Author Topic: What is Norbayne?  (Read 6130 times)

Phoenixguard09

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What is Norbayne?
« on: July 24, 2012, 03:37:29 PM »
Well guys, what is Norbayne?

Norbayne is a homebrew RPG that I've been developing with a heavy reliance on the humble D10. It is a relatively high fantasy setting but in such a way that the various species could possibly exist.

It's plausible rather than, "Chaos did it."

People familiar with the games might detect definite Elder Scrolls overtones but these are more or less unintentional. Alright, sue me. Sometimes Bethesda actually managed to do something sort of unique. Usually the unique stuff was crap but sometimes, just sometimes, it was ok. And so I pinched it, renamed it, made significant changes etc. The inspiration might still be noticeable but that should be all it is. Inspiration.

What makes Norbayne different from all your other two-bit fantasy worlds? Possum people.

No, in all seriousness, there has been a lot of thought put into the plausibility of beings existing, with large amounts of research being done in the fields of speculative evolution, alternate domestication, cryptozoology, palaeotology, anthropology and zoology. Probably a couple of other 'ologies added in there too but that aught to do for now.

Oh, and yes. There are possum people but it makes sense and they're awesome.

Anyway, more information will be made available to the public as I work on it because above all else, Norbayne is.... a work in progress.... Like you didn't see that coming. That revelation was about as subtle as a thrown English teacher.
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Phoenixguard09

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Re: What is Norbayne?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2012, 03:37:51 PM »
Alright then. A friend of mine informed me that there are a number of assumptions that must be addressed when one creates a fantasy world.

I have them here with my commentary following in red:

1. Humans dominate the world.
Not necessarily. Large areas are dominated by other races. Norbayne itself is populated by the Midlanders (human) and the Feartarbh, the remnants of a minotaur empire. Sothbayne and Unterguardt both have human presence while the Wardenfells are populated by the Leathe (possum people) and the Danann (elves... sort of.) All in all, humans might be the most varied of the races but they, by no means, rule the roost.

2. Gods are real and active.
Unknown. They certainly aren't active although most folk believe they exist.

3. Magic is real and can be used by anyone who learns it.
True. It exists in three forms:
- Arcane magic is a talent, much like being able to sprint. Everyone's capable of it but many just never bother. It requires the caster to expend some of their own vitality to power the enchantment.
- Black magic involves "squeezing" the aethyric energy from a daemonic entity from the Otherworld and using that energy to power the spell. As a daemon cannot be killed, Black magic is far more powerful than Arcane magic but is also more dangerous because daemons do not appreciate being used.
- Spirit magic comes from the land itself. Power can be drawn from the environment to power the spell. This is the weakest form of magic but does not carry as much risk.


4. Opposite alignments fight each other.
Cemented alignments don't exist in the same way as D&D. Evil is a matter of perspective, just as it should be.

5. Arcane and Divine magic are inherently separate.
There is no Divine magic because the gods are uncaring. On the other hand, the three types of magic that do exist are inherently separate.

6. The wilderness is separate enough from the cities to justify 3 wilderness-oriented classes.
True. In D&D these classes are Ranger, Barbarian and Druid. Norbayne loses the Barbarian but the wilds of Norbayne are still quite a substantial part of the game.

7. There are hundreds of intelligent species of creatures, but 99% of them are considered "monsters".
A little over the top but true in principal. There are many intelligent races who are looked down upon by the more "civilised" peoples of the world. These can't be played as of the core rules, but it would be easy enough to allow them.

See the Races of Norbayne thread for more information. http://s4.zetaboards.com/Battlehammer/topic/9653280/1/#new


8. Arcane magic is impersonal and requires no "deal" with a supernatural being.
True.

9. Beings from other planes of existence try to influence the mortal world, usually on behalf of gods/alignments.
Untrue. Daemonic entities do exist but they exist to further their own agendas. They are creatures in and of themselves. Some may serve a more powerful master but even this daemon is not a god.

10. Magic items are assumed to be available, and game balance proceeds from that assumption.
True but rare.


Hopefully that cleared somewhat up for you. ;)
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Silver Wolf

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Re: What is Norbayne?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2012, 01:21:21 AM »
I like the sound of it. Good luck with the project! :D
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Phoenixguard09

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Re: What is Norbayne?
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2012, 02:20:41 AM »
Thank you Silver. :) It is progresing quite nicely. ;)
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Clockwork

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Re: What is Norbayne?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 06:29:05 PM »
Heya, hope this thing is alive and well still :D

It looks really cool, I've always loved intelligent minotaurs in fantasy lore.

