Neat! A few ideas:
Implement Mastery - I love the idea of a book implement too (especially for Nifflas). What you've got seems nice, though I wonder if it might be a good idea to have something more in line with the other implements. i.e. based directly off a stat, and can be activated after you know the outcome of an action.
Stress Test - I think Knowledge checks will at least partially obviate the demand for this power. Still, it's interesting, and works all the time instead of some. I like how you did the element-changing bit!
New Plan - Very cool - but what happens for spells with multiple elemental keywords? I also like how you specified "attack" and not "spell" - a multiclass wizard/fighter could use it on a martial power! Maybe not what you intended, but I think it's neat.
Threw this together; call it an anthropological study.
Morning in the Day Show
Kree Sliphammer wakes up as the first rays of sunlight filter through gaps and knotholes in the walls of his apartment. He stands up and exchanges his threadbare blanket with another on hanger on the wall. He has only a few minutes before the daytime resident of the apartment he rents comes home from the night shift and collapses into the single bed. He pulls his satchel, which contains nearly all his worldly belongings, from beneath the bed, and fishes from it a relatively clean set of clothes. Dressed and packed, he leaves the apartment and makes his way through the narrow, crowded streets. He makes his way through the throngs of people to a small plaza. There is a magical fountain in the center of the square, one of the precious few sources of water in the neighborhood. There is always a crowd around it; hundreds of people armed with buckets, cans and cups. He struggles through the mob, digging a battered tin stein from his sachel. Minutes later, he emerges, clutching the cup protectively to his chest. He finds a clean patch of ground and sits down, setting the cup between his body and the wall he leans against.
From the satchel Kree produces a cake of hardtack biscuit, a paper packet containing some dried fruit slices, and a small tin of green salty pickled vegetable mush. He drips a few drops of water on the rock-hard biscuit, spreads some of the vegetable mush on it, and balances it on one knee as he turns to the dried fruit. Which has vanished. Kree shakes his fist in frustration at the small, slender figure darting through the crowd with his paper package. "Thief!" he yells, impotently. "Nameless scum!" The cry of 'thief!' is taken up by a few other people in the square, but Kree resigns himself to a fruitless breakfast. At least the distraction gave the hardtack some time to soften. He wolfs down the biscuit, gathers his things, and heads to work. Although it is quite light out by this time, it will be hours before the sun is visible between the tops of the towering piles of buildings on every side of the square.
Cool! I like. It's fun to write epic myths and stories about the mightiest beings in Nifflas, but fleshing out the experiences of some normal citizens is what really gives the setting life.
I love this stuff! You should put the Wiki in the first page though, it's a bit hard to find. I had read the first post when it was first made and loved the idea, but the stuff you all have grown is absolute, beautifully crazy. There is so much of it that I want to steal and add to my own game/setting.
The section on Disease in the Wiki is particularly grand. I may have to take parts of Scrivener's Palsy and add it to the setting. I already made Lunacy into a sentient disease, why not add another?
Also, love Beldam. Its very much like an Asylum I had designed for my game. I think just the entire general theme is so much what I want to capture in my own games that its just ripe with stuff to pluck. The combination of Horror and nearly Absurd Fantasy is perfect.
The philosophies are also brilliant. I have a few in my game and swear that I must have read about it here first before putting them in.
Has anyone run any games in Nifflas yet? If so, where they online and could I get a link? I'd love to read through more.
Random aside: Found this. Thought it seemed Nifflas-y: secret monsters.
Need to stat up some secret monsters myself, the just seem like fun.
Well, I couldn't help it... writing up some background for secret monsters...
Secret Monsters are representative of Nifflas as a world, being, at heart, a manifestation of unspoken desires, and guilt, they are formed and created by the organic denizens of the planet.
The physical form of the secret monster depends on the secret in question, and are genrally representative of such. (A secret monster formed by an unvoiced love, for example, might appear as a maiden.) However, they all retain a few features. Since the secret monsters originally rely on the imagination of a creature in order to exist, they have a few ways of refusing to deny their existence should they escape. It is very hard to deny a creature before your eyes, but they can always be closed. Each secret monster has a bell tied to a moving appendage that should always ring when it moves, and also smells distinctly of fresh flowers.
So I'm going to be running Keep on the Shadowfell as a Nifflas game again, and I want to add a young dragon as a climactic encounter for the first part of the game (replacing Irontooth, who my players already know about from a previous playthrough). The dragon was created by the knowledge that Kalarel is opening a portal Backstage (the Shadowfell) to call forth a scion of the Kingdom of the Cuckoo (since there's no Orcus in Nifflas). What should this dragon's breath do? What does it burn its victims into? I was thinking animate mannequins, and it burns its surroundings into dollhouse furniture and theater scenery. Anyone have any other suggestions?
Heehee! How about it burns inanimate objects into various props(And if it should take a PC or NPC to dying, maybe they start to slowly turn into a puppet if they fail their death saves), but... it has an additional effect on PCs caught in the blast, similar to a wild-magic-esque thing... But turns them into stories/cliches of the stage, mainly neutral effects that could be either very detrimental, beneficial, or neither.
You could have some fun if a character is tsruck and has to play so far against type for a round or two.
For all sentient creatures caught in the blast of the dragon's fire, roll 1D6 and apply the following effect:
1. The Nefarious Archvillain: Cackling madly, the creature seems to grow in stature slightly, to dominate the stage... The affected PC must make a basic attack (Ranged or melee) on the nearest ally in range. If there are no allies in range, this roll has no effect.
2. The Dashing Swordsman: With a flick of the hair and a witt one-liner, the creature chooses to save the day... The melee attacks of the PC use charisma as their deciding statistic (Save ends)
3. Plucky comedic sidekick: The character feels... slightly light-headed, but is all the more aware of the the dangers around him. Gain a +2 to will defence, but a -2 to fortitude (Save ends)
4. The Tragic antihero: Oh woe is he! He's realised his long love for that which can ne'er be his, and it grits him in determination, though he still has so many scarred memories, truly... +2 to fortitude, -2 to will (Save ends)
5. The bumbling muscle: Yer boss, dats me... +2 to constitution, -2 to Charisma. (Save ends)
6. Knight in Shining Armour: The character feels stronger, braver and faster. It seems this dragon slaying lark could be a bit more beneficial than you think. The player may make opportunity attacks on enemies in place of his allies for that round, if in range.
I'd just like to say that I am a huge fan of this setting and I've run a one-shot based around it and I've also started a forum-roleplay based on it. You've of course been credited for the setting, and I invite you, as well as any others who wish to, to join in. While it is still in the works, it should be complete very soon.
(Note, however, that it doesn't encompass D&D rules. It's based entirely around writing and text-roleplaying. I apologize if that doesn't appeal to you. )
The link: http://niflaas.proboards.com/index.cgi
Also, if there's anything that you'd like removed that partains to your setting, I'd be more than happy to obliged. As far as I'm concerned, it's your creative property.
Have you guys seen the "Parable" epic destiny in Arcane Power? If I didn't know better, I'd say it was written with Nifflas in mind!
