Busy and such

Well, this has been a long time again since I last posted. Uni work has kept me busy most of the time, but I had the chance to try to write some flavourtext once. This partially failed again I think as it has become to long again, and I doubt that what I have now has a part that can be shorted to flavourtext.
But the good news is that it feels like the start of a story and today I typed it from my notes and put it on the website.
I don't know when(if) I will translate it, but it's on the new page that has been made some months ago to keep all the stories on. This page was mainly made to put the edited version of the backlog from the game I run on Rondaks Portal to give people a chance to read it, especially a player that returned after being to busy for a while.
But on that page all the stories will be gathered that take place in the world to help people get an idea of how the world feels and functions.
If you want to look, go to the site and hit stories or just the direct link

Let me know what you think of it

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Gnomisch inventions

I forgot what it was that got me thinking about the effects of to much technology on my world. I think it was something I read about the dragonlance world when doing research for what is probably finally going to be a character for a real life rp group that I found.
It made me think that I had to be careful about not making their impact to big while not doing something that is as annoying for playing such a character as the curse of the dragonlance tinker gnomes.
So I think I will have to write a piece about their inventions and their successes and failures for the guide to tell about how they generally make what they intent, but that the inventions in the beginning often unreliable and fragile, although the latter often stays a problem. I can imagine somebody(well especially a dwarf being stereotypical) in an obviously exaggerated way declare you nuts to even consider to travel by gnomisch airship telling you it's about as safe as jumping of a cliff.
If you want to capture it in rules you would want the success rate to follow an horizontally asymptotic function meaning after each test the risks become less, and in time this progression goes to almost 0 but for practical purposes there will always stay a risk. Just like the right half side of an arctan function ( This is how an arctan function looks like)
With dice I would say a one on a d30 or d100 or so, but I would have to ponder how to fix that when I have finished my variant on the SAGA system, probably with lowering the difficulty till only trumping a dragon would mess it up (Or if I would get it in my mind to replace the whole deck, trumping a geinwortel or something :P ), but as for really low checks in saga you can avoid trumping you might want to make this check one that trumps unless you play a card from the right suit. Not completely figured this one out but that doesn't matter as I need to fix those core principle first.

Well writing this piece has now at least clarified the ideas to me that I want to put in the piece of text that would probably be like a sidebar at the gnome description and some things I want to cover in their flavour text to show it in effect.

Why sea elfs?

Recently I was looking through the table with the gods again, working on other names for the magic areas and suddenly noticed something I had done quit at the beginning: Zégi and Zéga, the gods of the sea had as area of concern: "Sailors, Sea tolvs and other water beings, Philosophers" And I wondered how sea tolvs got there(besides with the find replace one day being transformed from sea elves when I carried out the name change I decided on the demonstrate they are different from elves) as I had been recently thinking about what lived in the sea and had concluded that I had decided practically nothing about what was below the waves.
So why was that there?
I think I did it out of habit, there seem to be everywhere some kind of elves that live in the seas so I mentioned it there. But why are it always elves that have subspecies like that?
The only theory I can come up with is that it is somehow linked with the two kinds of elves, the big tolkienisch/nors mythological elves and the hundred different kinds of small elves, most famously those with wings also called feary. As those latter have so many different kinds, I can imagine that those traditionally linked to water have somehow effected the rpg makers.
Besides this I have no clue, if somebody knows, let me know.

The things that are now decided on the subject is that that text is replaced with "Sailors,Philosophers, water beings and others living under water" as the idea of sea tolvs feels to ridiculous to me, at least for my world.
What there will be under water is now only partly decided:
- There is no reason why there wouldn't be myda (homes of the fey, in other places sometimes called glades or so) and see based fey. The specific fey will probably evolve over time, deciding on something when a situation comes up that I need that one. The only one I expect there right now already will be an very obvious one: water nymphs
- Gnomes are a star in making themselves function in strange niches, so somewhere maybe even on more then one place there is probably a colony of them having created a place under water where they have air, maybe somewhere close to two plates drifting away to use the heat that comes free to supply their town.
- I am now and then adding ideas for creatures in a document that one day will be a bestiary, and some of them will be water creatures, just pure or a creature with different elemental likings with one of them being the sea.
- who knows, maybe the geinwortels have conquered the seas already as well :)

A friend of mine (Eddy/Vereleus) suggested to have a species unrelated to any of the others to be water based. I don't object that idea, it's a large and even for me unexplored area from where a lot of surprises can come from. One day when something gives me an idea, or somebody comes with an idea they like there it might happen. I'm open for any ideas that fit in. (and not just a totally new species, fey or general creatures as well, but I do like to know the inspiration source behind them, other games, mythology, nature, etc. )

A gift!!

