The blandness of Aylse characters...

ZorValachan
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Re: The blandness of Aylse characters...

Postby ZorValachan » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:08 pm

My favorite characters were always from Aysle. I love fantasy, so it was never bland for me.

You could try a transformed edeinos, or an elf/dwarf transformed to another reality.

While in aysle, my law if magic applies to any skill test, not just magic skills, due to the innate magic inside everyone.
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ZorValachan
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Re: The blandness of Aylse characters...

Postby ZorValachan » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:19 pm

Another choice is to simply alter it. Each GM is controlling their own cosmverse and it can be as similar or different to the official TE one as you want.

It does have primitive firearms and while it isnt unheard of, that does make it a bit different than vanilla D&D
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Gargoyle
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Re: The blandness of Aylse characters...

Postby Gargoyle » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:22 pm

ZorValachan wrote:Another choice is to simply alter it. Each GM is controlling their own cosmverse and it can be as similar or different to the official TE one as you want.

It does have primitive firearms and while it isnt unheard of, that does make it a bit different than vanilla D&D


Yeah, and one can't expect to love all the realms, I think some customization is always in order. I'm planning some stuff with Aysle, but holding off until the cosm book before I spring it, since @TorgHacker keeps hinting about some really cool thing they're planning for it.
"That old chestnut?"

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TorgHacker
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Re: The blandness of Aylse characters...

Postby TorgHacker » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:39 pm

Gargoyle wrote:Yeah, and one can't expect to love all the realms, I think some customization is always in order. I'm planning some stuff with Aysle, but holding off until the cosm book before I spring it, since @TorgHacker keeps hinting about some really cool thing they're planning for it.


Yup. I mean, Aysle is admittedly probably my least favorite of the cosms. As for that cool thing, _I_ think it's cool. Your mileage may vary. :D

But as for the original point, Torg's 'weird stuff' is obviously in the other cosms for the most part.
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mystic101
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Re: The blandness of Aylse characters...

Postby mystic101 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:57 pm

Zackzenobi wrote:Yes the Dwarven Dragon armor is unique. That is about it at this point.

I'm looking for more character concepts I can't get in other fantasy worlds. One of the things I liked about Eberron was there were unique races and a class. At the time it was the only place you could play a sentient golden. Which raises the question, what is sentient Golem in Isle have the capacity of being possibility rated?

In original torg, at least we had birth Magic. That was different because everybody was multiclassing with wizard to a small degree.


To me, the uniqueness of Aysle is that it's a D&D fantasy land overlaid onto our own Earth's Scandinavia and Great Britain.

If you're staging a dragon attack, don't just target some generic castle or village. Have it attack the Tower of London, or Big Ben, or a modern apartment building instead. Is a cult of evil druids about to cast the Spell of Ultimate Darkness? Have them attempt it at Stonehenge. Set your pitched naval battle against the picturesque backdrop of the White Cliffs of Dover, etc. Lots of unique flavor available there.

As for character concepts, what sets Aysle apart from other fantasy games is how you can mix Core Earthers dealing with a new magic reality, native Ayslers adapting to Core Earth concepts, and transformed Core Earthers who've blended the two. Here are just a few sample ideas:

Elven stock market trader (Yes, Aysle's Social axiom supports stocks, bonds, and corporations. That's not something you see in most fantasy settings).
You snuck across the Maelstrom Bridge to Earth smelling opportunity, and have become fascinated by the City of London's stock and commodities exchanges. You've thrown your lot in with the Delphi Council because, outside of a few market sectors, war is generally bad for business. Plus, if the High Lords destroy the world, the companies you have equity in won't have any customers left. You use your inhuman levels of elven charm, charisma, and willpower to get what you want on the trading floor, or on the battlefield. Here's a stock tip: Don't go long on Uthorion's stock. Thanks to you, it's about to plummet. Hard.
Stats: high Charisma & Spirit. Starting perks: Frightening Aspect, Smile of the Deceiver.

