Castellia- A Fantasy Setting (Diglett! Voltorb! Magneton! Oni! Electabuzz!)

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Batgirl III
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Re: Castellia- A Fantasy Setting (Nymphs! Wyverns! Pegasi! Unicorns!)

Post by Batgirl III » Wed May 30, 2018 8:47 pm

Woodclaw wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 9:03 am
And this pretty much the monster that made me stop and reconsider about "flavoured monsters", the Criosphinx is the kind of monster that might work well for a single outing, but completely fall apart in any kind of complex setting.
This is one of the things that I really loved about Birthright, it had goblins and griffons, sure, but the more outrageously alien monsters or the more powerful monsters were not whole species, but singular entities. Known as awnsheglien or abominations, the general trend was to take a single D&D monster, dial it up to 11, and turn it into a “Big Bad Boss Monster.” There was The Gorgon, The Spider, The Sphinx, The Hydra, and so forth.
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Re: Castellia- A Fantasy Setting (Nymphs! Wyverns! Pegasi! Unicorns!)

Post by Woodclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 9:02 pm

Batgirl III wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 8:47 pm
Woodclaw wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 9:03 am
And this pretty much the monster that made me stop and reconsider about "flavoured monsters", the Criosphinx is the kind of monster that might work well for a single outing, but completely fall apart in any kind of complex setting.
This is one of the things that I really loved about Birthright, it had goblins and griffons, sure, but the more outrageously alien monsters or the more powerful monsters were not whole species, but singular entities. Known as awnsheglien or abominations, the general trend was to take a single D&D monster, dial it up to 11, and turn it into a “Big Bad Boss Monster.” There was The Gorgon, The Spider, The Sphinx, The Hydra, and so forth.
Ditto. Birthright is still one of top three D&D settings.
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Re: Castellia- A Fantasy Setting (Nymphs! Wyverns! Pegasi! Unicorns!)

Post by Jabroniville » Thu May 31, 2018 7:20 am

Woodclaw wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 9:02 pm
Batgirl III wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 8:47 pm
Woodclaw wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 9:03 am
And this pretty much the monster that made me stop and reconsider about "flavoured monsters", the Criosphinx is the kind of monster that might work well for a single outing, but completely fall apart in any kind of complex setting.
This is one of the things that I really loved about Birthright, it had goblins and griffons, sure, but the more outrageously alien monsters or the more powerful monsters were not whole species, but singular entities. Known as awnsheglien or abominations, the general trend was to take a single D&D monster, dial it up to 11, and turn it into a “Big Bad Boss Monster.” There was The Gorgon, The Spider, The Sphinx, The Hydra, and so forth.
Ditto. Birthright is still one of top three D&D settings.
Huh- interesting. I've literally never heard of it. So it's almost more of a "Campaign World" than a "Play your party" kind of game?

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Re: Castellia- A Fantasy Setting (Nymphs! Wyverns! Pegasi! Unicorns!)

Post by MacynSnow » Thu May 31, 2018 8:01 am

Jabroniville wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 7:20 am
Woodclaw wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 9:02 pm
Batgirl III wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 8:47 pm


This is one of the things that I really loved about Birthright, it had goblins and griffons, sure, but the more outrageously alien monsters or the more powerful monsters were not whole species, but singular entities. Known as awnsheglien or abominations, the general trend was to take a single D&D monster, dial it up to 11, and turn it into a “Big Bad Boss Monster.” There was The Gorgon, The Spider, The Sphinx, The Hydra, and so forth.
Ditto. Birthright is still one of top three D&D settings.
Huh- interesting. I've literally never heard of it. So it's almost more of a "Campaign World" than a "Play your party" kind of game?
Birthright is basically the love child of Game Of Thrones and The Hobbit.It's a low-Fantasy campaign setting for AD&D 2e,though you can run it in any D&D system by just removing and replacing the stat blocks.Honestly,i 'm not a big fan(i perfer Al Qadim myself.)...

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Re: Castellia- A Fantasy Setting (Nymphs! Wyverns! Pegasi! Unicorns!)

