Thursday, 12 March 2020

Tribes of the Tundra

Stop looking if you're playing this (Dallas & Matt & Richard)
Poll on my Patreon anyone can do too....about future content & formats

Tribes of The Tundra tribes the players will meet need a bit of prep and I'm enjoying running this. Players enjoyed thinking food is a treasure so the survival angle worked. Some of these tribes explore the mountains and valleys most only dimly aware of the sea to the south past the mountains. Salt is in high demand which players might capitalise on.

When entering a new territory local can spot border stones and totems and will if on at least neutral terms will wait for owners to arrive. At this point, those wishing to pass will make a gift and state their intent. If on reasonable terms this is enough. More often the visitors will be taken to the chief and expect to negotiate further. Aggressive meetings usually result in name-calling, taunting and shouts. This escalates into throwing rocks then spears and arrows and sling stones. possibly more. Usually when someone is hurt both sides scatter and await legal actions. The wounded tribe will send a message demanding compensation such as several pigs or a chance to make the culprit run a gauntlet of clubs or dodge volleys of spears. 

The player's tribe have no clans or totem and might want to adopt something to announce themselves. No clan totem is a sign of evil false spirits who eat babies and steal souls.

Despite population sizes most only gather once a year or seasonally for festivals.

Druidry is very common
Shamen are a type of priest who deal with spirits instead of undead/turning(Oriental adventures 1st ed has lots of good spells for this)
Priesthoods and organised religion and temples are rare but growing

1 Ice Clan - White Ape Tribe
A clan of man-eaters who ruled here when glaciers covered the land and they resent other races. They fear demihumans but actively hunt other tribes for meat. They are bestial, barley speaks except through grunts and howls and seldom few tools or fire. Seasonally they travel to a secret pass where shamen in glacier caves worship ice devils they say live deep in the glacier. They wish the world was frozen over and unchanging. When they take humans they may enslave them and breed with them and eventually eat them. Other clans are more chaotic worshipping cold demons, elder gods and evil wind and cold elementals. The chaotic ones live in smaller groups and never unite.

pop300 Lawful Evil
Specialisation: cannibalism, diabolism, slavery
Customs: fear demihumans eat other races, devil worshipers

2 Pine Clan - 
Elf Tribe
Wood elves are on a mission to spread forests and have been successful on the coastal mountain range. On the tundra, this is harder and soil below a certain depth is frozen. They do spread grasses shrubs with berries. They are haughty and superior despite as earthborn elves they are not respected by their kin in faerieland as highly as they do themselves. They are superior at woodcraft including bow and spear and javelins and darts. Their plant food gathering is also superior and they do not like meat. They wish the world would freeze over and never change. There are occasional visits by the swan clan or the unicorn clan to the tundra who look down of the Pine clan and come to see their progress. Elves often employ goblin slaves and use them as scouts. Many escape and some become hobgoblins and even bugbears.

pop120 Chaotic Neutral
Specialisation: woodcraft, planting food crops, archery, druidry
Customs: haughty and superior to non-demihumans, always planting

3 Rock Clan - 
Dwarf Tribe
These dwarfs scour the tundra seeking iron star stones from the sky that fall rarely in the north. Only then will they be admitted to the great dwarf mountain forts of their kind and live lives of advanced luxury safe from the elements till they die. These dwarfs are always desperately grubbing about in the mud and others mostly pitty them. They always complain about their miserable lives. Their stonework is impressive and they use axes and slings mostly. They mostly shun magic but some make some potions, crude smoke bombs and firecrackers. They dread humans stealing their secrets and guard them jealously. Other dwarves in the deep and mountains use metal and black powder and golems but they shun the surface and pity those dwelling there. Rock dwarves are primitive by choice to stop others from stealing dwarf secrets. They fully comprehend advanced ancient technology only the hidden ones utilise it frequently.

pop80 Lawful Neutral
Specialisation: stone carving, axes including battleaxes, some crude alchemy 
Customs: seek meteorites, always moaning and filthy, shun magic, secretive