I have 2 questions on magic, if I may. You say that arcane magic can be learned like sprinting, however some people are naturally better at sprinting than others; I assume therefore that some people will be naturally better at arcane magic?

Secondly; Daemon and Spirit magic come from resources, but is everyone able to learn that? You say everyone is capable of Arcane Magic so I would assume that everyone has magical potential in these forms as well. From this I'd reason that among the more tribal/people with little to do, there would be a much greater number of mages. From this I then reasoned that that majority of the upper classes would be proficient at Arance Magic at least (unless the practice is frowned upon, especially as it has a token of blood magic there) as well as barbarians (assuming that this is in a 'past age' setting rather than shadowrun style 'future setting' as this isn't definitively stated here.
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Phoenixguard09

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Re: What is Norbayne?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2013, 08:21:46 AM »
Sorry it took so long to get back, I only found out that this post was here on a whim. I wish I had more time in my life these days but I just don't. That being said I do try and scan Exilian when I get a chance, I just don't get that much anymore. It is a pity, I miss you guys something awful.

To answer your questions, ones I'm glad you have: :)

1. Yes, alive, well and being playtested by an intrepid group. ;) I might even put the AP up on here at some stage, something I've been meaning to do for a while now.

2. Naturally, yes. Some people are naturally more adept than others. This is represented by increasing your Magic Level. Your Magic Level can also be improved right from the off if you make certain choices at character creation. ;)

3. Black and Spirit Magic can both be learnt by anyone, save that it is more risky and very hard work respectively.

4. Norbayne's Midlanders are probably the best to describe demographics of Magic Users as they are the most common "race" so to speak. First of all, the Midlands themselves are divided up into many kingdoms. The best way to describe it is as if Westeros had devolved into all the Noble Houses taking a shot at the big-time. This is to allow GM's plenty of freedom in coming up with their own kingdoms and political situations. In RPG's there's always times where you just need kings to die. This is to allow that without causing strife with the lore. Now there's one problem with your calculations, mainly that Magic, even Arcane Magic, is dangerous. Think Warhammer style lethality. Therefore the amount of magic users these kingdoms can call upon is relatively small. Many people distrust magic too, thinking it too dangerous and unwieldy. As such, a large proportion of "adventurers" tend to be magic users who have been sent away through prejudice against them. That being said, many rulers are magic users, having gotten into that position using their powers, or alternatively, they have plenty of time to practice and get it just right.

Striking deals with daemons is also frowned upon, leading to Black Magic users being ostracised extensively.

As you say, "barbarians" tend to be a little more in touch with their spiritual side.

It is a relatively Medieval High Fantasy setting with perhaps a little Steampunk and a dash of Horror in some cases.

Anyway, please let me know if you have any more questions and I'll be happy to answer to the best of my ability. ;)

Cheers,
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Clockwork

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Re: What is Norbayne?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2013, 02:58:53 PM »
Thank you for the answers! So glad it's still going! If I could get a .pdf of the rules/character sheets that would be awesome, and I'll be happy to run numbers and the like to check for anything 'ZOMG OP!!!!!111!!'.

On arcane magic: dangerous for the magic user directly as in said wizard/sorcerer/mage/warlock/nightblade/yougethteidea having their mind explode from the strain. Much like the movie 'Jumper' when he's telling the story of the guy that tried to jump a building. Or is it more 'GAAAHHHHHH TOOO MUCH PPPOOOOOWWWWWAAHHHHHHHHHH' and they explode like a 3 kiloton nuke.

Also given the prejudice against magic and the fact that everyone has the ability to do it, surely there are rebellions all the time over opression, I can see the serfs and low end of society being unhappy with the state of affairs when they could potentially have the power to topple kingdoms (perhaps I'm reading too much into the power of a mob of peasants with mind lazorz).

Also, given magics prevalance, would there be a 'Templar Order' a la Dragon Age? If so, are they seperate from the law or are they integrated like SWAT teams?

I think it's a brave thing you've done, giving so many the ability to use magic, but it'll also be difficult to draw the line. Keep me posted please! :D

Also I do have more questions but thought I'd keep my posts short(ish) and all the content similar.

