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  1. #41

    Default Doug Seacat on Soldiers: Part II

    I don't want to provide a very specific list of pay grades at this point in time, but I can speak in
    general terms. I do feel that the standard wealth tables as provided for d20 are not quite right for
    the Iron Kingdoms in several respects. Similar to my opinion on the fact that I think an NPC
    who's actually good at his job and has been around for a while should have some levels under his
    belt and not necessarily exist to make a PC look like superman. In addition to the large topic that
    our setting does not replicate the more medieval economic model (being set more within an early
    industrialized era), armies in our setting also function in a different way than they do in certain
    other fantasy settings. Rather than having an enormous army of basically untrained and barely
    paid spearmen wearing whatever they can afford, you are more likely to see professional, well
    trained, reasonably well equipped, and regularly paid soldiers.

    By and large being a soldier in most of western Immoren is a good profession that offers decent
    wages, and also provides room & board. Certainly this applies a bit more to your average Cygnaran
    soldier vs. your average Khadoran Winter Guard, but even in Khador the Winter Guard is a
    respectable job that provides a decent means to support your family. The same is true even in the
    Protectorate, although there when I am talking about a "soldier" there I am referring more to a
    professional Temple Flameguard than your random bomb-throwing zealot. Deliverers probably fall
    a bit between this and their stature is part of a transitional niche, one that is moving away from
    being a loose militia toward a more integrated part of what passes for a national army.

    Naturally an entry level soldier like a private in Cygnar is going to be receiving a relatively modest
    wage (but still enough to support a family) and I think this would increase reasonably with each
    increment. The lowest fully commissioned officers would be making substantially more. This does
    start to get complicated in most of the kingdoms and particularly in Cygnar where you have a
    mix of commoner officers and nobility. I do think many of the landed nobles would have a
    tradition of "refusing" the wage as part of their station and duties to their king.

    This gets particularly interesting given the highest officers are often elevated to a noble rank as
    part of the process and as a fairly common reward for services rendered. This could often
    accompany some random lands somewhere in Cygnar which might not be guaranteed to offer an
    income comparable with their officer's commission, which they might be pressured into "refusing."
    I could certainly imagine circumstances, if a man or woman did not manage their affairs properly,
    where you could get "promoted into poverty" in this manner. One could imagine a commander or
    a general who is also newly appointed baron, marquis, or viscount with some squalid lands
    somewhere who can barely support his family in the style to which they have become accustomed.
    Such a circumstance could lead rather naturally to a degree of corruption and vice, or a bit of "war
    profiteering" (sending false reports about damaged warjacks needing replacement parts, which are
    then sold on the black market or the like) or looting to help bring in that missing income and
    restore one's family to its former comforts.

    I don't think this would be particularly common, but the possibility makes for some fun
    roleplaying opportunities. Particularly with the Thornwood seized after 607 AR, that's a lot of
    crappy land Cygnar can't offer to any bootstrapped nobles or war heroes. Then again, good chunks
    of this land would have already been parceled off to other officers/nobles who are presently more
    or less homeless, and who still might claim they have the proper right to such lands despite the
    Khadorans setting up bases on them. There's lots of other areas with crappy lands, however,
    including the Gnarls (full of trollkin), the Wyrmwall Mountains, and various other remote
    wilderness regions that are far from civilized. Adventure opportunities abound in this type of
    setup. I could certainly see the entertainment of giving a PC officer/hero some lands somewhere
    that are actually a well fortified enclave of the Circle Orboros or that actually contains a hidden
    Retribution safe house, unknown to the crown.

    ***

    The trenchers have in fact changed over time, as will often happen with military units as they
    establish themselves. This is still described briefly in Remix and was expanded upon in the
    Trenchers Guts & Gears entry in No Quarter Magazine. The extensive and strenuous training
    regimen originally implemented to turn criminals and insubordinate soldiers into a useful fighting
    force has proven just as useful when applied to properly qualified recruits. The Trencher program
    was greatly expanded and they now represent the second segment of the Cygnaran Army (behind
    the Long Gunners).

    From a background perspective, Trenchers are not considered "elite" but simply highly trained
    infantry who are also sent in first. If comparing them to US military branches (not always a good
    idea, but useful in this specific instance), the Trenchers have a similar reputation as the Marines
    compared to the Army, but neither are a "special forces" elite force. Cygnar is a bit unusual as all
    of their soldiers are considered fairly well trained, but long gunners and Trenchers comprise the
    "grunts" in Cygnar.

    All of the knights and the gun mages (and more broadly, any military arcanist) are considered
    elite, requiring not only additional training but specialized hardware. (In the case of gun mages,
    they must also be born with a rare ability.)
    Rangers are an unusual case, being a highly specialized force somewhat removed from the regular
    chain of command. They have their own distinct status, being individually more comfortable
    socializing with the "grunts" than what we might call the elite branches, but certainly widely
    respected for their difficult and dangerous specialty.

    Field mechanics are part of the support staff, and are respected as technical specialists.
    Stormsmiths likely have a similar niche/reputation.
    The comparison in esteem and attitude between US Army and Marines is certainly an apt
    comparison for the relationship between long gunners and trenchers in particular. However, I
    think some folks may have a mistaken idea about the general attitude toward rangers. Rangers,
    like Trenchers, tend to be respected for their willingness to tackle the riskier tasks relying solely
    on their training and individual capability rather than specialized or expensive hardware. It's also
    well known in the services that the rangers are not paid very well for their work and that
    promotion is extremely slow and difficult. There is a certain special pride in this among the
    veteran rangers which is carried over to the other "commoner" enlisted, even as many of them
    don't envy the rangers for what they have to do. Ranger Swift Sergeants carry a particular prestige
    and have done so for quite a long time. You can see this in the fictional intro to NQM#5's
    historical scenarios regarding the Battle of the Tongue, where rangers played a key role in bringing
    news of the Khadoran incursion to Lord General Vinter Raelthorne II (who led this army before
    he was king).

    There are definitely several echelons of status in the overall army which makes for an interesting
    mix. Not only is there the typical enlisted/officer divide, but you also have the distinction between
    commoners and those who are born of noble families. Even among the knights there are
    differences in attitudes between the various orders. But one of the more interesting distinctions in
    Cygnar specifically is the attitudes between those who have access to the high-tech gear and those
    who do not.

    Military Ranks:
    Cygnar Martial Ranking
    * Sergeant
    * Lieutenant
    * Captain
    * Major
    * Colonel
    * Commander
    * General
    * Lord General
    * Warmaster General

    Cygnar Arcane Ranking
    * Apprentice of the Art
    * Journeyman
    * Magus
    * Adept
    * Prime

    Khador Martial Ranking
    * Sergeant
    * Lieutenant
    * Kapitan
    * Kovnik
    * Kommander
    * Kommandant
    * Supreme Kommandant
    * Premier

    Khador Arcane Ranking
    * Uchenik
    * Rastovik
    * Magziev
    * Koldun
    * Obavnik

    Cryx (Thrall) Martial Ranking
    * Thrall Warrior
    * Thrall Lieutenant
    * Thrall Captain

    Cryx (Thrall) Arcane Ranking
    * Skarlock
    * Iron Lich
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
    Captain Nicolas Hawke, Owner and Commander of Hawke's Company, Corvis (Military Officer/Pistoleer)
    Lieutenant Arden Ravenstone, Officer of The Phoenix Company, Corvis (Gun Mage/Spy)

  2. #42

    Default Doug Seacat on Teleportation and Incorporeallity:

    There is another alternative, [than dealing with Infernals] which is the method demonstrated by
    the Circle Orboros and potentially the Cult of Cyriss, which involves basically turning yourself
    into energy and being transmitted through the earth across some kind of energy network inherent
    to Caen itself, and then reemerging at some other node further away. Circle teleportation never
    involves leaving Caen, and neither do things like Dimension Door (or Caine's Flash technique).
    They are physically one place, then physically another place moments later, but the "energy" of
    their person likely does travel from one place to the other, it just does so really quickly. (So quickly
    that in a short enough distance it appears to be instantaneous).
    Yes the Circle Orboros and the Cult of Cyriss utilize geomancy and ley lines for teleportation.
    While there have never been any scientific studies on the process (unless the Cult of Cyriss has
    them and is keeping them to themselves), I expect this form of teleportation is not quite as
    instantaneous as that which draws on infernal arcane methods. There is probably a noticeable lag
    between a Wayfarer disappearing at a node site in southern Cygnar and appearing in northern
    Khador. Could even be a substantial little gap in time, such as several minutes. It is far easier for
    one person or a very small number of individuals (generally of power) to make use of this method,
    and far more difficult (in some cases impossible) for them to move large numbers. The Circle
    method (and one can presume the Cult of Cyriss as well, since the underlying principles are
    similar) requires a continuous chain of connected sites. One can presume the energies involved are
    moving through Caen from one site to the next before finally physically delivering the traveller to
    the arrival site. This is one reason the Circle takes it seriously when their sacred sites are seized or
    destroyed, as this might disrupt their connected chains of power across distant geographical regions.

