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  • File : 1323905401.jpg-(17 KB, 380x331, LOTR_Fell076_Uruk-Hai.jpg)
    17 KB OP 12/14/11(Wed)18:30 No.17216945  
    After the Fall Brainstorm Thread!

    Now with more bickering about whether or not orcs can farm!
    Read up on previous epic threads:

    For those just now joining us. It has been 30 years since the last known human died from the plague. It ripped through the landscape laying waste to millions and leaving vibrant cities and kingdoms empty save for corpses. The elves abandoned this world, no one know where they left to. The dwarves locked the iron doors to their mountain halls in the hopes of guarding themselves against the miasma. It didn't take long for the orcs, hobgoblins, dark elves, kobolds, and other monstrous races to take notice and to crawl out of their mountain caves and move in to the now vacated kingdoms.
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)18:33 No.17216975
    Oddly enough that is almost exactly how humans inherited the world in the last setting I made.

    It was Smallpox. It fucked up the humans but it near exterminated the elves.
    >> OP 12/14/11(Wed)18:38 No.17217025
    Now, I recently read through the archived threads and found that there's a lot of interesting ideas being floated about. I want to try and solidify some absolute truths of the setting:

    1.) there was a plague that killed almost all humans. They were hit the hardest and can now be cataloged as an extinct species. There is a possibility that there are survivors (this could be your campaign) but for all intents and purposes the human race is no more. Half-Elves were also hit hard, their half-human genes opening them up to the disease.

    2.) The elves packed up and left. No one knows how or why or where. Maybe it was like the apocalypse and they were whisked away to heaven. Maybe they are on another plane, or another continent, or another world. It doesn't matter. They are no longer here. There is a possibility that one or two elves remained (either by choice or because they didn't even know their brethren left) but this is rare.

    3.) The halflings were crushed, killed, or enslaved. They have been absorbed by the populaces of other races.

    4.) No one is really sure what happened to the gnomes. In some lands, they use their magic to hide and carry out guerilla warfare against the orcs/goblins.

    5.) The dwarves locked themselves in their halls. These vaults are sealed and it is unlikely they will open again.

    6.) Most importantly, there are a lot of theories about the plague, where it came from and why it struck. But each one is as valid as the other. Was it the dying breath of a god? Did the god of plagues kill the god of humanity? Was it a blessing from the Almighty Crimson God to his Kobold worshipers? Was it the works of some lich? Was it just a disease? The question is more important than the answer here. For many campaigns you might find the proof to different answers.
    >> OP 12/14/11(Wed)18:41 No.17217058
    An idea on the goblinoid races:

    The cruelfang pact binds the fates of the goblinoid tribes. They are a massive horde of small tribes who serve the cruelfang council, which represents the interests of each of the four races. Goblins are primal and gleefully bloodthirsty. Alone, they are cowardly, but with the strength of the cruelfang horde at their backs, they have grown more hungry for war. Hobgoblins are generally the smartest and best organized of all the tribes. Unfortunately, they are outnumbered by the rest of the horde 6 to 1. They are the smallest faction of pact, but their voice has weight behind it. The bugbears are the strongest but dumbest of all the factions. They are followers not leaders on the whole and their alliances are easily bought. The orcs are the largest faction making up 3/4s of the alliance.

    Hopefully this helps to handle the complaint that orcs would collapse on themselves or that orcs would never learn how to farm. The cruelfang pact requires these races to work together, But it is also a point of contention. Each faction believes they should rule over the others instead of having an equal voice.
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)18:41 No.17217066
    Hobgoblins inherit the earth. Organised, fecund, and able: by rights, they should be giving humans a run for their money in most settings. Now the main competition is gone.
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)18:43 No.17217097
    I rather like the idea of this setting, but I'd prefer to implement it in such a way where the humans are still around, just in absolutely puny numbers. In my mind, isolated groups of humans might have survived the end-times, being so utterly out-of-the way that the disease, which mainly was aimed at the great kingdoms of humanity, largely passed them by. Most of the villages would still be wiped out, but mainly because of refugees that passed through, bringing the plague with them. therefore, a few smaller towns might have made it, and have kept themselves secure by either getting paranoid (shooting everything that moves) or hiding (going underground, to where other survivors won't try to look for them, and only occasionally hitting up the surface world for the important stuff, like medicine or weapons or arcane scrolls).

