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Heroes of the Unknown Legions: 3e Jadeborn

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  • Heroes of the Unknown Legions: 3e Jadeborn

    I will be sincere: I really like the Mountain Folk. I find them pretty interesting, and the only version of "dwarves" that I can stand. Their status as weird Fae, their endless war against whatever the Darkbrook are, their reincarnation thing...

    So for some weeks, I have thought about updating them for Third Edition, And about the ways I would do it.

    -First, it would only include rules for Enlightened Jadeborn. That is what people would actually be playing, and I find it a bit lackluster to include rules for "The same thing, but shittier". Also, I think that it is what the Devs will do with Fae when their splat comes.
    -Normal attributes, with limited dice-adders. This may change if people think that higher attributes are an important part of them, but for now, I like something like DB Excellencies, limited dice-adders with some small extra effects. Probably more specific, but dice-adders for now.
    -Update their Patterns to the Third Edition paradigm. Along with that, add new charms, to allow a higher number of builds, and get more variety of effects.
    -New Patterns. Material Patterns, for the five varieties of Jade, and for the other Magical Materials. Each Jadeborn picks a Jade Pattern as favoured in character creation, and it, along her caste, serves to determine what kind of Jadeborn she is (Blue Artisan, Red Worker... Probably will get cooler names). From Essence 2 or maybe 3 onward, can learn charms from the other Material Patterns, from Soulsteel to Starmetal. Each Pattern, both Jade and the other Materials have charms related to the themes of that Magical Material, like inborn Evocations.
    -Ressonant with Jade, Dissonant with other Magical Materials. Specific charms in each Material Pattern would remove the Dissonant keyward for that Material.
    -Refinement and Purity Charms. Refinement are Form Charms, but for Material Patterns. You can only have one active at the same time, and each Material Pattern has its own Refinement Charm. Purity Charms are charms which need the Refinement Charm of their Material, which needs to be active. So, basically the Signature Charms of Mountain Folk.

    So, Onyx Path, I summon your wisdom. What do you think were the issues with previous editions´ Jadeborn Charmset? What would you like to see here? Should they be allowed to practice Sorcery and learn Martial Arts, or, like in previous editions, be barred from them? I really like both Sorcery and Martial Arts, truth be told, but I guess there is an argument for barring them from Sorcery (as static beings, not totally attuned to the laws of Creation), but... Sorcery is cool.

    In conclusion, what are your suggestions? Your opinion on my current plan? Dice-adders or higher attributes? Sorcery/Martial Arts or not? What do you think?

    This forum needs more love for the Mountain Folk!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Clophiroth View Post
    -First, it would only include rules for Enlightened Jadeborn. That is what people would actually be playing, and I find it a bit lackluster to include rules for "The same thing, but shittier". Also, I think that it is what the Devs will do with Fae when their splat comes.
    If you mean character creation rules, yes I'm behind you on that.
    Though they're going to be a common fixture in a MF game and you're going to want to know how an Enlightened Jadeborn particularly of the Warrior or Worker Caste differs from the rest of their kind. My preference would be to take some of the weaker stuff from the Foundation Pattern and turn them into a general Mountain Folk abilities. Perhaps with a few Caste perks too?


    The Freedom Stone is back, help it to live again.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Lioness View Post
      If you mean character creation rules, yes I'm behind you on that.
      Though they're going to be a common fixture in a MF game and you're going to want to know how an Enlightened Jadeborn particularly of the Warrior or Worker Caste differs from the rest of their kind. My preference would be to take some of the weaker stuff from the Foundation Pattern and turn them into a general Mountain Folk abilities. Perhaps with a few Caste perks too?

      That´s what I was thinking. Caste and material would have some intrinsic bonus, similar to anima abilities, although maybe weaker, and that, along with some general powers common for all Jadeborn, would make Unenlightened Jadeborn not human, mechanically, but quick to create on a hurry (Ok, Green Warrior. Pick the QC block of the militiamen/battle-ready infantry from the Core, add the immunity to poison from the Green Jade Template, and the +3 soak from the Unnatural Skin Merit he has as a Warrior. Done!)

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      • #4
        You could have unenlightened jadeborn in a sidebar like mortals are in the core, I guess.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Elfive View Post
          You could have unenlightened jadeborn in a sidebar like mortals are in the core, I guess.