    Infernal methods do not utilize any of this and involve a number of shortcuts, slicing straight
    through the walls of reality to move from one place to another instantaneously. Very efficient,
    perhaps slightly tainted. See your local representative of the Nonokrion Order for details.

    Teleporting over very short distances (such as the few feet that a Chimera does it, and even the
    dozens of yards that Caine's unique ability allows) is a far different matter than teleporting over
    long distances.

    Incorporeal in our setting is similar. An incorporeal creature is not on some other plane or existing
    somewhere else. Their body is simply no longer substantial. In the case of permanently incorporeal
    creatures, like a real ghost, they don't have a physical body but they are existing as energy on Caen,
    generally spiritual/soul energy. A ghost is basically an empowered soul that never crossed over and
    can, by supernatural means, still interact with or cause harm to physical beings.
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
    Captain Nicolas Hawke, Owner and Commander of Hawke's Company, Corvis (Military Officer/Pistoleer)
    Lieutenant Arden Ravenstone, Officer of The Phoenix Company, Corvis (Gun Mage/Spy)

  3. #43

    Default Doug Seacat on The Afterlife:

    Doug Seacat on The Afterlife
    Everyone on Caen has an imperfect understanding of the gods and the details of the afterlife. A
    lot of the questions being asked are ones they ask too, or debate in seminary colleges like the one in
    Caspia. But Urcaen is certainly no paradise. As with Caen, its inhabitants find it necessary to band
    together for mutual protection.

    While the War of Souls is an endless conflict, it is also intermittent and not always equally
    intense. Hostilities rise and fall over time, with lengthy periods of armed tension where no actual
    battles are taking place. As with wars on Caen, only a small percentage of the total souls beholden
    to each god are actively involved in this conflict at any given time. There's a reason for having
    walls, protected borders, and groups of armed defenders. These protect the majority deeper within
    the interior of each god's domain. No-one has to eternally endure military service for their god.
    After a sufficient period, each defender is rewarded with time in the interior, at least until called
    upon again. Meanwhile, another soul who has been passing his afterlife peacefully for a long while
    will be asked to step forward and take his turn. It seems likely some individuals are more inclined
    to spend greater portions of their afterlife caught up in the War of Souls, somewhat akin to
    career soldiers on Caen. Others who are unsuited to this spend more time at other tasks.

    Morrowans describe most of the souls as spending an eternity in contemplation and philosophical
    self-improvement as each attempts to transcend its former limits and become a pure creature of
    spirit unsoiled by remnants of their mortal past. The Menite religion describes an eternity of
    honest labor and service, performing useful work with each soul doing their part to maintain the
    City of Man and contribute to the glory of Menoth. Almost everyone would consider this to be a
    better fate, alternating with short periods of service in defense of the god, to being eaten by the
    Devourer Wurm.

    There is no permanent destruction in Urcaen, so being consumed by the Devourer Wurm is
    described as a never-ending and terribly agonizing process of interminable digestion. (Imagine being
    digested for several centuries.) Exactly what happens at the "end" of this is uncertain. Perhaps
    devoured souls are eventually driven mad, lose their individuality, and become ravening predatory
    beasts that serve the Wurm.

    Similarly it isn't entirely clear what happens to those who "fall" in battle in Urcaen. Theologians
    believe that souls can be seriously injured and weakened, but not destroyed. One can imagine
    behind the front lines of the War of Souls tents of the wounded just like in a real war, but with
    defeated and damaged souls being dragged off the field and attended to by the equivalent of battle
    surgeons. They might have the spiritual equivalent of amputations while fighting through fevered
    delirium and mental shock. Some souls probably require years to recover from these battles, and
    they might leave lasting scars. Those who endure and find the will to transcend their failings
    become stronger than they were before.

    Enemies seized after they fall in battle are taken away to become prisoners of war. Likely the
    treatment for such souls varies by each religion, but it is expected such prisoners often endure
    extended attempts to convert them. Those who refuse remain as prisoners until their strength and
    will is sapped away and they either convert or waste away, diminishing until they are shadows of
    their former selves.

    It is only in recent years that theologians have been forced to confront the notion that other species
    have their own stories of the afterlife. They conjecture that the afterlife of the dwarves and elves
    is still somewhere in Urcaen, but remote from the domains of the human faiths. So far as anyone
    can tell, neither of these pantheons have been a part of the War of Souls. The same could be true
    of Cyriss, but no one knows for sure. Given several of the elven gods had military titles one can
    conjecture their domain required defense from external horrors. What these might have been is
    anyone's guess. It seems unlikely that any of these domains were entirely tranquil and untouched
    by conflict. Urcaen is a dangerous and violent place, no matter where you happen to be, with the
    safest regions being inside the domains of the civilized gods.

    Dhunians believe in reincarnation and hold that their souls are taken into Dhunia after death. She
    is said to exist within Caen rather than being located in Urcaen. Dhunia recycles these souls and
    the spiritual energy from other living creatures as she sees fit as part of a larger cycle of life and
    death. Hexeris has been seen investigating some of these matters by murdering members of
    different species and observing how their souls react at the moment of death. He has yet to
    publish any papers on his findings.
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
    Captain Nicolas Hawke, Owner and Commander of Hawke's Company, Corvis (Military Officer/Pistoleer)
    Lieutenant Arden Ravenstone, Officer of The Phoenix Company, Corvis (Gun Mage/Spy)

  4. #44

    Default Doug Seacat on the Iosan Gods:

    The following descriptions are courtesy of Douglas Seacat, Privateer Press writer, on an unofficial
    basis (any details here are subject to change later on).


    Lacyr
    ?Narcissar of Ages, and Potentate of the Living?
    First born among the elven gods and most powerful was Lacyr. She had mastery over the creation
    of forms and all cycles of life. She understood the nature of time and the mysteries of the world.
    Lacyr is the mother of the elven people and creator of all the supernal servants of the gods.
    Domains: Creation (lost), Good; her priests could also choose domains from any other of the
    Divine Court.

