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Thread: Ogres of Krynn (Volo's guide style writeup)

  1. #11
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    Like you said, lots of views, not a lot of comments. Sorry for that.

    So, here are my comments:

    I was expecting this write-up as more of a writeup with several more ogre races. I guess my biggest issue really is my perception of the ogre. I see the first ogres as +1 charisma. After the curse, I see modern ogres with +1 strength. That unfortunately rearranges what your writeup has. For example, your writeup goes into the curse and marks of evil, But then you turn right around and say that the Irda do not have the curse. So, as I read the rules it's not clear if the Mischta has marks of evil or not. I know in my heart you mean that Irda,Mischta, and Nzunta don't have the curse. but the way it's ordered and written your writeup, it just isn't as clear as it could be.

    I would have make ogres into two complete branches, "highborn", and the other as "common" in line with that no-curse/curse situation. I wouldn't use Mischta as the name of the subrace, because I thought it mean "Twilight" in Otherlands. Personally, I suggest Hibagon sounds more like Highborn. Therefore among the Hibagon, you have factions of Irda, Mischta, and Nzunta. Likewise you would need a new name for the other subgroup. I can deal with Oni as a choice you use to name the other subgroup by mentally translating Oni roughly as "trash" would be interesting. as the Oni as cursed as impure, they would be tossed into the wilderness as trash. I would think survival would result in more of the Oni having the +1 strength. I would then move the Curse and the Mark of Evil into the subrace info as something only the Oni need to deal with. But that's just so I can compartmentalize what I want when reading the rules.


    As for making them all medium-size..... You're right that there's the pesky Large size overpowering the game. I have the same problem with the Sivak. In 3e, I have them medium-size until they reached a certain level and grew into Large size. I put that growth somewhere after the time when Wizards and Sorcerers can cast the Enlarge spell. So think of that as a permanent enlarge on the Sivak character.

    So in 5e, I kinda worked backwords from what I want out of a Sivak monster, which is large. At low level, the Sivak PC is still medium but enlarges later. And I have a ceremonial "aging" feat which allows the character to grow into their naturally large size. That feat does have some level restrictions. For sizaks, I aim for 5th level, given that wizards can cast Enlarge at 3rd level. Also, to make it better than the enlarge spell that only gives additional 1d4, I'd make claw/bite/tail attacks double dice as per the DMG. I have that same large size feat for all draconians. It's a bit of fun for a Dragonborn (Draconian:Baaz) to have Large size.
    Last edited by Weldon Chen; 08-19-2017 at 10:34 PM.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferratus View Post
    I want to revive the power and majesty of the ancient ogres (with monstrous retouches) and unleash them on the world. I don't want Blode and Kern to just be a source of brutes for whatever human leader is coming next to conquer the world... I want Golthuu, the Dream of Golgren, that the Ogres are a menacing power in their own right.

    Not just an exceptional leader like Obould Many-arrows summoning a horde of disposable brutes, but a race of gifted magi and cunning warriors. Like the drow.
    I think this is where the beauty and flavor of Dragonlance gives you options. You can have a super intelligent Ogre come to power, ala Obould. A polymorphed green dragon advising an ogre leader, ala Cyan Bloodbane. And of course, right next to Kern is Teyr. Why not have a Draconian running the show. You could have a revolving door of leaders continuing to take the Ogres to prominence while supporting the growth of your Oni over the brutes. That'd give you a multi-generational growth of the Oni to dominate the Ogres.


    Different strokes for different folks I suppose. I will say though that Dragonlance has a dozen dumb strong races (including minotaurs!) but no real monstrous race that leads other monstrous races.
    I really think Draconians are the monstrous race that leads other monstrous races. They are the Drow/Orcs of Dragonlance.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferratus View Post
    You're a bit inconsistent there aren't you?

    I mean, minotaurs don't have that varied a history. There is Kaz, the good minotaur because he befriended Huma Dragonbane the greatest hero of good in the entire Dragonlance canon... and... the noble minotaur that died at Dragon's Point because he needed to reclaim his honour by letting himself be brutally killed by members of his own clan?

    I mean, history has to start somewhere, and basically you're just saying that you accept minotaurs as PC's because they have generally been accepted as PC's. But they are just as monstrous as the Ogres in the original modules. In fact ogres tend to show up more as potential contacts and allies more in those original modules than the minotaurs do.
    I don't see any inconsistency; at least two examples (Kaz, his partner etc.) in Dragonlance literature and mentions as a PC race, starting from DLA (I suppose there's a reason Hickman put Minotaurs in the book, and not Ogres?), are enough. I wouldn't say it's about being "good", but in doing "stuff" which might provide fodder for scenarios in a game. For bad or good, it's really not been this way for Ogres. It's definitely different strokes for different folks; if you want to change the perception and add to/rewrite the history of Ogres, more power to you. But you can't expect everyone to like your ideas, I think.

