Insect Adventurers - Guardians of the World Tree - Page 2 - Myth-Weavers


Insect Adventurers - Guardians of the World Tree

Old Jul 19 '18, 9:09pm
Olive_Branch's Avatar
Olive_Branch Olive_Branch is offline
Mater Suspiriorum
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 63
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Insect Adventurers - Guardians of the World Tree

Insect Antiquity: Guardians of the World Tree - Forum
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5e

It's what it sounds like - the smallest campaign setting you've ever likely played in. Everyone at this scale is either an insect, or worse, and a lot of things are different. The bugs have created a civilization upon the World Tree known as Yoni, and have prospered there for many generations. At this point in the timeline, many queens and dynasties have come and gone, and the world has become much more settled and connected. But at the same time, the age of the culture is beginning to show. Corruption and Lawlessness are everywhere - and there is a general listless and wistful attitude among the people. And in the religious world, many different creeds and doctrines have long since been interacting, creating a wonderful array of conflicting syncretisms. The general feeling is not at all unlike that period in our own world which we know as Antiquity. Anything you could expect to find in Ancient Rome, Greece, or Egypt, probably has an equivalent of some kind in Yoni.

I have a lot written privately about the setting and the goings on that may or may not concern the character, but at this stage not everything is fully pinned down. I encourage potential applicants to be bold with their vision for their character, and we can work together around that to integrate both of our ideas into the setting.

I'm not opposed to issuing house rulings on specific issues, and if we run into problems I may choose to rule them according to convenience and agreement rather than the strictest RAW. That being said, I am quite familiar with 3.5 mechanically, so I do encourage everyone to create builds that are strong and fun for them. Just keep in mind that if as a group everyone is way above the curve, naturally the obstacles will have to scale to that level. Weaker and more simplistic characters may receive a helping hand from me to remain relevant, or find other strengths in different areas. We are starting at Character Level 6

Roleplay is much more important to me than Rollplay. Secrets, mysteries, and hidden knowledge will play at least as much of a role in this game as conflict and shows of force.

I still have plenty of prep to do, so we have a good amount of time to flesh out our characters. Game start will be about 2-3 weeks from now. I will probably be accepting 4-6 players, depending on what kind of applications pop up. I figured now was a good time to get this out there and let people start considering what kind of angle they want to take.

Game Description:

Those in the world of men think they have known suffering; that they have known the depths of war; and through it all their civilizations have persevered and conquered. But just below their feet, at a scale fifteen thousand times smaller, there exists a world far more ancient and unspeakably more horrible. Here war has raged on for eons, never ceasing. There is a race of beings here, shaped by malice and necessity, unafraid of monsters, and willing to die without question for his comrades. The ants. They struggle to maintain their territories against the beasts of the wild, their rival tribes, and the cruel forces of nature. This world is an insane and malicious hell, and there is no mercy anywhere. Ever has their fight dragged onwards. It has seen mountains rise and fall, it has remained unchanged by the dizzying procession of the stars marking ages - long enough to see the whole earth covered several times over with the bodies of antkind. The soil itself was formed from the mass of their dejected bodies. It seemed that this nightmare would never end until even time ran itself dry. It was their duty to fulfill the consequences of this curse.

But, as chance would have it, a new age would yet dawn for their kind. Four hundred lives of ant ago, a legendary Goddess Queen figure named Ilana set out with a small group of allies to found her own nest. But the ground was harsh and covered with competitors, and she had not the resources to wage a war against a more established queen. And so the group set out on a great expedition, the likes of which has never been seen since. Her company conquered the grasses, the desert, and even the great waters, meeting numerous gods and demons along the way, and facing trials that are still relayed in songs and old witches' tales to this day. But as the stories go, they eventually found the Garden. It was a land of green and abundance, but even here, the grasses were treacherous. Queen Ilana asked for guidance on what to do, and went into the wilderness alone and fasted. Eventually she came upon an enormous serpent wrapped around an even greater tree, whose dark shimmering scales reflected the light in a dizzying way. When he asked for a reason why he should not destroy her, the now aging queen told him every detail of her long story. And when she had finished, she had won the creature's heart. He revealed his name to be Set, and revealed to her secret knowledge pertaining to many things. He told her to found her empire not on the earth, but on the surface of the very tree where she found him. The enormous barkèd world system would be called called Yoni. Next he presented her with the Four Great Gifts that would come to determine the lives of every one of her descendants.