    Ossyris
    ?Incissar of Hours, Sovereign of Conflict, General of Lyoss?
    Ossyris had lordship over time and the passage of hours, and could halt or reverse its flow. He
    was master of warfare and battle, and general of the elven divine hosts. He gathered the souls of
    those who died in battle and brought them onward to further conflicts in the hereafter. Ossyris
    passed the lore of weapons and armor to the elves.
    Domains: War, Law, Righteousness, Time (lost)

    Ayisla
    ?Nis-Arsyr of Night, Suzerain of the Fallen, Watcher of the Gates of Lyoss?
    Watcher of Lyoss in the hours of darkness, Ayisla was chief of the gatekeepers and protected the
    domain and palace of the gods. She was responsible for gathering souls of the dead so they could
    be purified or reincarnated. In the hour of midnight not even Lacyr could command Ayisla. She
    granted special mortals the gift of prophecy.
    Domains: Night (lost), Protection, Rebirth (lost)

    Nyrro
    ?Arsyr of Day, Senechal of Lyoss Palace, Lorekeeper?
    Ayisla?s twin is the lord of daytime and keeper of the divine palace. He was best known for his
    great library, the organization of which only he could fully comprehend. Its tomes could only be
    read at certain hours, penned in languages from many times and places. Nyrro gifted elves with
    arcane lore, which would be their undoing. In the hour of noon no other power could stand before
    Nyrro nor command him.
    Domains: Day (lost), Fire, Knowledge, Magic

    Lurynsar
    ?Issyr of Summer, Armsmaster of Lyoss and Chief of Scouts?
    A warrior second only to the Incissar of Hours, he was fleet of foot and deadly accurate with bow
    or spear. To Lurynsar fell the responsibility of the armory of Lyoss, and keeping its servitors in
    fighting trim. Foremost in scouting hostile regions and guiding divine armies to capture territory.
    He taught elves to use terrain as a barrier or weapon.
    Domains: Trickery, Summer, Warrior

    Lyliss
    ?Nis-Scyir of Autumn, Court Assassin and Mistress of
    Poisons?
    Lyliss was the most cunning of the gods. The counterpart to her healing sister, the goddess of
    Autumn was masterful in the knowledge of unraveling life, using poisons both natural and
    fabricated in the service of the gods. Lyliss was sent among enemies to bring their downfall
    silently. Lyliss was a charming and beautiful goddess, possessed of grace. She appreciated humor,
    even as her jokes were often cruel.
    Domains: Assassination, Destruction, Autumn

    Nyssor
    (included as the Iosans count him as Vanished; this is the Iosan depiction of Nyssor)
    ?Scyir of Winter, Grand Crafter and also known as the Frozen Sage?
    Last was the god of winter, ice, and snow. Nyssor kept himself distant from his brothers and
    sisters, and rarely attended the court. He was said to be a craftsman without equal, and much of
    the construction of Lyoss and its palace were done by his hands. He was quiet, but his eyes
    betrayed knowledge of much that was left unsaid.
    Domains: (Listed in the IKCG)

    http://burrowowl.net/wordpress/20060...gods/#more-358
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
    Captain Nicolas Hawke, Owner and Commander of Hawke's Company, Corvis (Military Officer/Pistoleer)
    Lieutenant Arden Ravenstone, Officer of The Phoenix Company, Corvis (Gun Mage/Spy)

  5. #45

    Default Doug Seacat on the Orgoth:

    The Orgoth were definitely not simply warriors, and did accomplish a number of impressive
    engineering feats that left a lasting legacy, in some ways similar to Rome's influence on some of
    its remote territories. The Orgoth were cruel but able governors and kept the entire region pacified
    for over four centuries (not counting the two centuries of initial invasion and the two centuries of
    rebellion that eventually deposed them). They reaped considerable rewards in the process and
    conducted trade between the regions. Their administrative regions had an impact on the shape of
    the kingdom borders during the Corvis Treaties. Many of the better existing roads in western
    Immoren were originally laid by the Orgoth, and certain cities like Five Fingers would probably
    not exist if not for Orgoth foundational efforts. They were quite sophisticated builders and
    certainly had a solid grasp of certain engineering principles, particularly those applied to
    shipbuilding, laying roads, and building construction. It required the power of the colossals to
    breach many of their fortresses.

    However it is true that they did not appear to create any advances in anything related to steam
    power and alchemy, fields where the native Immorese remained superior even after the extended
    dark age that interrupted the chain of progress during the Occupation era. Much was lost during
    this period, but a number of key individuals arose in the late occupation era to reverse this,
    including most notably Sebastien Kerwin, who took arcane processes made possible by the so-called
    Gift of Sorcery and fused them with engineering principles to give rise to mechanika and modern
    alchemy. These fields eventually allowed older pre-Orgoth innovations to be regained and
    surpassed.

    ***

    Note that the presence of Orgoth relics on Zu only points to the extent of their seafaring exploits.
    Zu is most certainly not the same continent from which the Orgoth came. Zu is a closer
    continent south of Immoren, whereas the Orgoth were from a continent further away to the west.

    ***

    Orgoth Naval Vessels: The Orogth ships are definitely inspired by the larger and more
    sophisticated of the late viking longships. Similar to those real-world examples, quite a bit of
    Orgoth nautical acumen comes down to experience, technique, good ship building, and skill. It is
    stated in a few places that the Cryxian blackships utilized Orgoth lore and from this we can
    conclude there was indeed some arcane/occult meddling related to these ships, in particular the
    ability to control and summon the wind. Given most Orgoth occult mastery was focused on
    killing things, animating the dead, and harvesting souls, they may have supplemented permanent
    enhancements with periodic sacrificial rites to invoke similar effects (calming the waters, raising a
    favorable wind, etc.). Nonetheless a great deal of their nautical success can be attributed to more
    mundane explanations. Of course to the deep-ocean impaired inhabitants of western Immoren this
    would be difficult to credit and they are likely to believe any manner of wild tales to explain such
    uncanny skill.

    ***

    The Orgoth had a creator god akin to Menoth, that does not mean they were still in his good
    graces by the time they conducted their invasion and occupation. Thamarites and human Cyrissists
    also consider Menoth to be their creator, yet do not count Menoth as "their" god. Among
    Thamarites educated in these matters there is an agreement the rest of the Orgoth "gods" were
    infernals, likely of a society separate from and opposed to the Nonokrion Order. However there is
    no particular proof for this theory. Very little is known of the Orgoth pantheon, but without
    question their rites bear similarities to infernal sacrifices and the magic they demonstrated appears
    to have been arcane and not divine.

    The notion of the Orgoth being "sent by" Menoth as a punishment is a doctrine only believed by
    the Sul-Menites in particular, and even in this case it is considered a symbolic test, in the notion
    that Menoth may have allowed attacks to proceed unchecked due to being wrathful toward the
    people of western Immoren. This is not described as if Menoth actually instructed or provided
    direct aid to the Orgoth. It is more of an explanation regarding the lack of divine intervention
    against them.

    ***

    The source of Orgoth power was very likely Infernal in origin, although most of that remains
    speculation. It does seem likely if they boasted practicing infernalists they worked with a different
    society than the Nonokrion Order, and that their masters were treated as gods. However, they
    were still capable of very strong necromancy. Even if the source of their magic came from dark
    powers, their application of that power was most often necromantic or evocation, or a mix of the
    two. It's worth remembering that the very same soul cages utilized by Cryxian necromancers is
    likely Orgoth in origin. The Temple of Garrodh (the one in Apotheosis) worked like a
    tremendous soul cage in its own right, and the design of the oversized devices hanging down from
    its central platform in its "well" look strikingly like oversized soul cages. The Orgoth appear to
    have had considerable mastery of both flesh and spirit necromancy, and most of the arcane lore
    which has been unearthed of their practices relates to these fields. Whereas there has not been
    much found of use to infernalists among their recovered lore. This could be because their
    "infernal" practices were inseperable from their religion, and very little is now known about their
    religious rites. Whatever means they used to appease their "dark gods", it seems they had a very
    different relationship with those powers than how the Nonokrion Order likes to conduct its own
    business.

    ***

    The Orgoth most certainly had arcane strength when they attacked and developed it even further
    in the course of their stay as conquerors. What is speculative is the original origin of that power.
    Some speculate it may have been infernal in nature. This doesn't change the fact that they were
    practicing evocation and necromancy, whether with their sorcerous war-witches or more studious
    applications. (What modern humans in the IK would term the distinction between wizardry and
    sorcery.)

