Avian Kingdoms

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Seethyr
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Avian Kingdoms

Post by Seethyr »

For many years now I have been thinking of writing a book called “Avian Kingdoms” that would detail the history and mechanics of both the Aarakocra and the progenitor race known as the Aearee in the same format or spirit of the 3.5 Ed book Serpent Kingdoms. The book would be the equivalent for those two races and a half dozen or so other sub races as Serpent Kingdoms was for sarrukh and yuan-ti.

What’s been holding me back? Mostly other projects, but also the insane amount of research that goes into this big a project. There’s not a ton of canon about the aearee, but there’s a TON of really good fanon written by people such as Gray Richardson on Candlekeep.

There’s also 30+ years of Aarakocra lore that extends even into White Dwarf magazine from the 1980s. Gathering it all together in the hopes of contradicting nothing has been daunting to say the least.

Anyway, I gave this thread the generic name of the book because I’ll hopefully be posting lore and crunch here. What can I use help with? Mostly constructive criticism. But also if anyone wants to add something of their own devising I will definitely accommodate. I’m hoping to have the “Aviantiquity” done by tomorrow evening. That is, the aarakocran/aearee prehistory which heavily includes the Wind Dukes of Aaqa and millennia of slavery under the sarrukh and batrachi.
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Re: Avian Kingdoms

Post by Seethyr »

Art is a major issue too. There is oddly few images of Aarakocra out there that are for sale. Commissioning at $50 or so an image is just not reasonable when I want to load the book up with good art. Public domain is failing me badly too.
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Re: Avian Kingdoms

Post by Seethyr »

For my first entry I am trying to consider a mechanic specifically for Aarakocran Claustrophobia. In my research, I found that this quirk was first mentioned in the Dragon Magazine article "The Wings of Eagles" by J.F. Keeping (Dragon 124). I don't think it has ever been approached with a mechanic however and I think it might serve to help flavor an aarakocran character if the PC is willing to take on some quirks that can weaken their character. At the same time, I wanted to counterbalance the negative affects with benefits. The benefits are why I call this "Aarakocran Claustrophobia/Agorophilia, because apparently, the birdfolk believe those who DON'T have claustrophobia are the ones who have a disorder.

I think players and DMs should discuss which level they choose below, or roll a 1d6 randomly, with effects being cumulative (rolling a 6 gets every effect on this table.

Level 1 Aarakocran Claustrophobia/Agorophilia (Roll of 1)
The aarakocra is one of the rare few who have no special preference for indoors or outdoors, nor do they gain any benefits or penalties for being underground. However, most aarakocra hold a mild prejudice towards such "deranged" folk and the DM might occasionally force such a character to roll Charisma (Persuasion) checks involving other aarakocra with disadvantage. This penalty is not included in the cumulative affects of this table.

Level 2 Aarakocran Claustrophobia/Agorophilia (Roll of 2-3)
The aarakocra feels mild discomfort when deep underground, and a mild elation when in the open skies. They have no special feelings towards normal enclosures such as buildings or houses. On the first occasion each day where it would be necessary, this level of Aarakocran Claustrophobia/Agorophilia forces the character to make any save against a fear affect to be made with disadvantage while underground, or with advantage if the character has no roof over their head.

Level 3 Aarakocran Claustrophobia/Agorophilia (Roll of 4-5)
The aarakocra cannot abide underground areas and is mildly discomforted by any roof over its head unless it can clearly see the sky above (windows or glassteel would suffice). Such characters must make a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw whenever they first enter an underground region or they suffer disadvantage on all skill checks when forced or compelled into such an area. A successful save must be made immediately after each long rest to avoid the penalty until their next long rest. If an aarakocra with Level 3 Aarakocran Claustrophobia/Agorophilia spends three successive days without entering an underground region or building that does not have a sky view, they gain inspiration.

Level 4 Aarakocran Claustrophobia/Agorophilia (Roll of 6)
These aarakocra are terrified of underground areas and enclosed spaces. They are the extreme end of the condition and often can't fully function even in an aarakocran aerie despite their often accommodating designs. They will not willingly enter an underground region, though they can overcome the compulsion with a DC 17 Wisdom save (same long rest timing requirements as Level 3). If this save is failed, the aarakocra also makes all attack rolls at disadvantage.
Counterbalancing their claustrophobia, these aarakocra are blessed with a particular elation at the open skies and spaces. They gain 10 feet to their flying speed.
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Re: Avian Kingdoms

Post by Big Mac »

There is an aarakocra spelljamming ship in War Captain's Companion. I don't think it has deck plans. Just a low detail side view.

IIRC it looked a bit like a biplane, with wings made from giant feathers.

Anyhoo, I'm not sure if the aearee race would have been an early spacefaring race (that travelled to multiple worlds) or if the aarakocra would have built those ships in more recent times.

It might be something to think about if you want to have an Aarakocra in Other Worlds section. (Assuming that is allowed.)
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Re: Avian Kingdoms

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Big Mac wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:31 am
There is an aarakocra spelljamming ship in War Captain's Companion. I don't think it has deck plans. Just a low detail side view.

IIRC it looked a bit like a biplane, with wings made from giant feathers.
Two ships. The biplane you mentioned (the Corbina) and the Eagleship. Neither have deckplans.
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Re: Avian Kingdoms

Post by night_druid »

Big Mac wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:31 am
Anyhoo, I'm not sure if the aearee race would have been an early spacefaring race (that travelled to multiple worlds) or if the aarakocra would have built those ships in more recent times.