4 Moss Clan - Halfling Tribe

These shy peoples live in burrow nests that are very comfortable. They are experts at all kinds of food storage and even grind seeds and make bread. They are the best cooks and mostly fend off enemies with thrown rocks ambush. They have fine handicrafts but shun war and dangerous creatures. They are not unfriendly and will trade especially for meat and furs and ivory they struggle to get themselves. They like good humans and demihumans and may live with them for a time. They dislike crude and violent orcs and goblinoids and white apes. There are mulberry, lichen and shrub clans who sometimes visit. Most races leave halflings alone and don't even know where they live.

pop150 Chaotic Neutral
Specialisation: baking, cookery, food preservation, burrowing, camouflage 
Customs: fear demihumans eat other races, devil worshipers

5 Ground-squirrel Clan - Gnome Tribe
These grubby gnomes live in burrows with their furry squirrel friends. Many other animals eat them and gnomes help them and some even shapeshift into squirrel form. They grow tubers and eat seeds and store them in burrows for winter. They do make high quality sewed clothing and use tiny scraps of copper called coins for starting a fire, skinning hides, as a craft tool and status symbol. They are friendly but seldom seen by non-demihumans because they are shapeshifters. Other clans include weasel, owl, fox and hare.

pop90 Balanced Neutral 
Specialisation: copper, sewing, burrowing, slings and darts, druidry
Customs: shy with non demihumans, cohabit with squirrels, mostly underground

6 Snake Clan - Human 
These mean spirited humans claim they ruled the world and they preserve old bloodlines with scaly skin, snake eyes and forked tongues. The worship serpent people of old and seek their relics to study and guard. They seek any elder ruins for knowledge in the hope of finding a serpent person to rule them. They are united under the rule of an evil wizard who is expansive and plans to enslave the plateau humans and kill the demihumans. They dislike the cold which is their main hindrance on the plateau. They are constructing new monolithic structures dedicated to the serpentine cult. They use darts and daggers but also use poison. Some say degenerate albino kin live in deep caves or some have more extreme serpentine features making them inhuman monsters.

pop200 Lawful Evil
Specialisation: poison, building, slavery, ancient forbidden lore, pet snakes, wizards
Customs: serpent cult, superior, inbred 

7 Mammoth Clan
 - Human Tribe
This tribe follow and worship woolly mammoths hunting them and living in huts with stone foundations, tusks for beams and hides one top. They are devoted to hunting and their herds and wary of older races and strangers. They just want to look after their own kind and keep living the same way. Mammoths are their kin and they love them dearly, performing funeral rites for them when they kill the weak. They mostly use simple technology and spears and javelins. They prey off weak and sick mammoths only which is plenty. There is a wolf clan who sometimes follow the herds but they do not get along and avoid each other. Mammoth clan accuse them of being werewolves.

pop400 Neutral
Specialisation: building, hunting, spears and javelins
Customs: worship mammoths, follow the herds and protect them

8 Eagle Clan
 - Human Tribe
Eagle clan watch from their mountain caves and dwellings on rocky outcrops. They hunt all kinds of the game but hate the snake clan who they frequently fight. They seek to exterminate snake kind based on some ancient grudge. They also dislike white apes and undead but are not as fanatic about killing them. They are very serious and pious and wear feathered capes. A few keep pet eagles that assist them in hunting and finding enemies. They are also traders who often negotiate between tribes. They use spears and javelins and darts preferring to ambush from a height advantage. They are effective skirmishers and they are experts at harassing much larger forces. They have helped kept snake tribes to the south. There is a lesser hawk and owl clan also but they meet infrequently. They have organised priesthood and build sun altars and shrines in high places. Shamans are secondary in importance after priests which has other tribes wary.

pop120 Lawful Nuetral
Specialisation: hunting, exploring, trade, domestic eagles, skirmishers, priesthood
Customs: strict code of honour, hate white apes and snakes, sun worship

9 Elk Clan
 - Abhuman Tribe
Elk headed humanoids that follow their reindeer herds through seasonal migrations. They dislike any who harm their herds but they do eat meat in winter, preferring to graze on grass and hallucinogenic lichen in warmer months. They worship a lord of beasts and the underworld who they call upon to protect their herds and reincarnate them back to the mortal world. They practice Druidry and have some adopted humans living among them. Mostly use spears and javelins and seldom use fire. They are protective of nature and suspicious humans want to over hunt. They especially fight orcs and sometimes work with elves. There are other tribes follow arctic herd beast to like musk ox, bison, yak, sheep and goat.