    The problem starts when these surviving humans take a look at what's become of the surface world that they abandoned. To their dismay, the humans find their towns taken over by the 'Forces of Evil,' with Orc tribes running rampant through the empty countryside and kobolds and gnolls and whatnot taking over whatever they feel like taking over. Essentially, these humans survive, but only so that they can see the destruction of all the things that their species created and made great.

    I think that playing a human explorer (essentially an arcane S.T.A.L.K.E.R., who was fortunate enough to be in the negligibly small group of people who are totally immune to the plague) who as to band up with a team of 'lesser races' would serve as a pretty nice setup for the campaign- maybe he's contracting out these Orcs and others so they can help him go to his family's old home and gather some of their heirlooms, that his parents had left behind when they fled their homeland.
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)18:45 No.17217118
    Wait... what? Why would the hobgoblins go in for that? Even if they're massively outnumbered by the orcs, they're still better off playing that old human game of tacking between the long-lived magic people (dark elves) and the short-lived morons (orcs).
    >> OP 12/14/11(Wed)18:48 No.17217150
    What I like about the setting is that you can absolutely do this. My main focus has been 30 years after the plague struck, and these monstrous races (drow, kobolds, goblinoids) are just now beginning to gain a foothold in a world that was dominated by humans. You could EASILY set your campaign 2 years or 4 years after the plague struck and have it be about a small group of survivors. What I like about the story behind the game is that ultimately it is about the people. You're not fighting a god, or dealing with a spellplague, the big catastrophe already happened and there was nothing anyone could do. This is all about those who survived in a world that has completely changed in a fundamental way, a way that Faerun really didn't change in 4th edition. Their catastrophe happened 100 years ago, so there was no shell shocked survivors, it was old news.
    >> OP 12/14/11(Wed)18:53 No.17217193
    The hobgoblin chieftains would totally be down for this because it was their idea. Here, laying before them, is the easiest conquest in the history of Hobgoblin kind. Fertile land, cities, treasure all laying naked before them. The only problem is that with their numbers, they could hold one city at best, or a few castles. They realize they need an army, thus they turn to their weaker cousins. Why waste energy and hobgoblins fighting them when their friendship is bought so cheaply?

    The Hobgoblins knew they could work this pact in such a way that they will always be on top. They will always be the generals or the captains leading orcs, goblins, and bugbears into battle. With this massive horde at their back they can now take over a huge swathe of the north and not even the Dark Elves can stand against them.
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)18:54 No.17217217
    And there's no way they'd ally themselves with the dark elves. A pact with the dark elves is not a win-win scenario. The Hobgoblins are playing the long game here.
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)18:59 No.17217270
    They know that this plan didn't work against the humans. The "grand army of greenskins" has fatal weaknesses. The main one being cohesion, as the orcs have quaint ideas about physical might being equivalent to leadership. Also, who is this army meant to fight? The empty fields?

    So, I can buy the pact as a temporary measure to avoid fighting the other savage peoples, but it can't be more than that. The hobgoblins will play grey eminence while they can, but this is only to avoid the orcs uniting against them.

    Also, the logistics of ruling an empire that large are mind-boggling. I think, rather than one big league, there would be multiple local solutions. The Pact is one option for one location.
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)19:01 No.17217285
    Dark elves can be relied upon to self-destruct. No matter what their listed intelligence score, they're still Chaotic Stupid.
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)19:05 No.17217326
    Good idea. I think one thing fantasy settings get bogged down in huge empires. I think this setting would be better off with several small regions (we're talking small, like a city-state) where monstrous races have taken roost. I think I'll reserve the pact for a small area where a few tribes have banded together.

    Personally I think with the world wide open and so many small factions building themselves that no one group would be able to take over because everyone is still so focused on forging their own kingdoms.

    The campaign would really revolve around groups of adventurers digging through long lost human castles, wizard towers, etc. and trying to find human magic. What other kinds of races should we involve? So far I have some plans for Dark Elves, Kobolds, Goblinoids... what else...
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)19:06 No.17217342
    What about Lizardmen.

    Might be cool if the disappearance of humans brings forth a resurgence of Lizardmen culture.

    Mind you, I always use Lizardmen in a Warhammer fashion, ancient magitech empires from before Elves even existed that fought shit no one hasn't heard about for millions of years.

