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Southlands: Favorite Player Options

Southlands: Favorite Player Options

Genie Shaitan Matt BulahaoThe assagi stabbing spear…Aeromancers exchanging their spells for air-themed powers…werelions!…animal hide armors…zebra mounts…the huge elemental companions of the Tamasheq paladins…the Kijani, a playable race of symbiotic plants…tactical feat trees of the Narumbeki Legions…the bounty of poisons and medicinal plants of the Living Jungle of Kush…

The Southlands project has generated an amazing slate of player options. We have new equipment, magic items, feats, traits, spells, archetypes, races, spell systems, and, of course, monsters to battle. We constantly oscillate in a pattern of obsession about each and every player option when discussing how it fits into the setting and cultures around it. Our goal has been to make each one more intriguing than the one before, but also to make them appropriate for the region. When you start digging into a manuscript as big as Southlands, though, you’re bound to have a couple of favorites.

Right now, we’re particularly excited about a few player options. For instance, Brian loves…

The Blind Archer: A player option I am actually working on right now is the Blind Archer: an oracle archetype from the nation of Morreg. While researching African legends, I ran across the myth of an archer who possessed amazing powers because he had sacrificed his eyes. Combining this with the Oracle’s clouded vision curse, I envisioned a blind ranged combatant whose powers allowed him to make impossible shots. While not able to fill the sky with a flight of arrows in one round, the blind archer instead uses divination to detect and take out specific targets. A few of the powers under development are ricocheting shots off other foes or even shooting arrows that strike in future rounds. Though not done yet, the blind archer is already one of my favorites.

For Ben, the preferred options lean more toward the magic systems…

Lotus Magic: One roleplaying concept I’ve always enjoyed exploring is the idea of personal sacrifice. Just how far are characters willing to go to gain their power within the game? With the Lotus Magic rules, we get a chance to ask that question. Lotus Magic springs from the mystic waters of the Well of Urd, said to feed the roots of the World Tree and influence the fates of all Midgard. The different lotus flowers have separate uses as power components for a variety of spells, but when properly prepared, they grant spellcasters bonuses to their effective caster level in exchange for an escalating level of need and desire. How badly does your spellcaster want that boost in mystic strength? When is the risk outweighed by the reward? I love it when that kind of roleplaying choice is enabled by the mechanics.

Hieroglyphic Magic—the Weret Hekau: In ancient Egyptian, the term “Weret Hekau” means Words of Truth, and I love this particular bit of mechanics because it expands on the Symbolic Magic system described in Deep Magic. While Deep Magic brought together the Rune magic of Northlands and the Aboleth Glyphs of Journeys to the West, I felt the Nurian culture was the perfect place to create a set of magic hieroglyphs, reminiscent of the Pharaonic Book of the Dead. The Hieroglyphic Magic serves to flesh out aspects of the Nurian cults of the God-Kings, giving a bit more depth to the followers of Anu Akma, Aten, and Thoth, while utilizing the very real traditions of protective amulets common in so many cultures. Each of the ten hieroglyphs is formatted like the ones presented in Deep Magic, with associated spells and a mastery bonus, but the Deeper Rune Lore allows for the creation of tokens that permit spellcasters to share this power with their companions in exchange for sacrificing low-level spell slots. I even created a suite of hieroglyphs for modifying summoned creatures. How cool is it to be able to conjure up an ape, but give it a jackal head or a hawk head and granting them aspects of the Nurian pantheon, instead of just a Fiendish or Celestial template?

With any luck, I’m hoping we hit a stretch goal where I get to make a few more!

Art source: Prismatic Art Collection; artist Matt Bulahao

3 thoughts on “Southlands: Favorite Player Options”

  1. Yeah, that one goes back to the days of Conan from my perspective.

    I think the Sword Dancer archetype is my favorite so far, but it’s hard to choose.

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