    Cheers,
    Antonio
    Last edited by Turambar; 08-21-2017 at 11:05 AM.
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  4. #14
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    To me it just doesn’t need reimagining. I think clearly they were never meant to be a PC race, but rather something that was lost and can be experienced in various ways.

    High Ogres = ancient beautiful powerful race that once ruled the world.
    Ogres = ugly, debased, and thoroughly evil remnants of that race.

    It’s beautiful. Tolkienesque, like Tolkien’s Elves and Orcs but different. A magnificent race that chose its own fall; and now you have a Mordor (Kern) full of Uruks who put themselves there. The rest of the world is dotted with ruins, runes, and artifacts from the once-great civilization of old. And, of course, there exist small pockets of High Ogres of various sorts on remote islands—some like Tol Eressëa, and some like Melniboné. Or, from another perspective…

    Irda/Mischta = Vulcans
    Nuntza = Romulans (Mark Lenard)
    Ogres = Romulans (Eric Bana)

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer View Post
    To me it just doesn’t need reimagining. I think clearly they were never meant to be a PC race, but rather something that was lost and can be experienced in various ways.
    This! +1

    Always an issue you'll run into online; people on forums, etc., are not the members of your group you're targeting the material for. The beauty of an RPG is how personally tailored it can be.

    Either way; good luck Ferratus!

    Long Live The (Your!) Lance!
    Seriously; what's the point of being a minotaur if you're not going to skewer something, anything, on those beautiful horns....

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weldon Chen View Post
    Like you said, lots of views, not a lot of comments. Sorry for that.
    I was expecting this write-up as more of a writeup with several more ogre races. I guess my biggest issue really is my perception of the ogre. I see the first ogres as +1 charisma. After the curse, I see modern ogres with +1 strength. That unfortunately rearranges what your writeup has. For example, your writeup goes into the curse and marks of evil, But then you turn right around and say that the Irda do not have the curse. So, as I read the rules it's not clear if the Mischta has marks of evil or not. I know in my heart you mean that Irda,Mischta, and Nzunta don't have the curse. but the way it's ordered and written your writeup, it just isn't as clear as it could be.
    Thank you, I'll see if I can fix that up.
    I wouldn't use Mischta as the name of the subrace, because I thought it mean "Twilight" in Otherlands.
    Yes, the Mischta are the people of twilight, so named because they think they are the last of the Irda after the Cataclysm. So I thought it worked better as a catch-all name for the Irda and Nunzta, who are the last (or twilight) of the ancient ogres. If the ancient Ogres had ever been given a racial name, I would have used that instead.

    Personally, I suggest Hibagon sounds more like Highborn. Therefore among the Hibagon, you have factions of Irda, Mischta, and Nzunta.
    I chose Hibagon because there is a legendary Japanese "Bigfoot" or "Sasquatch" by that name, so I figured it worked better for warrior ogres.

    Likewise you would need a new name for the other subgroup. I can deal with Oni as a choice you use to name the other subgroup by mentally translating Oni roughly as "trash" would be interesting. as the Oni as cursed as impure, they would be tossed into the wilderness as trash. I would think survival would result in more of the Oni having the +1 strength. I would then move the Curse and the Mark of Evil into the subrace info as something only the Oni need to deal with. But that's just so I can compartmentalize what I want when reading the rules.
    I think I will keep Ogre for the low race, the NPC monster manual race, based on the pushback.

    I will also say the two subraces of Oni, Yokai and Hibagon (though I am open to other names) and I will expand that by making the Hibagon (warrior) oni red, and the Yokai (magi) oni blue.


    You know, for reasons.

    So in 5e, I kinda worked backwords from what I want out of a Sivak monster, which is large. At low level, the Sivak PC is still medium but enlarges later. And I have a ceremonial "aging" feat which allows the character to grow into their naturally large size. That feat does have some level restrictions. For sizaks, I aim for 5th level, given that wizards can cast Enlarge at 3rd level. Also, to make it better than the enlarge spell that only gives additional 1d4, I'd make claw/bite/tail attacks double dice as per the DMG. I have that same large size feat for all draconians. It's a bit of fun for a Dragonborn (Draconian:Baaz) to have Large size.
    I definately want my oni to be medium size though, since I want the race to be peers with humans and elves, and have relationships and diplomacy with those other races. Medium size just works better in that regard.
    Last edited by ferratus; 08-22-2017 at 10:10 PM.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ITA_CRX View Post
    I really think Draconians are the monstrous race that leads other monstrous races. They are the Drow/Orcs of Dragonlance.
    No, I don't think so for a few reasons.

    1) The draconians have shown no interest in commanding other races in the lore.