I reckon maybe we should discuss them here about how best to fit them in and around, maybe?
We know the Knowmes are the clerks of the Library... Are they perhaps spawned inside the library, maybe? From some kind of residual energy? Knowme adventurers, perhaps, are sustained by the powers of the stories that surround Nifflas, could allow for some good background for PCs (We are making Knowmes analogous to Gnomes, right?)
Maybe one of their other jobs in the Library is to recover lost adventurers, and lost cataloguing cards. Most of the time they can evade books with their natural tricksiness, but... sometimes, especially in the upper levels of the library, they need a bit more of a brutish hand. (Could lead to a good adventure hook for PCs...)
The Department of Odds and Ends is an unusual place... A ramshackle old thing on the island of Dave, a towering mess of corregated iron, planks of driftwood, and skywhale ribs, all held together by some seemingly benign, but unknown force. They're responsible for managing the 'Most Holiest Odds and Ends' of Nifflas. While not technically affiliated with the Inebriate, the department does have strong connections with organised religion across Nifflas, their job being to collect, quantify, and order all the rubbish that exists in Nifflas. An impossible, and thankless task.
Of course, they're very protective of the whole thing. Have you ever seen somebody fight a man to the death over a sock he lost behind his setee three years ago?
I'm pretty new to this concept, but already falling in love with it.
So there's Junk, of course, but I wonder if there's room to expand of the concept of Gunk. Machines needs Grease to run smoothly, and luckily, Grease loves to play with Junk. But what happens when it the machines aren't taken care of, and Grease gets used up? What if the Grease isn't changed regularly, and gets bored with playing with the same piece of Junk all the time? Or it gets sad or insecure because nobody's around to run the machines? Or maybe some of the more powerful machines aren't very fun to play with for very long, and tires out the Grease faster than others. Or maybe they don't like being told certain kinds of stories. Not sure which specific way to go with it, but you get the idea.
So maybe Grease become something different once it's full of dirt and grime. It becomes Gunk.
Or think about how when you look at an oil-slick, you can sometimes see a rainbow inside it. Maybe Gunk eats color. Gunk might be a good substitute for many of DnD's "Necrotic" elements. Does Gunk have a consciousness? I'm thinking like the balls from World of Goo, only sometimes angry, grumpy, sad, or fickle.
A Hunk of Gunk is a big angry ooze, a single conscious personality, but the moment you separate out a Chunk of Gunk from the larger Hunk, both their personalities change a little bit. The Hunk gets a little less angry when it loses a Chunk, while the excized Chunk is just sort-of angry. If you keep cutting it apart until you just have little pieces everywhere, you'll notice that each individual piece is just a little grumpy or sad or insecure. It's when all those little negative emotions come together that they form the big raging blob ooze.
Whenever you strike a Hunk of Gunk, parts of the Gunk get scared and jump off the big ooze. In order to defeat a Hunk of Gunk, you have to keep hacking it apart until it goes from 1 Raging Hunk to 3 Angry Chunks to a dozen Grumpy Chunks. Fire is the best way to get the Gunk to scatter and separate. Once you have a ton of mostly just insecure or bored droplets of Gunk, you give them all beer to loosen them up, and they go back to being inert, manageable balls of grease in search of Junk to play with.
It's crucial to get the blobs separated before you give them the beer though! There's nothing more dangerous than an Angry Drunk. And you REAALLY don't want a Hunk of angry Gunk taking over a lot of Junk. Then you get a big angry Junk golem. These are called Crunks.
This might play into the eternal battle between dark and light that we always see in DnD. One of the missions of the clerics of Inebriate would be to make sure that the Gunk of the world stays nice and loosened up. Because if you don't take care of the Gunk, it'll start finding other things to play with, things its not supposed to play around with, like skeletons and corpses (I don't think I've seen many attempts to represent the undead in Nifflas so this might be one of the many angles by which it manifests itself).
I'll noodle on this for a while, but feel free to share any ideas or put part of this into that lovely narrative form you folks are so good at. If my head-fog clears out, I might submit something myself.
This seemed pertinent:
Apparently, it's by someone named Tony Weinstock.
I wonder how big it would be.
I'm also working getting a play-by-post game going on Myth-Weavers. One of the challenges is figuring out what to do with the new very popular primal classes. Somehow, I felt like making everything primal = storms just seemed like a little bit of a cop-out. One of my thoughts was that maybe the junk that gets thrown into the world gives clues into stories from outside the world of Nifflas, and primal classes collect these rare articles and attempt to interpret the stories within. Feel free to browse, join, or bounce off ideas.
*Kicks to start it up again*
"I once left me key cutters, y'know. Reckoned I'd take a nice holiday break in Cetacia. What with me wife sayin' I needed a break an' all that, we were workin' too 'ard. Well, left the care of the shop in 'er 'ands, and had, in so far as I can remember, a nice little get away.
Came back two weeks later, and she's only run off with me gunk, hasn't she? Damn charmin' oil..."
-Sniffles McGraw, an ugly little man we met in a bar.
Gunkfolk could even be the unique race to Nifflas, considering how most other campaign settings have a race which the setting is defined by. A world of junk having folks of oil as it seems... fairly representative. (+2 Cha, +2 Con, methinks.)
" 'Ey! Stop strugglin' now, it'll make it easier on both of us!"
*Grunting and tussling*
"Oy com'on, don't be scared of a wee li'l knife! 's just how we say 'ello around 'ere! Whassat, mate? What the-...you're a 'uman?! Well why didn't ye say so?
All right, all right, I'll put it away. It's clear ye ain't so dangerous anyways...Just don't go creepin' 'round where ye ain't supposed to. Scared the livin' gunk outta me!
And the gall, really! Askin' a man to put away 'is knife, and didn't even say please. Ye act like ye ne'er even seen a Junkaloo before!
"Whassat? You ain't?...Well, tha's just cause we're so good at hidin', eh? We're reallly not such bad folk once ye get pass the 'air and the teeth.
Aye, aw'right, I'll let you go lad, but I'm warnin' ya, the forest ain't gonna be so kind, I'll tell ye that. See, there's three rules you need to know to survive in the Junkle.
Rule number one: Be efficient. Ain't gonna find much food once you get into the deeper parts of the walla-walla, less ye got a stomach what can digest a bobble-whomper or a zipper-doo. And a compass ain't gonna get ye very far either.
Rule number two: Be polite. Respect the gunk. Respect the tribe. And for the love o' the daemon Gazz'oleen, respect a man's territory!
And number three: Never, I say, never leave home wi'out a good story or a good brew! Thas' the only the things what'll make the gunk run a macheen for ya if ye don't want a puddle o' crunk after yer hide before long.
Now, come inside and I'll sh-*WEEEOOOOZZZZZZRRRRRPPPPRRRP-ow-ow-ow-ow....ZIP!" [End of Record]
- Heard playing on a Gangle-Whaangler inside an abandoned cave in the Junkle. Filed in the archives of The Stellingworth Walla-Walla Expedition.
