided everything they need, the Grippli of Kaol have rarely fought wars over natural resources. They tend to take a philosophical, low-key attitude towards life, always looking at things in the long-term. When they do fight, it's to protect their tribes or to acquire something new and unique; the Grippli value the unique over the merely useful.

Government: The Grippli of Kaol are divided into three major tribes and hundreds of smaller tribes. While they have no central government, the three major tribes have established a loose confederacy that negotiates with other nations on Kaol's behalf. The two Human towns are Zodangan colonies.

Economy: Kaol's biggest exports are its natural resources — especially energy crystals. While some of the wealth from the crystal mines ends up in tribal hands, most of it flows back to the foreign companies that established the mines in the first place. Some tribes see this as unfair. The majority take the long view, and don't care as long as their way of life isn't threatened and they can trade for imported manufactured consumer goods when they want to.

Politics: Kaol is technically a protectorate of its neighbor, Zodanga. As such, Zodanga officially maintains the right to approve any foreign investment in Kaol, as well as a claim to a cut of the profits. The other nations – especially Korad – are not pleased with this arrangement, and are not above making “unofficial” arrangements to secure the resources they need without giving Zodanga its due.

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Korad
Overview: Korad is a land of gleaming towers, fabulous wealth, and scientific wonders.

In the previous age, Korad ruled the whole continent, and what are now free nations were mere provinces of the glorious Koradan Empire. Today, Korad is known as the technological center of the world, the source of the newest and most advanced crystal machines. It's a nation driven to succeed, no matter what the cost.

Physical Area: The kingdom of Korad covers an area of 258,709 square miles. Of this, 40% (104 thousand sq. miles) is arable land, and 59% (153 thousand sq. miles) is wilderness.

Population: The kingdom of Korad has a total population of 15 million people.

Settlements: The largest city has a population of 55,000 people, the second largest 27,000. There are eight other cities of note in the kingdom, and twenty-four towns. The remaining population lives in numerous small villages, tiny hamlets, or isolated homesteads.

Personality: Koradans are proud, ambitious profiteers with a twisted sense of honor. While they think nothing of lying or cheating to get ahead, they have the highest respect for both their fami-lies and their workmanship. They respect wealth and education. Those who have accumulated both are counted as true Koradan nobility.

Government: Korad is ruled by a Senate comprised of the nation's wealthiest citizens. The chief military commander and head of state, known as the Consul, is appointed by the Senate. By tradition a Consul is always a former senator and military veteran. Senate seats are not truly hereditary, but since the seats are literally purchased each year, and wealth is hereditary, the seats might as well be too.

Economy: To fuel its insatiable technological output, Korad imports vast amounts of energy crystals, wood, ironglass, and other raw materials from across Ioun. The factories then turn the materials into high-quality goods that are sold across the continent for great profit.

Politics: In its ambitions to establish a new, commercial Empire, Korad finds itself opposed by Zodanga. The two nations have sparred for decades. Sometimes it's with heated words in a palace ballroom; sometimes it’s with proxy armies on the field of some third nation. This cold war between the two defines the politics of Ioun and often forces other regions to align with one nation or the other.

Lothar
Overview: Once a colony of the now-devastated nation of Torquas, Lothar is a relatively young country, only truly settled since the Empire fell. Its founders were religious dissidents who felt that Torquas was too sinful a place to live and needed a land of their own. Lothar is a theocracy, ruled by the Priesthood of Ibis, who frown on the use of crystal machines and encourage their followers to be strong and self-reliant.

Physical Area: The theocracy of Lothar covers an area of 116,347 square miles. Of this, 26% (31 thousand sq. miles) is arable land, and 73% (85 thousand sq. miles) is wilderness.

Population: The theocracy of Lothar has a total population of 4.6 million people.

Settlements: The largest city has a population of 28,350 people, the second largest 16,124. There are two other cities of note in the theocracy, and thirty-six towns. The remaining population lives in numerous small villages or farmsteads.

Personality: Lotharn are as generous as they are stubborn, for it is Ibis' Law that those who have been blessed with much must share with those who have little. This philosophy, along with the resource-poor land and constant threat of mutants from Torquas, has led to the people of Lothar being very close-knit and loyal to one another.

Government: The rulers of the theocracy Priesthood of Ibis. The High Priest rules over all the land, speaking for Ibis and ensuring peace and piety amongst the people.

Economy: In according with its philosophy of self-reliance, Lothar imports very little from outside nations. Its people make do with what farming, fishing, and iron-making the land will support. They do export, however, and their iron goods are found throughout Karthador.

Politics: Lothar is a strong supporter of Torquas, and dedicated to seeing that blasted land restored to its former glory. Zodanga is courting Lothar as an ally, but the theocracy is suspicious of that nation's morality, and leery of allying with ambitious heathens. Lothar has little to do with the other nations, and that's how they like it.

Thark
Overview: Thark is a desert. Its population is mostly solitary Tortles and nomadic Human tribes who support themselves by raising livestock, raiding trade caravans, and producing Thark's signature export: the transparent, sturdy substance known as ironglass. A few Human city-states, the last vestages of the Imperials that once governed the province, claim to govern the whole territory... But the Tortles and the desert tribes pretty much ignore them.

In this land of danger and opportunity, outsiders have a low life expectancy, but those who survive may find themselves wealthier than they ever imagined.

