IRC CHAT CHANNEL
There was some trouble with the IRC, but it's all been resolved, now.
The canon Hamstyr Scrolls wiki is found here: http://hamstyrscrolls.bluwiki.com/go/Hamstyrscrolls
IRC Next order of business:
Friday August 24th 2007;
Refine core systems; Bring a concern to the table.;
Chats tend to start at around 7:30PMa US PST, so adjust your clocks accordingly. Our next scheduled chat will be August 24th, 2007. Bring your ideas with you and I'll be there this time. Uriel
Last IRC Update
What follows is the update for 8/17. I'm going to post it all here rather than in the more appropriate sections so it is just about the easiest thing to access on the page. Makes it easy for everyone to read it over and get their own ideas about it. If everyone would prefer that it all be moved to other parts of the wiki, please go ahead and edit.
THE CORE MECHANIC
Roll a pool of dice. Keep the lowest three dice. Doubles result in a success, and triples are a critical success. In the case of opposed rolls, the lowest roll is superior (though a critical success always wins). Should opposed rolls have two matching pairs in opposition, the third die of each set acts as a tie-breaker (re-roll if these are tied, as well).
Your dice pool is determined primarily by two factors: your relevant statistic (Vigor, Agility, Mind, or Spirit) and your proficiency rating with the skill or ability (which is rated from Poor at d12 to Excellent at d4). The stat determines the number of dice you roll. Stats generally range from 1 (terrible) to 12 (supernatural), with 4 being the average for an adult hamster.
Each race has a its own proficiency rating with each basic statistic. This allows cats and otters to be far stronger than hamsters or moles without having to roll huge gobs of dice. Larger species still have an extra Vigor die per size category up from 0, however. The same applies to smaller races, but in reverse.
If one of your stats ever falls to 2 due to exhaustion, poisoning, severe injury, or magic, you cannot critically succeed at any task tied to that stat. You can succeed with a pair, however. If a stat ever falls to 1, you can only succeed at a task tied to that stat if you roll a 1 -- and your success will be a shoddy, bare minimum work. If your Vigor or Spirit fall to zero, there's a good chance that you'll die, depending on what put you at zero. If your Agility falls to zero, you're essentially paralyzed. If your Mind falls to zero, you're in a coma.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
These are attributes that you choose during character creation that help to further define your character's stats. It may change during playtesting, but each character should probably have one or two advantages and a single disadvantage.
Each stat has two sub-stats, the uses of which are governed primarily by the game master. Sometimes a skill will call on a specific sub-stat. If your character has no advantages or disadvantages for the base stat, then you don't need to worry about which sub-stat is used.
Vigor splits into Strength and Fortitude. Agility splits into Speed and Dexterity. Mind splits into Intellect and Perception. Spirit splits in Charisma and Will.
Advantages give you two (this number may increase during playtesting) "wiggle" points for a sub-stat each time you take the advantage. When you make a roll tied to the sub-stat, you can wiggle your dice back and forth to make pairs or triples. You could also lower your successes in hopes of besting an opponent or ensuring that your work is as masterful as possible, assuming you had enough points to affect every die. You lose your wiggle points once you spend them, and you do not regain them until you have become well-rested.
EXAMPLE: Goldtooth, a pika robber, takes the advantage "Perceptive." He gains two wiggle points to spend whenever a roll is more demanding on Perception rather than Intellect. He spends one point scouting for his mark in a large crowd. The game master has decided that the mark knows that Goldtooth is coming, though, and so she's hidden a knife up her sleeve. The GM tells Goldtooth to make a Perception roll, and he is rightfully suspicious enough that he uses his other wiggle point to ensure that his roll succeeds. The mark's check to disguise her weapon is still lower than Goldtooth's perception check, but at least he tried. Goldtooth retreats, a little cut up but generally alright. After resting well in the evening, he regains his two wiggle points in the morning.
You can gain advantages through the expenditure of experience points, though the game master may but an upper limit on the total number of advantages you can earn.
Disadvantages take away a die when you make a check tied to a sub-stat. They are meant to be serious flaws. You may take more disadvantages, even stacking the same disadvantage, and each disadvantage earns you another advantage. Be careful, though, as you could seriously cripple your character rather than give them an interesting twist. Disadvantages can be eventually purchased away by spending XP or skill points (depending on how experience is handled) on their removal.
EXAMPLE: Egon Saltveins, a mole engineer, has spent his whole life doing sedentary lab work and eating when he finds himself frustrated with a problem. He therefore has the "Portly" disadvantage, which causes him to lose a die when he must make a check tied to his Speed sub-stat. When he must out-run or catch someone, he loses one die. When he must dodge an attack, he loses one die. However, his player roleplays his adventuring experience as being great exercise. Also, Egon has learned some self-control and no longer snacks so much when he is downtrodden. So, the player spends a few experience points upon the Portly disadvantage and it, like his big belly, is removed.
Your character may gain disadvantages through magical effects, poisoning, or severe injury. It is possible that a character whose lifestyle is dramatically changed or who experiences severe psychological trauma may also gain a disadvantage. (For example, most who have found themselves the prisoner of Irontail have become Despaired and lose dice when they use the Spirit sub-stat of Will!)