In case it's not obvious, Shifters are going to live deep in the junk forests in my iteration of Nifflas. They're called the Junkaloo, and I thought australian accents would work well with the way they give silly names to the machinery they encounter. They're actually a very spiritual people, since I've pretty much decided to go full-force with my idea of Junk/Gunk = Primal. For example a shaman could be someone who tries to piece together stories about the origins of the junk. This opens the door to many fun references, since the junk is coming from the world above. The stories you might find in old cassette tapes or phonogram records would have such a mystical quality to them. I can imagine a bunch of people crowding around the ruins of an old gigantic Viewmaster in a junk temple, and trying to find the holy picture discs that tell the stories of the gods.
A shaman would be able to summon the things that appear in those stories. Like if you stumbled on the Viewmaster for The Lion King, you'd get to summon Simba as an animal companion. Of course, we'd have to change the names of the films for the sake of immersion/copyright infringement/not turning this into Kingdom Hearts.
I could definitely see a big barbarian type clad in junk all strapped together, wielding a crooked pipe with a large gear at the end of it that kind of functions as a Maul. Druids and Wardens are probably better off being tied to the Storm Born, but it's possible that their powers could also be expressed through a relationship with the quasi-magical Gunk that exists in a symbiosis with Junk. I've written about what happens to Gunk when it gets corrupted, but maybe that's what wardens and druids are there to prevent. Where the Inebriate only has a crude way to turn the Gunk back to normal, maybe the Junkaloos have discovered working refineries among the Junk that they can use to clean the Gunk, and those would be their holy places. They've also probably discovered intricate regulations about what kind of machines you're allowed run (since some machines tend to corrupt the Gunk faster than others).
I'm not totally sure how the Junkaloo feel about the Junkforged that the dwarves construct deep in the mountains though. Either they'd revere creatures of pure junk, or find it a crime against nature. One or the other =P
I would like to keep unique races to a minimum thouhg, since it seems we're trying to fit as much of the core DnD stuff as we can into the world. I think Wildken might be a decent representation of pure gunk beings, but I'll have to noodle on that. Also, what to make of Goliaths?
So I've been trying to figure out how to handle Eladrin and Tieflings.
I've decided that in my world, there are going to be three types of beings "backstage".
Eladrin are kind of the directors and stagehands of the world. They stay in the background and make sure that everything runs smoothly, and their wisdom can be called upon when someone forgets a line. Their int/dex, and Eladrin education reflect the fact that they're often thought of as the ones who are working the lights, the sound, the stage rigging, and writing the script (so whenever you encounter "prophecy", you can be sure an eladrin is probably behind it). This seems appropriate since that's usually what happens in ordinary DnD games anyways. They're extremely rare, of course, and not very well liked among common people, who'd prefer to be allowed to live their lives as they see fit. And of course, the Fey Step power is the whole "Stepping backstage" thing we've mentioned before.
Tieflings are the horned, devilish little creatures that we've nailed down as far as the troublesome "Backstagers". I'm still thinking about their origins and motivations though.
Lastly, I don't think we've done anything with Dopplegangers. Those are going to be "Understudies". They're the second-string personas that never really made the cut, you see, but they spend their time practicing their lines and disguises to fill in the critical roles. When a hero has fallen in a critical battle, the Eladrin might send in an Understudy to fill in in a pinch. The Understudy has similar skills as the hero, and tries (with varying degress or success or awkwardness) to emulate the fallen hero's personality. They can be a fun way to avoid an accidental TPK, I think. Of course, the problem with Understudies is that once they get a taste of the spotlight, they'll be quite reticent to go backstage again, and either steal the fallen hero's name, or go off into hiding away from the Eladrin.
"And she gets on me about asking Mister Stampnitzky for a raise, so I warned her 'Oh no, I wouldn't go askin' fer a raise today, if I were you.' and she says to me 'Aye, and why the dickens not?' in that shrill squeaky li'l voice of hers, 'I've had 'is tea ready at 8 o'clock every mornin' just like he asks! Ne'er missed a day, so I haven't!' and I said to her 'Well that's all well and good but ain't you heard about what happened at the wedding?'
Well, it turns she hadn't heard, the hollow-headed trollop, can you believe that?! So there I was, havin' to explain it all to her, about how Stampnitzky'd been in a fine rut of a mood since his wedding had been interrupted by a Ghostwriter. I'd been there to watch the whole thing of course. Pointy-eared li'l man came hopping out from behind the bar right before the priestender popped the cork! Just burst in like a storm, he did, shouting "CUT! CUT!" an' moanin' about how the story was all wrong, blurting out directions everywhere like he owned the place! An' he kept asking about some young man who hadn't even been invited! No one knew a thing about it until he finally showed up an hour later and ran off with the poor girl. A ghastly embarrasment, all of it.
Now don't get me wrong, Brenda, I'm all for a nice plot twist an' all, but really, if the lad can't be bothered to barge in on time, he don't deserve her in the first place. Moral of the story: Always memorize your tram schedules!"
- The windbag in the seat next to me at the hair parlor
Thank you all so much for keeping this thread alive while I've been away, and thanks also for all the nice things you continue to say. Who is Shea, by the way?
I have some more time on my hands now, and was wondering if anyone would like to see any particular aspect of the setting fleshed out a bit more? A full update isn't really feasible now, but I am more than willing to write things and put them on the internet.
Good to hear from you again Mostly,
Honestly I'm not sure much more needs to be added, at least in terms of "core" setting, if you will.
I would also tend to cation things getting too out of hand in terms of goofiness, the people of Nifflas need to be just that: people, with logical motivation and actions given the crazy state of their world (though not necessarily crazy to them )
The open-ended nature of Nifflas' history and origin is great but we could use more places and situations that would allow multiple adventures and multiple groups to coexist in the same world, if I'm making any sense.
-Threats to the status-quo
-Sites with history but still largely unexplored
-Villains (or hero) to act as the antagonist
That sort of thing, something to interact with and change all the way from low to high level (we have a lot of stuff to mess with high up, not so much on the low end) will try my hand at this tomorrow.
And again, I think we have the base down pretty well, I would love to see a PDF with some clever formatting, art, and basic mechanics (4e for the time being). If we could find some way to work on it together, a polished product would attract readers, show we are serious, and get some great feedback.
For antagonists threatening the status Quo, how's about this...
"I 'eard whisperings guv. Up in the higher levels of the library from the Kings in Non-fiction. Say there's a power up top. The characters speak of him in only hushed tones. They call 'im The Pooh. First creature to unite the children's and the erotic fiction tribes in 700 years... Say he's coming down, sending scouts off into the lower levels, demandin' tribute an' all sort. Those who don't... well, can't remember what happens to 'em guv..."
"And I'm not sure you remember 'em either."
-Theodore Scrubbs, third level Knowme clerk.
I love the Hunk of Gunk. Would be an extremely interesting boss fight, I'm sure!