Physical Area: The desert of Thark covers an area of 524,601 thousand square miles. Of this, 8% (51 thousand sq. miles) is arable land, and 92% (482 thousand sq. miles) is wilderness.

Population: Thark has a total population of roughly one million people.

Settlements: The only city has a population of 15,456 people. There are no other cities of note in the land, and only some fourteen small towns. The vast majority of population are nomadic desert tibesmen.

Personality: The people of Thark suffered mightily under the Koradan Empire and are still rebuilding their culture. While the desert tibes want to return to their past as fearsome raiders and warlords, the city-dwellers seek a new destiny as international traders dealing in ironglass, ivory, and stone-silk. The Tortles just want to be left alone. The people of Thark - but Human and Tortle - value courage, honor, and above all, independence.

Government: The Thark are divided into independent tribes, each with its own rulers. An inter-tribal council of elders is the closest thing the nation has to a true central government. The leader of the one city-state in Thark is technically the chief of the city-dweller's tribe and is the closest Thark has to a king.

Economy: Ironglass, ivory, and stone-silk are the nation's top exports. In return, the trade caravans bring back wood, paper, and fruit.

Politics: Thark remains staunchly neutral in its dealings with Zodanga and Korad. Its leaders see the trouble brewing between the two nations, and want nothing to do with it — though they will gladly do business with both sides. There is always conflict – often with bloodshed – between Thark and Kaol as they squabble over the fertile river valley that separates them.

Torquas
Overview: Torquas is a blasted wasteland covered in ruins, infested with monstrous mutants, and populated by scavengers and idealists. It was once a peaceful land of farmers, miners, and fishermen. All that changed when the mysterious black ships arrived from across the northern skies. The ships disgorged invaders with weapons and technology the likes of which had never been seen before. Accompanied by their mutant war-beasts, the in-vaders devastated Torquas. They marched on the rest of the continent, and would have conquered it had not the Free Nations banded together to drive them back.

The invaders are gone, but Torquas has never re-covered. Weird artifacts and hungry mutants still remain from the invasion. Its cities are in ruins. Most of its people have fled, though some have come back to re-settle the land and claim what was once theirs. Others have returned not as set-tlers, but as grave robbers, looters, and thieves. Every day in Torquas is a fight for survival, and every night is a mutant-filled adventure.

Physical Area: The fallen kingdom of Torquas co-vers an area of 195,355 square miles. Of this, 17% (34 thousand sq. miles) is arable land, and 82% (160 thousand sq. miles) is wilderness.

Population: Before the fall, Torquas had a total population of 3.9 million people, now less than 4,000 people live here.

Settlements: The largest town has a population of 974 people, the second largest 537. There are no other towns of note in the kingdom, although ruins abound. The remaining population lives in numerous small villages, isolated dwellings, etc.

Personality: Most of those who once lived in the peaceful nation of Torquas are dead or living in other nations. Those who now call it home are bold, stubborn people driven by their passion for either rebuilding, or scraping every bit of meat from the bones of this fallen giant.

Government: As a virtually uninhabited wasteland, Torquas has no central government. Each settlement has its own laws and government, though they are usually simple and straight forward: the strongest become the leaders and they make the laws. The weak obey or they die.

Economy: The nation offers little in the way of exports, but money does flow in through scaven-gers, mutant hunters, scientists, and others who come to visit. Other nations also help finance new colonies in Torquas, in hopes of profiting from the land's eventual return to productivity.

Politics: The people of Torquas have a close connection to Lothar, which was founded by Torquan expatriates. Zodanga is the largest foreign investor, and has a vested interest in the nation's recovery. In the short term, Torquas has little to offer a potential ally, and remains a minor pawn in the cold war between Korad and Zodanga.

U-Gor
Overview: U-Gor is frozen land of ice and snow. Hardy hunters, vicious raiders, and the remnants of what used to be an Imperial occupying force populate it. While the true natives live in traditional villages designed to survive what cold and blizzards may come, the former Imperial colonies make their homes in heated, domed city-states. Gorn raider tribes eschew both villages and domes, but make their nomadic way through the ice lands on the backs of beasts, sledges, and vehicles cobbled together from ancient Imperial machines and survive by preying on others.

Physical Area: The realm of U-Gor covers an area of 1.9 million square miles. Of this, 18% (352 thousand sq. miles) is arable land, and 81% (1.6 million sq. miles) is wilderness.

Population: U-Gor has a total population of 39 million people.

Settlements: The largest city-state has a population of 87,000 people, the second largest 26,000. There are three other citie-states in the kingdom, and fifteen permanent towns (each of which is a vassal of one of the city-states). The majority population lives in numerous nomadic tribes.

Personality: Gorn are tough, practical people. The only thing they value more highly than physical endurance is loyalty to one's tribe or city-state. They are taciturn and cold to those they don't know well, but unswervingly loyal once they have warmed to someone.

Government: U-Gor has no central government. A council of elders, who may in turn be led by a chief, rules each tribe. The city-states are ruled in the Koradan fashion, with a handful of wealthy families on top and the working masses below. The city-dwellers and the nomads, as a rule, do not trust each other very much... But they trust outsiders even less.

Economy: U-Gor's primary export is remorhaz oil. The remorhaz is an enormous, many legged "snow snake" the Gorn have hunted for centuries. Its blood is used as fuel oil and its blubber rendered into oil for lubrication. Pursuit of this oil led the Empire to invade U-Gor in the first place. In exchange for remorhaz oil, the Gorn import tons of ioun crystals. They need the crystals to power their heater machines, which are more efficient than traditional heating fires.