(ANOTHER) COMBAT PROPOSAL
Melee combat is an opposed check that is rolled like any other opposed check, but it involves far more wiggle points and "disadvantaged" dice. These wiggle points are not lost unlike those you gain through stat advantages.
There is a fundamental "rock-paper-scissors" mechanic to combat, with three attack forms and three defense forms. Weapons and armors are rated as poor, average, or excellent in use for (in the case of weapons) or defense against (in the case of armor) attacks.
The attack forms are Bash (hit with tremendous force but little concern for accuracy), Slash (a skillful strike), and Thrust (use both skill and momentum to rush the enemy).
The defense forms are Dodge (get completely out of the way), Block (absorb the blow), and Parry (push away the attack).
Bashes are poor against blocks, average against dodges, and excellent against parries. Slashes are poor against parries, average against blocks, and excellent against dodges. Thrusts are poor against dodges, average against parries, and excellent against blocks. An attack which is poor against a defense loses one die (as it is at a disadvantage!) and earns a wiggle point when it is excellent against a defense.
Weapons are usually poor at one attack, average at one attack, and excellent at another. These are usually the simplest of weapons; they require little training to make and use and are often unimaginative. Clubs, knives, and shortspears are these kinds of fare. A club, for example, is excellent for bashing (and earns you another wiggle point when used to bash!), average at slashing (no bonus or penalty), and poor at thrusting (you lose a die when you try to thrust with it!)
Polearms, greatswords, flails, and other such well-crafted weapons that require intense training often are excellent for one attack form and average for the other two, or may be excellent for two and poor for one. The flail, for example, is excellent for both bashing (a heavy overhead swing) and slashing (a wide sweep of the chain), but poor at thrusting (and because it's a flexible weapon, thrusting may not even be an option at all).
Dodges are poor against slashes, average against bashes, and excellent against thrusts. Parries are poor against bashes, average against thrusts, and excellent against slashes. Blocks are poor against thrusts, average against slashes, and excellent against bashes. An excellent defense earns you a wiggle point to your defense roll and a poor defense causes you to lose a die.
Dodges require lighter armors. Parries require a weapon (usually a two-hander to parry a bash). Blocks require a two-hander weapon or a shield.
Armors are usually excellent against one attack type, average against a second, and poor against a third. The type of material determines its advantages or disadvantages. For example, chain mail is poor against bashes, average against slashes, and excellent against thrusts. Beetle-shell armor is poor against thrusts, average against bashes, and excellent against slashes. Like weapons, more advanced and heavily fortified armors are often effective in more situations and there may not even be attacks against which they are a poor defense. Rare, expensive, and difficult to use full plate is average against thrusts and excellent against slashes and bashes. An excellent armor earns you another wiggle point on your roll and a poor armor causes you to lose a defense die.
Having no armor at all always results in a penalty to your defense.
Initiative is especially important because it allows you to tailor your attack or defense to the combat style of your opponent. You can skip your turn in order move up one spot in the initiative order starting on your next turn.
The character with lower initiative declares which type of attack or defense they intend to use. Generally, it will be whatever attack or defense gives them the greatest advantage. Then the character with the higher initiative makes his or her choice of attack or defense.
EXAMPLE. Moonbelly, a Gerbil, and Kronzer, a Rat, get into a fight. Moonbelly has higher initiative in the round, but has already used her action, so she is on the defense. Kronzer declares that he is going to bash with his one-handed club. Moonbelly has a shield, so she decides to try blocking the attack. Her leather armor is poor against bashes, so it will harm her chances of absorbing the blow.
Kronzer has a Vigor score of 6 and an average bashing skill, so he rolls 6d8. He gets two wiggle points for bashing with a weapon excellent for bashing.
He gets 1, 4, 5, 6, 6, and 8. Not a spectacular roll. However, he can spend a wiggle point to increase his 4 to a 5 and decrease a six to a 5. Now it's a serious threat of a critical hit!
Moonbelly has a Vigor score of 5 and an average blocking skill, but her armor is bad for blocking, so she rolls 4d8. She gets one wiggle point for blocking a bash.
She gets 2, 3, 7, and 8. Ouch. Not a single success. Not even wiggling will reduce it to a standard hit: it's a critical hit.
Later, Moonbelly decides to attack Kronzer. She still has the initiative. Kronzer declares that he'll dodge her specialized polearm, which is an excellent defense against the thrust he assumes is coming. He is wearing crude chainmail, which is an excellent defense against thrusting attacks, so he figures that he'll end up with a big advantage. Moonbelly, however, is crafty and chooses to bash with the polearm's mallet, which is an excellent attack against her opponent's armor. It is an average attack for this particular type of polearm.
Moonbelly still has a Vigor score of 5 and an average bashing skill, so she rolls 5d8. She rolls all five dice for using using her polearm's average attack and gets a wiggle point for bashing Kronzer's armor. Because Kronzer is dodging, however, there is no further effect on her roll.
She gets 2, 4, 5, 6, and 6. She wiggles the 5 down to a 4 and gains a success with a pair. Now Kronzer must make a successful defense.
Kronzer has an Agility score of 4 and an average dodging skill, his dodge is average against bashes and his armor poor at defending bashes, so he rolls 3d8 and gets no wiggle points.
