Friday, 29 November 2019

Stone Age Adventures

A Stone Age Civilisation Setting 
As yet unnamed stone age fantasy setting. After a age of monsters ruling with black magic the world is unclaimed wasteland. Many of the evil races fled to isolated places or underground. (Name suggestions: Bonelands, Slingstones & Sloths, sabretooth!, Frozen Coast). Hoping to write some adventure zines in this setting to play as cave folk of for moderns to discover. One flyer will be a mini setting with map, tribe info and encounters and loot.

A new tribe of survivors of a great sunken land have fled into the frozen northeren lands of glaciers, tundra and mountains. Great beasts dwell here and great hunters can overcome them.The tribe need new skills to survive and friends or the tribe wont last long. Skills the players have will ensure tribes survival.

Initial sandbox area of glaciated chilly coast

huge glaciers reaching into forested mountains
row of mountains forming many valleys to explore
rivers and streams
tribal areas and sacred places
great plateau of megafauna
stone city of ancient wizards
ruins of the monster empire, possibly degenerate survivors

The Tribe

Are mongrels, survivors who as children survived great south land flooding and burning. The last few elders who saved as many abandoned children on the journey north are few now. Having crossed the sea on a raft you came to this new place. The tribe are tolerant of physical differences and appearance and all dedicated to the families survival or you get kicked out if its a problem. They have no sacred places or objects, no links to other tribes by blood and no ancient traditions but a mash of many without context or understanding. The tribes stories are mostly about fleeing the floods and a smattering of childrens tales of old tribes.

Grandmother one tooth cannot walk or see but eats and talks and knows most
-she is also a healer (C3 dedicated to cave ogre goddess)
-mostly advises ruthless cruel action the tribe accept as last resort

Everyone uses default skill chances to hunt and survive and craft. Having proper skills gives you not just easier time but more advanced. Possibly you are only person in tribe with some skills and are duty bound to teach it preferably to children.

Fighters - mostly hunters and champions who battle in ritual combat or fight monsters. In times of violence these are often temporary or lasting leaders. Sometimes a champion takes over a tribe by continuing their emergency rulership over the tribe.

Clerics - priests of the gods, carry a idol of the They prey too or a bundle of ancestors bones. They claimed the gods freed us from slavery and darkness. There are bad gods too. Priests know about pleasing all kinds of gods and the importance of having a patron god. A priest has a favourite god but will help others with their gods who are kin of their god. Big gods are a puzzle to most peoples but the chanting of a priests stories are welcome entertainment. Some evil priests praise all the bad gods of the monster age bringing dead to walk and cursing others. When you die your god takes you to their house and meet your ancestors

Rogue - rely on craft and cunning, many are experts at scouting or tracking or making things from the kill.They most often act alone and avoid direct conflict. Sometimes they are called upon to kill a enemy or tribe member in secret.
Wizards - use ancient magic in words and writings found carved in stone on walls or in tablets. They crave secrets of black magic  used by the monster kings to call forth monsters, nightmares and death. Most shun and fear them but some prove their worth and live with a tribe (or might take over but more likely to use a proxy)
Monks - there are rare tribal fighting schools that train warriors in ancient arts of fighting. Some dedicate them,selves to these schools and fighting cults. They live with very little in isolated places and rely on gifts which limits their growth. Some preserve other skills and languages and ancient lost skills. Most tribes would not support even one unless the order had aided them. Fighting this much is a waste of time you should be getting food say most.
Druid - are priests worshipping nature itself and all the creatures spirits of the land, water, air, trees and places. The most organised religion and popular, they organise calender's, festivals and building monuments like moving rocks. They are wise in healing, lore, poisons, herbs and languages. Druids provide education through story and song. Druids also regulate hunting seasons, where hunters can go, what is in season based on ancient lore to live in harmony with spirits. When you die you are reincarnated but some return as mightier beings or lowlier beings if they struggled against life.

Bard - are those found promising to be druids but drop out of study to be entertainers and artists. Not all tribes tolerate a waste of food so bards best have useful skills and knowledge and magic and popularity. Socialise with all types excelling at manners, customs, diplomacy and even trade. They learn all kinds of skills and lore and language. At big inter tribal gatherings bards will have contests that go on for days. Famous bards are very respected and travel as they please

Sorcerer - natural born spell casters often a result of non human bloodlines from the monster age. Many have dreams  and visions which they enhance with fungi and herbs. In such dreams they meet and make pacts with their inhuman ancestors for power. Wizards have actually mimicked and recorded them to research new spells they can write on cave walls. Sorcerers unlike wizards are lazy, self indulgent, more willing to start a fight, enjoy adulation of others. A witch or warlock child if found to be useful with a cantrip might be spared. Problem ones might be abandoned. People who have been wronged by sorcerers are common and many hate them all. Wizards are above scandalous living. A good sorcerer is a tribal asset and respected.