    There is the origin of power, and then there is the application of that power in various forms. An
    infernalist could be an evoker, for example, if he has petitioned his "patron" for destructive magical
    power, learning to shape tremendous energies of fire, for example. If instead he chooses to learn
    how to animate corpses or control souls, he is utilizing necromancy. This has nothing to do with
    where that power or knowledge to shape it comes from. The same goes for priests. There are
    Thamarites priests who draw on divine power to animate the dead. They are still practicing
    necromancy.

    One of the main things infernals offer is specific arcane lore (spells) and direct access to power
    without requiring the permission of the gods. They have both unsurpassed knowledge of the
    arcane as well as the means to unlock that power in others. Which is one of their main
    bargaining chips. Once you have that power, however, it is applied in similar fashion (via spells) as
    any other magic.
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
    Captain Nicolas Hawke, Owner and Commander of Hawke's Company, Corvis (Military Officer/Pistoleer)
    Lieutenant Arden Ravenstone, Officer of The Phoenix Company, Corvis (Gun Mage/Spy)

  6. #46

    Default Doug Seacat on Wizards:

    It's worth bearing in mind most of the organizations mentioned are not universities, but
    confederations of professional wizards, even if some of them do not have as stringent of
    requirements as others. They are not necessarily where one learns the ropes, but rather where you
    can work with other peers once you have already established your credentials. As we described in
    the IKWG, most wizards first learn their skills in a mentor/apprentice relationship. This could
    indeed be handled by some sort of private tutoring arrangement, or by seeking out a qualified
    mentor and convincing them to train such an individual. There are also formal courses on arcane
    theory at actual universities, although these are more about history and theory than practice. Such
    courses might not be a bad place to seek out a promising apprentice. But given the profession is
    quite small and fringe I think generally established wizards rarely bother to actually seek
    apprentices but are instead more likely to be turning away offers and only reluctantly accepting
    them as time/inclinations allow. There are probably five aspiring apprentices for every one accepted,
    and many accomplished wizards would go through long stretches where they would refuse to
    mentor anyone at all. Likely only breaking that stance reluctantly when their finances might
    require a boost.

    It's a highly specialized and rarefied field in the IK, and should be approached somewhat similar
    to how it might be for someone aspiring to become a master composer or a theoretical
    mathematician.

    Things are a little different with the military groups who actually do seek out and recruit talented
    individuals of a certain breed of power and aptitude. The Greylords Covenant is likely a bit more
    proactive, as would be the Strategic Academy. The Strategic Academy likely recruits and trains far
    more wizards than the Fraternal Order of Wizardry, but they are also generally less interested in
    exploring the depths of the arcane but seeking after more pragmatic and immediate military
    applications, along with frequently pushing many of these individuals toward the arcane mechanik
    route rather than pure wizardry.
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
    Captain Nicolas Hawke, Owner and Commander of Hawke's Company, Corvis (Military Officer/Pistoleer)
    Lieutenant Arden Ravenstone, Officer of The Phoenix Company, Corvis (Gun Mage/Spy)

  7. #47

    Default

    That's all I had. Enjoy.
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
    Captain Nicolas Hawke, Owner and Commander of Hawke's Company, Corvis (Military Officer/Pistoleer)
    Lieutenant Arden Ravenstone, Officer of The Phoenix Company, Corvis (Gun Mage/Spy)

  8. #48
    Destroyer of Worlds Whimper's Avatar
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    This is a sticky thread if I ever saw one. Fantastic archival work, Kriegtanzer. It's been fascinating to re-read so many of these posts, thought to be long lost. Now I must furiously copy them, in case the forums go down again.
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  9. #49

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    Awesome! You win the steamnets, Krietanzer! Time to copy it all.


    "Enemies you threaten make armies; Enemies you destroy makes graves."
    - Bayushi Tangen

  10. #50
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    @Whimper Only stickied? I vote for putting it on a wiki
    Is there an updated timeline that covers the events mention here?
    Now on the classic debate-y stuff (argument(s) based on what is presented here and published materiel that i have copies of, some of this really prompted me to express these views)
    The Hierarch not the Harbringer called for Crusade and they don't exactly see eye to eye on everything
    Menoth is not likely to be too supportive of blanket decrimination given the events of 1250 BR (Sc. Khorva) without real persecution of his followers
    Technically the Protectorate is breaking laws with it's army, depending on what Menoth wants to happen, this could cost them

  11. #51
    Destroyer of Worlds Izza's Avatar
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    wow this is awesome!

    Dont know if you saw it but Trollblood Scrum had an interview with Doug all about trollkin. You might want to add that to your archieves.
    here's the link
    http://www.trollbloodscrum.com/2011/...ug-seacat.html

  12. #52

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    Remember that these come from over years of posts. One of the things I wish I had done was keep the date stamps. Since I sorted by topic two references to 'current timeline' divided by *** could have been made the better part of a decade apart. Just something to keep in mind when reading these.
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
    Captain Nicolas Hawke, Owner and Commander of Hawke's Company, Corvis (Military Officer/Pistoleer)
    Lieutenant Arden Ravenstone, Officer of The Phoenix Company, Corvis (Gun Mage/Spy)

  13. #53
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    @Kriegtanzer, thanks for that pointer, but if you where responding to me, what I meant was that the official timeline on the PP site is still straight out of the IK WG

  14. #54
    Destroyer of Worlds Whimper's Avatar
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    The only more recently updated timeline available is the one published (in several parts) in No Quarter Magazine just prior to Warmachine: Legends. Well, that and the one Doug Seacat shared in one of his Insider posts to keep him reminded of how old various characters were during key parts of recent history.
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  15. #55
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    Hopefully a new one is in the works for the new RPG, or maybe some sort of chronological essay to really explain what happened and how it effects the roleplaying situation, esp. if, as seems to be the case, a lot of the fiction is in MK. I WM/H books (I'm not real interested in wargaming)
    Now on to a specfic point/question: How long ago (game time) did the fight around/for Sul occur? Because that sounds like a death kneel for the Protectorate (remember Doug's comments about things not being as bad for Cygnar a they look? This is one of them)

  16. #56
    Destroyer of Worlds Whimper's Avatar
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    It just occurred to me that maybe these are thoughts for other threads, if we want to keep this one viable for future entries beginning with "Doug Seacat on..."

    But in answer to your question, Cygnar began its attack on Sul's walls in Cinten of 606, breached them and entered the city a month and a half later, and fought in the streets of Sul for the better part of the following year until a stalemate was reached in Trineus of 607 AR, seeing Cygnar withdraw many of its troops. Later in 607 (I couldn't find a month) the Menites pushed over into Caspia, where Hierarch Voyle was defeated in battle and an uneasy ceasefire was reached. Since real "game time" is now in the fall of 608 AR (at least), this is about a year ago. Although we've been in 608 AR since 2009 now...
    Last edited by Whimper; 09-03-2011 at 06:52 AM.
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  17. #57
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    Okay it may not be Doug Seacat on but can't think of a better place
    TvTropes mentions an errata that dropped the price of ammo by 10, can anyone verify that?

  18. #58

    Default Doug Seacat on Guns and Ammo:

    Most of these pistols and other weapons have a hinged mechanism at the stock which opens to allow the cartridge (usually silk or paper-wrapped, since metal cartridges are still rare and reserved for specialized weapons) to be inserted into the breach. The knob you see is usually the mechanism and handle used to unlock and open the breach, then close and lock it again.

    The ammunition is usually prepackaged (both powders, each in their own wrappings, together with the bullet). It is indeed somewhat dangerous, but less than you might think. Silk is the preferred wrapping over paper and is more common with military grade ammunition, and since each of the two powders is entirely wrapped, they stay contained reliably. It's important to bear in mind the actual explosive potential of a given cartridge is not very much. Without being contained within a firearm breach even if a cartridge mixes and explodes it won't necessarily cause an injury. (In the RPG this was exaggerated a bit to add an element of risk for people without the proper skills interfering with or trying to disassemble ammunition.) Individual cartridges with their small discrete packets of powder are probably actually less dangerous than larger stores of the ammunition, by and large. Although a cartridge mixing accidentally would represent a fire hazard.