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« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 03:00:31 PM by Rob »
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Phoenixguard09

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Re: What is Norbayne?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2013, 01:19:25 AM »
At the moment, sadly a lot of the rules are still in "stream-of-consciousness-note-style" and therefore somewhat difficult to make sense of without me over your shoulder but I will definitely keep you updated and send what I can as soon as it is more legible. I'm actually in the process of doing so, rather than that being some form of future endeavour. :P

With regards to the magic, there are three charts to be rolled on upon a "Miscast," one for each of the varieties of magic. These charts have effects which range from blood vessels bursting to temporary blindness to burning, all the way through to blowing yourself up in a maelstrom of SHEER POWAH! The amount of energy you're putting into the spell affects just how dangerous the ill-effects are, in addition to the type of magic. Buggering up a Spirit spell is far less dangerous than, say, Black Magic, which has effects like the bound daemon materialises and causing havoc.

With regards to rebellions, absolutely. The amount of peasants running around with the ability to throw fireballs and summon storms is relatively small however. Magic is dangerous and generally seen as too difficult to master. Therefore in most societies it's only those with formal education in those arts that will have access to learning magic as a whole. However, there are always outliers of course and rebellions offer rich picking grounds for GM's. ;)

With regards to a Templar Order, I've never played Dragon Age but I believe I have an idea regarding what you are suggesting. I'd say that several kingdoms would have "special forces" much like what you suggest. I have only detailed one however, but that is a secret and I can't give it away. :D Sorry. ;)

And yes, please as many questions as you like my friend, keep them coming and I'll be happy to answer them. :)

Cheers mate,
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Jubal

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Re: What is Norbayne?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2013, 01:24:51 AM »
PG: I'm going to start getting on and getting bits of the front-end site set up for RPG & tabletop & other projects soonish (by which I mean hopefully in the next month or two). If at any point you want me to knock a page or three together for Norbayne (probably when you've got closeish to a rules-set and want to have something to point people to) just give me a shout.
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Phoenixguard09

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Re: What is Norbayne?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2013, 01:32:30 AM »
Brilliant mate that would be great. Really appreciated. ;)

For anyone who's interested, here's a link to the AP thread I put up on the GitP forums. Three Coins, Two Birds and a Gilded Sword.

Anyway, thanks again Jub,
Cheers,
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Clockwork

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Re: What is Norbayne?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2013, 01:57:04 AM »
Awesome!

Given the steampunk setting, clockwerk inventions? Rudimentary firearms maybe also?

This will turn into a weapons question list I can just feel it.

Okay so the kind of weapons popular would be Sabres instead of Longswords?
Small bucklers instead of the great kite shields and leather armour as gunshot kills pretty much the same whether you're in a tin can or not?
Is there room for cross classes or still in the creating a set of standard classes phase? I did read Q6 on the Q&A but wasn't sure if you've got further than that now.
You say it's a D10 game, I've not actually played any PnP RPG's (no mates) but I'd assume you'd be rolling against 100? lower than total ability value is a win. If so, how does magic and shooting compare at the moment in terms of difficulty? For me this was a killer in some games on the PC. Shooting was so easy and high in damage that taking a mage was wasteful unless you *really* needed a healer. Magic seems like it'll be more powerful and shooting must have it's place but the balance is difficult to get right. Not really much of a question but feel free to provide an answer anyway.

Are every race allowed to be every class or are there restrictions? I can't in all honesty see a minotaur duellist (geif clockwerk shotgun and battleaxe!).

Will there be top hats? Important question.

How much will racial animosity feature in this world? Some of the 'elves' act a bit superior from what I've read but they are moderating themsevles. Everyone seems to be pretty much happy families.

Daemons. Are they a race that features much in cataclysmic world changing events? And are they worshipped by a dangerous cult with grim reaper tattoos on their inner thighs? probably not, just checking. Could make for interesting romance subplot for a character. Manipulation is fun.

Rob

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Phoenixguard09

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Re: What is Norbayne?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2013, 02:35:55 AM »
Haha okay let's see how I go with answering. Sadly this might be the last set I answer for the day and I'll have to get back to any new questions tomorrow. We shall see. ;)

1. Mainly medieval setting with a slight steampunk feel. Clockwork inventions, rudimentary firearms? Yes, but fairly rare. My current campaign has no firearms yet, but I will allow the party Engineer to give it a shot if he feels like it. ;)

2. Popular weapons depend on the culture of the specific warrior. Men from the Northlands of Norbayne prefer broadswords, longknives and small leather shields along with thick leathers, fur and hide armour. Maybe a bit of chain too. Invarrians have a thing for axes and sabres and large wooden round shields. Danann generally go for light leathers, spears and bows. Naturally of course anyone can use anything. This doesn't meant that they'll be any good with an unfamiliar weapon however. But that's starting to really get into crunch. ;)

3. Firearms of this level are generally not powerful enough to penetrate plate armour anyway. Plate harness was often supplied with a 'proof mark,' which was considered proof that the armour was effective against gunshot. When you also throw in magical defences applied to the armour and you end up with societies who bring their heavily armoured knights to the field along with their experimental harquebusiers. Naturally of course, some kingdoms might be more steampunk than others. As always, the GM has a pretty open world to explore.

