Tree spirits for #Stonetop. Questions and comments appreciated!
Originally shared by Jeremy Strandberg
“The Tall Ladies, Daughters-of-Seed, the Slow Sisters: these are all titles given to the brennauwed, powerful tree spirits and, if you believe them, kin to Danu herself.”
My take on dryads and treants
16 thoughts on “Tree spirits for #Stonetop. Questions and comments appreciated!”
The Dungeon World product of 2017: Stonetop!
I think this is perfect. Well done.
I love it! Im a bontany kinda guy and all things plant based are sweet.
A bit of misspellings/grammar, but thats all
What does the ‘woody’ tag mean exactly?
Why are they planar?
Seems like you need to give the Glasbren as hireling more detail. As a GM I don’t know what they would do for the player–they don’t have any defined skills like hirelings normally do–unless this works differently in Stonetop. Maybe that’s what +wood-wise +cunning means.
I’m assuming you can only harm hennain with the things mentioned in the special qualities, which is giving a lot of specifics to the GM. The apocalypse dragon just says “inch-thick metal hide.” Maybe follow suite and say something like “solid wood body.” Are they solid wood all the way through? Sounds like it from the way you’ve written them (if they aren’t, maybe just give them a higher armor and ditch the damage restrictions). So special qualities could be written simply as “solid wood body, flammable, slow moving.” Slow moving seems appropriate since you say in the description that is acts in slow ways. And I guess you could leave out anything related to fire, because everyone knows that fire burns wood. Then in the description, if you like, work in something about how how regular weapons barely chip away at them.
The hennain move “remain unmoved” is unclear to me.
Seems weird that the hennain are the only ones who are divine, and that they are both magical and divine.
Absolutely love the name Brennauwed.
Jason Shea Thanks for the thoughtful feedback!
>>What does the ‘woody’ tag mean exactly?
It’s not a tag, per se. I like to include some indication of where Armor comes from. E.g. “Armor 3 (scale mail, shield)” or “Armor 1 (reflexes)”. The “woody” should really just be “bark”. Will update.
>>Why are they planar?
They’re spirits, not of the material world, though they can manifest in it. I’ve been wondering whether “_spirit_” warranted its own tag, and you might have just convinced me that I do. (I’d been hoping to avoid it, so as to keep monsters interchangeable between Stonetop and standard DW, but I think it’s different enough that it warrants its own thing.)
>>…the Glasbren as hireling… …unless this works differently in Stonetop
Sure does! Stonetop uses the follower rules (more or less) that were printed in The Perilous Wild. Followers have Quality and tags (and Loyalty, HP, and Armor and Damage… making it easy to make a monster a follower and vice versa). Followers have a general “Do Their Thing” move to resolve their actions (rolling +Quality).
>>Maybe follow suite and say something like “solid wood body.”
Solid advice, thanks! (Yes, their manifest forms are solid wood… basically moving trees.)
>>The hennain move “remain unmoved” is unclear to me
Purposefully vague, definitely a bit poetic. It could mean that they physically shrug off a force that might knock them around, or could mean that they are unswayed by your passionate plea. It’s a “block” move, giving the GM the right to say “no” to some things.
>>Seems weird that the hennain are the only ones who are divine, and that they are both magical and divine.
The divine bit is meant to reflect their close tie to Danu Herself, but that didn’t come across in the description. As for being both magical and divine, that just means she’s both known for the favor of the gods and for spells and magic.
Jeremy Strandberg Yeah bark is better, and I would drop the amorphous from the armor explanation too. That seems more linked to the idea in of solid wood from special qualities. Like, the bark is armor for when you can even damage the solid wooden body.
I looked more closely at the monster tags and I can see how they could be divine and magical, since the divine tag just means they have the favor of the gods. I was getting caught up in the idea that a cleric wields magic granted by their deity.
Jason Shea I think he took amorphous from the Treant monster stat block, as amorphous just refers to how a monster has no discernable organs or anatomy. That’s just my guess at his reasoning.
I love the art on the Glasbren. Looks like what elves would evolve into if they grew closer to nature than they normally do.
Scott Selvidge pretty sure I snagged that from a Magic the Gathering card. All art in these is placeholder.
Jeremy Strandberg I don’t blame you. Magic the Gathering has some good artwork. I pull stuff from them all the time to show what something looks like in my sessions.
I like the very simple “Only vulnerable to messy or forceful” trait.
When this all comes together, I’d like to see an appendix of your touchstones/source material. Are you drawing from myth? (The names here sound Welsh to me.)
Peter J That’s… really tough. So much of Stonetop is, like, a feel to me. I’m broadly familiar with a whole bunch of myth traditions and magical traditions, and pop culture, but there’s not much I could point at and say that comes from X.
These are Welsh-ish names, but they aren’t from Welsh legend. I knew I wanted to have “dryads” and “treants” but without the name and without the baggage associated with them. So I started thinking about all the types I wanted represented (tree nymphs, forest guardians, slumbering nature spirits) and hit on the idea of them being just different “age categories” of the same spirit. The names came from plugging things like “tree woman” or “grandmother tree” into Google translate and freely twisting/interpreting/remixing what came up.
Interesting trick, I’ll have to remember it.
Are you grouping together similarly-named places and people with names from the same language? Affinity with Danu is Welsh, for example.
Sorta? It’s more about “who named this?” So the PC/NPC names for Stonetop are all Welsh (or Welsh derived), as are the “legendary” or supernatural creatures the people of Stonetop have named.
(If I want to imply that something is mundane, I’ll use a plain English name for it, like “feather drake.”)
Marshedge names are all Irish-inspired, as are the creatures they’ve named (like the ganagoeg).
Fae names are a mix of familiar for the most commonly encountered (spriggans, pucks, boggarts), Welsh if Stonetoppers tell tales about them (gloddestaf, glenwyd, charwyr), and Irish for the most-hidden ones (Seeorai).
Likewise, the Green Lords/Fomoraig and their place names (An-Mohr Dun) are Irish-based. Which probably tells you something about the folk who founded Marshedge, yeah?
Tor and Danu are definitely meant to “fit” with the Welsh/Irish sound of Stonetop. Aratis and Helior are definitely meant to sound a little out of place.
Hillfolk use Breton/Gaelic inspired names. Northern Manmarchers are Germanic.
Frost Lords and their descendants have Nepali & Tibetan inspired names (because enough with the viking crap already).
Stone Lords had somewhat Arabic inspired names. Forge Lords faux Latin.
The southlands grab from Greek, Hebrew, Persian, a little Arabic… intentionally much more diverse. But you should be able to see some similarities between them and the Stone & Forge Lord names (if I’m done it right).
The named Things Below (Hec’tumel, Daagon, El’ash-Orra, Wyeen’gou) are meant to sound very weird.
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