Politics: U-Gor is politically isolated and largely ignored by the other Free Nations. Exum is its main trading partner, and its ties are more commercial than diplomatic. Korad has ties to some remnant city-states based on their common Imperial heritage. Beyond this, the people of U-Gor are more concerned with surviving the next blizzard or raider attack than joining the other Free Nations in the dance of international politics.

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Zodanga
Overview: Zodanga is a nation in transition. On the one hand, it's a feudal society, divided into landed nobles and working-class commoners. On the other, it's an increasingly industrialized land, filling the coffers of the merchant and manufacturing guilds with more money and power each year. It's a nation where anyone, with enough hard work and ambition, can become great — but you can still be born to greatness as well.

Zodanga is a manufacturing center. While it lacks the technological mastery of its rival Korad, it can produce goods quickly and efficiently, and those goods are sold all across Ioun. It's also known for its terror-lizard ranches, Machinist chapterhouses, and industrial spies.

Physical Area: The kingdom of Zodanga covers an area of 230,967 square miles. Of this, 27% (62 thousand sq. miles) is arable land, and 72% (168 thousand sq. miles) is wilderness.

Population: The kingdom of Zodanga has a total population of 9.2 million people.

Settlements: The largest city has a population of 54,000 people, the second largest 27,000. There are eight other cities of note in the kingdom, and seventy-two towns. The remaining population lives in numerous small villages, tiny hamlets, or isolated homesteads.

Personality: Zodangans value ingenuity, practicality, and ambition. They are endlessly adaptable, always looking for how to turn a setback into an opportunity. Even the nobles of Zodanga em-brace practicality. They have been known to reject the empty traditions of the upper classes in order to better capitalize on the opportunities of the growing middle class.

Government: King Cugel V rules Zodanga. But he is old, and his eldest son, Prince Rhialto, handles most of the day-to-day business. Outside the capital, local dukes and earls rule their fiefdoms as they see fit, so long as they remain loyal to the crown.

Economy: Zodanga is the center of mass production in Ioun. Its assembly lines are always work-ing, manufacturing whatever the rest of the world is demanding this season. Its airships cross the skyways, delivering manufactured goods and pick-ing up more raw materials. As for crystal machines, the guilds prefer merchandise that can be reproduced efficiently in mass quantities, so while the quality of Zodangan goods might not be as good as their counterparts from Korad, more peo-ple can afford to buy them.

Politics: While Zodangans vehemently deny any dreams of conquest, they are always looking for new markets in which to sell their products and from which to buy raw materials. Once they've found such a market, it makes sense to defend it — with soldiers, if necessary, but hopefully just with judiciously-placed bribes, threats, and promises.

This policy has brought Zodanga into conflict with Korad, which is likewise trying to establish a new mercantile presence across the continent.
Last edited by Batgirl III on Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Masters of Ioun

Post by Batgirl III » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:33 am

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Chapter Three: Equipment

Iounian Money
Under the Koradan Empire, the Imperial coin, known as the denarius, was the only currency al-lowed by law. Today, the crown is still the stand-ard currency throughout Ioun, though the locals of each nation might prefer to barter or use local trinkets instead. In Kaol, for example, money means little to most natives, but they will gladly trade you some lizard hides for a music box from Korad.

Iounian Technology
Aside from the use of force ray projectors, the technology level of Ioun is not that different from Earth, circa 1900. Oil is used for heat, light, and to fuel some industrial machines. Sewer systems and running water are common in the cities, though rarer in rural areas. Crystal power is less common than oil, but is also used for heat, light, and to power certain devices – though there is no central "power grid." Rather, a given building will have its own crystal power core, and the power is distributed via thick metal wires.

Ioun lacks any sort of communications technolo-gy. There is no radio or telegraph, much less tele-phone or television. Airships communicate with each other and air docks by way of coded messag-es sent via flashing signal lamps or flying coded flags. By extension, there are no devices for re-cording sounds, images, or other data. While some elder machines may appear to think, there are no "computers" to speak of.

Crystal machines have caused Ioun not to pursue certain branches of science. Chemistry is especial-ly poorly developed and chemical reactions are understood only by a handful of academics. As a result, no nation on Ioun has ever developed gun powder or true firearms.

Iounian Machines
There are three types of gear in Ioun: standard equipment, crystal machines, and elder machines.

Standard Equipment: Standard equipment is a broad category that includes everything that doesn't require energy crystals to operate. Swords, armor, carts, saddles, books — if it doesn't have a power source, it falls under "standard equipment" and can be used by anyone. Standard equipment may be found in the D&D 5e Players' Handbook.

Crystal Machines: Crystal machines include any item that requires ioun crystals to make it func-tion. The most common examples of crystal ma-chines are airships and blaster weapons. Anyone can use crystal machines once they know how ("Push that button to turn on the lights!"), but attempting to figure out an unfamiliar crystal ma-chine, or using one for complicated tasks and/or specific settings ("Decrease the starboard projec-tors by 30 percent!") requires an Arcana skill check. Attempting to repair, disassble, or modify a crysyal machine without the Crystal Machinist Feat inflicts a Disadvantage to the Arcana roll.