    ***

    The only magic involved in the powder is that it is produced by alchemy, which is a mild chemical shortcut. Alchemy assists industry and mechanika in our setting in many ways, allowing for certain augmented mixtures and combinations of materials which would otherwise require more advanced science. It is particularly useful for some of the more sophisticated metallurgy in our setting and paves the way for things like warcaster armor and armor piercing shells.

    The blasting powder in our setting leaves a residue that builds up fairly quickly. Ideally a gunman should be cleaning his weapon in a cursory fashion after each shot, when he opens the breach to load the next round. However, in reality I expect most soldiers are less diligent about this, particularly in the middle of combat, aside from clearing the obvious debris from the previous round out of the breach. Residue buildup would also be one of the variable factors that would separate high-quality blasting powder from lower-grade, and since the Order of the Golden Crucible lost its monopoly on commercial grade powder the civilian market is likely a lot more unpredictable.

    This would not affect the armies, who make their own powder. With any military grade powder a firearm can endure repeated firing so long as the operator cleans it out periodically. Weapons like repeating long rifles, trencher chain guns, or Caine's revolvers regularly fire quite a few rounds before those operating them worry about residue. But any amount of residue increases the risk of misfire. This is one reason that multi-barrel weapons have some functional advantages over single-barrel for repeating weapons despite their weight. (A chain gun is less likely to misfire during a given span of time than a slugger, and the same would be true for a quad-barrel pistol.) Long gunner training probably recommends the weapon getting a quick cleaning with an extended wire brush each time you replace the ammunition wheel, but in actual battle I'd expect they can safely get through three or four wheels before worrying about a significant chance of a misfires.

    ***

    Magelocks are defined by a particular alloy used in the weapon. Every firearm that has runes on them is not a "magelock." Some pistols are enchanted and bear sigils which are not magelocks, including a variety of ones present in our setting. Jarl is not a gun mage and is not wielding magelocks. But it's worth noting that anyone could indeed wield a magelock pistol since again it is simply an alloy used in the weapon which is more conducive to enduring intense magical energies without suffering damage from doing so. A magelock pistol otherwise fires just like a regular one.

    ***

    There have been other weapons that have been described as inscribed with runes, such as Kell Bailoch's rifle Silence (described with silver runes in "Better Left Forgotten" in NQM#3, although this has never been shown in the art). I am fairly certain Melleus, the blessed quad-iron of Harlan Versh, would also be inscribed with runes along with the Morrowan symbol despite their absence in the illustration. There is a fancier pistol of this type illustrated in close-up in NQM#2, which covered some of the tools of the Order of Illumination. Generally anything on the level of detail of needing to appear on a gun barrel won't show up in art or painted on models unless there are specific instructions to do so. That has until now been reserved to magelocks, so confusion on the topic is perfectly reasonable. It's certainly understandable why someone might mistake Jarl for a gun mage.
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
    Captain Nicolas Hawke, Owner and Commander of Hawke's Company, Corvis (Military Officer/Pistoleer)
    Lieutenant Arden Ravenstone, Officer of The Phoenix Company, Corvis (Gun Mage/Spy)

  19. #59

    Default Doug Seacat on Druids: Part II

    There has never been a time since the founding of the Circle Orboros that they felt like civilization was actually falling behind and needed a leg up. Some people get a little too caught up on the idea of "balance" here. If you read the material again you will see the place where the Circle wants the scales of that balance is rather on the far end of the continuum and would require the world to be in a similarly barbaric state as when the Molgur first rose to prominence.

    The Circle was founded after the fall of the Molgur and the rise of the Menite priest-kings, which puts their start about a thousand years after the fall of the Bridge of Worlds and the destruction of Lyoss, so they never had the chance to worry about elven civilization. Back when Lyoss was destroyed, the continent split in half and swept by tempestuous storms, and humanity scattered into cave-dwelling tribes ignorant of the Canon of the True Law--that is the era looked upon as the "good old days" by the Circle Orboros.

    ***
    I would not expect anyone who has spent their life worshiping or drawing power from the Devourer Wurm to be welcomed into the City of Man. The Wurm is the ancient enemy of Menoth and his followers are not welcome there. Devourer worshipers and druids arriving at the gate will be treated like any of the other hosts of the Wurm who periodically attempt to assail their walls.

    For what it's worth, Devourer worshipers do indeed expect to spend their afterlife in the wilds of Urcaen, where they believe they will join the Devourer on its hunts and possibly be transformed into greater predatory forms. Whether this is actually as enjoyable an afterlife as they expect is a matter of theological debate. The fate of druids in the afterlife has not been detailed in our written material, but there is no sign that the members of the Circle Orboros have any fear of the afterlife. Perhaps the wilds of Urcaen are not dreaded by them either. They may be uniquely positioned to endure there, or at least think they are. Since so few individuals ever return to report on the state of affairs on the "other side," not much is known with any certainty (I believe I have said this a few times). People have a large variety of beliefs, some of which have been validated to greater or lesser degree by sources the veracity of which varies and is disputed.
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
    Captain Nicolas Hawke, Owner and Commander of Hawke's Company, Corvis (Military Officer/Pistoleer)
    Lieutenant Arden Ravenstone, Officer of The Phoenix Company, Corvis (Gun Mage/Spy)

  20. #60

    Default Doug Seacat on Trollkin:

    Shamanism is not inherited, but there does appear to be some genetic disposition toward the sort of
    close bonding between beast and trollkin required for being a warlock. Most of the spell abilities
    for both Grissel and Gunnbjorn can be seen as extensions of the warlock ability moreso than any
    sort of "arcane" ability. Grissel has some added supernatural benefits from being a fell caller, while
    Gunnbjorn has a strong spiritual link to the Dhunian principles that may empower his own
    fighting efforts.

    ***

    Fell callers are another unusual case. Fell callers are neither shamans nor sorcerers. Their power is
    more similar to sorcery but does not require albinism. So it's more accurate to say that all warlocks
    so far are shamans (Borka, Doomshaper, Calandra, Gunnbjorn), sorcerers (Grim Angus, Madrak),
    or fell callers (Grissel). Note that the shamanistic power does not always require one to be acting
    in the societal role of a shaman, as Gunnbjorn demonstrates. He has the requisite spirituality and
    connection with the full-blood trolls, but does not serve the kriels as a shaman in the same way as
    several of the others. Even those who identify themselves as shamans all demonstrate the wide
    range of interpretation of the faith and that role, as clearly Borka is quite a different sort of
    shaman than Calandra, and the same could be said of Doomshaper. All of these characters draw
    on Dhunia as well as their connection to the full-blood trolls for their spells.

    As for trollkin eyes, that would be a matter for our artists to answer, but in looking through the
    illustrations in the Forces of HORDES: Trollbloods book, it is fair to draw the conclusion that
    clearly visible irises and pupils are a rare and likely recessive trait among the trollkin. Grissel seems
    to be the only major character with clearly visible irises in the art. Far more pupils can be seen on
    the studio miniatures and I believe this was a choice by the painter(s) of those miniatures who felt
    the models looked unfinished or lacking in character without pupils. This is not a mistake but an
    individual artistic choice. Sometimes what looks best in an illustration is not what looks best on a
    painted miniature. There will always be some variation when different people present material in
    the setting, whether in narratives by different writers, illustrations by different artists, or painted
    miniatures.