pop120 Balanced Good
Specialisation: herding deer, druidry, herbalism
Customs: shun wizards, protect and follow herds, ritualised drug use 

10 Sabretooth Clan
 - Abhuman Tribe
This tribe are fearsome hunter warriors who are assured of their own greatness and prowess. Many spend years alone honing their skills and some will travel far and even live with other peoples for a time. Others shun company even of their own kind. Small family groups mostly gather for raising children and such groups often separate when children are old enough. They live harsh lives and elderly prefer to die in battle and will leave a family on a death quest to meet their end. They are enemies of hyena folk, the white apes and orcs and will fight them for gifts of food or craft goods. They eat raw meat and only use daggers or spears. They barley carry any possessions other than weapons and food and perhaps a hooded fur cloak.  They don't even use flint or stone or fire. Most humans respect them and beware their wrath. They are vindictive and kin will seek to avenge any slain. This is the source of their war with orcs and apes and hyena. Some have sabretooth tiger allies.

pop40 Lawful Neutral
Specialisation: mercenaries, hunters, spears and daggers
Customs: shun technology, hate hyena people, white apes and orcs, solitary, code of honour 

11 Hyena Clan - Abhuman 
Hyena people follow the herds and predators to kill the weak and steal others kills. Everybody hates them too. They are notorious for murderous cruelty, will stalk victims for days by night cackling frighteningly with joy as they approach victims. The cannibalism of their own kind and others leaves many with laughing sickness and they cannot stop giggling insanely.  Mostly use spears and big spiked clubs to fight but they use very little technology other than hiding cloaks and tents, shunning fire and limited stonework on tools and weapons. Hyena claim this land is all there's left to them by the vulture men wizard kings of old. Some guard ancient sites of demon worship. Sometimes they keep live humans as food and rarer still some of these slaves become demon-worshipping cultists who help their masters hunt and kill humans through betrayal and infiltration. 

pop200 Chaotic Evil
Specialisation: cannibalism, demonology, thieving, slavery, treachery, pet hyena
Customs: all races are just food, shun technology and fire

12 Red Eye Clan - Orc 
The orcs are great rivals of humans and hate their elvish kin. They also hate wizards and old races of evil who once enslaved the world. The snake and hyena tribes they see as remnants of this. While they see elves as arrogant and former slave masters, they are happy to dominate goblinoids. Many leave tributes such as food for orcs to bribe them away. Orcs while often unfriendly and vindictive, they can see a reason to unite against worse enemies and sometimes will protect their tributary thralls and income. They are brutal savages but have a custom of taking tribute and slaves rather than wipe out humans. 
hey themselves hate being enslaved and bear grudges from old times when they were created by elves and wizards for war. They have many resentments against the world and other peoples. Humans are rivals they respect and they were both thralls of the same masters in the age of black magic. 

They prefer spears, hatchets, daggers and use shields and leather armour. TOrcs know lots of lot lore about the previous age other young races forgot. Demihumans remember but shun this lore. Most orcs are almost as large as a human due to their stance and bow-legged gait but a small amount of greater orcs exist often as champions or leaders. As orcs know of the ancient order they sometimes pillage strange weapons like metal swords their heroes wield. Individual orcs can be allies or even friends if they respect your strength. Some human and orc tribes once worked together to end the previous age. The world broke and is ruined but all are free now.

If they are saved from enemies or helped they often feel obligated to return aid or treat as equals. Most orcs worship ancestral heroes who freed them or the first mothers as orcs had no women once. Their shaman serve a great one-eyed great patron orc ancestor spirit. Some worship devils for power. Some distant clans are thralls to evil wizards and chaos demons as orcs did for aeons. The eye tribe orcs try to free them or kill them if they cannot accept the gaze of the great one-eyed spirit. Orcs know there are great realms under the earth where ancient evils still lurk and orcs have own lands.

pop360 common orcs 40 great orcs (as abhuman) Lawful Evil
Specialisation: shields, leather armour, spears, hatchet, tributary thralldoms, forbidden lore
Customs: Code of honour, bitter with many grudges, destroy wizards 

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