In terms of sinister organizations/personalities hanging over the setting, which I agree would be nice, we have a few loose ends (if I recall) fluttering around that could be reworked for that purpose. The Kingdom of Cuckoo for example. I think it was mentioned to be able to infect people with the Name of Names, hollowing them out and replacing them with hollow me for its own insidious (and thus far completely opaque) purposes. Somewhat similarly we have the Immortals, whose legendary names dominate any foolhardy enough to adopt them. Both of those areas are ripe for development.
The Pyramids of Zhuangzi are filled with the lingering dead, and could easily be adapted to house more sinister mysteries in its inner, secret chambers.
The Unkindlies are wonderful villains, they don't even really need any work to be credible and deeply unsettling foes. In fact, given their completely amoral devotion to the duties at hand they could be made even more dangerous if it were revealed that their prime mission or goal somehow endangers Nifflas in the long-term.
And then to toss out a completely original (I think) hook, perhaps the PCs discover that all the skerries have begun to slowly drift towards each other. The effect is subtle and so takes some effort to notice at first, but it is very real. As the process accelerates it becomes obvious that the skerries are not only moving inexorably closer, but they are converging on a single location- and what lies at that location is a matter of speculation for a different post!
I'm glad to see this thread is still alive, someday I'll have time to sit down and contribute some more stuff! Keep up the great work everyone!
On the topic of villainous organisations.... I dunno. I think Part of the Unkindlies inherent creepiness is that they're affiliated with the Rooks.
Which, in some terms means.... They're the good guys.
And if they're the Good Guys, that leads to very unsettling questions as to where the baddies are headed.
With them policing books of untold power, that kind of stuff, we have a force there literally attempting to fray the edges of reality, in the stories themselves.
The alchemical ba-bomb they previewed for Ebberon strikes me as a very Nifflas sort of device. I can just imagine the off-center Alchemist of the party who gives names to each of his bombs, talks to them, and sends them bravely off to their deaths while promising to cherish their time together forever . . .
It would be even better if the bombs sometimes talked back, or made faces or cried as they marched off to their doom. Or yelled brave insults at the enemy, or made puns, or whatever.
Well anyway, I thought it was entertaining.
Wow, I'm insanely glad this is still going. I've been too busy for a while. I really need to get back into this.
Just wanted to let you guys know that my play-by-post game is going pretty strong after 2 weeks. If any of you are keen on PbP, we do need 1 level 4 defender to join the party. This announcement is probably only good for the next 2 days, so swing by Myth-Weavers if you want to play.
Game Forums if you wanna read along.
Recruitment Thread if you wanna fill the spot.
Daperez: Solid work, really-really spectacular. This kind of feedback is fantastic!
I only begrudge being kept up till 4:00 am reading these wonderful entries, this is so much more then I was able to do in the game I ran, and for the kicker I'm felling better about the project then ever.
I would play, would love to in fact, but I don't believe I have the artistic chops to really pull of my Illithid Swordmage/Warlock(star-pact).
Well now I'm feeling all inspired, ok gents (and ladies naturally) lets get the activity on this bad boy rolling again: new content, art, formatting, anything really. It might also help to have some form of communication outside just these forums, maybe an IM service or even Vent. An agenda would be nice as well, preferably from Mostly, but Knowing what needs work would be a huge boon.
So on that note: Backstage (and my opinion in red)
1: Is "backstage" a separate plane of existence that coincides with the material world, as would be traditional in D&D?
Yes, It would make the most sense for the backstager abilities and provided for planar adventure.
2: It has previously be stated that backstage is the meta-physical space 'in between the walls' that's filled with ancient remnants of stage-gear and theater props, Is there anything more?
Yes again, I would like to see a backstage filled with interesting sights. Sure have the majority dominated by dusty gray corridors but also include forest-like environments, being dense enough to accommodate transition from one to the other gradually.
In addition It would be a pleasant irony for the dark and dusty backstage to consist of a single whole geography, in stark contrast to the skerries of Nifflas. Perhaps it's also sparsely populated by groups of small, helpful, spider-like creatures living off backstage's unique fauna. /shrug
3: How does one get backstage short of being born there? and is it safe to stay?
I have no idea.
4: Are Unkindlies intelligent and savvy humanoid censors working for (but forgotten by) the Rooks in a massive covert campaign to keep the most powerful and dangerous books from ever seeing a streak of candlelight; or, are they terrifying and bestial monstrosities devoid of soul (or even body), seemingly killing at random, and evoked in myth to scare children?
Lastly I wanted to make clear my goal here,
I'm want to help keep this setting alive by aiding in suspension of disbelief, I want sufficient rationalization pervasive enough to explain the behavior and motivations of the people of Nifflas, and the environment as a whole.
I think, as a nice way to characterise backstag, is that different environs do indeed exist, but not in the way you would imagine them.
The forests Backstage may seem like cardboard cutout trees, with painted bushes. The grass is just flat stageboard painted green.
The sheer potential for making this place eerily creepy by creating scenery that mocks the existing ecosystems of Nifflas is immense. Perhaps, Backstage is a parallel almost exactly to Nifflas, just characterised by these stageprops and a seeming desertion...
For example, if you were to slip into the backstage while you were in the day, you might be moving towards a backdrop made of cloth on the horizon, that never really seems to move any closer, being shunted by people that seem to just speak in whispers or in silence, like chorus members on stage...
That had the intended effect, I must say, Xia. Just picturing that creeps me out.
As for the Unkindlies, do you think they completely destroy the books they censor, or do you think there's a secret dark library somewhere filled with labyrinths of forgotten or forbidden knowledge? I wanna rip off a book I've been reading and call it the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Nifflas fans should read The Shadow of the Wind if they have nothing else to do; though I've found the audiobook a very satisfying rendition.
As for an agenda, my suggestion would be to go in order of how things would appear if we were pretending to publish a hybrid Player's Guide/Campaign Guide to Nifflas in the style of the Eberron/FR books. Just look at their table of contents, and I think you get an idea for what are the biggest priorities.
Introduction, then Races, then a chapter on The Day (like the chapter on Loudwater), then some words on what Adventuring is like in Nifflas, then a series of Backgrounds with a one-page profile on different locations, followed by Magic/Cosmology (Stories/Backstage/Junk), and finally, the sample monsters and sample house rules for the setting.
As much as I love the completely dissheveled storm of ideas we have going on here, I think if we want to expand the fandom, the best way to go about it so pretend like we're making a PDF, and organize the next "edition" Nifflas in that manner, so that it's more familiar and more accessible to more people.
The challenge is getting over (or not) a transition to a descriptive, 3rd person style of writing, and I'm not sure if anyone feels comfortable doing that yet, because that's something we've rarely done. We have very few entries for Nifflas lore that don't consist of an In-Character blurb that in their writing, transport you to the world of Nifflas as you read. In a way, this acts as a sort of quality-control mechanism that I rather like. It's like "Yes, you have a good idea, but now try writing that idea out in character. If you can't do it (either because of writer's block or laziness), or if it doesn't inspire someone else to do it in-character, then the idea isn't exciting enough yet." I find that automatic filter has kept this project, as big as it is, from inciting bitter debates about what is and isn't "canon", and what would be or wouldn't be a good idea just based on face value.