Elder Machines: Elder machines are mysterious devices left behind by the Ancients. Few under-stand how they work, and those few are typically highranking members of the Machinist Order. Those without the Crystal Machinist Edge find these devices incomprehensible; they can't even try to repair or modify them, and can only attempt to use them through trial and error.

Elder machines use ancient technology so ad-vanced it might as well be magic. These devices are allegedly able to read a person's mind, create mat-ter, transform living creatures, and open portals to other planets. They're also nigh indestructible and are so incredibly complex that not even those who know how to use them truly understand their in-ner workings.

Force Ray Projectors: The most commonly used crystal machine is the force ray projector. The "force ray" is a beam of pure force used to turn cranks in engines, shoot projectiles, push flying ships into the air, and perform dozens of other tasks.

Depending on its housing and purpose, the ray can be broadened and narrowed, like water from a hose. While broad, it provides a softer, more cush-ioned “wall” of force. While narrow, it is a harder “beam” that can launch projectiles or punch through hard materials. Force ray projectors come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but the most common are a thin cylinder (commonly used in blasters) and large disc (used in airships).

Ioun Crystals
Crystal machines (and most elder machines) are powered by ioun crystals. Each machine has one or more sockets into which the crystals are slot-ted. These sockets range in size from one or two inches up to several feet long, and are connected to their respective machines by metal wires. Ioun crystals must be cut to fit inside their tubes. As a general rule, the more crystal the machine needs (with larger or more numerous sockets), the more powerful it is.

Ioun crystals are found in deposits across the world and mined with picks and shovels. In their natural state, they are roughly rectangular, and vary in shade from white to a pale, colorless, translucence. They are very durable; dropping one on the stone floor won't hurt it, though smashing it with a hammer will eventually crack it, render-ing it useless.

While in use, an ioun crystal glows and heats up, such that touching it may burn unprotected flesh. Eventually, it burns out and turns black. Once a crystal burns out, there is no known way to re-charge it.

Different types of crystal-powered weapons and devices require different types of energy crystals. Utility Crystals are about six inches long and an inch wide, and used in most common devices. Weapon Crystals are smaller (about two inches long) and thinner, and used in handheld weapons. Fuel Crystals are the largest crystals, from 24 to 36 inches long, and are used to power vehicles and household generators. Larger energy crystals ex-ist, but they are much rarer, and often special-ordered for specific devices.

The Marketplace
Standard items (food, clothing, simple tools, etc.) can commonly be found in the public marketplace of any settlement for the listed price. More un-common items (weapons, armor, ioun crystals, etc.) may, at the DM's discretion, require some effort in order to locate the proper vendor. If an item has been imported (such as ironglass from Thark or a bound book from Tjanath), its cost is multiplied by at least two; cost may be as much as four times the listed price if its source is far from the market.

Because of the airship trade routes, local mer-chants can provide items from all over Ioun, not just those produced nearby. Just because these things are available doesn't mean they're inexpen-sive, however. Transportation is costly, and the further an item's had to travel to market, the cost-lier it's likely to be.

The Black Market
There are many kinds of contraband to bought and sold in Ioun. Khat is the most popular con-traband item, since it's commonly available in some areas (Kaol) and highly illegal in others (Tjanath, Korad).

But there are also stolen crystal machine proto-types, smuggled artifacts from Torquas, banned books in Tjanath, slave girls from Exum, small mutants kept as pets by decadent lords, and hun-dreds of other items that are equal parts danger and riches. Finding the black market in a commu-nity requires some effort on behalf of the Player Characters and may be the subject of several ses-sions worth of adventures.

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New Equipment
This section focuses on weapons, vehicles, and other specialized items, which may appear on an adventurer's shopping list. For mundane items, refer to the Dungeons & Dragons core rules. If an item existed in or about the year 1900 C.E. on Earth and is unpowered or could theoretically be powered by an energy crystal, some version of it likely exists somewhere in Ioun, ask your DM.

Force Ray Blasters
Ray Blasters: The basic principle of the ray blaster is to use a concentrated beam of kinetic force to punch holes through the enemy's physical defenses. Blasters don't have ammunition, per se, instead, they are limited by the power of their ioun crystals. It takes a weapon crystal to power a ray blaster, but the technology is still unpredicta-ble, after each shot it takes time for the weapon to re-energize. While re-energizing, a blaster’s energy crystak cannot be replaced.

Scatter Beamer: The scatter beamer fires an ad-justable-width force ray. The shooter can use an action to adjust it to a narrow or wide beam. A weapon set to a narrow beam can makes a normal single-target attack. A wide beam will spray a 10-foot-cube area within normal range with shots. Each creature in the area must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take the weapon's normal damage. A wide beam attack always uses a "shot" from the Weapon Crystal.

Force Cannons: A vehicle-based ray weapon works according to the same principles of its hand-held counterpart. Unlike hand weapons, ray cannons don't have their own ioun crystals but instead are powered by the vehicle's crystal power core. An engineer can adjust the amount of damage a ray cannon does by changing how much power it gets from the core.

Pocket Blaster: This tiny pistol is good for only a single shot. Once fired, the weapon is useless un-til its crystal is replaced. Because of its size, it's very easy to conceal (Disadvantage on Perception rolls to spot) and is often found on diplomats and merchants who want a little insurance against potential attackers.