    ***

    Humans in our setting are still humans, and even a number of our non-humans are still "people."
    They experience the gamut of human emotions, psychological problems, and react to stresses in the
    same way that people do generally. Things that give regular people comfort in the real world
    would generally be similar in the Iron Kingdoms, whether that is turning to family, faith, friends,
    your comrades-in-arms, etc. Of our major intelligent races the one that likely has a distinctly
    different profile on this topic would be trollkin. Their ability to recover from serious wounds,
    including those that would otherwise be permanently crippling, gives them a different
    psychological reaction to injury and suffering. But even here, too much time amid the stresses of
    continuous combat and the ongoing loss of loved ones and friends takes a toll, as the survivors of
    the Thornwood kriels can likely attest. Even without the influence of Rathrok, it is likely Madrak
    Ironhide and many of those he travels with have experienced an unusual amount of trauma by
    trollkin standards.
    Last edited by Kriegtanzer; 09-03-2011 at 07:29 PM.
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
    Captain Nicolas Hawke, Owner and Commander of Hawke's Company, Corvis (Military Officer/Pistoleer)
    Lieutenant Arden Ravenstone, Officer of The Phoenix Company, Corvis (Gun Mage/Spy)

  21. #61

    Default Doug Seacat on Humans:

    Being Thurian has nothing to do with skin color really, and is more of a regional subculture based in the region that is southern Ord through northwestern Cygnar (near Ceryl & Five Fingers in particular). Most of the people who identify themselves as this are pale skinned since the majority of the people of the old kingdom of Thuria were pale skinned. Markus Brisbane is probably descended from the Sinari people, who were dark skinned, but they settled across a broad region of western Immoren and over time came to associate themselves as members of those local kingdoms. So you will have darker skinned individuals who identify themselves as Thurian, Midlunder, Morridane, Khardic, Umbrean, Skirov, or what have you even if the majority of the population in these regions look different. Most of our subculture names are based on regions and old pre-Orgoth kingdoms than anything else. Caspians are those descended of people who lived near Caspia, for example, and some of them are now members of the Protectorate of Menoth and call themselves Sulese.

    Both the Sinari and Radiz people were a bit nomadic and never part of formal nations or kingdoms with defined borders (some consider these to be "vagabond peoples"). While some have maintained the old traditions and cultural identity of the Sinari and Radiz people, others permanently settled and integrated into the regional cultures and no longer identify with those groups. Markus Brisbane would have a lot more in common with the Thurian people living in Ceryl than he would a band of traditional nomadic Sinari.

    ***

    [On PTSD in IK] Humans in our setting are still humans, and even a number of our non-humans are still "people."
    They experience the gamut of human emotions, psychological problems, and react to stresses in the
    same way that people do generally. Things that give regular people comfort in the real world
    would generally be similar in the Iron Kingdoms, whether that is turning to family, faith, friends,
    your comrades-in-arms, etc.
    [Snipped discussion of Trollkin pschology, see Trollkin post]


    As in most of human history, the concept of psychology is still at a very primitive state in our
    setting and so this problem is likely not well understood although its symptoms would be seen
    with some regularity in any of the armies and would be given similar terms as were applied
    historically, such as "battle fatigue" or "shell shock." There would not be much differentiation
    between those suffering short term milder variants (combat stress reaction) versus those with more
    serious and lasting difficulties, aside from the thought that some people manage to "shake this off"
    while others never do.
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
    Captain Nicolas Hawke, Owner and Commander of Hawke's Company, Corvis (Military Officer/Pistoleer)
    Lieutenant Arden Ravenstone, Officer of The Phoenix Company, Corvis (Gun Mage/Spy)

  22. #62

    Default Doug Seacat on Dwarves:

    Kharg Drogun, the "Land Beneath" (where the dwarven Great Fathers came from, after being created by the mountain Ghor) is widely recognized now as being part of Urcaen, not Caen. Mortal dwarves have always been on Caen, but their gods and the mountain that created their god (Ghor), were in Urcaen; the Great Fathers crossed to Caen, sired their species, and then went back. When dwarves die they join the Great Fathers in their afterlife.

    When the gods went back, the legend says they dug through the earth to get there, but this could be factual or metaphorical depending on your perspective. It's possible whatever "thin place" between Caen and Urcaen used by the dwarven gods existed below the earth. Gods appear to have been able to make this sort of crossing more easily in the ancient past than they can now, and so it seems unlikely such a crossing could ever happen again. (Both Menoth and the Devourer Wurm are described as having walked Caen in the ancient past as well.)

    As to the "other" dwarves mentioned who did not gather in Ghord, I would not get too caught up on that one single line of a history from 8200 BR. This could be interpreted as referring to dwarves living outside of Ghord, who eventually became part of Rhul when it was fully consolidated under the Moot, or it might refer to dwarves who went elsewhere. We have not yet shown dwarves elsewhere, but certainly they might exist, even as humans exist on more continents than Immoren. We'll have to wait for an age of proper exploration before it will be known if there are other dwarves outside of Rhul. So far we haven't seen any.
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
    Captain Nicolas Hawke, Owner and Commander of Hawke's Company, Corvis (Military Officer/Pistoleer)
    Lieutenant Arden Ravenstone, Officer of The Phoenix Company, Corvis (Gun Mage/Spy)

  23. #63
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    Thanks for that, wish it answered my

  24. #64
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    Mods, please get this stickied and move all of the non-Doug posts to another thread (this post included). This is too good, way to go Kriegtanzer.
    "No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." -- Voltaire

    NONE OF THIS MATTERS

  25. #65
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    Yes STICKY vote!

  26. #66
    Destroyer of Worlds Whimper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyricPL View Post
    Mods, please get this stickied and move all of the non-Doug posts to another thread (this post included).
    I agree 100%. This needs to be purified, archived, and stickied for posterity.
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  27. #67
    Destroyer of Worlds Doktor Grym's Avatar
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    This is a great collection! and look its been stickied!

    KSW
    Welcome to the Thornwood Bistro, where the weak are killed and eaten; perhaps you'll have em' flame broiled and (un)dead or Blindwater marinated; spicy & chewy. I'd suggest Thornfall smoked & falling off the bone tender. You're going with bloody raw and still screaming. Excellent choice Mr. Ca... AaaHhhhh!

  28. #68
    Destroyer of Worlds Whimper's Avatar
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    An index of further Doug-quotes can be found here: http://privateerpressforums.com/showthread.php?59500
    _______________________________________
    This is the way the world ends.

  29. #69

    Default Doug Seacat on Guns and Ammo:

    Most of these pistols and other weapons have a hinged mechanism at the stock which opens to
    allow the cartridge (usually silk or paper-wrapped, since metal cartridges are still rare and reserved
    for specialized weapons) to be inserted into the breach. The knob you see is usually the mechanism
    and handle used to unlock and open the breach, then close and lock it again.

    The ammunition is usually prepackaged (both powders, each in their own wrappings, together
    with the bullet). It is indeed somewhat dangerous, but less than you might think. Silk is the
    preferred wrapping over paper and is more common with military grade ammunition, and since
    each of the two powders is entirely wrapped, they stay contained reliably. It's important to bear in
    mind the actual explosive potential of a given cartridge is not very much. Without being contained
    within a firearm breach even if a cartridge mixes and explodes it won't necessarily cause an injury.
    (In the RPG this was exaggerated a bit to add an element of risk for people without the proper
    skills interfering with or trying to disassemble ammunition.) Individual cartridges with their small
    discrete packets of powder are probably actually less dangerous than larger stores of the
    ammunition, by and large. Although a cartridge mixing accidentally would represent a fire hazard.

    ***

    The only magic involved in the powder is that it is produced by alchemy, which is a mild
    chemical shortcut. Alchemy assists industry and mechanika in our setting in many ways, allowing
    for certain augmented mixtures and combinations of materials which would otherwise require
    more advanced science. It is particularly useful for some of the more sophisticated metallurgy in
    our setting and paves the way for things like warcaster armor and armor piercing shells.

    The blasting powder in our setting leaves a residue that builds up fairly quickly. Ideally a gunman
    should be cleaning his weapon in a cursory fashion after each shot, when he opens the breach to
    load the next round. However, in reality I expect most soldiers are less diligent about this,
    particularly in the middle of combat, aside from clearing the obvious debris from the previous
    round out of the breach. Residue buildup would also be one of the variable factors that would
    separate high-quality blasting powder from lower-grade, and since the Order of the Golden
    Crucible lost its monopoly on commercial grade powder the civilian market is likely a lot more
    unpredictable.