And yet, to properly introduce players to the world without either sounding pretentious, or just making everything harder to understand, there needs to be a Neutral, 3rd person voice to convey things like "Welcome to Nifflas, a world a where...", instead of just starting the chapter with a random excerpt or statblock.
I'm very much torn by the conflict because while I'd like to kick it into hyperdrive and get some comprehensive guide-like content out for all to enjoy, I like the organic feeling that avoiding a 3rd-person neutral voice has given the setting. Also, the 3rd-person neutral perspective has a tendency to shed far too much light on things that are supposed to be mysterious.
Anyone have thoughts on this?
One way that I've seen us get around this in many blurbs is that players take the character of an explorer, cartographer, sociologist, or general tourist's-guide writer. They get away with writing from a voice that sounds sort of like a 3rd-person neutral, narrating detailed descriptions of places, while still adding in a bit of spice now and then, and stopping short of revealing the crucial mystery of the world.
So maybe the "Campaign Guide" for Nifflas would be done in character as well. A compendium published by an institution who has gone out and collected information about everything and anything in the world. A team of Encyclopedians maybe, or a committe of librarians, or something else entirely; Ghostwriters perhaps? They sometimes write about the world in a Nifflasized version of the encyclopedic voice. They're the "We" in "- A guy we ran into at a bar".
Any ideas on who that "We" could be?
"Welcome to the Day! Whether you are a recent arrival from some backwater skerry or a veteran traveler of the skylanes, this humble Almanac (and an excellent purchase!) is your new best friend. Within it you will find knowledge hard won by generations of adventurous Librarians, rarefied into this compact form for your convenience and profit. From the dinosaur occupied plains of Yggdrasil's root offices to the farflung Pyramids of Zhuangzi and its deathless denizens, from the latest fashions of the skyfolk of Cetacea to misted legends of ancient lost Mills, let our experience be your guide.
So prepare your mind for its revelations, steel your soul for its mysteries, for from this page forth we set out on an expedition to explore our wide and wonderful world, Nifflas!"
-Opening passage of the Almanac, all known editions, published by the Library at Yebba Dim Day every moon.
"I admit that thou lot of actors seemed but savage plebes at a glance, but to best such a pack of Critics in so judicious a manner deserves praise and thanks 't least. Nay, protest not. My honor demands it, and where honor leads sense needs stoop to follow.
Like the rest of thy kind then, hast thou come backstage with hopes of finding a path between stages? Once the play's commenced, tis often a chore to travel between them in the normal way, or so I've heard it said by other actors. Few elect to brave the theatre's dark places for naught but a few saved weeks, but there are always the desparate.
Or perhaps thou art in search of treasures and rare things in the places beyond the stagelights? If so I can give little but warning, for few indeed there are that have ventured to such places and been glad of it.
Thy errand is thy concern, and no need to burden myself with the truth of it I understand! Take then one last suggestion: know before thou cross onstage what production it is thou will find there.
What, didst thou think that thy play was the only show to be seen in the theatre? There are always the Sideshows, and few enough of those wouldst thou flind to be pleasant. Scenes there happen as their directors and writers will it. Actors who wish to break character, well, they often find 'tis they who are broken first."
-Erritreus Volfluourill IV esq., remarks to our party upon breaching the Fourth Wall and making our way Backstage
That was one of the things I was concerned with before, Steel, and my suggestion would remain leaving the traditional race-roles regarding tieflings as they are. The directors/writers thing I thought I covered pretty well with the reflavoring of Eladrin as Ghostwriters that I had near the bottom of the previous page, which matches up very well with your description of Tieflings, save for the particular race we're using. I propose we use all those qualities to describe the Eladrin/Ghostwriters instead.
The way I see it, the Eladrin in DnD are always seen as snotty, aloof, and always meddling in the business of regular people, always thinking they know better. They are known for speaking in fancier, more archaic tongues, and even better, the Eladrin are known for living on the alternate plane of reality, and never seem to stop paying attention to the way prophesy says things should be. This seemed like a natural fit for the people who think themselves "above" the rest of the world.
And remember that the other Backstager we'd been kicking around was that concept of the mysterious, dark, mischievous horned creature that slunk around in the shadows. I mean, we refered to them as "demons", so this seemed like a natural fit for the tiefling, but I remember there being some discussion of giving this one eladrin mechanics for some reason. I don't really see the point in pulling a complete switcharoo on the mechanics. That might be something that really throws new players off when you put it together with the ways we've already reflavored Dragonborn and halflings.
I think, leaving the subject of Directors/Writers for now, where there's new ground to tread is to flesh out the dark and mischievous ones. Why are they such troublesome little demons, and considering they'll probably be a player race, what are their goals and their society like? Are they jealous little audition rejects who want to ruin the performance because they got turned down, perhaps?
Right, I forgot the whole eladrin and tiefling debate for backstagers. Now that you mention it, the eladrin seem a perfect fit, but that doesn't mean that tieflings can't be there as well! In fact, I like the idea that tieflings are 2-bit failures who were rejected for a major part. It makes them sneaky and resentful, except for the occasional tiefling that manages to sneak onstage and shows up lurking in someone's closet or under their bed. They lose all memories of backstage (or at least, they don't talk about it) and stay to the shadows, worried that someone will find out that they're an imposter and drag them out of the light.
For the directors/writers, I was thinking that their actual identities could remain mysterious. They could be analagous to the archfey of normal cosmology, or demigods, or something completely different. Really the only time they are ever encountered is when an unlucky onstager wanders into one of their Sideshows, and few enough return from that experience that the nature of such phenomena is poorly understood.
Oh sorry, I hadn't seen your post on the previous page somehow! Yeah, it looks like we have similar visions for backstage and how it interacts with the "real" world, and it looks like it's becoming quite an interesting place to adventure.
Good point, we don't want to take the metaphor of backstage so far that it becomes the default answer to the questions of cosmology that exist in Nifflas. We should be careful while fleshing it out to avoid certainty.
That being said, I don't think there is a problem fundamentally with things like sideshows and using backstage for interdimensional shortcuts. In Nifflas, words and ideas have power, and if enough of the denizens of backstage believe that their existence presupposes life in Nifflas, than there would be at least some whispers of power and evidence to support that notion.
I think I like the idea of leaving Tieflings' origins a mystery; they come from backstage, but going there doesn't find you any. Makes 'em more creepy. Eladrin seem to me to be a good fit for backstage denizens, but some can be the Shakespearian nonces we've mentioned, and others can be members of different cultures with different beliefs that coexist backstage.
I think most of backstage, the vast majority, should be mysterious and silent, like the neglected spaces that it resembles. Dangers here should be insidious and sneaky more often than they are large and straightforward. Intelligent natives should be few and far between, and when encountered always seem to be untertaking errands that are inexplicable.
@Zamboni - My interest has always been on codifying the Race roster in Nifflas, so I'll likely be on that project for a while.