Projectile Weapons
Slugthrowers: Some force ray weapons are de-signed to hit the enemy not with a ray of force, but with a projectile. The projectile is commonly called a "slug," and the device that launches it is called a "slugthrower." The downside of such weapons is that they require both ammunition (which can run out) and extra energy from the crystals that power them (launching a projectile takes more force than firing the force itself). The upside is that projectiles have a longer range since the beam doesn't have to reach the target, just the slug it launches does.

Slug Cannon: Airships are often protected by shields, which are made from force rays calibrated to cancel out incoming beams. Unless reconfig-ured, they are useless against incoming projec-tiles. This is why some airships are armed with slugthrower cannons, which hurl shells at the enemy, even though those shells do less damage than ray cannons.

Airship Bombs: The early airships were designed as bombers. While such dedicated ships are rare today, most military vessels carry at least a few bombs just in case. These are basically terracotta jars filled with flamable oils used to destroy build-ings and other ground targets. As an action, a character can light this bomb and throw it at a point up to 60 feet away. Each creature within 5 feet of that point must succeed on a DC 12 Dex-terity saving throw or take 3d6 fire damage.

[table]
[tr][td]Martial Ranged [/td][td]Cost [/td][td]Damage [/td][td]Type [/td][td]Weight [/td][td]Properties[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Pistol, Slugthrower [/td][td]200 [/td][td]1d8 [/td][td]Piercing [/td][td]2 lbs. [/td][td]Light, Range 50/150, Loading[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Musket, Slugthrower [/td][td]400 [/td][td]1d12 [/td][td]Piercing [/td][td]6 lbs. [/td][td]Range 80/240, Loading, Two-Handed[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Thark Longrifle [/td][td]750 [/td][td]2d8 [/td][td]Piercing [/td][td]8 lbs [/td][td]Heavy, Range 100/300, Loading, Two-Handed[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Pistol, Ray [/td][td]250 [/td][td]2d4 [/td][td]Force [/td][td]3 lbs. [/td][td]Light, Range 30/90, Reload (6), Re-Energize (1d4)[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Musket, Ray [/td][td]500 [/td][td]3d4 [/td][td]Force [/td][td]8 lbs. [/td][td]Range 40/120, Reload (4), Re-Energize (1d10), Two-Handed[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Scatter Beamer [/td][td]500 [/td][td]2d8 [/td][td]Force [/td][td]7 lbs. [/td][td]Range 30/90, Reload (2), Re-Energize (1d10), Two-Handed[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Pocket Blaster [/td][td]250 [/td][td]1d4 [/td][td]Force [/td][td]1 lbs. [/td][td]Light, Range 50/150[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Special Ranged [/td][td]Cost [/td][td]Damage [/td][td]Type [/td][td]Weight [/td][td]Properties[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Airship Bomb [/td][td]150 [/td][td]3d6 [/td][td]Fire [/td][td]1 lbs. [/td][td]Special[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Ray Cannon [/td][td]2000 [/td][td]8d6 [/td][td]Force [/td][td]80 lbs.[/td][td]Range 160/500, Reload (2), Re-Energize (3d4)[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Slug Cannon [/td][td]1800 [/td][td]5d10 [/td][td]Piercing [/td][td]100 lbs[/td][td]Range 200/600, Loading, Immobile[/td][/tr]
[/table]

Other Ioun Gear
Crystal Clock (100 GP) Every airship needs its own crystal-powered clock to stay on schedule. A clock can run for months on a single general-purpose crystal. Pocket-sized clocks exist, but cost ten times as much.

Khat (1 GP per Dose) A flowering plant native to Kaol and the equatorial jungles, which is said to cause excitement, loss of appetite, and euphoria. The price listed is the purchase price for a single dose of khat. Imbibing the drug (either by chewing it or drinking it in tea) gives the user a sense of euphoria for an hour. While under the influence, the user has Disadvantage to all rolls, but ignores Fatigue. If used too often, khat can be addictive. The price of khat is double or even triple in places where it's illegal.

Force Field Projector (500 GP) This large device projects a semi-opaque wall of force ten feet in front of the projector. The wall is flat surface twenty feet tall, fifty feet wide, made up of ten 10' x 10' panels and is 1/4 inch thick. It can be free floating or resting on a solid surface. Nothing can physically pass through the wall. The wall of force has a AC of 19 and each panel has 27 (5d10) Hit Points. The wall of force has resistence to force damage.

The projector will last for up tp an hour (sixty minutes) on a single fuel crystal, but every activa-tion uses a minimum ten minutes’ worth of charge. The projector itself has an AC of 15 and 4 (1d8) HP. If damaged, but not destroyed outright, the projector will stop working until someone re-sets it with a successful Arcana roll.
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Re: Masters of Ioun

Post by Woodclaw » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:52 pm

I like what I see here, although I'm not sure D&D would be my system of choice to play such a game.
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Re: Masters of Ioun

Post by Batgirl III » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:09 pm

Woodclaw wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:52 pm
I like what I see here, although I'm not sure D&D would be my system of choice to play such a game.
I’m a big believer in “right tool for the job” gaming. Certain genres just plain work better if the game mechanics were designed “from the ground up” to emulate them. However, I firmly believe that low fantasy, sword-and-sorcery, planetary romance works absolutely fine with D&D.

D&D was originally inspired by Conan, Solomon Kane, Lankhmar, and The Dying Earth. Adding a little Barsoom and a dash of Pellicudar to the mix isn’t hard at all.