    Can lead to interesting events, like the PC's stumbling on a Lizardmen warhost looking for an item that was stolen from them ages ago by human explorers.
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)19:09 No.17217373
         File1323907770.jpg-(25 KB, 500x628, bela_lugosi_8.jpg)
    25 KB
    The adventurer thing is most important, to me. I can see a Moldvay style Hobgoblin (Cleric, Fighter, Magic-User, Thief), Orc, Goblin, umm.... Dark Elf as last option? That maps really closely to the Red Book's 7.

    As for other factions? Pic related.
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)19:12 No.17217393
    Also - alignment. Most of the traditionally "good" (if you want to call them that) races have been removed, and what's left are what those bastards used to call "evil". Seems like Law, Neutrality, Chaos are the most relevant factors left.
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)19:15 No.17217417
    Aboleth + Skum + Gillmen

    Demons + Tieflings
    Kobolds + Dragons
    Dark Elves
    Liches, Vampires, and other Undead dhampir
    The Ogre Kings
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)19:20 No.17217479
    Continuing to think out loud, let's try breaking the races down by alignment.

    Kobolds (*)

    Orcs (*)

    Dark Elves
    Various aberrant nightmares (Aboleth, Mind Flayers, etc.)

    (*) Honestly, I think the wee fellows have it in them to co-operate and build. That might bump them up to full PC race status, perhaps taking the "elf" slot instead of dark elves.
    (**) Let's say that, with the humans gone and plentiful land for living a noble hunter-gatherer existence, the orcs are a bit more "the strong shall survive" and a bit less "hulk smash".
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)19:26 No.17217530
    >Gruumsk saw his arces, and saw that they were dead. His eyes turned to the fields of Zargob, and Gruumsk saw that his land were teeming with life. Gruumsk desired Zargob's land, and and challenged him for it. Gruumsk won, and Zargob payed with his life.

    Thinking of how Orcish farming would be. Probably a lot of challenging neigbouring farms in ritual combat of varying degrees of risk of injury/death to get more land.
    >> OP HERE Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)19:26 No.17217533
    See, I agree with you man on the idea that orcs are smarter than we give them credit. Read through those other threads, and it descends into a pissing match pretty quick all about how Orcs could never learn how to farm. Shit's dumb.

    Now I think that breaking them down by alignment is useful, but I feel that there's no reason almost any of them can't work together towards the same goal. They all want to get Human magicks and sell them. They have the same sort of motivations as any other team of adventurers. Get rich and kill shit.
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)19:32 No.17217595
    Most of the chaotic types are unsuitable adventuring buddies because they can't co-operate. The neutrals you can kinda work things out with (so long as everybody makes sure not to rub orc's honor the wrong way, and the goblin isn't allowed to hold the party finances). But a dark elf will poison you all on the last night out of town because 100% is his favourite percentage of the treasure.

    One might deal with dark elf wizards due to their collection of neat toys, but that's an occasional occupational hazard.
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)19:55 No.17217792
    have you seen Walking Dead? Here are people who are so unbelievably different yet they set their differences aside to survive. We have a white supremest and a black guy having to work together. There's no reason, in my book, why these monster races couldn't do it.
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)20:15 No.17217942
    An orc and a dark elf are less alike than the two most different humans you can find. Your argument is unsound.

    More constructively, I find myself wondering if orc tribes even hold together. In order for this setting to be a live proposal, orcs have to be understood in a sympathetic light (but one that still makes sense of their familiar behavior).

    So, how about orcs as non-conformists? Your ordinary orc does not respect authority. If someone tells him to do something, he says, "Make me". And if someone tells him to make them do something, he bashes them. When you're living in close quarters, on marginal land, and trying to get by with bands of knights trying to hunt you to extinction, this leads to the brutal orc society we know.

    Open the frontier and remove the oppressors, and anyone down the pecking order can say, "Fuck you, I'm off to do my own thing." So rather than big tribes of orcs, you have big "peoples" of orcs, loosely related and living in dispersed bands or family groups. The standard way of life is herding livestock, because being able to see in the dark makes dealing with nocturnal predators much easier. Now, if there is a more organized problem, like dark elf slavers, perhaps those small bands temporarily unite, but otherwise they're separate.

    Doing their own thing.
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)21:19 No.17218508
    Let's talk about hobgoblins.