This I just received from my wife, it's made after a sketch that's been around for years as I wanted a picture like that for the world. It was of an open place in the woods where this scene was taking place.
And now we have it!!!
Here some more pictures!!

The scene itself isn't very characteristic for the species though, if you look up the vosjes(the species of the depicted fox-like humanoid) it says they are one of the few that prefer their cuniculs(the species of the rabbit-like humanoid on the spit) raw. But there are always exceptions of course, and they idea of this picture is older then that text (I think).
The other note about the scene is that I have to be careful that it doesn't cause to much of a feeling that almost everybody in my world is cuniculivorous. It's actually very annoying to have a cuniculivorous party. The things happen, but cuniculs have spread so far that to display such, let's call it extreme racism, you probably get a riot. That would make you pretty impossible as a party, or as dm if you find out your players caught on something that you now feel might be to much of an exaggeration.

Crazy elves that forget to die (out)

It came to my mind that for most of my racial descriptions I am still forgetting some details like life expectancy and average family size and things like that. Now is the latter partly of something else that will someday be added to the guide, a chapter about habits and lifestyles, probably split out to continents, maybe even regions although those small details might be added to place descriptions that can be found behind the maps.
But the point I realised was that in a lot of worlds some races, mostly the elves life ridiculously long, but are said to have just 1 or 2 children in their life time. Well, the only thing keeping such a species alive is their own long life expectancy that makes it drag on. If I would make a guess at what the average child number for a couple has to be then I would say about 3. Two to replace the parents and 1 extra to replace those who die before they reproduce because of wars, quests, accidents etc.
Here in our world we can deal with a average of one child for each adult as we are with enough(actually too many) and death risks are very contained. A lower ratio in a game is asking for extinction, and as far as I remember running into explanations only Tolkien has his elves leave the world. That might also directly be the reason behind the ridiculous elf life and birth expectancies, they copied their elves, but forgot the leaving the world part. So in their worlds you should actually find loads of ruins from old elf towns that have been abandoned because say every 1000 years their populations halves.

I will (maybe soon) write down some lines for my races about these items, but don't expect there to be ridiculous life expectancies, at least not with the race have the same proportions of his life in all the phases of life like a human when that causes a species to be a 100 before they can reproduce. RPG worlds are harsh places where now and then big things happen, and a species that can't respond in time will die out, that's what evolution tells us and I wasn't planning on working out all those races to make then practically extinct.
I have been thinking though, as a kick against those ridiculous things to bring something in in the margin, some ruins that are different from the suspected dwarven ruins, other places maybe where there might be traces of a failed species that did forget to reproduce.

So far today's rant :)


Well, I have been working again, on something that I have been thinking about for two years already judging by one of my notes, a message copied from the rondaks portal chat by GreyGriffin from January the 12th 2006.
We were talking about what he saw as the attitude of a wizard: independence, and my sorcerers don't match that as they need the gods. I had already been thinking about alchemy so the best solution would be something like wizardry but chemically or what passes for that. It's been pretty much still for a long time about it till I started brainstorming a bit about it a couple of days ago an today I managed to get a text written that I like.
And here it is, English first and then the Dutch version. I'm of course open (and hoping) for feedback

Alchemist have orders just like other specialisations, but they are of a more lose structure. This is mostly due to the personality of alchemists. The power and risks that come with mastery of the art can easily tempt one to feel superior. They rarely tolerate others close to the, but their typical headstrong and individualist behaviour make sure they don’t have much trouble to be left alone. They do sometimes regret this, there are hardly better ways to feed your feeling of superiority then being worshiped by the plebs.
The biggest competition for alchemist are the sorcerers, this because they share a lot of cases where their skills are applicable. A lot of problems can be tackled from both directions without one having much of an advantage over the other. The risks and cost of alchemy and its components counterbalance the risks of divine attention can constitute to. And on top of that both specialisations take quite some work to master. The recent developments with the cuniculs please the alchemists tremendously, their competition gets taken out for free, and the cuniculs even make good customers.
But because every alchemist could also know the more questionable recipes, that for some strange reason sell very well to politicians, do they also get a lot of mistrust. After all, poison brewers are just scary. Sorcerers are a lot less scary as most don’t worship a god that grants the more sneaky branches of magic. Especially Tsami disapprove this firmly and are very suspicious of alchemists because in their views an alchemist can’t have any honour. Still there are Tsami among the alchemists. Some of them are exiles while others just dabble secretly a bit with the art, but an alchemist order doesn’t exist among them.