          That´s an option too. After all, "Create character like an Enlightened Jadeborn, you have this amount of attributes/abilities/bonus points, and these Caste Bonus", wouldn´t use a lot of space...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Elfive View Post
            You could have unenlightened jadeborn in a sidebar like mortals are in the core, I guess.
            Enlightened essence isn't a thing in this edition. The closest you can do is have a jadeborn at e1 who can use simple charms and that's it. I suppose you can call them unenlightened still.

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            • #7
              Enlightened/unenlightened never meant that in regards to jadeborn. They could all use essence, even in 2e.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Clophiroth View Post
                I will be sincere: I really like the Mountain Folk. I find them pretty interesting, and the only version of "dwarves" that I can stand.
                So my general guidelines for adopting anything into 3e is getting down to base concepts and evalutating anything. Take the good, leave the bad, make it better.

                I'm curious, what about them as "dwarves" really speaks to you? I think this could really lead your efforts as to what you want out of them.

                I meant to reply to this thread weeks ago, but got distracted, and was recently reminded of it. My friends are dragging me back into 40k, and I had a old bunch of space orkz I bought a while back, and I realized, if I was going to use the mountainfolk to expy something, I'd go with Space Orkz rather than the traditional Elves, Dwarves, and Hobbits/gnomes.

                They have an atypical reproduction style, function on their own internal logic hearkening back to their origins as trapped wyld-stuffs (which could be evaluated), and most importantly, all of their ridiculous technological achievements don't actually function without them.

                I'd definitely tone down some of the silliness, and tear it apart and put back together a few times until it is its own thing, but just wanted to get the idea out there to see if it spoke to anyone as much as it did me.


                Raksha are my fae-vorite.

                Reincarnation of magnificentmomo.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MoroseMorgan View Post


                  I'm curious, what about them as "dwarves" really speaks to you? I think this could really lead your efforts as to what you want out of them.
                  It was a joke. I don´t really like Dwarves, but I callingly talk about them as "Dwarves, Exalted Style", due to some illustrations on the books in which some of them (mostly Warriors and Workers) are... Pretty Dwarfy

                  Mostly, what I like about them is... I don´t know how to express it. More like the combination of traits, that something specific. The weird reproduction is something I like, their origin as "we are Wyld-stuff, adapted to Creation in our own strange way" is something that I like, the Chaos Seers and their Cassandra-style "We are mistrusted seers", their endless war against... Nameless things, their connection to Autochton and relation to artifice (although I am not a big fan of Magitech, so mostly they are good engineers, good crafters, and they make magical wonders. This is something general for my campaigns, I put some magitech once in a while, but it is just one style among many), their "positive" relation with the Realm...

                  The "Ork-expy" thing... I see it. I find Orks pretty funny, and interesting, and are my favourite non-Human faction on 40K (I´m a sucker for Sororitas and Imperial Guard...). Maybe they would be a good inspiration for the Chaos Pattern, or something related, although I don´t know if I would base the race as a whole on them. Although a serious version of them, mixed with Tinker Gnomes, as the weird, strange mechanics which create things that just shouldn´t, just shouldn´t work, but they do, speak to me...

                  This is making me think. I wasn´t going to change them a lot, mostly it was going to be an update, with some small lore changes (I wanted to emphasize Threshold Mountain Folk, so they would be more useful in more campaigns), but this is making me think about maybe, being a bit more ambitious.

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                  • #10
                    Hm. I think what Morgan means is that Orks, as a species, reproduce by essentially doing their biological purpose of expand and fight. Death releases spores of a symbiotic fungus that creates underground wombs for new Orks to grow in, with especially old and successful Orks releasing spores early to pass on extra copies of their genome. (Clophiroth knows this, I'm giving the background.)

                    It makes sense that there's a similar, more mystical system with the Jadeborn. Whenever they achieve something of great importance to their Caste, they release waves of energy that shapes the power of the Wyld within the Earth into new Jadeborn eggs. The problem, however, is that it's graded on a curve. Workers and Warriors do "reproductive" acts pretty frequently, because not much is expected of them apart from doing their jobs well, but Artisans? Artisans need to pull off Exaltation-worthy acts to make more Artisans, a problem that got worse with the mutilation of the First. And the Artisans know it; it's far from unheard for them to manufacture crises purely so they can swoop in and solve it thoroughly enough to make babies. Worse, more subtle Darkbrood, the kinds that understand Jadeborn society, know there's more than a few ways to spoil a moment...