Post by Batgirl III » Thu May 31, 2018 3:14 pm

Birthright actually debuted as a campaign setting in the summer 1995, with the first novel tie-in Simon Hawke’s The Iron Throne released in November of ‘95. A Game of Thrones, the first book in Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ saga, wasn’t released until August, 1996. The two works definitely share a lot of themes: low-fantasy, very medieval european focused, magic-lite settings that focus on politics, rulership, and the lives of nobility and aristocracy more than sword-swinging adventurers... But it’s very unfair to say one is inspired by (or ripping off) the other. Convergent evolution does happen.

The initial Birthright boxed set won the Origins Award for New Role-Playing Supplement in 1995. It’s by far my favorite official D&D world, both for traditional “rag-tag party of adventurers” games and for the more standard (for this setting) “court of the king” domain rulership campaigns. It has been out of print since AD&D2e ended, but if you find a copy grab it! (WotC also sells PDFs of much (but not all) of the old AD&D2E supplements.)

Simon Hawke’s novel, incidentally, is one of my favorite fantasy novels (yes, the whole fantasy genre, not just D&D tie-in media). If you can find a copy, grab it.
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Re: Castellia- A Fantasy Setting (Nymphs! Wyverns! Pegasi! Unicorns!)

Post by Davies » Thu May 31, 2018 3:23 pm

It was a valiant but sadly foredoomed attempt to bring back into focus the kingdom-building and mass combat themes that had been part of D&D from the very beginning, making them things you could do even at starting levels. Gave halflings some decidedly non-Tolkien elements, too.

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Sea Lion

Post by Jabroniville » Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:27 am

Image

SEA LION
Role:
The King of the Jungle, er, Water
PL 8 (92)- Minion Rank 7, Sidekick Rank 19
Normal Version:
PL 6-7
STRENGTH 6 STAMINA 7 AGILITY 3
FIGHTING 7 DEXTERITY 0
INTELLIGENCE -4 AWARENESS 1 PRESENCE -2

Skills:
Acrobatics 2 (+5)
Athletics 2 (+8)
Expertise (Survival) 5 (+6)
Intimidation 12 (+10 Size)
Perception 8 (+9)
Stealth 3 (+6)

Advantages:
Accurate Attack, All-Out Attack, Chokehold, Diehard, Extraordinary Effort, Fast Grab, Fearless, Improved Critical (Natural Weapons) 3, Improved Hold, Improved Initiative, Prone Fighting, Ultimate Intimidation Check

Powers:
"Animal Senses" Senses 5 (Low-Light Vision, Acute & Extended Scent, Extended & Ultra-Hearing) [5]
Swimming 4 [4]
Immunity 2 (Drowning, Pressure) [2]
"Natural Weapons- Claws & Teeth" Strength-Damage +2 [2]

"Cat Agility" Leaping 1 (15 feet) [1]
"Lion's Mane" Features 2: +4 to Resist Choking Grapples or Neck-Bites [2]
"Natural Size" Growth 1 (Str & Sta +1, +1 Mass, +0 Intimidation, -0 Dodge/Parry, -1 Stealth) -- (8 feet) (Feats: Innate) (Extras: Permanent +0) [3]

Offense:
Unarmed +7 (+6 Damage, DC 21)
Claws & Teeth +7 (+8 Damage, DC 23)
Initiative +7

Defenses:
Dodge +7 (DC 17), Parry +8 (DC 18), Toughness +7, Fortitude +9, Will +6

Complications:
Disabled (Animal)- Cats cannot speak to humans, nor use their paws to easily manipulate objects.
Rivalry (Other Males)- Being King is nice, but every single other dude in the proximity wants to nail you girlfriends, and will fight you to do it. It's a constant struggle to keep your own genes going, and most males only rule for 2-3 years.