Going back to what KB said, it's something that had been bugging me as well, and I share all of your concerns.
On one hand though, I'm not sure if it's that terrible, because in a way, what you say that "Backstage" does to the rest of the world is exactly what I feel like the Eladrin and the Feywild do in normal DnD. Think about how small you feel as a human warrior knowing that you can dedicate your life to battle an evil that threatens all civilization as you know it, but just next door there's a race of superior beings who live 4 times longer than you, seem to know exactly how the battle will turn out, and most irritatingly, don't give a sh** about "human affairs" except when it suits their purposes. It kind of makes what you do feel a little less significant. This is sort of how a Ghostwriter would be treated by the regular Nifflasian. The Eladrin directors are for the most part hated because people don't want to be told they're just actors on a stage.
On the other hand, I personally sort of hate how the Eladrin and the Feywild kind of cheapen the feel of my DnD, so I'd love a chance to fix that in Nifflas. To me, the Feywild was a fantastic concept that got lame when it became so commonplace, that everyone could just throw the word around like it was just any old place. I'm sure it was better, story-wise, when it was treated a rumor on people's lips, and you didn't have a Fodor's Travel Guide documenting every region of it.
I would love nothing more than to put the worms back in the can, and return a little mystery back to the concept of Backstage. The problem is that we still have races living there, and while it's nice to keep races mysterious, at the end of the day, player races are there to be played. And people want to know about the races they're playing. As long as we have a popular race exist almost entirely backstage, we're probably going to have to shine more light on the place; just as having the Eladrin living primarily in the Feywild forces us to shine more light there.
I don't want to shine more light on the Backstage though, and I don't want to document it, so here's what I'm proposing. Move the Eladrin out of there, and give them another name. I still like the idea that some of them become Ghostwriters (perhaps make that a Paragon Path favored by the race) living almost entirely backstage and pulling strings in a mad obsession to make the story go how they want. But most should live in the normal plane of existence. For now, let's call the Eladrin, "Book Elves".
Book Elves live in the upper reaches of the Library, where it is most like a Tree. This happens to a place full of high fiction, and this has an effect on the minds of the Book Elves.
We know that in regular DnD, Gnomes and Eladrin are sort of cousins that live near each other, so let's keep that connection alive in Nifflas. Knowmes and Book Elves are two sides of a coin. Where the Knowmes are creatures of non-fiction, viciously guarding their painstakingly-arranged stacks, the Book Elves are creatures of high fiction. They passionately study symbolism and trope theory, they are poets, singing romantic sonnets and speaking in that Old Nifflasian shakespearean dialect. They believe that "All the world's a stage...", and people's lives can be predicted according to what would make the most thrilling story, but most of them don't take the extreme conclusion that the Ghostwriter's do. They are always involved in scandalous House drama among the nobility, mimicking what they read in their stories. They can "Step Backstage" for a moment, and move in overacting gestures, etc...Get where I'm going here?
This leaves Eladrin in Nifflas exactly where they belong. Sometimes they meddle in the affairs of them, but for the most part, they don't, because they mostly find them drab and boring compared to their stories. Some of them go Backstage to fix these problems, but only a few of them. This leaves the Backstage the mystery we want it to be. Now you've got Eladrin living near Gnomes, you've got them around books, justifying the talents and properties expressed by DnD mechanics. You've also got a reason for them to be the best wizards around (another Eladrin trope).
With the Book Elves in their place, the Backstage is now a little quieter of a place. A place mostly experienced by players through quick peeks under a loose floorboard, which I think is better. And when Ghostwriters do come in and meddle in "mortal affairs", they can often be painted as crazy. It's no longer an authoritative voice telling Nifflasians that their lives are but an illusion - that they're actors on a stage - because it's just as likely, or more likely, that it is the Ghostwriter that is under the illusion. Of course those Book Elves are crazy! They live their entire lives in a world of fiction! Of course they're going to come up with some crazy idea like that! What they need is a stiff drink to bring them down to earth, by the Inebriate!
Now the only ones we need to worry about are Tieflings and Dopplegangers(or Understudies as I framed them before). The Understudies can remain as they are, because they're supposed to be both rare and mysterious (they are in regular DnD as well). But I don't think that we can just leave Tieflings a total mystery. As I said, people will want to play them, so we have to have at least some rumors of an origin story. I do agree with you Steel, that "they come from backstage, but going there doesn't find you any. Makes 'em more creepy." Let's call them Backstagers as we have before, and keep that idea. They don't need a codified society or anything, but it's worth asking, "What is the bare minimum that a player has to know to play a Backstager well?"
Now it does seem I'm cramming several races inside the library, so let me expand on how I view things.
Book Elves - Highest reaches of the Library, where it's most treelike. "Fiction" is their essence.
Knowmes - High in the library, but we don't know how high, or where in those floors, just not as high as Book Elves. Their home is a savagely well-guarded secret; as are their stacks. Heroes, though, may seek out their non-fiction section in order to find out a truth that exists nowhere else. Gaining the trust of the Knowmes, and their exclusive library permit, is a potential quest hook.
Deva - Deva, to me, are Characters in a kind of "Meta" way. Remember the Ritual of Classes? I basically took that as the origin for the Deva. Deva have no real names until they earn them; they are refered to by their archetype, and as we all know, an archetype like "The Warrior", or "The Thief" can never really die. While they are born in the library, seeming to spawn, full grown, crawling straight out of their books, they usually pine for adventure, and it isn't long before they set out to make their mark on the world in their new incarnation. They don't remember their past lives very well, but each time they play a new role, they add to the repertoire of meanings that their archetype encompasses.
Saurians - Where Knowmes are non-fiction and Book Elves are high fiction, the Saurians can be characterized by a variety of themes. What they all have in common though, is that the books they're around are generally older, more archaic, more forgotten, and less organized than those of the rest of the library. Since they live in the untamed jungles of the floors below, their books never get reshelved. As such, Saurians, as a society, are generally saps for the "Old Ways" of Honor, Chivalry, and Romance. Due to the disorder of the place though, the setting that each society lives in can vary wildly from tribe to tribe.
So that's 4 Library-dwelling races, which I suppose might seem a bit much, but I feel it's ok as long as they each have their own distinctions.
And why call them Book Elves as opposed to just elves if there's only one kind of "Elf"? What, you've never heard of the Maze Elves of the Labyrinth? (A potential spot for "Drow"...ideas are brewing now. Feel free to take off with it and give it a name of your own, thought I've always though there's a connection between them and the ever-censoring Unkindlies...That might give them a place to express their eternal rivalry with the Book Elves, who believe censorship is a crime of the most heinous sort.)
I really like the idea of moving the Eladrin out of Backstage and putting the Tieflings back in. I've done several one-shot games set in Nifflas and tieflings as Backstagers and the idea of Backstage in general have been a big hit with every group of players.
I also really like the name "Maze elves." Also, we previously established that "elf" was another name for "Skyfolk," so "book elf" doesn't come off as that strange on its own.