He gets 3, 5, and 7. Moonbelly scores a hit.
If Kronzer had rolled 3, 3, and 7, he would have succeeded in defending because his pair of threes was lower than Moonbelly's fours.
If Kronzer had rolled 1, 4, and 4, he and Moonbelly would have an equal pair, so it would come down to their their lowest number. Here, Kronzer has a 1 and Moonbelly a 2: Kronzer would successfully defend.
Ranged combat works almost exactly as melee combat, but with a few key differences.
Most ranged weapons are thrusting in nature. Very few are ideal slashing or bashing weapons. A thrown handaxe, an arrow, or a a javelin, for example, is meant to punch through your opponent's defenses and therefore counts as a thrusting attack -- you definitely want to dodge these and not block them. Don't even think about parrying an incoming javelin. So, all ranged weapons fall under two skills: Ranged (archery) and Ranged (thrown). The ammunition, however, affects armor as a thrusting, bashing, or slashing weapon. The target makes an average defense by dodging, a poor defense by blocking (which requires a shield or heavy armor), or a poor defense by parrying. Armor does not affect the defense roll against a ranged weapon unless the defense fails.
If a defense against a ranged weapon fails, you may still be able to defend if your armor allows a wiggle point against the ammunition type in use. Arrows and javelins act as thrusting weapons when determining how effective the target's armor is. Stones, sling bullets, and throwing hammers act as bashing weapons when they come in contact with armor. Hand-axes and boomerangs act as slashing weapons when they come in contact with armor.
Each ranged weapon has a range and is disadvantaged each time this range is multiplied. So, if a bow has a range of 5 feet, the archer loses a die from 6 to 10 feet, two dice from 11 to 15 feet, etc. Each ranged weapon has a maximum range. The bow, for example, can fire a maximum of 25 feet. In addition, your opponent gets a wiggle point for each increment of range beyond its first.
You may earn a wiggle point for a ranged attack by taking a round to study your opponent. You also earn a wiggle point for each size category your target possesses above yours (or lose a die for each size smaller the target is). Your opponent loses a defense die for each size category greater that he is than you, and gains a wiggle point to defense for each size category smaller he is than you.
EXAMPLE: Moonbelly and Kronzer meet again, and it's time for a rematch. Moonbelly has the initiative and there are 15 feet between her and Kronzer. She draws her bow and notches an arrow. Kronzer is going to dodge, naturally. That's a wiggle point for him. Moonbelly waits one round to aim while Kronzer closes the distance between them. That's a wiggle point for her. He's also one size category larger than she is, so that's another wiggle point. By the top of her next round, Kronzer has moved to within 10 feet, which means she still loses one attack die. She fires her arrow.
Moonbelly has an Agility (Dexterity) score of 6 and a good Ranged (archery) skill, but her target is two range increments way, so she only rolls 5d6. She gets two wiggle points, though.
She gets 1, 3, 5, 6, and 6. She could wiggle a three down to a 1 and get an almost sure success, or she could raise the 5 to a 6 and try to get a critical success that will probably be reduced to a standard hit by a lower opposing pair. She decides that's awfully sore about the nasty critical hit that Kronzer gave her before, so he wiggles a set of triple sixes.
Kronzer is wisely dodging, which still doesn't get him a bonus because he's dodging a ranged attack, but he does get a wiggle point for being 10 feet away from his opponent with a bow. He's a size category larger than she is, so he also loses a defense die. His Agility (Speed) stat is 4, and he has bumped up his Dodge skill to good, so he rolls 3d6.
He gets a 2, 4, and 6. His one wiggle point isn't going to do him any good. He has since picked up some new armor that is only average at blocking thrusts, though, so he doesn't get to add another wiggle point, which would allow him to turn the critical hit into a standard hit. The arrow punches through his shoulder and a satisfied grin crosses Moonbelly's face.
FACING MULTIPLE OPPONENTS
When two groups are clustered tightly in combat, the members of each party adds a bonus of one wiggle point to their attack for each party member who has previously successfully attacked in that round. Less skillful warriors may find themselves more useful if they wait for an opponent to take a few blows from their more martial allies.
A group which is concentrating their ranged attacks upon a single target or a tightly-clustered group receive the same bonus even if their targets dodge (the attack roll must be successful, though); if their targets are returning fire, however, wiggle bonuses only accrue for as long as they are not themselves struck with a missile attack. For example, a group of six hamsters and four rats find themselves firing arrows and hurling javelins back and forth. The hamsters make successful attack rolls twice, dodge a javelin, and then fire two more arrows. The second, third, and fourth arrow shots would receive one, two, and three wiggle points, respectively. Then a hamster is struck by a javelin, and they lose their cover fire bonuses. Now each rat will earn a cumulative wiggle point for as long they continue to successfully attack and successfully dodge the hamsters' arrows.
CRITICAL HITS, DODGES, AND FAILURES
When you successfully critically hit (your dice show three-of-a-kind and your opponent fails to make a successful defense check), you deal wound.
If you roll or wiggle your way to triple numbers on a defense, you critically defend and do the following depending on your type of defense:
Block: your solid defense stuns and staggers your opponent. He loses a die on all of his defense checks until your next action.
