23 August, 2015

Darkhive Worldbuilding (Part 2) - Introduction Part 2



The first few posts of this new worldbuilding series are basically pencilling in an outline, and creating the basic ground rules for the world development. The whole series will be headed by the work in progress shots for the artwork I had intended to be a cover illustration for the setting. Subtitles for every entry in the series (like the last worldbuilding series) will be classic rock songs, but this time I'll  limit the songs to a specific band...

...Led Zeppelin; this is going to be a heavy world with numerous influences woven into a sublime majesty.
...Rolling Stones; there is going to be an underlying raw sexual energy in the setting.
...Black Sabbath; to some degree this setting is certainly going to be intense and hardcore metal.
...Spinal Tap; given the first three, this could easily be a contender (but I don't think there are enough named Spinal Tap songs to choose from, especially if I'm aiming for a series of 20 posts or more).
...Pink Floyd; we've certainly got some psychedelia happening in the setting, and the underlying political context and subversive nature of the music is there.

But on our cover image, a mysterious female figure features prominently. This deliberately plays into some concepts I've been thinking about for a while...but we'll get to those.

From the third post onwards, every article in this series will be subtitled with a classic hit featuring a female vocalist. Where each song's title, lyrics, or theme, will directly speak to the issues mentioned in that particular post. (I might even throw in youtube links to the songs).

I'll post the rest of my preliminary thoughts about the "Darkhive" Setting... And from the next post onward.

Darkhive preliminary notes (note that this was all a brain dump from a few months back...very muchstream  of consciousness).


Races/Cultures
Null - (common) those descended from mixed blood who have lost their racial heritage
Khar Tui - (uncommon) a noble race of scholars and mystics
Riven - (uncommon) a race of giant warriors with a sense of honour and pride
Kithling - (rare) a race of mutagenic changelings enslaved to half-forgotten monsters
Ichthyan - (rare) an amphibious race once decimated by the Shellbrood in ancient times
Panaho - (rare) a race with floral kinship and a resilience to fungal infections.
Outsider - (rare) those who belong to minor races, and less populated groups. 

Backgrounds
Psy - Your ability to harness the strange warp energies emanating from the core
Fungal Affinity - Your connection to the green and the grey
Scavengings - Assorted bits and pieces that might be helpful in a pinch
Reputation - What your place of origin thinks of you
Legacy - Your place within your race's hierarchy
Artefact - Specific items of power that you possess

Paths
Occupations - Spore Farmer, Scavenger, Defender, Crystal Mystic, Skirmisher, Shellbrood Hunter, Bonemender, Fleshsculpter, Rust Engineer, Hooded Mystic, Astral Avenger, Fury, Shroudwarden, Warpshifter, Tunnelrat, Beastmaster, 
Castes - Fist, Tongue, Brain, Eyes, Heart, Blood, Bone
Virtues - Cunning, Glory, Wisdom, Instincts, Kinship, Humour?

Different items require minimum path levels.
Hive Relics - minimum psy and minimum occupation
Hive Antiquities - minimum reputation and minimum virtue
Symbiotes - minimum fungal affinity and minimum caste

Fungal Forms - all are toxic unless otherwise specified
Manbane - Males infected by this fungus are unable to heal from injuries and become susceptible to other diseases and infections. Females gain slightly regenerative properties.
Blackmist - When disturbed, these fungi release foul smelling clouds of black sooty spores. This soot is more of a hindrance than anything else.
Nightglow - these fungi leech heat from the area, and thus there is always a chill around them. They convert this heat to a dull light, conveniently this means that they glow a little brighter when people (or other warm blooded creatures) are near. If there is too much heat near them, they may flare up and die, releasing toxic mutagens.
Shellbrood mushrooms - no one knows why these mushrooms are present near concentrations of Shellbrood, perhaps they are a side effect of the hive, or maybe the insectoid creatures are drawn to them.
Panaho Toadstools - these bright fungi seem to absorb the energies that fuel psy powers. Any psy effect has reduced power, and causes them to grow slightly. May be eaten, but completely negate psy powers until digested (over the course of 6 hours).
Bloodcaps - These secrete a thick red fluid from beneath their caps, used in low doses this fluid is a coagulant that may be useful in first aid, concentrated (or in high doses) it can dangerously coagulate "still-pumping" blood in it's veins.
Tinderfronds - fast growing and brittle, these fungi dry out quickly when harvested (within minutes). They are commonly used as a low-smoke fire starting fuel.
Mushwood - slow growing, woody stalked mushrooms often used for construction materials throughout the hive.
Trufflestones - intensely flavoured edible mushrooms with little nutritional content, typically used to flavour other foods (boiled with them, grated over them, etc.)