Alchemisten hebben wel net als andere specialismen orders, maar deze zijn wat losser gevormd. Dit voor een behoorlijk deel door de persoonlijkheid van veel alchemisten. De macht en risico’s die met het goed beheersen van deze kunst komen verleiden erg snel tot een gevoel van superioriteit. Ze dulden dan ook zelden anderen echt in de buurt, maar met de typisch eigenzinnige en individualistische manier van doen zorgt er ook voor dat ze niet al te veel moeite hoeven te doen hun afstand te bewaren. Soms vinden ze dit ook wel jammer, er is haast geen betere manier om je superieur te voelen dan vereerd worden door het plebs.
De grootste concurrenten van de alchemisten zijn de tovenaars, dit omdat zij vaak veel van hun toepassingen delen, veel problemen zijn van beide zijden te benaderen en op te lossen zonder dat er een echt grote voordelen bevat. De risico’s en kosten van alchemie en zijn componenten wegen goed op tegen de risico’s die goddelijke aandacht kan geven. Deze tegenstelling is dan ook waarom alchemisten zelden of nooit magie zullen gebruiken. Bovendien kosten beide specialismen aardig wat werk om er echt goed in te worden. De recente ontwikkelingen met de cuniculen bevalt de alchemisten dan ook uitstekend, de concurrentie wordt gratis voor ze opgeruimd, en de cuniculen zijn nog goede klanten ook.
Maar omdat iedere alchemist ook misschien wel de wat schemerige recepten kent die toch in de politiek regelmatig markt voor is wekken ze ook wantrouwen op, gifmengers zijn nou eenmaal toch een beetje eng. Dit veel meer dan tovenaars omdat die meestal verbonden zijn aan goden die niet al te gluiperige magie leveren. Zeker Tsami zijn daar absoluut niet over te spreken en zijn dan ook zeer wantrouwig naar alchemisten die in hun beeld geen eer kunnen hebben. Toch zijn er ook wel alchemisten onder de Tsami. Sommige zijn verstoten, anderen rommelen een beetje in het geheim met de kunst, maar een alchemisten orde bestaat onder hen niet.

Let's start good, Tsami Flavourtext

Well, I had this one in a document for some time already, but in Dutch. It's one of my first attempt to make flavour texts to add to the racial descriptions as they are a lot clearer to get my idea about a race across I think. The first version was a bit long, so I had made a shorter version, here the translation (And below that the original shorter version.) It's for my Tsami, to be precise the Pakordin subspecies. The Tsami are my worlds greenskins, with an over the top sense of honour that would qualify them for most paladin groups. They generally go by Germanic names. Well, for more you can easily read the Tsami part on the website.

The text!:

It was a rough wake up this morning; his mother shaking him awake and asking what he did last night to Blanca. While being tortured by a headache he had answered here that he knew nothing about it. The last thing he remembered was Siegmar arriving for his party with a drinking game. His mother had looked sad “Your accused of dishonouring Blanca. Pray that something good will come up. Prepare yourself”.
With that she had left. He had gathered his belongings and went to sit in the back room with a decanter of water.
Soon the buzz in the front room stopped and he heard the whole company coming towards him. It where his parents and aunts, Blanca’s parents and aunts and Blanca’s uncle Ybert, the villages mayor. There was some feet shuffling before his father broke the silence. “You know the accusations? All witnesses that have seen you leave last night say you were so intoxicated anything is possible. Do you have something to say for yourself?”
He had risen when they came in and listened with his head hanging. Before his answer he looked at everybody “I can’t bring anything up in my defence” his eyes went down a moment before continuing. ”I disclaim my families name and offer everything of value” pointing to a pouch he had put on the table “as compensation and will leave the village within an hour” He saw a tear appear in the eye’s of his parents, but also a shimmer of pride that he did what had to be done. Blanca’s family looked at each other and then here mother took the pouch and she, the aunts and Ybert left the house in silence.