Now, having said that, I won’t feel insulted at all if someone decides to take my ideas here (which, I will be the first to admit are largely cribbed from other sources) and uses them for some other system.
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Re: Masters of Ioun

Post by Hoid » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:12 am

Religion? I know there’s no magic, but you mention at least one theocracy, so we know religion exists, on this world.

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Re: Masters of Ioun

Post by Batgirl III » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:12 am

Hoid wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:12 am
Religion? I know there’s no magic, but you mention at least one theocracy, so we know religion exists, on this world.
Religions do exist; although I haven’t done an extensive write-up on them yet. Ancestor worship is practiced by the Koradans and was spread by them across the Empire; Lothar is a theocracy ruled by the priesthood of a monotheistic god, Ibis; the various barbaric and tribal groups all have their own shamanic traditions...

Basically, there’s just enough religion around to set up plots, but not so much that I need to worry about a specific cosmology. The DM wants an Evil Cult worshiping the Monkey God? He can put one behind that next hill. A PC wants his Barbarian to swear an oath of vengeance by calling on the God of Fire? Go for it.
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Re: Masters of Ioun

Post by Batgirl III » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:19 am

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Korad in Detail
The warriors of Korad have skill, courage, discipline, and their own peculiar sense of honor; but they are not knights, mere men-at-arms, and while they risk their lives for the safety of their country, they get nothing more from it but the air, the light, and some black bread. They fight, they slay, and are slain, but it is to maintain the luxury and wealth of other men. They style themselves "masters of the world," but in the meantime have not one foot of ground which they could call their own. Absolutely barbaric.
—Karsen Katar, Knight of Zodanga: A Memoir
Overview
Korad once ruled all of Ioun. In the glory days of the Koradan Empire all the other nations were mere provinces, occupied by Koradan troops and dedicated to providing the Koradans the resources they needed to maintain their decadent lifestyle. Those days have been gone for over a century, but Koradans remain proud, nationalistic technocrats with dreams of conquest. Only now, they dream of an economic conquest rather than one forged in fire and blood.

Korad is defined by its technology. It was their mastery of crystal machines that allowed them to conquer Ioun. It was the loss of their monopoly on those things that led to the Empire's fall. And it's their continuous advances in technology that keeps them wealthy and influential in this post-Imperial age.

Brief History
In many ways, the history of Korad is the history of Ioun. In the Time of Darkness, Korad was just another kingdom, striving against its neighbors and trying to get ahead. It wasn't until Zephis discovered the secret of the energy crystals that Korad embraced what its people now consider its destiny.

For centuries, the Empire ruled Ioun, growing ever more corrupt, arrogant, and decadent, until the Machinist Order gave its support to the provinces which rose up against Korad in war. Without its monopoly on technology, Korad quickly lost its hold on the continent.

But even without a monopoly, Korad is still a leader in technology. It has the most advanced science, access to the most scholars, and centuries of experience dealing with elder machines. And while the other nations talk of being free and independent, they have come to rely on Koradan technology for the vehicles, tools, other daily items now deemed necessary.

Korad has folded the local Machinist Order into the government as the Technology Commission in order to ensure that they aren't once more robbed of the crystal machines by another wayward philosophical discussion.

Now, the lords of Korad are focusing on reconquering Ioun through economic means, not military.

The People
The people of Korad are arrogant, ambitious, and power-hungry.

They are ruthless in their pursuit of wealth and power. There is no lie they won't tell, no deal they won't break, no line they won't cross — save one: no Koradan with even a shred of honor will betray his family.

Korad has its aristocracy and its commoners. Aristocratic status is based on one's wealth; a shrewd businessman can buy his way into the upper ranks of society. When an aristocrat can no longer pay his debts, he is stripped of rank and forced into the employment of his debtor. When a commoner can no longer pay his debts, he forfeits even his name and becomes an unpaid slave in the house of his debtor. In the Imperial days, the thought of one Koradan owning another was repugnant — that's what foreigners were for — but those days are long gone.

Korad is a plutocracy, ruled by those with the most money. It's officially run by the Senate, and anyone can buy a seat in an auction held once every two years. But there is a minimum cost for a seat, and it's always bid up far outside the reach of the commoners. Some seats have been in the hands of the same family since before the Empire fell. The Senate, in turn, is led by two Consuls, chosen from amongst the sitting Senators. The two Consuls wield the executive authority and are the overall commanders of the Legions. At present, the consulship is held by the charismatic populist Naevus Pious and his rival the aristocratic Gavius Imperi.

Koradans are the most physically diverse culture in Ioun. Under the Empire, people settled here from all over the continent and, within a few generations, their traits had been added to the mix. Koradan clothing is elegant and lightweight with lots of ventilation, since the climate is warm and humid most of the year. Clothing is very much a symbol of wealth and the nobility wear elaborate, dignified costumes that reflect their status.