4. There are 14 base classes at the moment, the same ones that were detailed in the FAQ. This is unlikely to change, though more classes may be added in the future. It's unlikely, but expansion rules and setting books might also include additional classes and the like. I do actually have a 15th class written up, but I have not made information regarding it available as it is another secret. Sorry. :P

5. It began as a D10 system but you are correct in that it has turned into a mainly D100 system. :P That being said, only a set of D10's is required to play it, so I can still call it a D10 system, right? ;) As to balance, I'll keep it brief but magic tends to be more dangerous for both the target and the wielder whilst shooting is relatively risk-free for the shooter. That being said, we've pretty well subverted the "Annoying Arrows" trope. Kel'Serrar has been quite effective at killing things in our playtesting.

6. Every race can be any class. You are completely free in that. Some races are better at being some classes than others, but anyone can be anything. As far as a Feartarbh Duellist goes, well, I can see it. You'd just have to think of it as less of a rapier-wielding nobleman and more of a minotaur who stands upon his honour. And yells insults. It could be done. :P

7. Top hats? Ask your GM. :D If it doesn't affect the sort of game he would like to run, then absolutely. Have fun with it. ;)

8. Racial animosity... Well Invarrians are like a cross between vikings and pirates. They raid the Northlands constantly, and to make things worse, they aren't remorseful in the slightest, thinking it's all a game. So there's problems there. The Geardarr were a slave class under the old Bovus Empire, so they hold a grudge against the Feartarbh. Plus they have inferiority issues with everyone. The Danann view the Leathe as a delicacy. That being said, the Danann also have a habit of preying upon other sentients, meaning that they're quite feared. The Dunscarth are just unfortunate. Having grey skin and living under ground means that they tend to cop a lot of discrimination.

Now how much this comes up in game is down to the GM but the possibilities are there for plenty of racism.

9. Daemons are both those things and more besides. They're entities that inhabit the Otherworld. They long for flesh and senses as they cannot see, hear, touch, smell, feel, anything in their own forms and in their world. The Otherworld is a void where they engage in scheming manipulations which in the end accomplish nothing. They fight their wars for nothing, with nothing over nothing. Wondering how that is possible? Good. It's not. But it happens anyway. So when they get trapped by a Black Magic user they both hate and love it. It causes excruciating pain, but it is the only way they can feel. But in the end, they want bodies. They want a way to experience the senses, so you can make deals with them in exchange for this. This is how Necromancers work.

Anyway, daemons are complicated 'creatures.' But they do play an integral role in the game.

Cheers,
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Clockwork

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Re: What is Norbayne?
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2013, 02:46:31 AM »
You've been amazing in answering my questions, thank you! I'm sure I'll have more once I've thought on it some more. But right now I really have to sleep :)
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Phoenixguard09

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Re: What is Norbayne?
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2013, 11:23:59 AM »
Hope you're having/have had a good sleep and it's good to know that my question answering is appreciated. ;)

Cheers,
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Clockwork

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Re: What is Norbayne?
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2013, 11:48:13 AM »
Had an exam so thought I'd get an early night :)

As a link to my last question, if there is such animosity against particularly Danann due to them eating other sentients, race wars must be a problem in Norbayne?

In the playtest, the duellist and assassin seemed to not really be able to hit anything while the archer and mage(when he wasn't unconcious) were amazingly adept at slaughter. Was that down to luck of the die, is melee simply weaker than ranged or did they build 'wrong' (in terms of being killing machines, can never be wrong when RP'ing :))

As I understand it the midlanders have an aristocracy (They have royal houses, so i guess there must be a line of succession. Unless it's a voted-for king.)? Do they also make up most of the merchant classes and have the largest pool of wealth between them? Also given how they are found all over Norbayne, I can see them developing into 2 type of mentality, firstly proud midlanders who are pleased to see their fellows and make special concessions to them, causing disfavour with the other races, and also midlanders who are mistrustful of everyone, because they don't have a dedicated region all midlanders can call home.

Feartarbh are gargantuan when compared to the Leathe. How does one go about choosing a door for an all-races-are-welcome tavern? One too big would make it unsuitable for the possumfolk and one too small would cause horns to get stuck in all sorts of places. Clockwerk?

Really great the amount of depth you've put into it, great work! :)
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