Dwarf - dwarfs too were slaves of the monster empire and are recovering their own lost lore and arts. Currently they work copper and stone and silver and make the best weapons and armour. Bows, atlatl, slings, bolos, lassos and all manner of advanced weapons are known to them. They dream of going into the deep to find secure dwarf civilisation and being welcomed. Actually the elder dwarfs don't want them grubbing up the place with their stench. Every tribe needs a dwarf! Some trap them in caves or cripple their legs so they cannot escape. Dwarves can be sly and cruel and resentful at their value. Many demand beer or lovers or the best meat.

Elf - elves too were slaves of the monster empire and many did not escape too faerie land. Elves did come in to help the empire fall but did not reclaim their lost children. Even the dark elves helped betray the empire at the end. Some elves alone and isolated since savage monsters killed and ate everyone they knew live with humans, often for generations. They help keep lore and magic available to the tribe as well as fighting arts. They use bows and spears and live harmoniously with beasts and plants. Elves kept imprisoned waste away so most people try to keep elves friendly. Elves might long to meet other elves but will be shocked at their prejudice against those without pedigree or bloodlines tainted by mortals.

Gnome - small nature spirit folk who have remained hidden for aeons among nature but did help end the monster empire. Excellent craters usually lagging behind dwarves in many fields but good with precision moving parts. Also gnomes worship nature as kin so are good at arts of survival. They are quite charming and clever and tribes happily adopt them. They always hope to meet a village of their own kind but those who have wandered for centuries find it hard to settle with regular folk.

Halflings - burrowfolk live in holes in the ground. Stout and clever they are able hunters and gatherers and eat constantly in their decorated holes. Their every day comforts are great and their clothes are made from cloth with buttons. Advanced in farming, crafts, food preservation and cooking. They are very amiable and not ambitious mostly beyond creature comforts or food but they are curious. They make good food finders and cooks as well as make beer. They are well liked unless food is scarce.

Abhumans - these are part human part beasts made by gods in the dawn age or wizards in the monster empire emulating them. Many worship nature as do druids or they worship evil gods and demons. The most common in the current are d6 1=Stag 2=Lion 3=Ape 3=Bull 4=Snake 5=Lizard 6=Fish 7=Wolf 8=Frog 9=Bear 10=Crow. Other more exotic types exist too including elemental types, 
Terror Bird, Dinosaur or mythic creatures like dragons or unicorns. Most live in tribes and have simplest technology, some don't like fire or cooking. A rareley known fact is the monster empire by the end relied on abhuman troopd but human and orc breeds performed the best and became the most common type. Barbarians are modified hybrid humans and are thus abhumans like the strongest breeds of orc.

Giants - some giants as children live hidden among humans until they grow too large or hideous. Their habit of eating far more than any human is a problem for them. Some big tribes like supporting a huge strongman but small ones wont. Thus many end up alone. Giants can be good or evil and are part of a older order who waged war on the gods in the dawn age. Many chaotic giants served monster kings but others serving Cosmic Law helped humanity. Giants are rare but occupy valleys and hidden places hard for humans to reach.

Changelings - spirit folk akin to plants, elements or beast and change into human form. Some come to live with humans but move on as they are immortal and don't want to attract attention with worship. Usually they move if discovered. Mostly they keep their magic and shape shifting powers secret. Most are nature or darkness worshippers. Some dimly remember ancestors telling of being appointed by heaven to protect nature and consider themselves lesser divinities. They live among faerie folk for long periods also. Many of them are still sleeping under the earth awaiting the age of darkness to end but have yet to waken.

Tako - as the seas withdraw, 
Tako octopus faeries from the sea come exploring to map the new lands for the emperor of the sea. Most are alien to humans and seen as monsters. Mostly tako spy from a distance using hiding and climbing skills. They can be befriended and have many strange abilities that help them aid human friends. Some adapt to land and even cave or forest living. Many Tako have many reasons to not go home yet and will gossip with own kind. Evil wizard Tako serving darkness did explore lands also long ago.

In a stone age setting but still usable by later eras.
It is post an age of black magic monster empire ruling overall, most details unclear
-find undead wizard cave
-explore glacier cave
-expose evil creatures pretending to be gods
-sinkhole full of undead with some great prize
-lair of demon bear
-orc village
-werewolf cult
-necromancers tarpit lair
-smoking mountain home of a dread wizard
-robbing a tribal village - steal a dwarf, calf, someones lover,
-hunting animals or monsters


Orcs and Barbarians were bred by the monster wizards. Human-orc-ogre hybrids made by wizards in the monster age are abhumans. As were the barbarian hordes who made up the monster empire army at the end time. Barbarians and high orcs have a healthy sense of superiority to weaker natural humans. They wage war on humans for slaves and believe humans owe them everything for liberating the world. They do hate wizards and not too fond of gods. High orcs have been dropping in numbers for centuries unable to breed faster than their battle losses but lesser orcs revere them.