Hij was vanmorgen wakker gerammeld door zijn moeder en ondervraagt wat hij gisteravond met Blanca gedaan zou hebben. Met een barstende koppijn had hij haar verteld dat hij van niks wist, enkel nog dat Siegmar met een drinkspelletje was gekomen voor zijn feestje. Ze had bedroefd gekeken, “je bent beschuldigd van het bezoedelen van Blanca, hoop maar dat er nog iets goeds voor je opduikt, maar bereid je voor” Daarmee was ze weg gegaan. Hij had zijn spullen gepakt en was met een karaf water in de achterkamer gaan zitten.
Hij zat daar nog niet lang toen hij het geroezemoes uit de voorkamer hoorde stoppen en het hele gezelschap naar hem toe komen. Het waren zijn ouders en tantes, en Blanca’s ouders en tantes en Blanca’s oom Ybert, het dorpshoofd. Er was nog wat geschuifel toen zijn vader de stilte doorbrak “Je kent de beschuldigingen? Alle getuigen die je gister weg hebben zien gaan zeggen dat je zover weg was dat alles mogelijk is. Nog iets te zeggen?”
Toen ze binnen kwamen was hij opgestaan en heeft het met gebogen hoofd aangehoord. Voor zijn antwoord kijkt hij iedereen aan “Ik kan niks inbrengen ter verdediging.” Hierbij sloeg hij heel even de ogen neer om dan weer door te gaan. “Ik doe afstand van mijn familienaam en bied alles van waarde” wijzend naar de buidel die hij op tafel gelegd had “aan als schadevergoeding en zal ons dorp binnen een uur verlaten.” In de ogen van zijn ouders zag hij een traan verschijnen, maar ook een glans van trots dat hij deed wat moest gebeuren. Blanca’s familie keek elkaar even aan en toen pakte haar moeder de buidel op en verlieten zij en zijn tantes zwijgend het huis.
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Getting rolling again

A blog... due to trying to go a bit faster with uni work I had switched from working on my world in the train home to now and then doing some school work. With that the group of friends that has a party in the world is very hard to get together doesn't give reason to work on, and portal games just generally go slow enough to work with just the random thoughts passing by now and then it has been a bit stationary the last year or so.

But I have a strange block at the uni right now giving me a lot of time for al kinds of things, so I try to get something done a bit regularly. Of course that includes uni work, looking around for a job and such, but also making sure I do things like working on my world, that I do like but for some reason get easily distracted from at home.

The first new things have been done now on the site, all been technical and not involving the content yet but it's a first step. Starting this blog is an other one, thought it might be a good way to put idea's out and get some feedback on it.

One of the few things I did work on over the last year or so is a new version of the guide. This had to be done as I used to have a document version and the web page, and both as well in Dutch as English, but I made a stupid mistake once with synchronizing the files between pc and laptop causing me to fall back to a much older document version.
I have rebuild that version, and this time in latex format instead of word doc. I had wanted to do that before but had never worked with latex before, and last year I have made a lot of docs for a uni project in it. Latex has some advantages that its designed to make big documents with complex signs (the scientific world likes it because it supports mathematical writings so well) and lets you control a lot, if you know how it works.
Basically I have it working and can now compile my guide to pdf once I need it, and am looking into compiling it to html or pictures to put it online. I have found a program that can transform it to html but I have right now some problems with table cells going over multiple rows, and of course that my anchor tags for the links from the table of contents aren't placed yet (I think).
Well, I probably have to look into seeing if I can fix it, or just rebooting my pc as up till now I have been trying to get it done in windows, not the most practical medium as the scene using it generally works in linux.

A thing I just went looking into and that might lead to something in the bestiary or possibly something part of the fey is if there in other things actually exist a kind of vampire like beings that in general don't kill and/or infect others, just feed and move on, just leaving an anemic but alive and uneffect person behind. The vampires wiki page didn't show me something like that. (Unless it was part of the examples from around the world, didn't read them all, a lot of thext)
But I did found something from greek mythology that I didn't know yet about some owl/raven like being called strix that might become part of the bestiary.

That's about it for now, time to get some lunch and get something done again, as linking this blog from the geinwortelsite.