Human magical delivery person
You were a bike messenger in the big city before transforming in the opening salvos of the invasion. Bicycles don't work anymore, but that's okay, the spell knowledge you picked up in the axiom wash make you a flight messenger now instead. And that's so much cooler, as a way to get around. If the Delphi Council absolutely, positively needs something to get from point A to point B, they call you. Nothing could stop you from getting the job done back in Core Earth, and nothing can stop you now either.
Stats: good Dexterity, Mind, & Spirit. Starting perks: Situational Awareness (from weaving in and out of traffic so much), Spellcaster (starting spells: Fly, Haste, Pathfinder)

Human sentient rights activist (yes, Aysle's social axiom can support "equality between different groups" and "independent charitable organizations")
You were a human rights observer for an international charity based in Edinburgh, before transforming in the axiom wash. You haven't given up on your mission in life under this new reality, you've expanded it. You used to support equality for different disenfranchised human groups, but you're not species-ist. Elves, dwarves, centaurs, and other demihumans are "people" too, and you'll do what it takes to stand up for them. The war against Uthorion has to come first, but you'll fight for their rights while you're fighting for their lives. You weren't afraid to be on the picket lines back in Core Earth, and now, the front lines don't scare you either.
Stats: good Mind, Charisma, & Spirit. Starting perks: Radiant, Rejuvenate.

And those are just some samples. Aysle's axioms can support postal workers, insurance agents, and all kinds of things you're not used to seeing in a fantasy setting, in addition to the modern-day environment those characters can also interact with. I think Aysle's plenty unique, if you scratch the surface.

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Spatula
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Re: The blandness of Aylse characters...

Postby Spatula » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:43 pm

That's a good point, mystic101. Although I always found the stockbrokers thing a bit odd in the context of the war. Seems likely trading would be suspended indefinitely. But that's besides your point.

In a similar but smaller vein, I was just trying to think of how to make an Asyle NPC distinct for the players, and came up with the idea that she loves unusual makeup colors that aren't anything special here, but of course wouldn't be possible (without magic) at Asyle's tech level.

Big Lurker
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Re: The blandness of Aylse characters...

Postby Big Lurker » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:41 pm

Take a good look at some of the oTorg supplements. Some of the biggest twists for Aysle were how the 'generic fantasy' realm interacted with the modern world/culture. Two of my favorite characters in the Character Collection were the gamer turned barbarian (who lived up to his name of Montgomery Hall) and the giant who fell in love with the movie Godfather, to the point of stealing a pinstripe suit from a Big and Tall store and renamed himself Vito. There was also an adventure where some dwarves were building a steam powered animatronic dragon in the London hardpoint, etc...

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TorgHacker
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Re: The blandness of Aylse characters...

Postby TorgHacker » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:09 pm

Spatula wrote:That's a good point, mystic101. Although I always found the stockbrokers thing a bit odd in the context of the war. Seems likely trading would be suspended indefinitely. But that's besides your point.



Pretty much. London for sure. Tokyo and Shanghai though, definitely not. :-)
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runescryer
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Re: The blandness of Aylse characters...

Postby runescryer » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:37 pm

Gargoyle wrote:
Zackzenobi wrote:What if anything, can be done to make Aysle characters seem interesting compared to other fantasy settings?


I sort of get what you're saying with Aysle being the "D&D" cosm. I would suggest digging into the lore in the old Aysle cosm book and mining it for ideas. Most of that stuff is still valid, and I'm betting that the new canon won't invalidate much of the Aysle cosm description.


Very much this. The Aylse sourcebook gave a very unique vision of a fantasy world. The Light & Darkness theme goes a long way towards this vision & feel. Adding in character options like Half-Folk (minotaurs, centaurs, harpies, satyrs) also helps. Finally, the nature of Ayslish religions and how the different races consider the Gods and religion makes it noteworthy compared to most other fantasy RPG settings.

Wakshani
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Re: The blandness of Aylse characters...

Postby Wakshani » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:55 pm

With Aysle, you CAN have a standard D&D-like fantasy world if you want, but there's a whole lot more mixed in there, some good, some bad, all interesting.