Factions
Victorum: There are those who feel that open conflict with Zodanga is inevitable. To that end, Korad should being grooming its allies, arming and training them as necessary, to fight when that day arises. Victorum have no illusions about military conquest of Ioun; they just want to ensure, through force of arms, that their way of life is protected from Zodangan aggression. It's not a coincidence that many of these people also have a stake in the Koradan weapon factories. While the Victorum are represented on the Senate, the most powerful ones have no official government authority. They move behind the scenes, paying off those who need to be convinced, equipping their allies, and undermining their enemies. Consul Gavius Imperi is the leading voice of this faction in the Senate

Solitudo: Opposing the Victorum are those who see the rest of Ioun as chaotic, unstable, and dangerous. In the eyes of these isolationists, Korad is in a fantastic position, with more wealth and technology than any other nation. There is no reason to risk these things in some useless effort to prove its superiority over Zodanga or any other nation. This isn't to say that Korad shouldn't profit from the chaos and instability of the other nations (profit is always good!) but it shouldn't take sides in others' conflicts, or go around starting its own. Zodanga isn't a threat; efforts should be spent to build up Korad, not tear down some perceived enemy. This philosophy has dominated the Senate for a generation, but as the Victorum grow in power, the Solitudo are finding themselves torn between profits and peace. Although Consul Naevus Pious is counted among this faction, the most vocal Solitudo in the Senate is actually a young Seantor named Marcus Optimates.

Zephists: In Korad, the Machinist Order does not officially exist. After the Schism and the Order's "betrayal," the Senate nationalized the Order within Koradan borders and officially made it a department of the government. The self-styled "Zephists" are scientists, philosophers, and others who remain secretly loyal to the Machinist Order. Specifically, they oppose the nationalization of technology and feel it should be shared with everyone. After all, that was the point of the Machinist Order in the first place. These people secretly work to "liberate" Koradan technology and make it available to others. While the Order calls them heroes, the government labels them as traitors for providing state secrets to the enemy; their activities put their freedom and lives at risk. As an outlawed faction, their are no Zephists in the Senate, although they do have a few quiet sympathizers.

Religion
Koradans worship their ancestors, who they believe stand in constant judgment from the afterlife. Just as family honor is most important in life, it remains important in death. They seek their ancestors' guidance at small home shrines, reading smoke and casting lots to receive the wisdom of the dead.

A small segment of the population worships the Ancients as well, which they see as the greatest ancestors of all. They believe the Ancients will return some day from "beyond the stars" and reward those who have been faithful stewards of the elder machines.

Finally, because the Empire pulled its influences from all regions of Ioun, all religions are represented in some form somewhere in Korad.

Economy
Korad is the wealthiest nation in Ioun. Its nobles live in luxury that many can't even dream of. Even its poorest freemen are officially better off than the poor of other nations; death by starvation or exposure is rare, unlike in other nations such as U-Gor or Lothar. Before a person gets to the point of homeless poverty, he is taken into the household of his debtor as a bonded laborer, what others would call a slave. It's not an easy or comfortable life, but at least slaves generally get food and a roof over their heads.

Korad exports the best crystal machines and other technological items. They are the only source of many of these items. It's common knowledge that while Korad lacks the assembly line efficiency of Zodanga, it makes up for it with hand-crafted quality. Korad sends whole fleets of merchant airships across Ioun full of manufactured goods for sale.

To power its massive infrastructure and manufacturing base, Korad imports tons of raw materials. Its appetite for energy crystals, ironglass, oil, metal, and wood are especially voracious, since these are some of the most important ingredients for crystal machines.

Technology
Unsurprisingly, Korad has the most advanced technology amongst the Free Nations. Airships buzz around their twelve-story towers like crystal-powered insects. Every home has electric lights and heat. Their crystal machines are built to last and to be as attractive as they are useful; Koradans value elegance as much as utility.

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Military
The Koradan military is armed with the best weapons, armor, and vehicles in the world. Military airships patrol Koradan airspace and protect its borders. The six Kordan Legions are considered the greatest army in the world, any one of them a match for most nation's entire military. The rulers of Korad are careful to keep their soldiers within their own territories, as they are officially a defensive security force, although longstanding tradition forbids the Legions from entering Korad Aeterna, the Eternal City, itself. While the Koradan military might be the best in Ioun, it's still small enough to be overwhelmed if the rest of the nations turned on them.

With that in mind, it's impolitic to make any aggressive moves without provocation.

Instead, Korad sends military operatives out into the world in small units as spies, assassins, and saboteurs in order to promote Koradan interests in other nations.

The Land
Korad has a pleasant ocean shore to the northeast and the great Palodona River runs through it. Korad is bordered by the Warhoon River to the east, across which its rival Zodanga can be found. To the northwest lies the Great Desert.

The land is pleasant year-round, warm and humid. Its winter is a rainy season and it hasn't snowed here in centuries.

Notable Settlements
Korad Aeterna, the Eternal City: (Population 55,000) Korad Aeterna is the capital of Korad and the largest, most important city in the nation, if not the world. It's home to top nobles, manufacturing company headquarters, and the halls of the Senate itself. It's a city of grandeur, with gleaming ironglass towers, elaborate gardens, and airships flitting about like bees at a hive. It's a city of commerce, elegance and wealth. At the height of the Empire, Korad Aeterna was the pinnacle of Imperial elegance and excess; entire regions were stripped of their resources to beautify its streets and parks.

Ptarth, the Master Port: (Population 27,000) This city serves as home port for the city-ships of Korad. Each massive city-ship is powered by crystal machines and home to hundreds of Koradans. The ships set out for many months at a time, trolling for fish or hunting whales. They return to Ptarth where their catches are sold and the sailors can spend their money on entertainment. These ships are armed against pirates, but their sheer size means they are rarely attacked. There are other fishing and whaling ships here too that operate much closer to the coast, but on nowhere near the scale of the city-ships.