First, the Amber Crown, which had magical powers.
Secondly, the Seed of Manna, which would be the foundation of her kingdom.
Thirdly, the Adamantine Font, the source of a miraculous metal that was hard enough to shape wood and rock.
And lastly, Ilana's Flame, that would be the light and furnace of her people.

The amber crown greatly expanded the queen's mind, and gave her the power of reason. Suddenly the nature of her existence, and the world she was born into, became clear to her. She saw the endless past unroll before her like a scroll, and in the future, a distant light. She and all her people were forever changed and separated them from their blind kinfolk who ever waged war on the ground, not understanding the nature of Good and Evil. The company made their way to Yoni, and they founded the city of Shi-yon. The Seed of Manna was planted on a great bed of leaves, and it bore fruit. Now antkind had agriculture, and was freed from the curse of cannibalism and flesh eating. Metal from the adamantine font was used to create great tools and weapons. The tools carved the labyrinthine underbelly of the city, and constructed a great wall around it. A magnificent temple was built just outside the center of the city for the founding queen, and in it was placed Ilana's flame, where it was to be kept burning at all times. After Ilana's death, the amber crown was passed down to her chosen daughter, who was made queen after her. It became the ultimate symbol of authority in the land, whoever had it, was the ruler of Shi-yon.

That is how the story goes, anyhow. Over the generations much legend has been mixed with fact, to the point that it is impossible to tease out the truth. One thing is for sure, though. This place was not the idyllic paradise that the ant forefathers dreamed of. The land has become overrun with beasts that ravage the wilderness between cities, and the unsteady peace between the races of Antkind is quietly betrayed on every side. Other types of insects have become awakened over time and started their own civilizations in far flung areas of Yoni. Notably, a colony of spiders have covered an ever-growing area of the World Tree in web so thick that the whole territory is locked in perpetual dusk. Several generations ago, the Legionary ants waged a war against the spiders to try to counter their growing forces. Millions perished, but neither side was totally destroyed. Relations between the Ilan-yo and the Legionaries have been strained ever since, for the former's refusal to aid in the conflict.

Even within Shi-yon, all is not well. Each new generation changes in new and unexpected ways, and there are ants around today that would seem totally alien and bizarre to the insects of Ilana's day. The Queen has not made any public appearances in over a year, but her ministers rule the kingdom with supreme authority. The nation has become so full of conflicting religious cults and institutions that the people have become irrevocably divided. The ministers have attempted to address this problem by oppressing minority religious groups, with mixed success. Corruption rains unchecked in the private sector, and Aristocrats get away with murder behind the closed doors of their underground estates. The Crown has openly promoted an unpopular alliance with the Pale Mother, the ruler of the Harvester Ant colony, drawing extreme ire from the free greyfellows who make Shi-yon their home.

And now, the ministers and their contractors are sending out a quiet offer through all of their backchannels - looking for warriors-for-hire, ants of discretion, and those of unique ability who are willing to answer some secretive mandate of the Queen. It is a strange circumstance for the normally insular organization, but these are strange times. The pay is good - enough to keep an ant off the streets for months, maybe more; but the position is only open to those with an unfaltering resolve. Those who have already proved their grit on more than one occasion.

Last edited by Olive_Branch; Jul 20 '18 at 12:44am..
I've had similar vague notions of a fantasy setting on a bug-scale.