We'll touch on the bad first.

The core "Light vs Dark" has strengths, but a big problem is that it's drawn heavily from old Irish myth, where someone's soul is reflected in their body. Twisted soul = twisted body, good soul = beautiful. This leaves room for some pretty insensitive portrayals and the old "Projects their corruption into the land to stay pretty" dodge doesn't help. NewAysle doesn't seem to have that coded in yet, so, that's a positive, but the overall vibe has potential badstuff.

The good stuff is that you have an actual good person in the queen and a straight-up hero in Tolwyn, who serve as a direct counter to the Possibility Raiders. You used to have the high lord as kind of a chump, but that's probably fixed now. I'd wager he'll be a much more compelling bad guy at the very least.

The interesting part is where you go with the sandbox. Aysle has a LOT more magic in it than a standard fantasy game, with things like a sheep-sheering spell being normal for shepards. Magic in Aysle is as common as tech for us, so scissors, light bulbs, an oven, all of that can be replaced with magic to a degree that can be almost Flinstonian if you let it.

Amusingly, it also has far more tech than most fantasy realms, with pistols, muskets, and cannons being cutting-edge but ordinary for some areas (like the Dwarves), advanced optics, and on the cusp of steam power and printing presses... rather than being a Dark Ages era, or 12th century-ish, Aysle is pushing towards the Renaissance and general enlightenment. They're only a generation or so from moving to the Pike and Shot era of warfare, or would be if the Darkness Device wasn't sitting on top of the tech axiom. The Dwarves were actively trying to push it up which may well be why they were virtually wiped out.

So, you can run your Aysle in a fairy tale style way, easily, with Fae, unicorns, magical things just *happening* ... just pull from Labrynth and the Dark Crystal and you're golden, but any of the old Grimm's Fairy Tales (which most certainly weren't for children!) or classic Faerie tales can fill you with potential. Words and names have power, an agreement is a contract and is completely binding, etc.

You could also play with the tech level, moving away from "Grim barbarian in furs with an axe" to pikemen, musketeers, and cannons making short work of traditional stone wall fortifications. Shot can punch through armor, which means that you move away from heavy suits and towards mobility, and you're near the move towards fencing instead of traditional longsword hacking. You have hot air balloons and telescopes for scientific exploration, which also means that you can have bombs, and firebombs, dropped from gondolas on top of enemies. You're thisclose to having a printing press, at which point you can simply mass-produce spellbooks. Fire up the press, churn off single-page scrolls for a few days, you have a whole new element of warfare or peaceful celebration. Everyone buys a "Pyrotechnics" scroll for the New Year and fires 'em off, for instance. Alchemy is a thing, and you have crossbows that are reliable and quite powerful (being cranked, rather than pulled!), letting you do some grenade-like trickery.

This isn't even getting into the advances in nautical technology and how you should absolutely be seeing airships in the setting. Airships, I might add, that are armed with cannon and which have assorted spellcasters and alchemical defenses and weapons on board. Might even be able to turn it invisible and have stealth raids.

So, pretty much anything up to 1400 is possible, which gives you some crazy tech options.

And we haven't even touched the Scandanavian legends and magic scene, which is similar to, but often QUITE distinct from, the more familiar western magic.

There is a LOT that you can do with Aylse, or, you can leave it as Traditional D&D and not sweat it. Your table after all. :D

You can do some neat things with Perks to try and hammer things out. For instance:

Dwarven Engineer (Dwarf perk)
You and your comrades worked hard to understand the mechanical universe and to the secrets within it. Your old university was *the* center for technological breakthroughs in the realm and while you and your fellow students fought hard, there were simply too many to stop the ruination. You and your comrades gathered what lore you could and scattered, intending on preserving as much as you could, in hopes that, some day, you could bring it together and move forward once more. Their legacy lives within you.
Your Tech Axiom level is increased to 15.

Not as powerful as the Core Earth ability, restrained only to a small subculture of the world, but enough to really set a character apart and show some extra flavor for the region.


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