After arriving in 1824, St. Innocent realized he had a gift for languages and shortly mastered six of the local dialects and even translated the Gospel according Matthew into the most wide-spread dialect — the Unagan of the Aleuts.
After his wife died, he was tonsured a monk and ordained as a bishop. Eventually he was elected as the Metropolitan of Moscow in 1867. He died 12 years later in 1879.
This marks the third Saintly Saturday post dedicated to various American saints who made their mark in Alaska. Each time, it has inspired me to work a little more on one of my Gamer ADD projects — a fantasy campaign world based upon this period of Alaska.
As I have stated before, I would likely use B/X or LL as my base rule set; however, due to the nature of the setting I would have to do some heavy house ruling. I thought I would take advantage and summarize some of the ones I have come up with so far:
FirearmsA fantasy setting set in 18th century frontier Alaska, unfortunately, needs to have firearms. Both colonial powers involved in this region of the world rely heavily on black powder. Therefore, I need to come up with a way to make them interesting without overpowering them; however, they will be much more expensive than standard weapons (I am thinking by a magnitude of around x10).
ArmorThe main way I intend to simulate firearms is to have armor reduce damage rather than making a PC harder to hit. What is traditionally called AC will, in fact, be a target number based on a PC’s Dex score. Heavier armors reduce the maximum effective Dex score — plate armor will make you easier to hit, but tougher to damage.
Firearms don’t do any extra damage; however, they can ignore DR depending on the size of the weapon. This realistically simulates why armor eventually gets abandoned.
As per the B/X and LL rules there will be the three standard armor types:
- Leather — representing the hide-type armor favored by the Natives and cloth armor sometimes used by colonial regulars. DR=1; Max Dex = 15
- Chain — representing bone armor sometimes used by Natives and chain shirts sometimes worn by Albiones officers. DR=2; Max Dex = 12
- Plate — representing breastplate and grieves worn by both Ruthenian and Albiones officers and cavalry. DR=3; Max Dex = 9
AlignmentSince this world does involve touchy subjects like colonialism, nativism and a missionary church, I am much inclined to dump the traditional D&D alignment system for one that harkens back to the days of Chainmail. In other words, there will be three different sides that PCs can choose to align themselves with — Ruthenia, with its claim to be the Third Rome and their close association with the Church (roughly akin to Lawful); Albion, with their claim to be the most powerful empire in the world, mostly due to their use of arcane science and possibly a few demon pacts along the way (roughly akin to Chaos); and the Natives who may or may not cooperate with the two colonial powers (roughly akin to Neutral).
MagicSince this setting sits at the cusp of the industrial revolution, I want all magic to have a pseudo-science feel to it. Arcane spells are akin to devices powered by hellfire or bound demons. Divine spells are akin to objects powered by the breath of angels. Native magic will be akin to alchemy using the natural ingredients passed down through the generations. Found magic will most likely be ancient alien technology.
This may have some significant affects on how spells function. For example, I am inclined to have CLW function as it did it 0e — it takes one full turn to “cast.” Rather than being a miraculous healing during combat, it is the bandaging up with various medicines after combat.
RacesThere will be humans only; however, that doesn’t mean I won’t be using the race-as-class abilities of demi-humans — they’ll just be recast as humans (see below).
ClassesI am seriously considering having different versions of each of the three core classes based on alignment. I say three because I don’t want to mess with the Thief. I am inclined against the class in the first place and (at least at the moment) can’t think of a good way to make it fit thematically.
Here are some initial thoughts:
- Ruthenian Demonhunter — less emphasis on healing spells (see the implementation of CLW above) and more emphasis on fighting (leaves a lot of room for non-clergy PCs).
- Native Medicine Man — uses the druid spell list, representing local knowledge of natural phenomena and tricks.
- Albiones Possessed — something akin to Stewart’s take on the anti-paladin
- Ruthenian Haykar — a mad scientist-type that sees theology as the mother of sciences. Instead of a spell book, they would have several one-use devices that could then be repaired/reset.
- Native Windweaver — uses the illusionist spell list, representing an intimate knowledge of local hallucinogenic plants and techniques to mislead and obfuscate.
- Albiones Battle Mage — this is where I get to the use the elf race-as-class recast as a human playing with hellfire.
FighterThe base fighter will be available to all alignments. There will be specialized versions, however:
- Ruthenian Grenadier — this is the dwarf recast as human. Grenadiers are basically the biggest and toughest infantry men used to fighting in the trenches and functioning as sappers during siege combat.
- Native Hunter — some version of the ranger (which one I have yet to decide).
- Albiones Musketeer — this is the halfling recast as human. These are soldiers imbued with hellfire in order to make them tougher and better marksmen (remember, Halflings get +1 with missile weapons). This also limits their potential (the reason they only get to go to 8th level).