Stonechildren

“You think your people will be free? You think you have escaped me? You mortals will have nothing but war, not a moment of peace until a new God of War rises to replace me.” Discuss the Sundered Empire featured in the Chainmail campaign setting, as it relates to pen & paper RPGs, here.

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Stonechildren

Postby Big Mac » Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:12 am

Blood and Darkness arrived last night and I had a quick skim through it. I was pretty surprised at what I read about stonechildren. I had thought they were elementals, before, but it turns out I was wrong and that they are "half-elementals". The dwarves like stonechildren, but for some reason the elves dislike them.

I had a look around for them elsewhere. They are in the Miniatures Handbook. Both sources have them as human/elemental crossbreeds. 4th Edition/Nentir Vale seems to have rebooted stonechildren to be altered half-orcs. (I guess that would make an elven dislike more logical.)

Does anyone know of any more mentions of stonechildren (especially mentions of why the elves dislike them).

Also, if they are half-human, has anyone got an idea why they are allied with the dwarves, rather than with a human faction?
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Re: Stonechildren

Postby Icarus » Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:07 pm

There's a rather lengthy write-up on them in the 3rd Edition Races of Stone. p92 - 94.
It discusses everything from their physical description to their personality and naming conventions. There are racial traits, and even a "monster class" if a player wants to make one as a PC. Generally, at least as good as a write-up on the PHB for a race.

As far as why they don't necessarily get along with elves:
stone children sometimes have a difficult time understanding the elf mind-set. Like stonechildren, elves are close to nature, but elves share none of the stonechildren’s connection to stone and the power of the earth, making them seem flighty and unfocused.


And, at least in this description, it says that they are "Born of a union of mortal and elemental", not necessarily human. Though they do appear more human in shape, it doesn't limit their paterntage that way. It does expound several times on why they get along so well with dwarves, and living underground. ... but, it also says that "Stonechildren are closer to dwarves than any other race, and they often settle in dwarf communities for a time. Many humans and dwarves seek to emulate the strength and silence of the stonechildren".
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Re: Stonechildren

Postby ripvanwormer » Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:26 pm

Basically they get along with dwarves because dwarves have a strong affinity with rock and stone. And elves generally don't.
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Re: Stonechildren

Postby willpell » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:07 pm

Do note that a Stonechild's elemental parent is not a member of the Elemental monster-kind, just of the Elemental type, or possibly a fey with a strong elemental affinity. Whatever it is has to be humanlike enough in general shape that it could breed with a human. The most likely parents are an Oread (a mountain-nymph) or possibly a Dao (earth-aligned Genie, though these seem like a questionable flavor fit).
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Re: Stonechildren

Postby Big Mac » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:58 pm

Icarus wrote:There's a rather lengthy write-up on them in the 3rd Edition Races of Stone. p92 - 94.
It discusses everything from their physical description to their personality and naming conventions. There are racial traits, and even a "monster class" if a player wants to make one as a PC. Generally, at least as good as a write-up on the PHB for a race.


Thanks. I'll have to see if I have that book in my collection. :D

Icarus wrote:As far as why they don't necessarily get along with elves:
stone children sometimes have a difficult time understanding the elf mind-set. Like stonechildren, elves are close to nature, but elves share none of the stonechildren’s connection to stone and the power of the earth, making them seem flighty and unfocused.


That makes sense.

Icarus wrote:And, at least in this description, it says that they are "Born of a union of mortal and elemental", not necessarily human. Though they do appear more human in shape, it doesn't limit their paterntage that way. It does expound several times on why they get along so well with dwarves, and living underground. ... but, it also says that "Stonechildren are closer to dwarves than any other race, and they often settle in dwarf communities for a time. Many humans and dwarves seek to emulate the strength and silence of the stonechildren".


That's good. It makes both of the racial-specific Stonechildren work, while allowing other possibilities.

I'd still be tempted to suggest that all of the Stonechildren in the Sundered Empire are of the half-human variety. Perhaps there could be a tribe that were known for mining who were on friendly terms. :)
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Re: Stonechildren

Postby Big Mac » Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:54 pm

willpell wrote:Do note that a Stonechild's elemental parent is not a member of the Elemental monster-kind, just of the Elemental type, or possibly a fey with a strong elemental affinity. Whatever it is has to be humanlike enough in general shape that it could breed with a human. The most likely parents are an Oread (a mountain-nymph) or possibly a Dao (earth-aligned Genie, though these seem like a questionable flavor fit).