    This would not affect the armies, who make their own powder. With any military grade powder
    a firearm can endure repeated firing so long as the operator cleans it out periodically. Weapons
    like repeating long rifles, trencher chain guns, or Caine's revolvers regularly fire quite a few
    rounds before those operating them worry about residue. But any amount of residue increases the
    risk of misfire. This is one reason that multi-barrel weapons have some functional advantages over
    single-barrel for repeating weapons despite their weight. (A chain gun is less likely to misfire
    during a given span of time than a slugger, and the same would be true for a quad-barrel pistol.)
    Long gunner training probably recommends the weapon getting a quick cleaning with an extended
    wire brush each time you replace the ammunition wheel, but in actual battle I'd expect they can
    safely get through three or four wheels before worrying about a significant chance of a misfires.

    ***

    Magelocks are defined by a particular alloy used in the weapon. Every firearm that has runes on
    them is not a "magelock." Some pistols are enchanted and bear sigils which are not magelocks,
    including a variety of ones present in our setting. Jarl is not a gun mage and is not wielding
    magelocks. But it's worth noting that anyone could indeed wield a magelock pistol since again it is
    simply an alloy used in the weapon which is more conducive to enduring intense magical energies
    without suffering damage from doing so. A magelock pistol otherwise fires just like a regular one.

    ***

    There have been other weapons that have been described as inscribed with runes, such as Kell
    Bailoch's rifle Silence (described with silver runes in "Better Left Forgotten" in NQM#3, although
    this has never been shown in the art). I am fairly certain Melleus, the blessed quad-iron of Harlan
    Versh, would also be inscribed with runes along with the Morrowan symbol despite their absence
    in the illustration. There is a fancier pistol of this type illustrated in close-up in NQM#2, which
    covered some of the tools of the Order of Illumination. Generally anything on the level of detail
    of needing to appear on a gun barrel won't show up in art or painted on models unless there are
    specific instructions to do so. That has until now been reserved to magelocks, so confusion on the
    topic is perfectly reasonable. It's certainly understandable why someone might mistake Jarl for a
    gun mage.

    ***

    Some folks seem to keep getting the commercial sales of blasting powder mixed up with the military production. The OGC never had a monopoly over military production, only commercial sales; each kingdom does indeed have its own internal military production. Indeed, while the OGC gladly took contracts to make ammunition for the military on an as-needs basis, that wasn't a particularly large revenue source. Frankly, they charged too much and the kingdoms (particularly Khador & Cygnar) had access to their own sources of raw materials and alchemists. The Fraternal Order had a stronger monopoly on cortex production than the OGC ever did on powder production, and as we know that fell apart too, several centuries ago thanks to the Greylords Covenant and later other groups that can make cortexes.

    The OGC commercial monopoly shattered at the same time as their HQ was absorbed by Khador, prompting the outlying OGC branches to fall into disorder and begin to compete with one another. They also lost their tight control over some of the formulas and methods, as well as the ability to enforce their monopoly through commercial extortion and other pressures. In the wake of this loss of centralized control, a large number of alchemists who might once have been wary to produce and sell blasting powder without a seal of approval from the OGC felt at liberty to venture into this market. Seeing as there were no retaliations against them (as might have been the case when the OGC was in a stronger position), they prospered and may have even ramped up production. The various local OGC branches felt the need to react to this somehow, and lacking the clout to stop these other alchemists it was easier to relax their standards and ask for a small reduced fee to be granted OGC membership. A scramble by the OGC to maintain the appearance of still controlling the market even when that was no longer the case. Prices were now more or less out of their hands, combined with increased production and competition. The raw resources to make blasting powder have never been extremely scarce, although of course they are valued. Certain alchemical advances have in fact worked to the advantage of the consumer as alchemists have been able to produce more with less, spurred by innovations coming about as the need for powder has increased on both the civilian and military side of production.

    What was once a tightly regulated product became far less so, and the price fixing racket was left in shambles. The market was quickly flooded by a higher volume of lower grade (but functional) blasting powder. This forced even accredited alchemists to lower prices as well, or to seek to market their higher grade powder to those with more discriminating requirements, thereby justifying a higher price than could be found among the competition. There is certainly a market for higher grade powder, and some applications which demand it, but most consumers just want to be able to fire their guns for cheaper, and will go where the prices are lower.

    This was not necessarily the case in 605 AR, in the period covered by the WG. Time marches on, and blasting powder is both a highly valued commodity but also one that is being produced in greater quantity than ever before. It is generally a good time to be an alchemist in the IK, and many people have taken up the avocation. Likely in a post-war lull this will cause an alchemist glut that will then be seeing a large number of aspiring alchemists looking for work that does not exist, but such is life. They can perhaps try to innovate other needed products, and given alchemy is vital to a broad number of industries, it's probably not too much of a problem. Those who specialize only in ammunition production will have to branch out. For now, if you're in a city like Corvis, now on the front line of the war effort, every additional alchemist making blasting powder finds a ready market for his wares, either selling ammunition directly to the military (to supplement the army's own production), or to mercenaries or other private citizens looking to keep their guns loaded and their ammunition stores stocked at an uncertain time.

    I will say the WG did indeed overstate any "shortage" of powder, largely in an attempt to emphasize the importance of seizing the OGC HQ by Khador. This was certainly significant and a big deal, and Khador got much out of this, but in some respects this was presented too narrowly in the old WG, which is why we spent a number of subsequent articles in NQM in later years to add information and give a better perspective on the evolving situation.
    Last edited by Kriegtanzer; 05-06-2012 at 09:26 AM.
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  30. #70
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    You guys are missing the one about how Gobbers have nipples.

  31. #71
    Destroyer of Worlds captainspud's Avatar
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    You missed the most important Doug quotes ever:

    Spud: Are there zippers in the Iron Kingdoms?
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    The main thing to consider, particularly looking through the artwork of our setting, is the strength of the buckle and strap lobbying committees in the Iron Kingdoms. Any theorized advancement on the zipper front has been rather brutally squashed by those employed making leather straps, hole punches, and bronze buckles. These industries have a veritable stranglehold on the apparel market in every kingdom except the Protectorate of Menoth, which is instead ruled over by the priestly vestment, robes, and ceremonial drapery lobbies.
    Spud: Do Gobbers have nipples? Come to think of it, are they even mammals?
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    I have always thought of them as mammals, but they are described as hairless which presents a definite biological quandary. They deliver fully formed young and do not lay eggs. The state of taxonomy is not as advanced in western Immoren as in our world in a comparable time period, so you will have to forgive Professor Pendrake. It is possible gobbers are simply very "mammal-like" but occupy a slightly unusual biological niche. They are definitely not "frog people" or amphibians like the Anura/Croakers, however.

    It is worth bearing in mind that the definition of what is and is not a mammal has undergone rather frequent updates and revisions, even in last few decades. Also our taxonomy relies rather heavily on examination of species that may or may not exist or have evolved the same way on Caen, which also includes a lot of species (including gobbers) that do not exist in our world. Perhaps on Caen being hairless is not a barrier to being a mammal.
    That second thread, in particular, should be considered mandatory reading for all IK players, due to the enormous amount of vital setting analysis that occurred there.
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  32. #72
    Destroyer of Worlds quindraco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captainspud View Post
    That second thread, in particular, should be considered mandatory reading for all IK players, due to the enormous amount of vital setting analysis that occurred there.
    It completely neglects to address the vital issue of Trollkin nipples (note that Trollkin also have absolutely no keratin, like Gobbers). I don't see how we can possibly even begin to tell any stories in this setting without addressing this most important of issues.