Dodge: your opponent stumbles and leaves herself open to attack. All who attack this person gain two wiggle points on their attacks against her. This bonus is lost at the start of your next action.
Parry: you automatically hit with your counter-attack. You may roll normally to see if you can critically hit.
If you critically fail a defense check (get no matching numbers), you simply get hit. If you critically fail your attack check, you will suffer one of the following effects, determined by rolling a d6.
1 = weapon dropped (reroll if you are fighting unarmed or have your weapon secured to your hands somehow). You are weaponless until your next action, when you can pick up the dropped weapon or draw another one. 2 = you have struck yourself (take a nick). 3 = your opponent receives an immediate counter-attack (if your opponent was parrying in the first place, she automatically hits). 4 = you stumble (opponents get 2 wiggle points to attack you until your next action, when you can get up). 5 = you fall down (you lose one die on all of your defense rolls until your next action). 6 = you just miss. No other penalty.
Magic presents the one exception to the core mechanic. Regardless of your Mind (Intellect) or Spirit (Will), you only roll three dice, so you must have a relevant stat of three or more to cast spells. Each point in a stat above three gives you one wiggle point for your spells for every day. You must become fully rested to regain your wiggle points.
A critical success in your roll earns you 3 + 1d4 successes. Multiple successes over several rounds may be necessary to optimally cast a spell.
There are six schools of magic. You purchase each as you would any other skill, but they cost far more than normal skills. Each is based on either Mind (Intellect) or Spirit (Will) as its relevant stat. The Mind-focused schools tend toward a more logical, systematic approach to magic. The Spirit-focused schools of magic tend toward more mysticism, belief, and superstition. Why the divide? Firstly, for flavor. Secondly, to ensure that it is even harder for any character to master multiple schools of magic. Thirdly, so even races like mice can have a little taste of magical power.
The schools of magic are:
SHAMANISM (Spirit): practitioners of shamanism are usually seen as being crazy wilderness types, characterized by talking to themselves and strange behaviors like pulling any and every odd herb, root, and fungus from the ground. They work their magic by contacting the spirit world through potions, salves, and poisons which open the mind to those things which are beyond the veil of reality. All spells in this school require the preparation of these special substances. The disadvantage to this type of magic is the amount of work that goes into gathering ingredients and the time that goes into properly combining and treating them. The advantage is that once you have successfully prepared the drugs, you can carry them with you and activate the spells at any time by consuming the proper one (or sneaking it into the food and drink of another!) Divination, mental enchantments (both beneficial and malignant, and various buffs of all kinds are the hallmarks of this school.
PHYSIOMANCY (Mind): this is the magic of matter. Creating, summoning, sustaining, altering, and destroying matter are the trademarks of this school. These casters often work through the focuses provided by circles of conjuration and transmutation, and often become obsessed with understanding how things are put together or with collecting samples of every element, alloy, chemical, or other substance they can put into a little jar, label, and tuck away into storage. The disadvantage of this school is that it doesn't work particularly well on organic matter, except for when it is summoning, so it won't lend much support directly to characters. The advantage to this school is that it can turn simple weapons and armor into mighty armaments, summon help to your side, and potentially wreck any objects that might be in your way.
BIOMANCY (Mind): this is the magic of life force. You can use it to heal wounds, become physically powerful, or make potent use of your very thoughts. Biomancers create life seemingly where there was none before, and so can even put their powers to nasty uses by creating diseases or literally making someone's skin crawl. Generally, biomancers tend toward nicer, gentler uses of their magic in order to keep their school divided from necromancy in the eyes of the public and other mages. A biomancer often constantly studies anatomical charts and medical texts for clues into the workings of the body to find the means to release the latent life force that exists within creatures. The disadvantage of this school is that it doesn't work on inanimate, inorganic objects. The advantage is that it can potently heal and rarely requires expensive materials or a laboratory, often just the ability to touch the target of the spell. Some spells magnify the caster or target's thoughts, granting mental communication.
KINETOMANCY (Mind): this is the magic of energy. Where there was no energy before, the kinetomancer makes it. Feel that chill? The kinetomancer drained all of the heat from the room. Kinetomancers are often identified by hyperactive personalities, seemingly unfocused "research", and use of rods and staves as focuses for their spells. Setting fires, pushing objects around, granting tremendous speed, and dropping the air to frigid temperatures are the common special effects of this school. The disadvantage of this school is that it rarely has long-term effects; there's no such thing as a perpetual motion machine, and kinetomantic spells eventually run out of juice. The advantage is that this is the closest to direct attack magic that you'll get. You can't easily blow something up, but you can set it on fire or smack it around with bursts of kinetic energy.
NECROMANCY (Spirit): this is the magic of death. It relies on the user really, truly believing in death -- the absence of life -- as being a palpable, tangible force. They believe that the void, the nothingness, is just as substantial as physical reality. Of course, it isn't -- or is it? -- but that doesn't stop necromancers from rightfully becoming feared. Necromantic spells can transfer life to one by draining it from another, cause a creature's will to turn against itself, wither flesh and weaken bones, flat-out kill, or even raise the dead into the unliving. Ultimately, necromancy isn't terribly different than biomancy, relying more upon malignant will than a careful understanding of living creatures. For example, the Foaming Plague is just a form of rabies that kills its hosts but denies their life forces to leave their bodies. The disadvantage of this school is that if you have to be willing to skirt or completely entrench yourself in cruel, terrible activities to use it. The advantage is that it offers a tremendous amount of power with a wide variety of spells, including healing, mental commands, curses, and grisly resurrections. Just hope that no superstitious types hear about your new hobby.