It might be something to think about if you want to have an Aarakocra in Other Worlds section. (Assuming that is allowed.)
Small note, but Coliar (2nd planet of Realmspace) is ripe for Aarakocra expansion. Its size G (gas giant sized) so plenty of room for whole empires hiding in its boundless skies. Its home to Aarakocra, lizardmen, and dragons. I figure they all might have originated from the Creator Races of Toril, and migrated to Coliar eons ago. Plata might have been one their colonies, too.
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Re: Avian Kingdoms

Post by Seethyr »

Big Mac wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:31 am
There is an aarakocra spelljamming ship in War Captain's Companion. I don't think it has deck plans. Just a low detail side view.

IIRC it looked a bit like a biplane, with wings made from giant feathers.

Anyhoo, I'm not sure if the aearee race would have been an early spacefaring race (that travelled to multiple worlds) or if the aarakocra would have built those ships in more recent times.

It might be something to think about if you want to have an Aarakocra in Other Worlds section. (Assuming that is allowed.)
night_druid wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:15 am
Big Mac wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:31 am
There is an aarakocra spelljamming ship in War Captain's Companion. I don't think it has deck plans. Just a low detail side view.

IIRC it looked a bit like a biplane, with wings made from giant feathers.
Two ships. The biplane you mentioned (the Corbina) and the Eagleship. Neither have deckplans.
I had no idea about these, that's awesome! I think it's in the GHotR or at the very least an early version of it that during the Time of Dragons in FR, when the dragons were decimating aarakocra populations, a number of their rookeries took to Realmspace, and that is how Coliar got populated. Now this is all from memory, but I BELIEVE Brian R James insinuated that this was how the aarakocra came to populate the entire universe as well. I'm sure that contradicts SJ lore somehow though.

On a side note, this has me really interested in the ship plans. Does anyone know anyone I could commision to work up the deck plans? I might attempt it myself, but ughhhh my art skills... I will try to use the ship found in the Dungeon of the Mad Mage as a model to keep 5e in mind.
night_druid wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:47 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:31 am
Anyhoo, I'm not sure if the aearee race would have been an early spacefaring race (that travelled to multiple worlds) or if the aarakocra would have built those ships in more recent times.

It might be something to think about if you want to have an Aarakocra in Other Worlds section. (Assuming that is allowed.)
Small note, but Coliar (2nd planet of Realmspace) is ripe for Aarakocra expansion. Its size G (gas giant sized) so plenty of room for whole empires hiding in its boundless skies. Its home to Aarakocra, lizardmen, and dragons. I figure they all might have originated from the Creator Races of Toril, and migrated to Coliar eons ago. Plata might have been one their colonies, too.
I loved reading about this in Realmspace. I'm curious how the dragons got there and what exactly an air dragon really is. I need to reopen my Realmspace copy.
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Re: Avian Kingdoms

Post by night_druid »

Seethyr wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:56 pm
On a side note, this has me really interested in the ship plans. Does anyone know anyone I could commision to work up the deck plans? I might attempt it myself, but ughhhh my art skills... I will try to use the ship found in the Dungeon of the Mad Mage as a model to keep 5e in mind.
I can take a look this weekend. Can't even remember how big those two ships are; I want to say the biplane is like 6 tons and the eagle is pretty small, too.
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Re: Avian Kingdoms

Post by Seethyr »

night_druid wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:03 pm
Seethyr wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:56 pm
On a side note, this has me really interested in the ship plans. Does anyone know anyone I could commision to work up the deck plans? I might attempt it myself, but ughhhh my art skills... I will try to use the ship found in the Dungeon of the Mad Mage as a model to keep 5e in mind.
I can take a look this weekend. Can't even remember how big those two ships are; I want to say the biplane is like 6 tons and the eagle is pretty small, too.
That's awesome, thank you! :D
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Re: Avian Kingdoms

Post by night_druid »

Seethyr wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:26 pm
That's awesome, thank you! :D
No problem. :)

<takes look at the Corbina>Good...gawd. That thing makes my eye twitch, and not in a good way. On the bright side, Corbina is the name of a fish...I foresee a redesign! :P
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Re: Avian Kingdoms

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night_druid wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:40 pm
Seethyr wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:26 pm
That's awesome, thank you! :D
No problem. :)

<takes look at the Corbina>Good...gawd. That thing makes my eye twitch, and not in a good way. On the bright side, Corbina is the name of a fish...I foresee a redesign! :P
It's that bad eh? Ugh, can WotC PLEASE get on with the SJ update. Isn't it about time?? LOL
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Re: Avian Kingdoms

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Seethyr wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:14 pm
It's that bad eh? Ugh, can WotC PLEASE get on with the SJ update. Isn't it about time?? LOL
Aside from screwy mechanics, a picture only a mother can love, and an overall concept that is very non-spelljammery, it makes references to a 'boat helm' that does not actually exist in SJ lore. :facepalm:
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Re: Avian Kingdoms

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:lol: :lol:
Redesign! Redesign!
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Re: Avian Kingdoms

Post by night_druid »

That's my thoughts. Basically the design is an over-glorified Wrights flyer. I'm thinking of using the California corbina as the base, modified to a "flying fish". Helm will have to be reworked, obviously.

Eagle shouldn't be too bad. Basic bird design, no problems there. A bit on the small size if it can carry 4 corbinas, but I can work around that.
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Re: Avian Kingdoms

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Watching. There will be some cross-over with my Ostoria Age project. Beyond Ostoria some of these Avian kingdoms might survive.
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