How would you stat out cockroaches? I've always had an idea for cockroaches in such a setting being strange sages or oracles, knowledgeable of strange and arcane secrets (perhaps even the human world, which they refer to as 'titans')

Absolutely! Like I said, I'm open to some other types of bug. Send me a pm about what kind of beetle you want to be and we'll work something out. I'll likely make the results public for other prospective beetle players.

Cockroaches, being nearly indestructible, are clearly the highest and most evolved form of life.

A little while ago I saw the Abeil (or "Bee People") in the Monster Manual II and it inspired the thought of a semi-whimsical game where a band of them head out to found a new hive, probably a small number of warriors and one queen (or queen-to-be, at least); in practice I'm not sure how well it would work as a team RPG, especially in PbP format, but the idea of a bug-themed game is something I remember thinking about way back when and never doing anything with. People have done animals before relatively often, I'm sure, but not so much insects.

An idea popped into my head after reading through, a Bombardier Beetle played using the Dragonfire Adept reflavored more towards alchemy than dragons. Would that be a new race of bug or built off an existing one?

This is an amazing concept. I wonder if the DM ever played the old game SimAnt, and if perhaps it was one of the sources of inspiration?

Originally Posted by Gern View Post
An idea popped into my head after reading through, a Bombardier Beetle played using the Dragonfire Adept reflavored more towards alchemy than dragons. Would that be a new race of bug or built off an existing one?
I like it. I'll send you the stats and conditions I worked up with another applicant and see what you think about them.

Originally Posted by PhaedrusXY View Post
This is an amazing concept. I wonder if the DM ever played the old game SimAnt, and if perhaps it was one of the sources of inspiration?
Actually, this is the first I've heard of it. Looking at some footage online, it does seem like it had a similar idea - sans the magic and social aspects. And might I say that the soundtrack for that game is amazingly 90s 8-bit.

I've had concept work for the game brewing for ages now. I don't remember exactly what inspired it. Whether it was my fascination at the marvelous anatomy and innovation of these small creatures, or if it ultimately came from the things I liked about Savage Species. Whatever the case, it has certainly grown into its own thing at this point. I hope to make the best of it.

This is both adorable and awesome! Totally gonna dust off my 3.5 skills and put together an adorable bug person of some sort

Posting interest this looks fun. I reccomend making a Q/A thread to stop the clutter on the front page. A few Qs though before that. (typing on a tablet so please forgive some spelling.

1. Animal companions and familiars, im thinking mites, aphids, caterpillars, im not sure what else.
How would we go about making them. Refluffing the existing stats or go through the process of making them. If we are creating them we have to devide what is intelligent and what is livestock/familiars.

How about Alates can we play as them. Would it cost a feat or would it be an occupation specialization. Being able to fly is very strong so it would make sense. Maybe add it to the list of varieties, with centuar and anthro.

I probably won't make a separate Q+A thread - it would probably be best to put questions in the character creation thread honestly.

1. Haha - absolutely. I quite enjoy that idea. The best thing to do would be to just use a standard familiar and reflavor it as something else. If you post a suggested familiar in your character thread, I would be happy to check it out and give it the go-ahead.

2. Much like in real life, ant wings are reserved for royalty. They are recognized and adored as a symbol of extreme status in Shi-Yon. But like it says in the character creation guidelines, morphology for this race is not determined at birth, it can be changed later on by order of the queen. In other words, the queen may choose to elevate a faithful servant and give him wings in order to honor his efforts and as proof of his loyalty. Morphology changes will be possible throughout this game, so don't fret about not having everything you want at game start.

As of now, the only ant race that can start with wings is a Mazdakin who chooses wings as his mutation. Though, as a being from the hell realms, the connotation of status is not preserved.

This idea sounds adorable! Going to give some thought to a character this week, I definitely would love to apply.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Last Database Backup 2019-01-16 09:00:07am local time
Myth-Weavers Status