Expanding on ideas from yesterday…
So, a friend left the following comment on my Facebook:
Commenting on the use/creation of tech by non-tech classes. I think it would depend on how comfortable they were with those that created it were and how accessible tech is to acquire. Sort of that “necessity being the mother of invention”thing.
Here’s my response:
That’s a kind of logical way to look at it, and I’m more looking to create flavor. That’s why I focused so on the Primals. I can also see the flavor being related to corruption. Even the Primals will be subject to it.
So for example, in 4e, none of the Primal Classes seem to get proficiency in heavy, metal armors. That gives them a certain flavor. They don’t learn these armors for some reason, and one could say that’s a throwback to 1st ed when druids couldn’t wear metal armor, which I think was explained as the worked metal of men interfered with their connection to nature. So, in 4e we have a defender class that can’t wear heavy armor, but gets a boonus to AC based on their Con, or some such. Again, we have that flavor of the Primals being more natural and not working lots of metal for whatever reason, and it’s probably related to their philosophies rather than resources, assuming a magical world.
The further thinking is, do the Primals make stone weapons, or do they have metal weapons? Do they reserve metal for other things, or do they not use it at all as it’s an unliving thing, and they refuse to use things that weren’t alive at some point? Something I haven’t commented on in my posts has been a historical point I’ve been playing with, that the Primals were the first rebels against the ancient empire (which is now the source of all undead), and the Divines were the second. It could easily tie in to this historical element that the Primals now eschew the use of metals because they see it as a symbol of the dead things that the old empire has become.
Now, the powers of corruption in the universe affect everyone within it that uses power, and even some who don’t. In the ancient empire, the leaders created vast numbers of undead, including many of the leadership who fell to the corruption. Some leaders rebelled and became Primals, some became the Divines. However, corruption still exists, but it’s different for every group. Could a sign of corruption amongst the Primals be that they twist that idea of (once) living weapons to the extreme that they are still living, just in great pain and mutated form? Are they willing to mutate themselves? And what are the Arcanists, who bargain with unholy things, willing to do as corruption sinks in? Or are they corrupted by default, and characters from that corner of the setting are those who have risen above their corruption, or will I simply disallow certain classes based on power source (which I’m leaning heavily towards, or feat taxing the crap out of them)?
These are the kinds of things I’m looking towards, to create a lot of flavor in this particular campaign setting.
I’m really less concerned about tracking resources with this setting. I’m planning the monolithic worlds scheme (each world is basically a huge desert or swamp or whatever), so I’m assuming that the entire world’s resources can be brought to bear, and there will be few worlds which will have strong deficits of any particular resource unless it fits the world (water shortages on desert worlds, etc.). So, this is what I’m looking for when I’m referencing technological use: How does the technology (as an aesthetic) reflect the philosophises of the group?
That’s largely what I’m doing here. Determining aesthetics, and I’m just explaining it in a piss-poor, overly wordy manner. This was one of those things I really liked about 4e as the preview books came out, is that they had an aesthetic for every race. Dwarves have very geometric designs to their weapons, while elves have woodland motifs on gracefully curves weapons, and eladrin have a mix of natural motifs with the faerie kingdom motif. Dragonborn and tieflings were also given their own looks. Even humans have a look, which is sort of piecemeal, that tells us that the humans of 4e collect and reuse bits and pieces of the past to make their present.
I’ve already made some notes regarding this. For example, the Psionics will favor long, straight weapons (especially swords), while the Arcanists favor cruelly shaped axes and picks, and the Divines will use heavy maces and hammers. I was thinking spears and bows for the Primals. Do you, gentle reader, see the thinking of each faction in the weapons they carry? Do these suggestion begin to flavor the differences between them?
Wow. Another post in less than 24 hours. Will this continue? Maybe. Only time will tell…