    To a hobgoblin, the individual is nothing and the group is everything. It's not that they automatically respect authority (they're happy to question or assassinate leaders who are inept), but that they simply don't think that the life or happiness of a single person means very much at all. What matters is the success of the many.

    After the humans fell, the hobgoblins went for their cities, and rebuilt them. The armories and fortifications were repaired and expanded. Broken-down shacks were dismantled and solid, functional tenements were built to replace them. Gangs volunteered to start operating extractive industry in the nearby provinces - farming, lumbering, and mining. The docks became a hive of activity. Libraries were collated, searched for important information, and great academic works (including treatises on magic) were carefully copied. Gymnasiums were re-purposed or built for raising, educating and training new generations.

    And humanity's artwork was casually destroyed or melted down in the process.
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)21:22 No.17218528
    There aren't many hobgoblin cities, but they're impressive affairs. Ukul-Tahl (literally, 'mouth home', or, at the far end of hobgoblin figurative speech, 'river end city') is the largest, counting half a million citizens in its last census. At the right time of year, thousands of orc herdsmen can be found bringing their stock to market, and there are always goblin merchants bringing in leather and cured meat from the provinces. Great barges deliver coal and iron ore from up-river every day: Ukul-Tahl buys its flesh with steel. Most curiously, Ukul-Tahl has no standing army. Instead, each of its Work Sections maintains an arsenal and takes weapon drill every week. In a regular war, the city could theoretically call one-fifth of its population to arms, with that number again available as a reserve - but this would totally disrupt its industry. Not that the city is under any threat. On the contrary, Ukul-Tahl's Tribunals, from the Work Sections up to the Chief Tribunal, have begun to buzz with talk of establishing new colonies...
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)21:53 No.17218888
    There aren't any goblin cities. When goblin gangs made it to depopulated human settlements, they took the currency, cackled that they were "Rich! Rich at last!" and then took off to spend their ill-gotten loot.

    But there wasn't anywhere to spend it.

    A lot of goblins perished due to the upheaval. They'd survived for a long time on the fringe of human society, stealing one day, toadying the next, never producing their own means of subsistence. Those that survived - generally, the smartest and sneakiest of that devious people - adapted to their new circumstances and set themselves up as middlemen. Nobody trusts a goblin, but nobody fears him either. That quality allows the goblins to buy meat and leather from orc herders, manufactured goods from hobgoblin cities, dried fish and rare plants from the lizardmen, gems and precious metal from the kobolds, and, of course, magical objects from the dark elves - and to take a cut at every turn.

    Not all goblins are itinerant merchants, of course. Many run fortified inns on the roads, mainly built for the comfort of their own people but open to any civilized being with coin in his pocket. Others have set themselves up as permanent factors in the settlements of other peoples, running warehouses and stores filled with exotic goods. Quite a few are adventurers.
    >> Anonymous 12/14/11(Wed)22:20 No.17219227
    Ah, the kobolds. Unlike other races, they heard about the end of the humans and shrugged their shoulders. Didn't mean anything to them - caves are the best place to live anyway! But the dwarves shutting up shop, and the general volkswanderung from the underdark meant a lot of extra elbow room. Combine that with big families and short lifespans, and a veritable kobold renaissance has begun.

    The kobold holds are caverns of individuality. Nothing says this so much as their produce. While hobgoblin manufactures are of an even, dependable standard, kobold artisans turn out some real wonders and some utter dogs, too. (The goblin expression, "kobold goods" translates roughly to "mixed bag".) But surface-dwellers have also come to recognize the 'new kobolds', proud warrior-mystics who wander the surface seeking enlightenment under the sun...
    >> Anonymous 12/15/11(Thu)00:18 No.17220728
    What of the dark elves? Precious little has been said about them. They came up from the earth and settled in their ancient courts, pausing only to eradicate the abandoned pets of their cousins. Many believe that this marks the beginning of a degeneration of that haughty line.

    But the dark elves would be nothing without their secrets. They may spend years hunting for halfling house slaves, but the decades are for preparing to fight against the returning elven court. And so they pay their agents among the savage humanoids to bring them artifacts and mysteries, or barter the same from undead sorcerers.

    Two centuries is not really that long a time, after all, and three decades have gone by already...

    (Hence, generic adventure hook: a dark elf, or his goblin intermediary, hires your party to retrieve a magical trinket. You get the map, the right to loot the place, and will be rewarded further if you actually deliver the item.)

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