Flora and Fauna
Rope-Dancers: Also known as sugar gliders, these palm-sized marsupials are kept and trained as pets by the nobility. Rumor has it that they can be trained to steal, but it's equally likely that they are naturally inclined to take shiny things that catch their attention. The dancers' original habitat was a chain of islands off the northern coast, but now they are bred in captivity; it's possible there aren't any left in the wild. They are long-lived and grow quite attached to their masters.

Psilocybe: Under the Empire, Koradans kept their slaves pliant by addicting them to the narcotic khat. While the practice still exists, it's much more uncommon now as Koradans have fewer foreign slaves. Today's Koradans prefer psilocybe. The oils found in these varities of mushroom cause a trance-like state and hallucinations in those who consume them. Psilocybe is consumed fresh or dried, by preparing a herbal tea, or by combining with other foods to mask the bitter taste. This can be a pleasant, dream-like experience under the right circumstance and at the right dose. It can also be a living nightmare if used incorrectly. Koradan nobles use it for both, taking the good for themselves and using the bad against their enemies. Wild versions of this mushroom can be found throughout northern Korad, but the most effective strains are grown in special growhouses where the oils are also extracted and processed. These places are always at risk of thieves, since the plants and oils are so valuable. Rival growhouses compete to see whose psilocybe are the best and are not above sabotaging the competition
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Re: Masters of Ioun

Post by Woodclaw » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:30 am

Batgirl III wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:09 pm
Woodclaw wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:52 pm
I like what I see here, although I'm not sure D&D would be my system of choice to play such a game.
I’m a big believer in “right tool for the job” gaming. Certain genres just plain work better if the game mechanics were designed “from the ground up” to emulate them. However, I firmly believe that low fantasy, sword-and-sorcery, planetary romance works absolutely fine with D&D.

D&D was originally inspired by Conan, Solomon Kane, Lankhmar, and The Dying Earth. Adding a little Barsoom and a dash of Pellicudar to the mix isn’t hard at all.

Now, having said that, I won’t feel insulted at all if someone decides to take my ideas here (which, I will be the first to admit are largely cribbed from other sources) and uses them for some other system.
My doubts comes from the fact that D&D now has 7 editions (5 of regular D&D, 2 of AD&D) of magic filled history. I'm aware that the basis are solid and that the original inspiration had much more to do with Sword & Sorcery than Tolkien (heck if Gygax had his way elves and dwarves would have never been part of the deal).
If I look at my library of game the first thing that comes to mind to simulate something in the style you're looking at is probably Cypher System.
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Re: Masters of Ioun

Post by Batgirl III » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:06 am

It's also a question of pragmatism. I can get my current crop of players to "buy in" on a campaign using the D&D rules (even if they've been tweaked quite a bit) than I can to teach them a new system.

Now, let me just pedantically add for the record, that there have been eleven editions of Dungeons & Dragons to date. Twelve if you count the Chainmail wargame. We had the 1974 original white box, then 1977's D&D Basic Set (Holmes version), 1977's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1st Edition), 1981's D&D Basic Set (Moldvay version), 1983's D&D Basic Set (Mentzer version), 1989's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (2nd Edition), 1991's D&D Basic Set (Denning version) and Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia, 1994's The Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game (Stewart version), 2000's Dungeons & Dragons (3rd edition), 2003's Dungeons & Dragons (v3.5), 2008's Dungeons & Dragons (4th edition), 2014's Dungeons & Dragons (5th edition).

My personal favorite is 5th Edition, overall; But I think AD&D2e was the high-point for campaign design and world-building and that the Moldvay-Mentzer-Denning editions got all the best adventure modules. Fourth edition was the low point, but it did have a few things that I liked.
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Re: Masters of Ioun

Post by Woodclaw » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:41 am

Batgirl III wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:06 am
It's also a question of pragmatism. I can get my current crop of players to "buy in" on a campaign using the D&D rules (even if they've been tweaked quite a bit) than I can to teach them a new system.

Now, let me just pedantically add for the record, that there have been eleven editions of Dungeons & Dragons to date. Twelve if you count the Chainmail wargame. We had the 1974 original white box, then 1977's D&D Basic Set (Holmes version), 1977's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1st Edition), 1981's D&D Basic Set (Moldvay version), 1983's D&D Basic Set (Mentzer version), 1989's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (2nd Edition), 1991's D&D Basic Set (Denning version) and Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia, 1994's The Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game (Stewart version), 2000's Dungeons & Dragons (3rd edition), 2003's Dungeons & Dragons (v3.5), 2008's Dungeons & Dragons (4th edition), 2014's Dungeons & Dragons (5th edition).

My personal favorite is 5th Edition, overall; But I think AD&D2e was the high-point for campaign design and world-building and that the Moldvay-Mentzer-Denning editions got all the best adventure modules. Fourth edition was the low point, but it did have a few things that I liked.
This echoes my sentiments as well. Although I would argue that 4th has two merits: it was a really well designed system, which was simply not suited for the purpose (it works great as a boardgame) and it provided the separation needed to implement some of the most radical re-designs of the 5th edition.
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Re: Masters of Ioun

Post by Batgirl III » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:58 am

Fourth Edition’s best feature, for me, was the design choices and layout style they used in their adventure modules. By far the best presentation of information and ease of use I’ve seen in any edition before or since.
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