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                    • #11
                      Wow, didn't know this existed. When I'm home I'll try to have more to say; just replying to give myself a mental note.

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                      • #12
                        I'm glad I wasn't 100% off the reservation with that suggestion.

                        While I was doing my own Pro Con list of Jadeborn, castes weren't necessarily on my "to-keep" list, again unless we can come up with some redeeming quality.

                        Chaos-seers definitely were on the keep list. There are the Wyrd Boyz. (not that a Space Ork parallel is my sole criterion for keeping them),

                        Their aesthetic as Dwarves, Elves, and Hobbits/Gnomes was definitely not something I would keep, although I don't think I would go 1 to 1 on a Ork inspiration here, although you could do worse.

                        I was even thinking their artifice that should not be actually comes from their contact with Autocthon, that his image impressed upon them so much that they wanted to emulate him, and the strange alchemcy that is Wyld stuff caught in Jade bore this ability to make machines that just function under sheer willpower, because they want to be like their big A so much.

                        Re: cribbing the infectious reproduction. While I hadn't thought of what would cause jadeborn to potentially infect nearby jade, I saw the image of a Jade obol in someone's pocket being turned into a gretchin/grot. Or some major event occurring near the Imperial Vaults, and the stored talents of jade there becoming a whole band, or a squiggoth if we want to go that far.

                        edit: forgot to acknowledge, yes to threshold Jadeborn pls and ty. I'm also excited at the idea of less of a mono-culture. Maybe the main group of jadeborn in and around meru are more like the classic version, as they had continued contact with The First, and Big A, and the Deliberative, but some of the farther flung colonies function very differently.
                        Last edited by MoroseMorgan; 08-15-2018, 01:28 AM.


                        Raksha are my fae-vorite.

                        Reincarnation of magnificentmomo.

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                        • #13
                          I think a bit of the dwarf aesthetic still works (for Enlightened Warriors/Workers), so long as you pull from the right aesthetic. We're talking the Ring Cycle and the stories it was based on, not Tolkien and filtered through D&D. Another good version, in my mind, is the dwarves of the Magic: the Gathering setting of Kaladesh. They're nothing like your traditional D&D dwarves except in 'being short', and while everyone on that plane is pretty mechanically adept the 'aetherpunk' look of the plane fits in pretty well with what I think of Jadeborn aesthetics and how their artifice might work. Magitech isn't utterly extinct in 3rd edition, just (a) kept to more of a look some artifacts have than a game-mechanical thing and (b) not called that. Being worshippers of the Machine God, I think the Jadeborn get to be one of the few bastions of the stuff.

                          I'd rework the Geas somehow to permit more mixed/surface adventuring, although keep some kind of incentive for them to stay out of sight. I think the castes are appropriate, being echoes of the four primary 'castes' of Raksha - it might not even be inappropriate to explain Chaos Seers in this manner; Artisans are thus an imperfect meld of diplomat/entertainer nature.

                          I'd also put a bit more stress on the Jadeborn as servants of "order" vs. the raksha as the courts of Chaos. You don't have to go full Amber on it (if nothing else, Jadeborn shouldn't be that important) but I liked stuff like the 1e pattern walking teleportation ritual and I'd probably extend that to permitting them to use the sorcerous working system via geomantic manipulation, but not sorcery proper.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Aliasi View Post
                            I'd probably extend that to permitting them to use the sorcerous working system via geomantic manipulation, but not sorcery proper.
                            I like this idea. It gives them a way to do first age artifice (ie a lot of what magitech became) without being able to do stuff like cast Death of Obsidian Butterflies, which frankly just feels wrong, y'know?

                            Maybe give them a charm tree with this geomancy charm at the bottom that gives more specific sorcerous effects that fit their aesthetic or something. Because we've seen from AOTR that raksha get "wyldcraft" to replicate sorcery, and this could be similar.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MoroseMorgan View Post
                              Chaos-seers definitely were on the keep list. There are the Wyrd Boyz. (not that a Space Ork parallel is my sole criterion for keeping them)
                              I'm imagining the Rogue Trader era model with the two handlers that are trying to aim him like a cannon.


                              I really want to do a conversion that's both a homage to this model and the I'M A' FIRIN' MAH LAZER!! meme.



                              The Freedom Stone is back, help it to live again.

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