I don't really remember what the last school was supposed to be at the moment. I believe that we made some changes right around the time that I got kicked from my Internet connection and everyone else left the room. Boril knows. Nephomancy (weather control) or geomancy (earth and weather powers).
Anyhow, there are going to be plenty of different spells that gain in power as you gain in the ability to rack up successes. Each spell may fall under several schools as either a major or minor spell for that school. You are pretty much unlimited in how powerful your major spells can become, but minor spells cannot receive as much magical juice (you cannot apply as many successes) as major spells. They often require vastly different means of preparation. They are primarily bonus spells; they are thematically appropriate to the school but stand at the fringes of the school's power. For example, most spells that allow you to divine the past and future are major spells for shamanism, but only minor spells for necromancy (reading the thoughts of dead creatures, for example). Summoning a mighty Hercules beetle to your aid would be a major spell for physiomancy, but only a minor spell for a biomancer (and may require you to have a tiny beetle present to act as the focus of the spell).
A preset skill list is probably for the best. It should incorporate a roughly equal number of skills for every stat and assign a sub-stat where ever possible.
If something like Rope Use or Intimidation or Gambling costs a single skill point, combat skills should cost two, and schools of magic perhaps four.
Skill points should be purchased through experience.
Skill focuses should be purchasable with skill points. Skill focuses give a number of wiggle points to a related group of skills (so the Survivalist skill focus gives you wiggle points for Herbology, Track, and Wilderness Knowledge skills, for example).
Roll Call! Team Rodentia
40 Kun I'm on your wiki, gathering ideas for sketches
Abraham reporting in. Haven't done anything yet, too sleepy tonight. Maybe tomorrow.
bozerun has finally signed up.
cynicaloptimist here to constructively criticize.
DarthMethodist. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/mammal/rodentia/rodentia.html Rodentia in RL haha.
DiceInJapan is the map guy. Guy who made the map. I love map.
Doink here, to possibly be of some assistance
Fat-Cheeks Meadslosh pretty sure he's here. He drank a lot of good ale and passed out on an exercise wheel...
Invaluable Helped with rat and mole development mostly.
Nxhiku writing away.
pantseru here. Cannot wait to nom nom nom as NMR.
Servent of CapyBras here. Hello friends may your whiskers never sag.
Uriel here! Uriel
WEME Professional and Creative Writing student. I write. I edit. I have a History minor and an avid interest in hitting on women.
Xephodark I wrote the "Silverpaw" fluff, working on some more, hoping to work with the Amphibians/Reptiles. "Dagoth Jones" Where am I again?
Dagoth Jones Where am I again?
A world map is in order methinks.---DarthMethodist
After the chat tonight, it seems we've decided that the setting is going to be rather middle eastern/mediterranean, as a lot of our races seem perfectly suited or come from that kind of environment. Yea or nay? Uriel
I think that's for the best. Too many fantasy worlds all look the same. Great forests, rolling green hills, more great forests. This is a nice change of pace and gives it an exotic atmosphere. P.S. When will the next chat be? ---DarthMethodist
Red and I are currently on IRC, though I'm not sure if he's actually there. Just log into IRC whenever you want. Uriel
Current map: http://hamstyrscrolls.bluwiki.com/go/Map_of_Rodentia
Okay, don't know quite where to stick this, but I have a general setting question about what people prefer:
A: A setting where humans never existed at all. (Ala Redwall and some other books.)
B: A setting where humans once existed but died out long ago. (Rats of Nimh with the humans gone from plague or somesuch.)
I personally prefer option B, as it leads to some nifty visual effects of the mice and such adopting the detritus of human civilization for their own use. Things like rusted old catfood tins being used as firepits, utility blades being used as swords, and so on. Like a lower tech Rescue Rangers. Also, rotted out apartment buildings would make nifty dungeons.
I'd go with B. Whatever force destroyed humanity also pushed forward the evolution of animals to their current states. Of course, we've also established that perhaps thousands of years have passed since then, so there'd be no way that any human items would exist anymore.