Also, the Library was initially conceived by M_G as being central to the setting. That said, it kind of makes sense that a third of the playable races hail from the Library.
Well the Tieflings were always there, but I agree, they became overshadowed by the Eladrin. And I must have missed that part about Skyfolk being regularly called elves, but that does make sense.
I think the problem with Tieflings is that they still lack a certain je-ne-sais-quoi before they can be considered a "Player Race". At the moment, I feel like we only know enough about them to make them mysterious little monsters. Fantastic monsters with great flavor for enemies, to be sure. But this is one of those times where we might need a little more spark of inspiration before the race write-up. I think once that happens, the rest of the story writes itself.
We might see if there's a potential connection between tieflings and other stray ideas that have been bounced around in the thread (Secret Monsters, Shadow Puppetry, etc...), or search our brains for a new idea. The key is that the idea should both inspire more writing about Tieflings, while at the same time not revealing too much of their enigmatic qualities.
And what's the story behind the name "Tiefling" anyway? It sounds devious enough that maybe it's used interchangeably with "Backstager". Who was Tief? Or Teef? Teethling? Who knows...
If Knowmes were the result of a typographical accident, then I'm thankful for it. I've gotten a lot of mileage out of those little philosomancing rascals.
Though I had a problem with Halflings in that I didn't quite understand how namelessness led to a sudden reduction in stature, considering that you can earn or buy your name back. Do you grow back to full size when you do, or was there a house-rule that removed the "short" keyword from Halflings?
I switched up and used Half-Elves for Nameless mechanics. A lot of the tropes for half-elves (the whole not belonging to any one society thing, having to learn to deal diplomatically because you're shunned, greater versatility) seemed to parallel with Namelessness. If anything in Nifflas gives a character greater versatility, it's not being bound by a name, and the Diletante power sort of expresses their ability to pick and choose their own identity as a Nameless believes his nature suits him.
I thought it an elegant solution, but found that it leaves a few big questions. Do elves and humans interbreed at all? And what do we do with Halfling mechanics then? In light of that, is it better not to have any racial entry represent the Nameless at all? Or did we hit it the first time with Halflings as Nameless, and I just haven't personally bought into it? Things to think about.
I'll look back through the thread and see what you mentioned about tieflings. Tying them into nightmares might be a good lead.
As for my interpretations of the Saurians as a library race, I was just going by the first paragraph in the wiki in their entry. But I suppose that's why there's a disclaimer regarding the potential unreliability of the character's personal accounts. But if there's no good reason to limit the scope of a race, there's nothing that says an iteration of Nifflas can't have Saurians actively wandering around the world. Hmm...and after looking back through their entry, they do seem far less generalizable than I had expected.
"Some of the outer skerries, they reckon they're closer to the 'core' of the world, as those consarned mobile heretics would call it. They say the extra pull of the centre makes 'em shorter.
I just reckon they're trying to disguise somethin'. Halflings keep it in the family, y'know?"
-A bitter old man in Cetacia.
How's that for a new halfling origin?
I was under the impression that halflings were people who lost their names specifically as children, and whose development was stunted as a result. I've gotten a lot of mileage out of them in the one-shots I've run - my players have universally found them to be creepy.
Personally, I really like the Knowmes pun, and given the popularity of gnomes as PCs in 4e (at least from what I've seen), I think they deserve a spot in Nifflas. As to what that spot is, I'm not sure it *must* have to do with the Library directly, but something having to do with stories would be good (shouldn't be too hard).
And I like this new Peter Pan-ish take on the Nameless. I think the "perpetual child" has been part of hobbit/halfling/little folk lore since the beginning, so this would be a fun "full circle" explanation for it.
Maybe the Nameless love listening to stories (like children), but hate being bound by them...and the Knowmes love telling stories, but often get too caught up in them. I could definitely see gnomes fitting some homebrewed (or reflavored) 4e "storyteller" classes or paragon paths quite well. Perhaps Knowmes are the opposite of the Nameless - regular folk who collected any name or story (no matter how ridiculous or poor) as obsessive storytellers, enamored of the craft itself. Always literate, nearly always bespectacled (lots of poor lighting in Nifflas doncha know), and stooped due to years of naught but reading and retelling.
In fact, sometimes real life bores them so much they'll just disappear into a good book for a turn or two...
Just discovered this - an absolutely gorgeous setting! I'm now reading voraciously...
Have you ever visited the Campaign Builders' Guild? The people there would probably love this (I go by Steerpike there).
I love this setting. My thoughts about the true reality are that the people and world are manifestations of mental processes of a very old creator god who has retired to drink for the remainder of infinity. It is the remaining bits he never used and vague recollections of past creation and alcohol all colliding in his subconscious.
Upon reading your setting I immediately remembered a film where the dream people set about to make their world permanent. Rarg -They are librarians with a massive library.
Watch it here. Enjoy!
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid … 2381387535
An odd thought came to me the other day, and I've been wondering about it. Preserved food is pretty clearly vital to Nifflan economy. How is it preserved? Salt is used in almost all food preservation methods, and I can't see where you could find salt in Nifflas. No oceans to harvest it from, and not enough ground to mine it out of. Any ideas?
Interesting point, I had not considered that.
I would discourage the introduction of salt water showers, it's a fine solution, but the setting is already desperate enough without the occasional spoilage of rain water reservoirs and the constant corrosion of the meager metal supplies.
I would imagine the dwarfs have staked out several major halite deposits throughout Nifflas, which could account for part of the supply. And going all the way back to the start of the setting we could use dragons to explain part of this. Dragon breath normally causes fertile lands which help to replenish the constantly collapsing ecosystems of the Skerries, perhaps there exists dragons that deplete the landscape and salt the soil instead?
Or better yet, one deceased dragon of incalculable age who's dessicated body and surroundings are looted for various salts.
One idea one of my players suggested was that criminals in the Day are forced to read sad books whilst wearing goggles connected to little vials until they have cried a certain amount of tears.
And we're back! Back to the subject of player races, which I interrupted some time ago with my question about salt. If I'm reading the last few pages correctly, our current player race line-up looks like this:
Humans - basically unchanged
Elves - Skyfolk, live in nomadic floating villages
Dwarves - basically unchanged; they have to eat a small quantity of stone and valuable metal or gems each day or the begin to turn into galeb duhr
Warforged - Junkfolk, contemplative amalgamations
Gnomes - Knomes, live in the Library, work closely with the Librarians
Halflings - Nameless, children whose names were lost or stolen; their growth, both mental and physical, is altered. They fear being 'captured' by stories.
Tieflings - Backstagers, appear in closets and crawlspaces, often without memories
Genasi - Stormborn, created when humans are caught in one of the magical storms
Eladrin - Stormborn, created when Skyfolk are caught in one of the magical storms
Dragonborn - Saurians, humanoid dinosaurs who value erudition and sophistication
Doppleganger - Understudies, very very rare and little understood
Deva - archetypes, people who sacrificed part of their "self" to take on mythic attributes
Goliaths - The relatively benign fragments of a slain, man-eating stone giant
What else am I forgetting?