D&D also has planetouched races. I would expect the earth-planetouched race and the stonechildren to be in the same family tree.
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Re: Stonechildren

Postby willpell » Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:52 pm

Big Mac wrote:
willpell wrote:Do note that a Stonechild's elemental parent is not a member of the Elemental monster-kind, just of the Elemental type, or possibly a fey with a strong elemental affinity. Whatever it is has to be humanlike enough in general shape that it could breed with a human. The most likely parents are an Oread (a mountain-nymph) or possibly a Dao (earth-aligned Genie, though these seem like a questionable flavor fit).


D&D also has planetouched races. I would expect the earth-planetouched race and the stonechildren to be in the same family tree.


I believe a stonechild is functionally equivalent to a creature with the Half-Earth-Elemental template (maybe not the same exact mechanics, but roughly equivalent in puissance). Genasi are the later descendants of such entities, so a Stonechild could easily have Planetouched children if they bred with humans (whereas if they bred with other Stonechildren they'd likely produce other Stonechildren; I doubt you can breed your way back to a full Oread or the like).
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Re: Stonechildren

Postby Big Mac » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:33 pm

willpell wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
willpell wrote:Do note that a Stonechild's elemental parent is not a member of the Elemental monster-kind, just of the Elemental type, or possibly a fey with a strong elemental affinity. Whatever it is has to be humanlike enough in general shape that it could breed with a human. The most likely parents are an Oread (a mountain-nymph) or possibly a Dao (earth-aligned Genie, though these seem like a questionable flavor fit).


D&D also has planetouched races. I would expect the earth-planetouched race and the stonechildren to be in the same family tree.


I believe a stonechild is functionally equivalent to a creature with the Half-Earth-Elemental template (maybe not the same exact mechanics, but roughly equivalent in puissance). Genasi are the later descendants of such entities, so a Stonechild could easily have Planetouched children if they bred with humans (whereas if they bred with other Stonechildren they'd likely produce other Stonechildren; I doubt you can breed your way back to a full Oread or the like).


Thanks. That sounds about right.

I'm not sure the same human subraces would be in Western Oerik. Icarus said something about tribes and I think that some of the people (and monsters) there will have been there for a long time.(And if you go with Icarus's fanon logic of putting Black Moon Chronicles into Chainmail's past you get a fairly long history there.)

It's a shame that the Miniatures Handbook didn't continue along with the Sundered Empire setting, as we could actually have had a lot more development of the setting.
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Re: Stonechildren

Postby ripvanwormer » Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:50 am

Big Mac wrote:I'm not sure the same human subraces would be in Western Oerik.


The humans of Thalos are probably of Oeridian descent, since they worship the Oeridian deities Stratis and Alia. Given the similar name, they may be descended from the explorers or refugees from the lost kingdom of Thalland where Ahlissa is now. Ahmut is said to have been of the Baklien people, who are probably related to the Baklunish of eastern Oerik given their name and similar culture; I imagine the Baklien and Baklunish have been separate for thousands of years, though.

The half-elemental template is originally from the adventure Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, which stated that they're either the result of interbreeding between elemental and mortal creatures or the result of "some magical infusion of elemental power into a mortal at birth," which means they don't have to be produced by sexual means. An elemental cult could have a ceremony that transforms infants of entirely mortal heritage into half-elementals, for example. Half-elementals might also be created by accident among mortals born on the Elemental Planes, just from existing in the charged elemental environment.

Genasi and the like are normally assumed to have human parentage because figuring out all the possible permutations would take up a lot of space. However, the book Aasimar & Tiefling: A Guide to the Planetouched, a d20 sourcebook from Green Ronin, actually did provide guidelines for creating new planetouched races of any possible combination by ripping apart and recombining racial traits. There's a fairly brutal review of that book here.
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Re: Stonechildren

Postby Big Mac » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:06 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I'm not sure the same human subraces would be in Western Oerik.


The humans of Thalos are probably of Oeridian descent, since they worship the Oeridian deities Stratis and Alia. Given the similar name, they may be descended from the explorers or refugees from the lost kingdom of Thalland where Ahlissa is now. Ahmut is said to have been of the Baklien people, who are probably related to the Baklunish of eastern Oerik given their name and similar culture; I imagine the Baklien and Baklunish have been separate for thousands of years, though.