Total: Abilities: 32 / Skills: 32--16 / Advantages: 13 / Powers: 19 / Defenses: 12 (92)

-Incorrectly referred to as "Sea Lions" in areas without actual pinnipeds, the Sea Lion or Sea Cat is a bizarre amalgamation of feline and fish. Scaled and sporting a long, finned tail, the creature also has a man and catlike jaws & teeth. The true origins of the creatures are due to mystical modification created by Sea Nymphs from generations prior- they modified imported lions into being seaworthy creatures, enabling them to act as guardians and defenders of their seaside homes. The plan worked out almost too well, as the creatures readily spread around, despite being much less capable swimmers than most aquatic predators. Typically, actual pinnipeds would have out-hunted them, but the two do not intersect territories, and they are more coastal than most sharks (though the two have been known to class). Some Aquatic Druids & Rangers take Sea Lions as Animal Companions, as they are capable on land and water, though slightly worse off than any specialist.

Jab's Notes: Something people ALWAYS make fun of when they see it, the "Sea Lion" seems to have come from someone who doesn't know that actual sea lions are real animals. A later version (and some earlier, I believe) referred to the beast as a "Sea Cat".

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Re: Castellia- A Fantasy Setting (Wyverns! Pegasi! Unicorns! Sphinxes!)

Post by Davies » Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:17 am

Actually, I believe that the mix of lion and fish as a sea lion is a heraldic beast, something that shows up on coats of arms. There are also sea-horses, sea-dogs, and sea-wolves.

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Re: Castellia- A Fantasy Setting (Wyverns! Pegasi! Unicorns! Sphinxes!)

Post by Batgirl III » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:07 am

The sea-lion as a heraldic charge is an old one, showing up in historic rolls of arms almost from the very start. Some historians think it might have started as a result of marshaling, combining two coats of arms into one, ending up with a fish half and a lion half. But the general consensus today is that it shows up as a complete charge so early in the history of heraldry, in such detail, and with such distinct attributes, common attitudes, etc. that it must have been a commonly known beasty from folklore. Like dragons, mermaids, lions, and hippocampi.

It’s most commonly found in today in civic heraldry (i.e., flags, seals, and government office logos) in the Philippines. Where it started as a play on the traditional arms of Léon (a lion) and being overseas colonies. A lion over seas, giddit?

Image
The official seal of the city of Manila, Philippines.

Image
The official seal of the city of Windsor, Ontario.
Last edited by Batgirl III on Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Castellia- A Fantasy Setting (Wyverns! Pegasi! Unicorns! Sphinxes!)

Post by Jabroniville » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:21 pm

Oh, neat. As you might imagine, typing "Sea lion" into a search engine is gonna usually just show you pinniped-related stuff, so I didn't find anything notable. Wikipedia doesn't mention the origins of the D&D thing, either. Typing "origins of D&D sea lion" into Google also does nothing. You'd almost have to know about the heraldry ahead of time in order to get that information at all.

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Batgirl III
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Re: Castellia- A Fantasy Setting (Wyverns! Pegasi! Unicorns! Sphinxes!)

Post by Batgirl III » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:08 pm

I’ve been into heraldry since I was a knee-high to a batarang. Even before I started playing D&D, I’d been fascinated by knights and medieval whatnots as long as I can remember... With heraldry being perhaps my favorite sub-subject within that area.

I’m working to become an official Herald for my local SCA Barony.
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Re: Castellia- A Fantasy Setting (Wyverns! Pegasi! Unicorns! Sphinxes!)

Post by Davies » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:13 pm

The Manila one (which is no doubt a thrilla) isn't showing up.

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Re: Castellia- A Fantasy Setting (Wyverns! Pegasi! Unicorns! Sphinxes!)

Post by Batgirl III » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:42 pm

Davies wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:13 pm
The Manila one (which is no doubt a thrilla) isn't showing up.
Should be fixed now.
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Re: Castellia- A Fantasy Setting (Wyverns! Pegasi! Unicorns! Sphinxes!)

Post by Davies » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:57 pm

Yep.

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Re: Castellia- A Fantasy Setting (Wyverns! Pegasi! Unicorns! Sphinxes!)

Post by Jabroniville » Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Yeah, Heraldry is a cool subject- I included a lot of it in the Gallean society, noted here. I didn't see any Sea-Lions, but I ramped it up to the nines thanks to the Fantasy world, so now kingdoms have Dinosaurs and stuff on their heraldry, making it a thousand times more awesome :).

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