I just want a setting where humans don't factor in at all. Uriel
From what I understand so far of the setting, humans never existed in the context of the story. ~Boril
I like the B with major timeskip, but I'd push it forward maybe 20k years, just to get rid of any trace of pre-historic animals, and most traces of humans (besides whatever could possibly be around after that long) to get them to a level where they have their cultures set up, with whatever tech level needed. PErhaps they just never made certain discoveries. - RedGreen
I don't like the rescue rangers sort of stuff at all, and would rather have humans not factoring in at all if that was the only other option. Stuff like old cars or buildings, though, could be cool. Maybe. I would support having great, strange ruins that aren't explicitly shown to be cars or machines or buildings, and any identifying marks like labels or words would have been worn away centuries ago, but have them just be vague enough that the players and GMs can make up their own ideas about what they are - ruins of Beaver magical society, mechanical husks, ancient alien creatures, eldritch abode... etc. - anonynona
I like anonynona's idea, and I think it serves as a good compromise: the existence of humans should be completely ambiguous; there should be no "official" say on whether or not they existed, and the only clues could be cryptic, ambiguous artifacts from a time before time. -cynicaloptimist
Worthy of note: Bronze statues will last for millions of years, especially well if they're underwater or the like. So if they existed at all, these things are going to be present. - AWESOME
Even so, the sheer SCALE of a bronze statue would make it hard for a rodent to tell what it is. Have you ever stood at the bottom of the Statue of Liberty and looked up? You'd be lucky to make out a nostril. Personally, I think it'd be cool if there was a Rat settlement at the foot of a fallen bronze statue, and for the last century they've been smelting it to outfit the Rat Army. Anyways, when I first stumbled on Rodentia the first thing that went through my head was the opening scene of The Secret of Nihm where the mother is jumping around inside the tractor. I agree that it should be ambiguous... but dammit, I wanna go on a treasure hunt inside a truck's engine block. - Government Lies
Personally I'd rather have multiple pantheons. Maybe one for most of rodentia, then maybe one for the evil rodents, one for the otters, and one for the cats. It means there will be more tension between those races because of religious views as well. Though I think that the Cats should be self worshiping, and just worship the God-Emperor. ~Boril
I don't think the gods should play any significant role in magic or the world around them. Magic would be subject to intense study as to why it works and stuff, and each culture would have their own rich library of tales, stories, and myths to tell. Not to mention that giving the hamsters more than one set of gods to worship is awesome. Uriel
Okay, that gives me a good idea of the tone and direction. I'll have some stuff up tonight. ~Nxhiku
We need to keep a tight lid on just how advanced these critters are. I don't think we should be giving them cannons and guns all over the place - that stuff should be extremely rare, and only the people who have them should know about them.
IRC TECHNOLOGY CONSENSUS
For the most part, the best material for armor and weaponry comes straight from insects, with the grade dependant on what kind of insect the chitin was harvested from. Other materials for armor include wood, cloth, silk, and grassweave. Cotton is often more expensive and harder to get than silk, due to how much time and effort must be put into converting raw cotton into cloth. Commoners therefore prize cotton as a symbol of wealth and station. Cats are more into feeling pretty and comfy things, so silk is prized more by them.
Iron, bronze, copper, and tin are available, but are often only available in low grades that are not suitable for weaponry. Gerbils are capable of obtaining iron and copper from the sands of their home land, and moles are capable of mining precious gems, gold, silver, and tin from their tunnels as they expand them.
Metal items are often traded around to Purrsia for items deemed much more useful to their way of life (such as wood, exotic foods, cotton, etc). Low grade metal objects make their way out of Purrsia through either trade with Rattstaat or by Pika Lowlanders stealing metals from wealthy individuals. These Pikas will trade these items off for more desireable products.
Rats, being the industrious creatures they are, have found a way to combine and refine metals into a grade acceptable for weapons and armor. While they sometimes trade away copper, tin, and bronze armor and weaponry to other races, Iron is considered far too rare and precious to be shared outside of Rat armories, and only the most elite troops and highest-ranking alphas and 2nds are capable of obtaining it.
This doesn't stop some races from trying to steal Iron from the rats.
Moles are capable of mining precious gems, gold, silver, and tin while expanding their tunnels. However, they don't find many of their findings useful, and are rather puzzelled by the rats' love of silver and the cats' desire for gold trinkets. As such, these precious materials are traded away to both nations for more useful items, like chitin, food, and wood. Tin is another matter entirely, and moles have realized a great use of tin in their everyday items and in their clockwork pieces of SCIENCE! Moles and gerbils often trade and share metalworking secrets amongst each other, and together moles and gerbils developed bronze technology. Moles have metals of all kind, but have only been capable of developing bronze, tin, and copper to any high level. The goggles moles wear to see above ground were only made possible by metals and glass offered to them by gerbil caravans.
Glass is a technology only capable of being produced by gerbils, who hold the secrets to glassblowing. Glass is very common in Murdistan, where materials for the creation of glass is plentiful; however, glass is seen as a rare, valuable commodity in other nations, and glass is continuously traded to the cats and moles. Glass has limited use as a weapon, but gerbils have developed a special glass dagger that releases whatever poison is contained inside into an enemy. Moles have a great use for glass for their goggles, which they are constantly changing and improving upon, and cats enjoy glass for its use as decorative items. Shards of glass often find their way into rat households and clothing, due to its propensity to glitter in sunlight.
tl;dr - we're going for low iron age
-Why not have magic being really low-key, like for Necromancy have it work like the black cauldron, and have most magic spells be spells that only make subtle changes to the natural world around them, or make enchantments on certain weapons. Nothing flashy like LOLMAGICMISSILES! Also, I just downloaded Campaign Cartographer. I'll take a look at it and try to get familiar with it so we have a very rough basic map to start with. I'm thinking the world itself should be really big with enough chance for players to make their own hamster/gerbil/whatever nationsUriel
2FOOT VS 4FOOT DILEMMA
I tried to get us to think about the practical implications of combat; mainly, how the rodents and nonrodent animals would handle it.