I think we agreed the Deva were folks who had taken on elements of the archetypal characters, didn't we? Sacrificed part of themselves for a name of great power?
And... I was pondering some of the PHB2 races and... Goliaths?
"On one of the outer, wilder Skerries, Theatrice, they gots a tale, mate. They say that once, a great story lived there. A Giant, big as a skerry he was, and he demanded villagers once every year to grind into bread. Then once upon a time, a great Librarian came to the Skerry, but he couldn't bind it to page, not as big as he was, so he split up the story into little parts, chapters. And then... well, he bound some o' the nastier ones to books, but the benign ones he left alone. Called emselves Goliaths, they did.
Though, course, they still got some trace of that human-eatin' giant in there somewhere, I reckon. Ruddy things..."
Edited previous list. What about shifters, half-orcs, minotaurs, bullywugs? Well, maybe not bullywugs. Do we want to do full write-ups of any other races, or just, in response to the question of whether race X exists in Nifflas, use Alice's response to the Mock Turtle: "I daresay there may be one"?
A few of the campaign guides offer races with big stories, then a few with tiny writeups as the 'supporting cast'. I reckon if we work out at least a sentence or so to go with each core racem we should do alright...
Do we want to do something with the new wiki thing? Like Iomandra?
I'd be up for helping with transferring all we've got to a wiki on here. Might also help get some activity back on the project... seems like our Gunk has run off with the mistress....
Though, I'm working on my own project too atm(Expect it up soon! Blatent plug!), so I'll be working inbetween shifts.
Pointless thread necro!
I don't remember if I asked this before, but does anyone have any suggestions for music to use in a Nifflas game for atmosphere?
I'll throw in a Necro of my own and just say that I may be interested in helping, though I've actually been pretty busy with a Nifflas-related project of my own, and the direction I'm going with mine might not completely parallel your version of the world. So far, I've mostly been putting the current content into a more organized "Booklet" form with a proper introduction, much like a campaign guide, but soon, I'll reach the Race Conversion chapter, which is going to be a real doozy. The hardest part is having to make a lot of changes that I have a feeling much of this thread hasn't reached a consensus on, balancing the reality that most people have moved on to other projects, with the counterpoint that the final product would be infinitely better if I had race write-ups from beyond the frontiers of my own imagination. Yes, I'm attempting the insane task of finding a parallel (even just a sentence of a hint) for each core race - those in PHB's or MM races that have "Ecologies". Some setting-specific races were too much trouble to include, while others like Changelings, come naturally. I'll try to describe what I've got brewing so far......But later! I just got a burst of inspiration. It's cleared some things up!
IMMA CHARGIN' MAH NECRO-LASER.......
That's right, PDF'd and everything! It's just a first draft, and I've butchered a lot of things, but it's the culmination of several weeks of work, so hopefully it'll do someone some good.
EDIT: Unfortunately, I feel rather bad sharing it publicly at the moment, as it has not undergone the proper procedure to not be classified as a theft of someone's intellectual property. Perhaps one day, when I can put out something that has the proper accreditations for everyone involved, I can try sharing it again. Until then, it's just going to serve as a magnet for controversy, so if you want it that badly, you can PM me for a copy that I'll explicitly classify as a "work in progress".
Looks great Dino! It's nice to see some of my old stories there. (I used to be SteelMirror, but lost my old email address so had to make a new profile) I was shocked to see this thread still teetering along, even if only by the occasional thread necromancy.
I posted in this thread on page two or something, wonderful to see how it has come on! Great Player's Guide and wiki. The little titbits of interview and story really sell the setting. Give me food for thought anyway. Food for thought. How Nifflaian.
Darn it, I missed the player's guide!
I've been thinking about Nifflas a lot lately. I've run several one-shots for different groups of friends and friends of friends and have been getting consistently positive feedback on the setting.
One thing's been bothering me, though. Nicklas Nygren has gotten progressively better known over the past year and a half - which is awesome and totally deserved; he's a brilliant guy. But I really think we should start trying to think of a new name for the setting. Opinions?
I've just been calling the main city "The Day," contrasting it with "The Night" as the undercity. That seems to work. Not sure about the pyramids and I have to admit that I've been bashing my head against the setting title for weeks now. It's gotta be just as perfect a name as Nifflas was.
The pyramids could probably fit quite well as Qinshi (Pronounced Chin-shee), seems kinda fitting, and brings to mind the terracotta army to me, which seems like a story that might surface around a place with so many dead...
"Nifflas" is reminiscent of Nifflheim, one of the nine realms from Norse mythology. I had been toying with the idea of taking a new name from one of the other realms, maybe Vanaheim, which was the home of the "other gods" that were opposed to or just different from Odin, Thor, etc. But I can't think of anything that sounds good.
I've grown rather attached to the name, but considering we weren't even thinking of Nifflas Games when it was created, the only real reason to worry about stepping on his toes is if someone googles Nifflas and finds a discrepancy. So after wracking my brain for an hour, and finding that nothing quite captured that same magic, I figured...why not just warp its spelling and call it a day?
All right! Sorry to have teased you guys last time, but I think I'm ready to repost the Player's Guide.
Now with 33% less copyright infringement!
Daperez was an old account I stopped using. I'm the same player, and the one who's attempted to run games on MW. Earlier this summer, I started putting together the player's guide, and attempted to get another MW game started, but I ended up ruffling some feathers due to concerns about credits for contributors and works used in the guide. I figured it wouldn't be a problem since this wasn't a money-making venture, but just to avoid extra drama, I figured I'd go back to the drawing board and wait to re-release when I had a document that was a bit more Copyright Cruelty Free. I ended up finishing it this weekend when a random wind of inspiration struck me.
Unfortunately, I'm now far too busy to start another Myth Weavers game, but it's possible I'll be using Nyfflas IRL relatively soon.
It is by no means a closed venture, and I welcome ANY fresh content you can provide. As you can probably tell, my guide begins to get a bit stale in the parts where I alone came up with ideas. I wanted to be comprehensive by including all the races, and to provide a more sensible world by outlining more power sources, but obviously, Nyfflas thrives when we have the input of many minds.
If you see a feature you'd like to expand on, please feel free to post it here. I still check this thread frequently, and would not take long at all to incorporate new input in another draft.
Things I need help with most:
Something on the Robins
More content for those races that are a bit lean. I'd like to have more than just OOC write-ups for each one.
Expansion on the idiosyncrasies of Gunk
Maybe one or two more blurbs about the inside of the library
The next chapter would be something on threats, potential enemies, deadly factions, and adventure hooks.
Another thing that would be very appreciated would be if someone decided to revisit that map that was created for the immediate surroundings of the Day. I think it was James_Gaines who did the first few drafts? Unfortunately, the font is far too small to read.
Who I would like to get back in contact with would be Mostly_Ghostly.
Although I'm slightly intimidated by the possibility that he'd think I butchered his baby, I'd be thrilled to have him see what the seed he planted has grown into.