This is great. Those names do sound like back-formations. :)

Maybe I should start a couple of topics to explore the possible Thalos/Thalland and Baklien/Baklunish links. It could be a way to raid distant Thalland and Baklunish history and reuse it with Chainmail.

ripvanwormer wrote:The half-elemental template is originally from the adventure Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, which stated that they're either the result of interbreeding between elemental and mortal creatures or the result of "some magical infusion of elemental power into a mortal at birth," which means they don't have to be produced by sexual means. An elemental cult could have a ceremony that transforms infants of entirely mortal heritage into half-elementals, for example. Half-elementals might also be created by accident among mortals born on the Elemental Planes, just from existing in the charged elemental environment.


Thanks for that context. Stonechildren are not quite the same thing, but it sounds like this has a built-in Greyhawk tie-in that can be rebooted a bit and used in the Sundered Empire (or any other place on Oerth...or even Greyspace). :)

ripvanwormer wrote:Genasi and the like are normally assumed to have human parentage because figuring out all the possible permutations would take up a lot of space. However, the book Aasimar & Tiefling: A Guide to the Planetouched, a d20 sourcebook from Green Ronin, actually did provide guidelines for creating new planetouched races of any possible combination by ripping apart and recombining racial traits. There's a fairly brutal review of that book here.


That is a bit of a brutal review! :lol:

Thanks for the link. I might pass on it, not because of the bad review, but because I just don't have time to learn a ton of stuff. I think you are right about the combinations taking up a lot of space.

I remember they had something in Alien Nation where they had an alien race that had a third sex that somehow facilitated the mating procedure. They never really went beyond innuendo to explain the exact details (the HBO remake will do that :twisted: ) but I suppose you could have a process where elemental creatures are able to facilitate the birth process in humanoids somehow.

Illithids "steal" their bodies from humanoids. So I guess that other races could steal the body of an unborn child and turn it into some sort of hybrid.
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Re: Stonechildren

Postby willpell » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:27 am

Big Mac wrote:I remember they had something in Alien Nation where they had an alien race that had a third sex that somehow facilitated the mating procedure. They never really went beyond innuendo to explain the exact details (the HBO remake will do that :twisted: ) but I suppose you could have a process where elemental creatures are able to facilitate the birth process in humanoids somehow.


This is turning into a bit of a different topic, but my favorite version of something like that is found in Iain Banks's "The Player of Games" (the second and arguably best of his novels of The Culture, which I highly highly highly recommend to any fan of really high-concept sci-fi). The Azad (or Azadians or Azadi or w/e, I don't recall the grammar) are a more or less humanlike alien species whose chief difference from us is their sexual trimorphism. Both males and females are subservient to the "Apex" gender, who view them both with extreme contempt. Apices are essentially necessary as a go-between for the other two genders - the books don't clarify what would happen if males and females directly mated, but presumably if that was an option, the apices wouldn't have had such an easy time rising to prominence, so I assume that they receive some genomic matter from one, modify it somehow, and transfer it to the other, with the modifications being necessary to conceive. In any event, their ability to essentially "take or leave" both other sexes has made them best able to win out in the competition of mate selection (which, along with all other competitions up to and including the selection of their Emperor-equivalent, has been formalized into a tabletop game of spectacular complexity; the title character must compete in said game on the Culture's behalf, in an attempt to win prestige among the Azadians which can be used to influence them away from conflict with the Culture - and toward a more palatable set of moral behaviors). The book's main villain is an Apex, and in the climax, s/he rants furiously about the sexual politics of the species while attempting to both out-play and straight-up kill the protagonist, seeing his unalloyed masculinity as a symbol of everything repugnant about any alternative to the current Azadian status quo, and having essentially gone mad from the experience of playing against this "perverted" alien. It's one heck of a compelling read.
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Re: Stonechildren

Postby ripvanwormer » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:46 am

Big Mac wrote:I remember they had something in Alien Nation where they had an alien race that had a third sex that somehow facilitated the mating procedure.


The Oankali from Octavia Butler's Lilith's Brood had that set-up too. Their third sex was called the Ooloi, who facilitated a five-way mating involving two pairs of lovers besides themselves, often two interspecies couples. That series did go into the graphic details, especially since the protagonist of the third book was an Ooloi of half-human descent.
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