Combat would require constant repositioning in order to remain effective, but most animals that can go on two legs are only capable of standing or hopping short distances on those two legs. Light and 1handed weapons wouldn't pose too much of a problem for rodents, since animals running four-legged can favor a limb and work just as well with three legs. This becomes a bit of a problem when it comes to two handed weapons though, and people in it for the combat will want to use two weapons at once or a big two-handed weapon.
We definitely want to put in feats to make 2-footed fighting more feasible, and some 4-footed feats would be added to make creatures more capable of casting while on all fours.
Cats, for certain, will never fight or do anything on two legs - they also prefer the katar and patar (gauntlet with sword attached) for combat, and they have cavy slaves attach the weapon for them beforehand.
This will require more discussion to hammer out. Uriel
Please look Here for races.
Anonymous posted, "I say that we stick away from d20.
I suggest that we use Tri-Stat dX, or a similar homebrew system. It is scalable (both in character creation and gameplay mechanics), it focuses more on earning little character upgrades rather than "OMG GOT TO GET ANOTHER LEVEL", and it can easily be adjusted to fit any setting (just limit what attributes/defects can be taken). I would recommend taking a cue from the Tri-Stat edition of Tekumel: Empire of the Petal Throne and dividing the three core stats into six: Strength and Dexterity (Body), Intellect and Perception (Mind), and Wisdom and Charisma (Soul)."
Regault posted, I'm personally planning on whipping up some stuff in Savage Worlds over the weekend. Savage Worlds has a few advantages; it's easy to create new race templates with the rules, its easy to convert those races to d20 if needed, the combat system handles mass combat fairly well, and a new edition of the rulebook is coming out next month thats only ten bucks. While SW has a level system, you only get two skill points a level so it's fairly fine grained.
I just looked over the Savage Worlds Test Drive PDF, and I agree that it's the kind of fast, uncomplicated system that The Hamstyr Scrolls needs. I would like to see the core rules made a little crunchier, with additions such as size categories and an initiative system that uses character agility rather than a deck of cards. (All characters with a d12 agility die go first, in order of their roll, then all d10 agility, etc. An ace on an initiative roll makes your die count as being one size larger; roll the die again and add the new number to the first roll. Rolling a one makes your die count as one size smaller; keep the roll of one.) I'd like to see the ace rule modified somehow, as well; I hate how increasing your die size (which should make you better at something, of course) makes you less likely to critically succeed at a task. - Meadslosh
Magic and Combat proposals
- You guys should consider a system based around percentile dice. Look up WHFRP, that system could give you some ideas.
- 40kun has proposed his own system for us to consider - http://215762985716425.bluwiki.com/go/Rules
- Magic Casting Proposal core by Uriel, additions by Anonymous
- Uriel has a combat system proposal for us to consider - http://combatproposalrodentia.bluwiki.com/go/Combatproposalrodentia
We are currently butting heads over a tristat or quadstat system with Passive/Active subsects/bonuses included.
I agree with the percentile Idea. Rolling opposing percentile dice, modified by stats/skills, to determine attacks. This would also work well with determining critical hits. If everyone was rolling percentile dice (2d10), we could use doubles as an indication of a critical hit. The chance to roll doubles with 2d10 is 1/10, and with comparable stats & weapon skills, you'd hit about half the time, so crit chance would be around 5%, which is rare enough. Also, I like the idea that 99 & 100(9, 9 & 0, 0 on the percentile dice) are both critical hits. The percentile system could easily incorporate Uriel's combat proposal. For instance, having a shield equipped could add 10% when full blocking, and 5% when blocking and riposting, but nothing for dodging. Using a two hander could add a bonus for attack, but nothing for blocking, and using a light weapon could add a bonus for dodging, etc... - Marcidus
- Anonymous has offered an idea to use the dice-slot system for everything - Rodentia AnonIB Thread
Fluff Pieces In the Works
Races of Rodentia
- The Amphibians
- The Ancient Beavers
- The Cats of Rodentia
- The Cavies of Rodentia
- The Fruits of Rodentia
- The Gerbils of Rodentia
- The Hamsters of Rodentia
- The Mice of Rodentia
- The Moles of Rodentia
- The Otters of Rodentia
- The Pikas of Rodentia
- The Rats of Rodentia
- The Savage Lands
- The Shrews of Rodentia
The Lore of Rodentia
The Key Figures and Events of Rodentia
Ursula Vernon, http://metalandmagic.com/index.php
does the KICKASS web comic Digger. http://www.graphicsmash.com/comics/digger.php?view=archive&chapter=5028&mpe=1 (I think the first 250 strips should be available without subscribing)
she's the one that did the big LOL pear with the mouth.
Hamsters come from the Mommy Hamster. No, I'm not joking, read this article. http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mhamsters.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouse_Guard should be a required reference for this game.
This shit reminds me a lot of those Redwall books.
- Yeah, we get that alot. Redwall didn't have greek otters or magic though, so Brian Jacques has nothing on us.
- Well, Redwall did have seers, and some magical items if I recall. I like the Redwall series, and I like the parallels. The added Maturity and the addition of magic should make for an excellent setting.
"DarthMethodist. Animals killing eachother with guns and swords=good times."
