Big Mac wrote: ↑
Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:37 pm
You're right. I get the impression that The Horde focuses on Mongol-like people. The Tuigan Horde is definitely a Mongol-like tribe, but I would like to see a bit more variety.
Yeah, double checking the boxed set its basically just 'everyone is Mongol tribes'. Anything beyond that is pretty much going to have to be homebrewed.
Not to mention that Toril is a magical world and would have non-human nomads, as well as some folks that could cast spells or make magic items.
Officially there are centaur nomads, who get an MC entry only, and no thing in the actual products IIRC. Will follow up on this below.
Cromstar wrote: ↑
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:24 pm
I recently did some brainstorming with my father over a Hordelands-like area and there are definitely different directions one can go in to flavor various nomadic groups. Example: we created a halfling society for the Hordelands where the halflings roam set paths across the vast interior plains in wagon caravans (think a hobbit hole, but its a wagon) and they have large war dogs with riders for scouting, defense, and the like.
Mobile homes, instead of yurts would make some sort of difference to the culture. I guess you could "dock" different wagons together or install "bridges" between them, to create larger buildings. You could effectively have a mobile town.
That works, yes. We looked more like "a hobbit hole from LOTR, but in a wagon", and figured that they would circle them together at night (think Conestogas in the American west), and link them with some kind of cloth walls or something to form a simple barrier. Each wagon would have a barrel and a system to collect rain water, a roof-top garden box, an under wagon box for refuse (used to grow mushrooms and cycle into other plant boxes after it turns into good dirt), window boxes, etc.
Our other big thing was dogs. These halflings would be dog riders, since it gives them an extra edge up in defending themselves (and makes them unique in the area) and in maintaining a small herd of cows or horses on their travels. The halflings are mostly peaceable, and most other tribes leave them alone because the halflings are the best source of fruits and vegetables for a lot of tribes (we envisioned that the halflings would have secret wild gardens scattered along their migration routes).
The map on page 5 of FR12 has some mountain ranges. They seem to work as the borders between some of the tribes. Presumably the tribes are able to defend against attacks through the mountain passes in the summer and the mountain regions close up in the winter.
The mountains would presumably be a good place to sneak in a dwarven or drow city...or something else that could threaten the people of the stepps (like an illithid city that raids for slaves to eat brains).
The mountains are a good use for this, yes. Some other things I've thought of over the years, in addition to expanding on the tribesmen to represent more than just Mongol cultures:
-Centaur tribes. These already exist, but can be given more emphasis...they aren't side notes, they are full-fledged tribes on par with human tribes.
-A mixed tribe. I have a single tribe that's half human and half centaur. Two small tribes on the brink of extinction made a pact for survival and have become one of the most dangerous tribes on the steppes because of it. Imagine all the advantages a solid cavalry archer has, and then replace the horse with a centaur mount. Two minds working in tandem, makes them doubly deadly.
-Orcs. Put orcs on horses, reflavor the orcs to be steppe nomads as desired. Its honestly a lifestyle that isn't all that different from what a lot of orcs elsewhere are already used to.
-Goblins. Goblins already ride worgs. I really like the thought that goblin tribes are nocturnal, finding semi-secluded spots to camp during the day and going out at night when most everyone else is camping. This makes raiding, say, animal herds (and the herders) easier for the goblins.
-Ogres. At first I was going to leave the ogres mountless, but then I remembered a fun little thing. Leucrotta. A small tribe of ogres (say, no more than a dozen?) mounted on leucrotta would be a formidable tribe on the steppes. Leucrotta are 7' tall in the 2e MC, which is at the upper end of RL draft horses. Make the body less stag-like and bulkier like a draft horse, and they'd be perfect mounts for ogres, to be honest. And an ogre tribe lead by an ogre mage who rides a greater leucrotta is just a bonus!
-Thri-kreen. The Horde book lists these as a common thing on the grassy plains parts of the Hordelands on Toril. I would steal judiciously from the Athasian thri-kreen to build a smaller empire somewhere out here. I imagine they are kept fairly small because any groups that stray beyond their borders are relatively easy pickings for any tribe that stumbles upon them, limiting the expansion of the thri-kreen. But this would definitely provide a "settled" kingdom in the plains.
-Spiders. So, any variation of 'bigger than large' spider can be found fairly commonly on the plains according to the boxed set. I imagine these are hunting spiders and not trapping spiders (so, imagine 5'+ tarantulas as opposed to web-spinners). There are also a lot of other giant insects, including millipedes, centipedes, antlions, etc. A small group of coordinated spiders hunting under the direction of an ettercap...and now I'm trying to work this out in my head. BRB.
-Giants. Stone giants. Maybe hill giants. Retool some giants to be steppes dwellers (desert giants from Al Qadim could be retooled for dry plains and deserts in the Hordelands perhaps?)
-Other Monsters. Dragons, behirs, cockatrices, chimaeras, manticores, hippogriffs, griffons, pegasi, anhkegs, leucrotta and a thousand other things provide a wealth of options. Some of the more intelligent monsters could provide settled locations (imagine ancient city ruins now home to a dragon, or a family of manticores).
-Camels. Not just in the deserts (though having desert regions with tribes more like the Ughyurs or Seljuk Turks is also good), but even on the plains. Most people forget that the Mongols had plentiful camels for riding and food, as did plenty of other tribes (such as the aforementioned Seljuk Turks). Camels are similar to horses, but have their own unique uses, which can provide some extra variance to a tribe.
-Other oddball things. I have one tribe that stays near a specific mountain, claiming its "sacred" to them. In reality, they aren't a tribe, but a nation-state built atop the mountain. They have a cavalry force formed from pegasi. They pretend to be a tribal horde to keep visitors away, but beware the poor bastard who attacks, only to find his opponents leaping into the air and assaulting his cavalry from above.
The official Hordelands actually has a lot of non-steppes terrain intermixed in the location, so there's plenty of locations to vary the standard take on hordes.