Pliestocene mammals mostly and modern animals few domestic animals
The plateau is a mammoth herd ground tunra rich in megafauna life
Dinosaurs are rare now mostly adapted to caves, islands, warmer climates but undead dinosaurs are favourites of wizards. A few dinos might survive in a valley or a volcano. Serpent and lizard men have domestic dinos which are better adapted to cold but still rare.

Fishfolk are always up to no good!
Beware their half human kin hidden among humans!

Undead are common in ruins often of monster empire races or servants.
Necromancers are evil wizards who seek a new age of rule by black magic
Necromancers seek forbidden lost lore, cultrs of darkness often aid them

Dark Priests are remnants of the monster empire religion taught still. Create undead, curses, poisons and murders by night. They are wicked and must die!

Wizards seek lost lore and forbidden remnants of old magic which is dangerous and drives wizards mad. Necromancers dedicate themselves to immortality, darkness and black magic.

Constructs left by wizards like golems often left as guards

Mutants are exposed to remnants of black magic, alchemical sludge or radiance of the ancients relics. Mutant dinosaurs, undead, dragons, demons, you name it is better mutated.

Tribes are local and do not welcome settlers. Their politics could be played to help characters tribe. About a dozen tribes, interrelated live on coast who live by various means but several hunters on plateau. Peace with some could be found. Some have evil secrets that could be exposed. As players interven and defeat other tribes some defeated may try desperate allegiances outside the human tribes.

Clans are: Stag, Bear, Wolf, Snake, Frog, Boar, Bison, Mammoth, Rhino, Lion, Beaver, Hyena. The newcommers tribe will get a name by the next inter tribe gathering based on characters actions. Until then they are "the stranger tribe".

Several intruder abhuman clans outside the area exist.
A tribe of Icefolk nomads from the frozen wastes come to take slaves back home
A orc tribe Blackbones, an elite of high orcs with their common orc rabble
A tribe of apefolk want to settle in caves and good places, strong and violent
A tribe of barbarians who seek wizards to kill and writing to destroy before moving on
A tribe of chaos barbarians seeking to kill and take corpses to necromancer master

Elves from fairyland are returning and planting forests,thorn hedges, goblin colonies and huge forests.
Dwarves from the deep have interesting things to steal but are vindictive
Halflings in the woodlands are good to trade with but protect hunting grounds
Gnomes live in wilderness and make life hard for hunters by protecting plants and animals
Abhumans mostly animal and elemental in tribes, many serve chaos
Changelings might be opposed to characters and act with magic and stealth and hidden close even in your house
Tako most are hidden but they do spy and steal, some worship elder chaos or sea demons

Most people just are not into alignment and the fabulous benefits it brings and fights it helps start. But for those increasingly fanatic about alignment try theses extreme alignment claims.

Cannibalism is evil
Oath breaking is chaotic
Generosity is good
Tribal assembly is lawful
Raw food is chaotic
Cooked food is lawful
Stealing is evil
Keeping stuff for you and your family neutral
Keeping out of others conflicts is neutral
Considering protecting game with seasons balanced
Giving every side a say is balanced


  1. Love it. Any special rules/adjustments for stone axes, spears, etc.?

    1. not yet but might intoduce natural 1 is a weapon break which i wouldn't normally do. most weapons will be the smaller lighter varieties

  2. Just finished rereading a book set in the stone-age and was thinking very similar things. The seasons are really important, splitting the year up into hunting, making, storing, trading etc. Objects and tools are really important, as is food, almost as important as abilities and knowledge. If you have enough to eat then you can spend time thinking making or planning, otherwise you have to scrounge like an animal.

  3. gurps ice age and that caveman rpg from a few years ago with stones as a mechanic have good ideas. i was planning on it being artic circle with months of light or darkness. Farcry pc game with cave ppl was fun

  4. How long did it take you to think this idea and write the post?

    Is the Outback an inspiration?

    1. part of it in my brain since i think dragon 84?
      had idea in morning started typing about 4 hours done. i work by jack kerouc style mostly

    2. i did archaeology so subject always of interest. I had this as a age in my setting history. Not lots about outback but ive worked with indigenous people.

    3. I (of course) can't find it now, but WOTC did a free Caveman supplement for 5E.

  5. Have you read Emmy Allen's Wolfpacks and Winter Snow? It's an OD&D/Bx clone designed for the ice age.

    1. It really is! The approach to magic-users is especially interesting, tying into magic cave painting and such. Also there are aboleths.

  6. Outstanding! Once again; I'm just floored by your creativity.


I love and welcome feedback but not spambots
Good feedback and suggestions inspire me to write more