So we recently were introduced to the worldseed of Endamon. You will note I have started referring to it be the name of its primary feature Endamon, which is the name of its dark presence where the moon once was.
For reference our worldseed was:
The god of thieves stole the moon for the goddess of the sun.
Some general world forming questions have been answered in the first article. Since the idea of Endamon is to make a game setting, we are going to look at the game’s options. Since I am a permissive GM I tend to look at this less as “What options aren’t available?” And more “What options are more prevalent and socially supported?” I will also consider a lot of third party resources to give myself the most latitude when selecting.
Where to start?
Since my worldseed was about gods and religion is primarily a class-based consideration mechanically, I will begin with classes over races in this example.
Addressing the Core Metabalance
So we are looking at classes and we are keeping in mind the core fantasy metabalance and we need to address it first.
Cleric: We already know from our worldseed that clerics are NOT going to be a traditional divine role in society, and in marginalizing them I selected oracle as our go to heavy hitter in the divine category. Oracles are less versatile that clerics in terms of healing and spell selection and do not by default get channel energy. In metabalance terms this means our world “party” has a lack of healing going from Healing (High, Expended) to Healing (Moderate, Expended/Erratic). Now as a general flavor I could leave this alone, make healing rarer and those deaths more likely and more permanent. That might be an interesting option. Oracles are also more focused and possess other abilities that allow them to take on Ranged Damage (High, Expended) or Melee Damage (Moderate, Sustained/Expended roles). This relieves metablance “pressure” on rogues and wizards. Being permissive I want to allow SOME sort of option for the player who MUST play a cleric. After some thought it seems clerics may exist in rare cabals, mostly those devout to the sun goddess and constantly seeking to prevent well-intentioned follies, discipline themselves against fear and to face the keeper of secrets.
Rogues: We know that our rogues are going to be romantic in this world. We also know that they are going to be personally motivated. This means a couple of possibilities. Our “rogues” might not just be rogues but may be bards. Our rogues are probably likely to focusing on charisma as much as dexterity (to court or woo). Campaign options like these might need to be considered. I would recommend making options like the Rogue Genius Games’ talented rogue (by Owen Stephens) available because as players understand the setting they may want thieves who are lovers, not fighters. It also possible these characters may benefit from heartbound and forlorn feats to help simulate their romantic reality.
Wizards: We all know at their core wizards are hoarders. They want books, scrolls, wands and components. They dissect the monsters after fights and scribe notes endlessly. They keep secrets. Uh oh. We have mentioned a few times our Evil “overlord” god, and his thing is secrets. That probably means wizardry is his thing. Like cleric, this class is suddenly dangerously sidelined and probably a rare or questionable option for good-aligned or heroic parties. We need an alternate. Looking again we see that mosaic mage (also from Rogue Genius, by Ryan Costello Jr.) allows for mages with themed groups of arcane spells that are derived from schools of magic rather than class lists. They also have a smatterings of supernatural abilities like oracles. I love a good thematic foil! In the worldseed intro I mentioned I also like to avoid things that have been strongly played and right now sonic energy damage is the “new black” of our group. To dial this down some I have yellow, green and orange spectrums become the most rare. This also has the unexpected side effect of making shapechanging and transmutation more rare. It also means that white and red spectrum mages are more common, both of which can make excellent healers. We see this balance oracles metabalance weakness.
Fighter: Our good old boy, the fighter, gets to stay put mostly but might have some damage to make up from our romantic rogue. So we need to give a little love here. An aspect of the fighter is that they LEARN how to fight. Feats are one of the single most expensive developmental resource there is and a fighter is focused enough to get more of them than most any other class. These feats represent the core of what the fighter does. He battles, he learns from battle to battle more. Considering this I think the setting may benefit from some of this “focus”. I want Endamon, the Moonvoid to matter and seems that pact magic, the power to bind broken things to gain remnants of their strength is a great way to do this. So pairing my needs the warshade archetype for fighter (from Radiance House in Pact Magic Unbound, Vol. 1) seems a natural marriage. Now my fighters, normally the low end of the supernatural pool learn the “photo-negative” powers of spirit binding. They keep their trademark focus (spirits of a single constellation of spirits) and become reinforcing agents of the story. Spirit-binding is sustained and may add some damage role options and fit the needs of our fighter role’s slight modifications.
Story informs Rules informs Story
So, looking at our metabalance we know some new things about our story. Our magic is shattered (oracles and mosaic mages are dominant casting classes) and so is our moon. It seems likely that the “light of the shattered moon” IS magic. So the Shards of the Moon are probably our magic sources. The Shards Above are the divine sources of our oracles. The Shards Below are the prisms for our mosaic mages. It also informs us that the shards might be varied hues of shining color, dancing around the dark of the Moonvoid. To me the visual is compelling and I accept it as true. Our rogues are well-intentioned romantics policed by secretive cabals of sun-priests (again strengthening a light based magic). Our fighters are learning the powers of the dark to fight it, grim warshades fed by the wisdom of guiding stars to police that which moon can no longer hold back. Lastly our wizards are a dark, secretive lot oft cast as villains and eccentrics, an unappealing life of desperate studies of lore best kept unknown.
Sound like a fun place to adventure?
I’d play in it (but most creators will say that).
But what about OTHER classes?
Next… filling out the cast.