-Is the game going that far ahead technology-wise? - RedGreen
-I really hope not. Uriel
-Me neither, at the most I think perhaps early hand-cannons, and they would be little known and rare. But I'd prefer they not even exist. perhaps if someone REALLY wanted to they could create one in their own game with reason. - RedGreen
-as it is, we're already nearing the redzone of "dangerously furry" by making them so much like humans. We shouldn't give them much beyond iron age technology, with some magic replacing technology beyond that point. Even Irontails' "science" should be magical in nature.
- Well, an anon today said instead of just giving animals cultures or behavioral patterns arbitrarily, we should read up on each specific animal, and their behaviors before we attempt to assign them a culture. I don't know how much we are totally willing to die for to keep in the race planning, a lot of the basics are things we should keep, with the hamster/gerbil enmity. I don't know about the otter cat one though. dog/cat would work better if the dogs weren't as rare. I don't know much about otters' enemies. but off the top of my head, beavers(if not extinct) would probably be a better enemy since they are both water mammals(battle for naval superiority type thing).
Or even just keeping whats been decided, and just revise it to add in the instinctual behavior of the animals. Keeping it like that would bring rid of the "furry level" down to next to none. Perhaps not even assigning human cultures to the different species. Maybe create their own cultures based on their instinctual behaviors if they were given just human intelligence and bi-pedalism in a world in the iron-age with some magic and magical technology. I think the danger for furfagotry lies in just taking an animal and adding a complete human personality to it.
Bipedalized animal with human intelligence and animal based culture = not furry
animal given human personality without regard to the behavior of the animal = furry
I posted this on /tg/ and was scolded for thinking of throwing away otter vs cat, the argument made sense so I responded with:
Making the point of Otters as the sea force against cats makes sense from that view, I was just looking at it from a ___ vs ___ view, that it would make more sense that the otters had a water based enemy. Perhaps the reason Beaver's became extinct was because of beaver otter rivalry. Besides, this is more about hamsters and gerbils than otters and cats, so its not throwing away everything. I conceded the point, but who knows whats happening. is this a non-hierarchal structure, or is someone actually in charge who is reading this stuff over and can make decisions based on the input given. - RedGreen
-DM here, I was actually leaning more towards muskets and, like someone said, hand cannons. Kind of like 15th-16th century stuff. For some reason the original picture of the hamster riding the bird put me in mind of this time period. By no means do I want futuristic or modern day technology, as that ruins the atmosphere of this world.
Oh and another thing, what will the scale of the animals be like? I got the idea in Redwall that they were all roughly the same size. Will that be the case here or will we keep everything to scale in RL?---DarthMethodist
From what seems to be happening, I seem to be the unofficial arbiter here, since I seem to be doing a lot of "approving" albeit under the Anonymous tag on 4chan. Honestly though, we seem to be doing a good enough job with compromise so far. If we need an actual leader, we can elect one, right? Uriel
-As for animal scale in Redwall, I think the animals had exaggerated scales so they were closer in size, but they still had differences, with mice and shrews being smaller then rabbits and rats and ferrets, and foxes and badgers and cats being hueg.
As for animal scale in Rodentia, I think it should be kept the same, but just made bipedal, or bipedal with quad optional for speed.
As for firearms, I'm still thinking the only personal firearms should be fire lances and hand cannons. perhaps regular cannons would be ok? If at all. - Redgreen
-I advocate that gunpowder technology be really fucking rare, with like... one cannon available in the entire world. Arquebusses and jezzails, crappy-ass muskets, and the like being less rare, but still extremely rare. Honestly, I don't like the idea of being past iron age with these guys, but some technology would add some flair. We could also probably have a possible quest involving the cannon if its the only one in existence. Uriel
I can't help but notice that many pieces of fluff from the various threads are missing from the hamstyrscrolls wiki. Even if not all of them are to be "canon," is there a centralized collection of them anywhere? I liked the one about the "good" rat soldiers Random Guardsman wrote.
Also, this project looks really neat in general; can't wait to see what you guys come up with. But then I'm biased, since I like rodents as pets (especially rats). - Anonymous
Unfortunately, some of those works seem to be lost unless the writers have them saved. I apologize for not having saved them at least on this page. Uriel
As it is now, I think we're a little all over the place. We have place holders for just about everything in the gameworld, and I think to be most efficient we should dedicate our thought to one aspect at a time. Or, we could assign aspects to different people. Uriel, to be honest, I agree that you've been doing most of the approving. I think you should get the right of veto. ---DarthMethodist
In that case, then I suggest we start referencing wiki about almsot every creature we're making race stuff for. We've already done that for guinea pigs, shrews, gerbils, and badgers - some of the stuff we've got on them is good and fits their RL counterparts, I think. Uriel
I deleted the alignments we'd posted up. Most of our races are gray areas, so I figured, why bother? Feel free to add them back in if I'm being stupid. Uriel
I edited the Race Page a little. I seperated all the primary species into their own editable category, as well as adding "Monsters and Legendary Creatures" section. I took the liberty of adding a few monsters we already have, as well as a few... "examples." ---DM
I've reorganized all of the fluff into several pages keyed into certain themes. If you wish to add fluff, please add to the appropriate page and make your story a separate chapter or subchapter. The goal of this is to eventually turn each page into a fully functional story page, then add it to the canon wiki. Several other sections of this page also got a revision. Uriel