Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Case for Living Constructs

Okay, I know what you are thinking. Living constructs are warforged, right? Well you would be half right, warforged are living constructs. So are the 4th Edition race, shardminds, which are living crystal beings. Neither race existed when the Scarred Lands were put into print, and yet there is a good case for including them among the people of Scarn.

Most living constructs would live in Termania. In Virduk's Promise we have many reports of strange constructs traveling the land, and even occasionally adding travellers who are in trouble. Some claim that these golem-like creatures are creations of Golthagga the Forger while others claim that they are creations and emissaries of Trelu, demigod of form and reason. Regardless of who created these mysterious beings, they make a great way to introduce the warforged into the Scarred Lands.

Let us assume for a moment that they are creations of Trelu. There are two ways that they could be dealt with. The first way is that they are prototypes of Corean's Hollow Knights and that Corean worked with Trelu to create the animated paladins. In this scenario the warforged are few in number and generally do not congregate in large numbers. They are aware that they are a rough draft and many may become embittered towards the divine powers.

The second scenario is that Trelu saw the Hollow Knights and decided to improve on them. There are two flaws with the Hollow Knights, 1) they are not truely alive, and 2) more of them cannot be made. Trelu wanted to create a race that is the perfect embodiment of form and creativity. In this scenario the warforged have their own culture and society that exists in hidden cities and they are as dedicated to the gods as any other divine race.

Shardminds also can have a home in Termania. The Tepuji in the Gamulganjus Jungle are filled with arcane crystals that have a number of strange properties. The shardminds were first born when Mesos was destroyed by the gods. Instead of dying, his titanic essence was absorbed by these crystals. These beings have none of Mesos's memories but they do have his talent for arcane power. It has since been discovered that shardminds can "grow" new members of their own race the same way that new crystals grow from existing ones. Each new shardmind that is born spreads Mesos's essence even thinner and yet conversely makes him even less likely to be destroyed. Ironically, most shardminds are dedicated followers of the gods despite being the literal embodiments of one of the Titans.

The last option for living constructs is the previously mentioned Hollow Knights. Let's be honest, nobody had thought of living constructs when the Creature Compendium was first published with the Hollow Knight in it. However, given the background and fluff of the Hollow Knights as paladins of Corean who were given construct bodies after their death and then stuck in that form when Vangal double crossed Corean; it seems like the living construct type would be more likely to be used in creating them today. There are three ways to deal with this. One is just to go with things as they are. That is the simplest option. The next simplest option is to use the Hollow Knight name and the stats for the warforged. Finally, you could do the work to stat up the Hollow Knights using the living construct type. I personally would use the second option, but you might choose something different based on the flavor of your game. Until next time, good luck and good gaming.

Come On Over Everyone

Today is shameless plug day. The Piazza is a great forum that has a lot of discussion about various fantasy campaign setting. Ashtagon, who is the forum administrator, has just announced that the Scarred Lands will be getting it's own subforum sometime soon. So for those of you who haven't already joined The Piazza, why don't you head on over there and join the conversation. You will be happy you did. Until next time, good luck and good gaming.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Scarred Lands and World of Warcraft

For a long time now I have been telling people that the Scarred Lands was Sword and Sorcery's homebrew version of World of Warcraft. Now I never actually played WoW, except for when I got a ten day free trial, but I have used WoWpedia to read up on the lore of the game and find ideas that I could borrow for my own campaign. If you are a WoW player then you know that they have just released Cataclysm, the newest expansion.

In reading and listening to people talk about Cataclysm, I almost feel like now The Scarred Lands has borrowed from WoW and WoW has borrowed from the Scarred Lands. Although the events that led to the land being damaged comes from different sources, there are still a lot of things that can be borrowed from WoW generally and Cataclysm specifically to use in a Scarred Lands campaign.

One thing that stands out to me is the Earthen Ring faction that is introduced in cataclysm. In WoW, the Earthen Ring is a group of shamans who have banded together to heal the land of the damage done by Deathwing's awakening. The members of the Earthen Ring are drawn primarily from the ranks of the various Horde races who seek to heal Azeroth.

On Scarn they could serve the same role. Instead of being members of the Horde, it would be comprised of Titanspawned races.  The membership would be more limited then on Azeroth, out of necessity. Among the Titanspawned races the most likely candidates for membership in the Earthen Ring are Orcs, The Proud, the various goblinoids, Urkhadi , and Tauron. Additionally I would posit that the elves of Vera-Tre would open to membership in this group

That is all I have for today. I am sorry that I have already broken my promise to post every week, but this blog stuff is harder than it seems. :) Until next time, good luck and good gaming.