Beyond fungi, the majority of plants across the darkhive are lichens, mosses, and some small pockets of ferns in the greatrealms. Some of these are edible, in much the same way that some bamboo is edible, you might be able to live off it but it doesn't taste great and there's not a whole lot of nutritional value in it.

Animal life
Shellbrood
- Scouts
- Workers
- Harvesters
- Warriors
- Breeders
- Broodqueens
Hiveguard
- Skitterling
- Skreecher
- Duplicant
- Node
- Biofactory
- Intellect
Invertebrates
- Beetles
- Ants/Termites
- Dragonflies
- Mosquitos
- Krill
- Crabs
- Squid/Octopi
Amphibians/Reptiles
- Lizards
- Frogs
- Alligators
- Turtles
Mammals
- Rats
- Feral Cats
- Ferrets
- Possums
Mutants
- Zombies
- Infected
- Berserkers
- Warp Cursed
Aliens

There are a few dozen major settlements scattered across the Darkhive. 6 might be considered towns (1000-2000 people), around 20 might be considered villages (500-1000 people), and about 40 would be considered hamlets (200-500 people). Beyond these, there are a hundred or so barricade slums (50-200 people), and a few hundred fortified outposts (less than 50 people). [In total, that gives us ~15000 in towns, ~15000 in villages, ~12000 in hamlets, ~10000 in barricade slums, and ~20000 in fortified outposts...for ~70000 people]

Breakdown demographics
Null - ~30,000 (all over)
Khar Tui - weak blood ~8,000, strong blood ~2,000 (mostly in towns)
Riven - weak blood ~8,000, strong blood ~2,000 (mostly in barricade slums and fortified outposts)
Kithling - weak blood ~4,000, strong blood ~1,000 (mostly on the inner shells)
Ichthyan - weak blood ~4,000, strong blood ~1,000 (mostly on the inner shells)
Panaho - weak blood ~4,000, strong blood ~1,000 (mostly in one town and settlements surrounding that specific town)
Outsider - weak blood ~4,000, strong blood ~1,000 (mostly on the outer shells, typically in specific areas around their incursion site)

Societies
Fungal Cult (16000) mostly in villages and hamlets
Perimeter Marines (16000) most in towns and villages
Trade Guild (7500) even spread across all sites
Sisterhood of Scholars (3500) even spread across all sites
Reclaimers (3500) mostly in barricade slums and fortified outposts
Marauders (7500) mostly in barricade slums and fortified outposts
Citizens (16000) mostly in towns

Economy
Water
Food fungals
Medicinal fungals
Fuel
Trinkets
Scrap Metals
Equipment
Trinkets and Scrap Metals are the most commonly accepted trade goods.
When trading, each commodity has a die associated with it (they also have a flat value equal to half the die size plus one). Roll a number of dice equal to the number of commodities being traded plus two, then ignore the highest and lowest rolling dice. The result is your trade points. You may trade another type of commodity to add more trade points if you wish, each commodity rolls separately. You may exchange these trade points for other commodities at their flat value (the flat value may be increased by one if this is you first time dealing with the trader, or if you are notorious (cumulative)), or may use them to purchase available equipment. Excess trade points may be used in a settlement to pay for lodgings, meals, repairs, etc., typically the trader will offer a written paper indicating the visitor's credit, this is amended by lodging keepers and tradespeople as the credit is used up. 

Water is typically worth d4, but may reach d8 in areas suffering intermittent supply, this is the same for food fungals. Fuel varies between d6 to d10 depending on supply, while trinkets vary from d8 to d12. Scrap metals can range from d6 to d12 depending on their purity and usefulness to the specific crafters in the settlement. Medicinal fungals and equipment often have a flat value (-1 if they are in plentiful supply, or +1 if they are in short supply) trying to offer these to a trader will earn a number of points equal to half the flat rate for the first one traded, and one short of the flat rate for each additional one traded). Some settlements may offer a bounty on shellbrood carapace or organs.

2 of the larger towns are defined (one stable, one unstable), as are 2 villages (one on a trade route between the towns, one a distant compound), 2 hamlets (one on a trade route, the other a strategic place of pilgrimage), 4 barricade slums (reclaimers, marauders, marines, and fungal cult) and 4 fortified outposts (new reclaimers, partly abandoned slum, bandit enclave, Riven)

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