Aquatic based characters/campaigns?

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    • Aquatic based characters/campaigns?

      I was wondering about the possibility of Aquatic based characters. Beings based off of dolphins, whales, sharks and so on. How would they fit into the world view overall? Would they be more akin to mermaids, with their lower bodies remaining based off their original base form, or would they sport legs and tails similar to their land based counterparts? Perhaps they've bred special beasts to serve as their legs while on land if they've got the more mermaid style body type. Would also be interesting to find out how species like squid, and octopi would be depicted.

      There are examples of sea-turtles already in the books, and i think i saw a couple other aquatic based beings. I wonder about what sort of skills and abilities an aquatic based being would have to sport. You'd be in a more 3d based world then when on land. Would be interesting to see the contrasts between land-based and aquatic based beings i think. What sort of other senses might be put into play underwater, that wouldn't be found in land-based beings?

      Also, going off what been seen on land, would crustaceans take the place of insects as the "monsters" or beasts of burden and such? Or perhaps creatures based off starfish would be the basis instead.

      Anyway, just a somewhat random thought that cropped up as was paging through the books :) gotta sit down and actually read through the lore and such soon!
    • Thanks for the wonderful inquiry about aquatic based characters. We have included a number of Jenu which could exist equally well in water as well as on land and plan to offer more information in the up and coming WORLD GUIDE. We are currently considering to what degree we will offer the options of Dolphins, Whales and other such animals in the world of SHARD. It is our intention to give these special animals the consideration they deserve and provide fictional backgrounds which highlight the unique challenges they may pose. Much of what you are asking should be addressed by the games creator and as such I will not reveal any of the surprises he may wish to give at a later time.

      However I can elaborate on the squid, crustaceans, starfish and octopi like creatures. These animals occupy the same niche as the insects do upon the world of SHARD, meaning that they are encountered as part of the native fauna and compose some of the beats of burden, pets, or monstrous challenges the player characters may face. These animals are also part of the food sources which Janah hunt to sustain themselves.

      With respect to the type of skills sea-turtles and other aquatic beings might possess, I would say knowledge based skills like Navigation (Aquatic), Acrobatics (which can also be used equally well in the air or underwater) Alchemy (specializing in oils that burn under water or change the nature of the water itself through chemical means) Armorer ( dealing in lightweight pieces which tend not to hamper movement) Artistry ( focusing on things which might glow or be useful or visible below the water) Architecture (Under water) Ancient History (Aquatic) Crystal Lore ( Aquatic ) The list can go on and on....

      This game is designed with the rules being malleable enough that most of the skills we have provided for characters on the surface might easily be adapted to fit within the underwater environment with little to no changes required, related to what the skills themselves grant. We encourage Game Masters and Players alike to be as creative as they wish when pursuing any undertaking that develops your game world and provides unique fantasy settings for your individual game needs.

      I am glad that you thought enough to share your ideas on this forum! Please continue to visit us on a regular basis and stay tuned for updates from the up and coming WORLD GUIDE, which will contain valuable information related to a wide variety of subjects, including coastal settlements and fiction about aquatic life on the world of the False Dawn.

      I look forward to hearing from you soon, hopefully for more conversation about the contents of the books you have purchased. We're always here to answer questions!
    • Hey there! Scott here, one of the co-creators!

      I may be able to answer some of your questions, though Griffin is correct indicating that we have yet to develop some Earth animals like cetaceans, cephalopods, and other such "consigned to the sea" kind of creatures... I've had other fans of the game ask it were possible that the original ark-ship of the two scientists might have had a purely oceanic pod segment that might have detached and landed on a separate shard of the world... To that we say "certainly!", and though we may never have the chance to develop that as an addendum to the types of races already offered in Shard's core rules, GMs who create their own campaigns should certainly feel free to create them for their games using the Animal Template Creator at the back of the Basic Compendium.

      With things like cetaceans, octopi, squids and such, we decided not to include those in our world setting (or at least not to tackle them just yet) because they, unlike the rest of the animals we represent in the fiction, are largely bound to the water in ways that even largely-aquatic creatures like seals, sea-lions, and walruses are not... Those creatures can spend vast amounts of time on land without having any major issues... Unfortunately, whales, dolphins, octopi, and other such creatures cannot... Octopi can do so for a little bit, but drying out is a MAJOR issue for them, and the rest quickly die if stranded or beached... And, of course the larger whales are so huge that they would outclass even the elephants of our game, and require a size/scale that would go well beyond the 12-foot limit we impose for Shard characters, and would find it difficult to carry their own weight on two legs... If one imagined, instead, that they lived primarily underwater in "Atlantis-like" cities, then they would have to be shallow cities to deal with the fact that even the deepest-diving cetaceans must still breath air, and could never really remain far enough down in some underwater city to make actually sleeping/working/interacting there very viable, unless there was some crazy, water-filled dome or some such, and then you're back again dealing with the size and weight issues, and figuring out how to give things like octopi and squids a "non-silly" human-like form...

      All tough obstacles to overcome and make sense circumnavigating, using the limits of our rules... Not "impossible", of course, but difficult enough that we decided, for our primary core rules, to stick with only mammals, birds, and reptiles/amphibians that can (in their natural state) comfortably be out of the water for prolonged periods...

      However, if you end up trying to jump over those potential hurdles and introduce them to your campaign, we'd certainly love to see the Animal Templates you'd cook up for creatures like that! I know the fellow who spoke of wanting to do that long ago was excited by the idea of having an unknown skyship full of such creatures survive a journey across the great rifts dividing the world's shards to visit our game's primary area! ^^