Ovog meseca, tačnije 26. januara, navršava se 40 godina od zvaničnog nastanka igre popularno znane kao Dungeons & Dragons. D&D je tokom tih 40 godina imao nekoliko reinkarnacija a najnovija, premda strogo uzevši nezvanična, čak ni ne nosi robnu marku D&D, već se igračima širom sveta prodaje kao Pathfinder.
Nekako se namestilo da će 2014. biti godina kada ću konačno početi novu veliku kampanju u svom homebrew svetu, na kojoj radim od 2009. godine. Jedan od najvažnijih koraka bio je sistematizacija pravila i prilagođavanje tih pravila priči koju želim da ispričam. Iako će igra u osnovi koristiti Pathfinder, rase i klase - a bogami i koješta nešto drugo - biće u najvećoj mogućoj meri prilagođene svetu u kojem će se igra odvijati i priči koju želim da pričam.
Za početak, ljudi (Humans) biće podeljeni u tri podrase i ta podela će igrati veoma veliku ulogu. U ovom postu predstavljam jednu od tih podrasa - Borderlanders (da ne kažem, Krajišnike):
Borderlands is a collective name for five countries that border Cursed Crags to the north and Midland region to the south, stretching from the northern parts of Elven Great Kingdom in the west to Krakenrift in the east. From west to east those countries are: La, Varingia, Tharoth, Movria and Rascia. Some even include the large island-nation of Thule, located off the Rascian coast, as part of Borderlands. It is certainly inhabited by people of similar stock and race. In fact, all Borderlanders come from the same breeding stock that ancient Masters have used to create their workers and soldiers, so they are very similar not only in physical quailities but in their mentality and customs as well.
Physical Qualities: Most Borderlander are similar in build and physical traits vary only slightly in different countries. Borderlanders are big and tall, with broad shoulders and long limbs. They have pale skin and usually green or blue eyes. Their hair ranges from white to light brown and gold. Red hair is rare, but sometimes girls are born with almost crimson hair, and when that happens they are almost always consecrated to Morrigu, Red Hag of Battles. Most Borderlanders wear their hair long. Males almost always have beards, except in La, and women frequently wear their hair in braids.
Everyday Life: Borderlanders were created to serve as tireless workers and slave soldiers and that attitude is evident even after all the aeons that’ve passed since the Masters were defeated. Of course, harsh environment of Cursed Crags additionaly shaped them into what they are today. Borderlander are insular and slow to make friends. In the south they have a reputation as hard-bitten fearsome warriors of dour mien and unforgiving personality. That is balanced by their notion of kinship that encopases entire clans, who consider themselves to be essentially large families. One Imperial traveler observed that Borderlanders have either enemies or bloodbrothers, and that observetion has more than a grain of truth. Once their friendship is given, it is considered to be sacred. Although often fatalistic, Borderlander are known to celebrate with wild abandon even the simplest events in life.
Borderlanders have harsh concept of honor. Killing is considered to be lesser crime than thieving and lying. Only crime punishable by death is rape. Lesser crimes are balanced by gold or by working to repay the debth, and perpetrator is sometimes tattoed to denounce him as criminal. Each Borderland nation has its own customs, and it can be said that the same goes for every village in the Borderlands.
Most Borderlanders do not belong to Mithric religion. Instead, they worship spirits. Varyag customs considering spirits can be taken as Borderlander norm.
Varyags have a saying: Lords are far away, but the spirits are always near. Spirits are at the very center of Varyag everyday life. They believe that spirits are present in all things, including animals and household objects and that there are many kinds of spirits, from individual spirits to those of places, buildings and mountains and collective spirits such as the spirits of villages or battlefields.
In general, they divide the spirits in 3 categories: Great Spirits, Lesser and Least Spirits. Great Spirits are very rare and not all of them are known. In addition to spirit protectors of major septs – Father Wolf, Old Bear, Tiger of Winter and Fox the Trickster – they respect Great Raven, Queen of Crows (who often takes human shape) and Grandfather Oak as well.