    2) The draconians, since there are 10 different types, largely have enough variety in their own race to make a varied adversary all on their own.

    3) The draconians in Teyr have basically been on the side of the forces of good throughout the age of mortals. They act more like dragonborn in the Player's Handbook, proud and honourable. In the lore, they are simply seeking to build a better place for their children. They may expand eventually, but that will take centuries before they build up the numbers to be a threatening army again. But I don't see them in thrall to the dark gods or demons, or being particularly slaveringly evil like the drow or orcs.

    I've basically made draconians dragonborn in my new dragonlance, since they are in the player's handbook. I might eventually come up with alternate racial abilities people can take instead of breathweapons for "elder draconians", but I'm thinking the third generation on has basically stabilized into dragonborn.

    I even came up with a whole magical/religious philosophy for the Draconians of Teyr known as "the breath of the dragon" to explain why they've recovered their breath weapons of their progenitors.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turambar View Post
    I don't see any inconsistency; at least two examples (Kaz, his partner etc.) in Dragonlance literature and mentions as a PC race, starting from DLA (I suppose there's a reason Hickman put Minotaurs in the book, and not Ogres?), are enough.
    There are playable Ogres in DLA, written just before the Minotaurs on page 68. I'm just making Oni that are half-way between Irda and Ogres. Irda make good sorcerers and bards, but not good warriors. So I mixed in some Ogre with my Irda to make playable warrior Ogre PC's. Half-ogres, if you will, which you said you don't have a problem with. They are just half-Irda instead of half-human. Also, you don't require sexual violence to be a part of every ogre PC's backstory.

    But Dhamon Grimwulf had an Ogre companion like Huma had Kaz, named Maldred. Ogres also showed up in Douglas Niles' Icewall trilogy, where they looked a lot like my Hibagon Ogres here and they intermarried with humans and created a new civilization where humans and ogres co-existed. Then of course, you have the Ogre Titans trilogy, where Ogres are showing up as a race and culture capable of complex thought and making alliances with Solamnia.

    So obviously, there is a lot of selective memory going on in this thread in terms of simply casting Ogres as just simple minded brutes and only monsters who cannot possibly belong in a party of adventurers. Or at least, not really paying attention to what has been done with Ogres in the setting for twenty years now.

    if you want to change the perception and add to/rewrite the history of Ogres, more power to you. But you can't expect everyone to like your ideas, I think.
    Fair enough, though these aren't really my ideas. As far as I am concerned, I'm just following in the footsteps of Richard A. Knaak, who is heavily foreshadowing changes to the Ogres, namely them regaining their power, intelligence and magic. Some kind of "ascended" Ogre is coming out after the period of isolation due to Golgren's magical wall is over. I think he says that quite explicitly in the last chapter if I'm not mistaken.

    I'm also following in the footsteps of Douglas Niles, where in his Icewall trilogy, the Ogres are more like Ostrogothic chieftains than pure monsters, trading, intermarrying, and co-existing with humans.
    Last edited by ferratus; 08-22-2017 at 11:00 PM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer View Post
    To me it just doesn’t need reimagining. I think clearly they were never meant to be a PC race, but rather something that was lost and can be experienced in various ways.
    Sure, but I'm not taking anything away, I'm just adding another "various". The beautiful high ogres are still there, as the Mischta. The debased Ogres and all of their mutated kin are still there, in the monster manual.

    I'm just adding a new type of Nunzta essentially, only with a little bit of Ogre mixed back in.

    The Irda have been a playable Ogre race from the beginning, so you can't say that Ogres were never meant to be a PC race. We all know how Tracy Hickman feels about morally ambiguous heroes, which I think is largely the reason he didn't go down the path I'm going down in DLA. He made kender because he didn't like thieves, and I think he made Irda because he wanted a good alternative for the Ogres. I'm essentially making anti-hero Ogres, rather than purely good ones like the Irda.
    Last edited by ferratus; 08-22-2017 at 11:06 PM.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferratus View Post
    The Irda have been a playable Ogre race from the beginning, so you can't say that Ogres were never meant to be a PC race. We all know how Tracy Hickman feels about morally ambiguous heroes, which I think is largely the reason he didn't go down the path I'm going down in DLA. He made kender because he didn't like thieves, and I think he made Irda because he wanted a good alternative for the Ogres.
    But 1987 was not the beginning. By then, the original series — Chronicles, Legends, DL1-14, and dozens of support products — had wrapped up. It’s actually somewhat mysterious to me why he threw them into the mix. There aren’t really any other new plot devices introduced in DLA that I can think of. It seems to me like something Hickman would have cooked up (because of the obvious “Amok Time” influence, and I agree with your sense that “he wanted a good alternative”), yet the “Raistlin’s Daughter” short story was written without his involvement. Maybe the story came first. Either way, they were subsequently really underused, huh?

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