Grandfather Oak is at the center of Varyag belief in what happens to them after death. They believe that their spirits become one with the trees, although not as a collective spirit being, such as the Whisper of Elven Forest, but individual trees that are suited to their personalities. Each Varyag family takes care of a small stand of trees that are never harmed. Their beloved dead are burned and then their ashes are poured into a hole in the ground where the sapling is planted. Most Varyag make their wishes known about the type of tree they would like to be planted in their ashes.
Trees are the center of Varyag villages as well. Since a number of Shadowlands tree species give out their own luminescence, Shadar plant them in the middle of village and town squares, or even build their settlements around them. In most cases those trees are oaks, but linden trees are common as well. In the case of settlements that are very new or temporary in character, such as military camps or trading outposts, weeping willows are often planted alongside other tree because they grow fast, although they do not live as long as oak or linden trees.
In La the spirits are called kami, which is an ancient word that survived Age of Slavery and all the later Ages. Great Spirit Dragon is considered to be the protector of both the nation and its ruler, who bears the title of Warlord, or voyvoda in Varyag tongue, which is the main tongue of the Borderlands.
Universal Borderlander Racial Traits
· Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Strength or Dexterity; -2 Charisma. Borderlanders are strong, sturdy and quick, but insular and they keep to themselves.
· Medium: As Medium creatures, Borderlanders have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
· Borderlander base land speed is 40 feet.
· Bonus Feat: 1 extra feat at 1st level: Borderlanders are versatile and dedicated warriors. The extra feat must either be chosen from the fighter’s list of bonus feats or must be a weapon, armor, or shield proficiency feat.
· Sturdy: +1 racial bonus on Fortitude saving throws. Borderlanders are hardy people. This bonus increases to +5 when the Borderlanders make Fortitude saving throws against cold dangers like cold weather, severe cold or exposure, or extreme cold. Additionally, Borderlanders suffer only half the normal damage (rounded down) from the nonlethal cold damage caused by these effects.
· Weapon Familiarity: Borderlanders may treat bastard swords and bearded axes as martial weapons, rather than as exotic weapons.
· Favored Class Options: Most Borderlanders are berserkers, fighters and wildlanders. Some of them follow the path of spirit-speaker, acting as bridge between their people and their ancestral spirits. When gaining a level in a favored class, rather than gaining +1 hp or 1 skill point, a Borderlander can instead choose one of the following:
o Berserker: Add 1 to the Borderlander’s total number of rage rounds per day.
o Channeler(Spiritual): Select one power granted at 3rd level by Master of Two Worlds that is normally usable for a number of times per day equal to 3 + the channeler’s Wisdom modifier. The channeler adds ½ to the number of uses per day of that power.
o Fighter: Choose a weapon from the following list: bastard sword, long sword, greatsword, battle axe and Borderlander war spear. Add a +¼ circumstance bonus on critical hit range of the weapon (maximum bonus of +4). This bonus stacks with Improved Critical feat.
o Wildlander: Borderlanders add +½ on Persuasion (Intimidate) and Knowledge checks against Favored Enemies.
Borderlander National Traits
Each Borderlands nation is a bit different from the others. Although those differences may be insignificant to an average Imperial, wars had been waged in their defence or in order to eradicate them.
Laos: People of La are called Laos and they are perhaps the only outsiders in the Borderlands. Some of their ancestors are of native Varyag stock, but great many of them have come during the Long War from faraway lands and remained there, bringing with them their own customs in clothing, making weapons and myriad other things. Now, people of La are visibly different than other Borderlanders, although similar in some ways. They are less tall and not as wide and muscular as other Borderlanders, but more slender and graceful. They usually have white hair, although they color it in wildest colors. Their eyes are big and slightly slanted and very pale in color, raging from pale blue and green to almost colorless, so called “ice eyes”.
· Elfmarked: Legends say that the people of La have done a great service to Eldarim in the past, so they gave them the gift of being Elfmarked. Laos gain Elfmarked bonus feat. This replaces Sturdy.
· Weapon Familiarity: Laos are proficient in the use of all bows, as they try to emulate their Elven friends, but they loose the proficiency in bearderd axes. This replaces standard Borderlander Weapon Familiarity.
Varyags: Varyags are typical Borderlanders and when some stranger from Midlands or Far South says “Borderlanders” he probably thinks “Varyags”. Main difference between Varyags and other Borderlanders is their closeness with the nature spirits. Laos are more concerned with kami spirits, Movrians are more interested in the spirits of the dead, but Varyags worship nature and sometimes have trouble separating spirit world and the world in which they live in. Varyags live in a complicated society made of clans, septs and siols.
Clans are basically groups of families descendant from common ancestor and they are considered to be essentially very extended but very close family.
Septs designate a different kind of kinship. Not all Varyag belong to septs. In fact, only a very small percent of the population does – perhaps one in a thousand. Those that do are Beastblooded, or Lycans in Imperial tongue. Although all Varyags were wolfblooded at first, in time other kinds of bonds with animal spirits grew among them. There are 4 major septs: Wolf, Bear, Snow Tiger and Fox – as well as a number of smaller ones. Full half of Varyags belong to the Wolf Sept. The rest are equally divided between remaining 3 major and all other lesser septs. Varyags have a saying that the eyes are mark of the beast. Wolfblooded and Foxblooded have amber or silver eyes; Bearblooded have solid black eyes and Tigerblooded have blue or green cat eyes.
Siol is Shadarim word meaning seed or lesser progeny. It is used to describe the relationship between Varyags and at first Shadarim nobles, and then others who take on Varyags as their bodyguards and shieldmen. Varyags are fiercly loyal to those whom they consider to be their masters. Siol is an obligation of honor not of blood, so it is common for the members of different clans and septs to be loyal to the same lord. Varyags usually provide bodyguard and elite enforcer troops for the Shadarim, but since Shadarim are much les numerous than Varyags – and Shadarim nobles even more so – only small percentage of Varyags are siol.
· Favored Class Options: Those Varyags who become Lycans gain 1 Lycan-specific bonus feat at 1st level of their Lycan class.
Movrians: Movrians tend to be somewhat slimmer and shorter than Varyags, but not by much. They mostly live in Tharoth and Movria, but throughout the Borderlands they tend sheep, goats and cattle. Althought there are Movrian villages and towns, those are rarely purely Movrian and large number of Movrians live semi-nomadic life, descending from the mountains only in wintertime, bringing their flocks with them.
Movrians are perhaps the hardest-working people of all Borderlanders. In addition to working the land and tending herds, they tend to work all over Midlands as builders, mercenaries and tradesman. Although they share the same ancestry as other Borderlander nations, they do not speak Varyag language as their mother tongue. Movrian language retains many Varyag words, but it is essentially vulgarized Imperial tongue – changed is such a way that it has become another language entirely, although similar to classic Imperial. Movrian doesn’t have written form, so Movrian nobles and commoners alike use Varyag as their official language for trading with foreigners and record-keeping, while they use Movrian amongst themselves and for unofficial communication. Movrians are the only Borderland nation that excells at horsmanship and although Movrian mountain horses are not suited for heavy cavalry, they are more than adequate for light horse archers. Since Movria has large Carcosan minority, some Movrians have learned how to use traditional horsemen weapon of Carcosans – the saber-like shashka – instead of bastard swords and axes favored by Varyags.
· Weapon Familiarity: You may choose to replace standard Borderlander weapon proficiencies with Carcosan shashka saber and composite short bow – traditional weapons of light Carcosan light cavalry.
· Echoes of Life: Movrians are closer to the dead than other Borderlanders. They are used to Vampire Lords of their home country and to Witches of Tharoth. If Movrian becomes Gholgrah, he gains Echoes of Life as bonus trait.
Rascians: Rascians are the least insular of all Borderlanders. Although they are generally of same body type and beliefs as other Borderlanders, they have been interbreeding with Imperials and even some Carcosans for a very long time, so their appearance varies more and they tend to be more outcoming. Their revelries last for days and are legendary throughout Midlands and Borderlands, but that very same lack of dourness tends to become a lack in forethought and Rascians are sometimes prone to rash decisions and quick feuds. They can also be stubborn to a fault. Rascians are also the most cosmopolitan Borderland nation, since they have two large port cities – Grm and Dub – on their coast and several inland trading centers.
· Ability Scores: Rascians may replace -2 penalty to Charisma with -2 penalty to Wisdom.