  33. #73
    Destroyer of Worlds captainspud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quindraco View Post
    It completely neglects to address the vital issue of Trollkin nipples (note that Trollkin also have absolutely no keratin, like Gobbers). I don't see how we can possibly even begin to tell any stories in this setting without addressing this most important of issues.
    It doesn't address it directly, but I believe I cornered Doug into a position where he could no longer refute that Trollkin are werewhales, and whales definitely do have nipples (though I haven't been able to locate much information about where, exactly, they keep them).
    The ignorant must be beaten with the Mallet of Wisdom until their heads are swollen and inflamed with knowledge.
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    Trollkin obviously have rockhard nipples all the time.

  35. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by captainspud View Post
    It doesn't address it directly, but I believe I cornered Doug into a position where he could no longer refute that Trollkin are werewhales, and whales definitely do have nipples (though I haven't been able to locate much information about where, exactly, they keep them).
    Roughly the same place cows do.

  36. #76

    Default Doug Seacat on Divine Magic...

    There are absolutely different magics possible for priests than for other spellcasting classes, and there are a number of other pieces of what I would consider to be solid evidence that the source of this power is divine in nature. One of the most persuasive of these, albeit one not known to most of the humans of western Immoren, has to do with the Rivening experienced by Iosan priests whereby suddenly and inexplicably all the elven priests were cut off from their powers and many were in fact driven mad. At the time these priests had no direct contact with their gods, who had left Ios and were at some unknown distance from them. This was clearly not a self-imposed problem, and was all the more telling as the priests of Scyrah were affected the least, an oddity that was not understood until Scyrah herself returned to Ios. Both relate to incidents involving the power of priests which appear to be directly rooted in circumstances with the gods that those priests were unaware of at the time.

    Beyond this, however, there have been numerous inexplicable miracles manifested by divine servants of the gods which cannot be easily replicated by scholarly arcanists. Some might state, with some reason, that this simply represents a lack of knowledge or understanding which could eventually be developed. Nonetheless it suggests that divine casters are making use of power and spells they do not fully understand, which likely require a guiding hand from some other (higher) source.

    As a small addendum, there is no sign that the gods can in fact freely interfere with mortals whenever and however they wish (such as just cutting off the power of other priests than their own). Every sign indicates the gods most often have limited ability to directly manipulate events on Caen and seem to prefer to see their will done through indirect means, particularly mortal intermediaries. Direct manifestations of divine intervention have been recorded in history, but are remarkable, rare, and relatively few compared to the far more numerous incidents of indirect manipulations. For gods that are actively involved in affairs on Caen, working through priests as conduits appears to be one of the best and most pervasive methods.
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  37. #77

    Default Doug Seacat on Half Elves.

    The differences between humans and elves is more akin to the situation with horses and donkeys, which are different species but which can theoretically produce viable offspring (mules and hinnies), but which are not themselves sustainable. There are many other factors as well, most of them social/cultural, which makes these sorts of pairing exceptionally rare in the first place. Then there are additional complications related to Iosan infertility and then additional issues with the pregnancies (stillbirths being more common) and higher chance of death on childbirth, which altogether make half-elves exceptionally rare. Even if elves and humans were in harmonious accord and relationships between them extremely common, there would still be very few half-elves in our setting. As it is, with the cultural complications, there are almost none. [Found here]

    ***

    In response to "Wouldn't alchemical medicines help with this? Especially with all the battlefield medicines that are no doubt being developed as a result of the current war?"

    Most battlefield medicines are focused on clotting wounds and preventing death from shock. Perhaps, theoretically, if this was a problem anyone was working on, for any perceived need, someone could try to solve the stillbirth problem with alchemy. But the main point is, humans and elves almost never get in such a relationship, and on the one in a million chance that it happens, they probably don't experience pregnancy. So no, there has been no need for anyone to invest any effort in "solving" this problem. Most alchemists have many more pressing things to do with their time.

    The only place where there seems to be an driving need to figure out how to create a bunch of half-elves is generally in the IK RPG forum, not in the setting itself. Elves have enough to worry about related to trying to have more healthy children with members of their own species. [Found here]
    Last edited by Kriegtanzer; 01-21-2013 at 11:22 AM.
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  38. #78

    Default Doug Seacat on the prices in the Core Book and IK economy.

    These currencies exist in the setting and plenty of items are sold for lower than 1 GC in various markets. (You can get quite a bowl of soup for a blackpenny at the Haggler's Soup Kettle on Hospice Island in Five Fingers, if you dare!) The lists of equipment and prices given are primarily pertinent to character generation. GMs can make use of the more complex and realistic currencies and pricing as much as they wish to do so, but it will require improvising varied prices depending on supply and demand in a specific location, and otherwise getting into a granular level of detail that the game designers did not feel was in keeping with the game as they intended it. This is primarily a matter of game style. In most of my own games I make extensive use of the currencies list on p. 78 of the Core Rules book and have based entire games on such things as devalued Ordic coin. I also vary prices from shop to shop and even more from city to city, and may inflate prices or reduce them based on the actions and reputations of the PCs. At other times and in other games, I have abstracted the exchanges of funds and not required this to be tracked by the players at all.

    There is no actual economy represented by the price lists in the gear section of the Core Rules book. No single list of set prices would accommodate a realistic economy. This does not mean the setting itself does not have an economy. It means including rules for one in the book was not a priority. Note: No writers were involved in this decision; look to the game designers.

    [Found Here]
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
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  39. #79
    Destroyer of Worlds solkan's Avatar
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    Default The Riplung Plague

    From http://privateerpressforums.com/show...=1#post1893140
    It is safe to presume that there may have been massive upheaval if the riplung plague reached the Orgoth homeland. This was an extremely virulent and deadly plague. It almost certainly would have had an impact on any sort of ongoing resupply and communication between the homeland and western Immoren in that crucial time period when the local rebellion efforts were becoming particularly pernicious. In terms of timing, the plague outbreaks happened in western Immoren from 83-93 AR (the Rebellion was finally successful in 201 AR). A cure was developed by Asc. Corben for the Immorese in 93 AR but it seems unlikely any infected Orgoth who returned to the homeland would have benefitted from this.

    As noted, if this did land back on the Orgoth homeland, as the Circle Orboros insists, it would certainly have had a significant impact. The only caveat I ever made on this topic in the past was to correct someone who presumed it would have killed them all. No plague is 100% effective (nor would it have to be to change a civilization).

  40. #80

    Default Doug Seacat on the Visability of Souls

    Usually souls are not visible without some sort of ability to perceive them, such as the oculus used by skorne extollers. However, necromantic magic manipulating souls will often make them visible while that is happening. Very often in the narratives when we are interacting with souls it is due to either necromancy or through some creature or individual who has the ability to see them. When a person dies ordinarily you don't see the soul even if it lingers around for a couple of days, not without some ability to perceive them.

    In the fiction in HORDES: Evolution where Hexeris is making observations about the fate of the souls of certain species after death (by murdering them), he uses some sort of red incense to aid his perception. In that scene he was talking to Zaal, an extoller, who could see them through his oculus. Our Cryxians who regularly interact with souls can generally perceive them and they become particularly visible if manipulated by soul cages or other necrotech. When Constance visits a recent battlefield with hundreds slaughtered in Wrath she is not able to see the souls of the fallen, but she can imagine them there and the description of this awareness describes that she "could almost feel them there, still suffering." We can presume this is likely mostly her imagination and conscience.

    Basically if some sort of horrific magic is at work on souls they may become visible like a manifested ghostly apparition, the best examples in artwork being the ones swirling around Lich Lord Asphyxious or certain other Cryxian entities like the helljack Malice. This is definitely not the "normal" way souls appear. [Found Here]

    I'd treat it on a case by case basis myself. The GM part of myself wants to tell you the following: the souls should be clearly visible when it would inconvenience the players the most, and entirely invisible when it would inconvenience them the most. [Found Here]

    I may provide more detailed advice later, specific to the Advocate. But generally I would make it difficult for a Thamarite to get away with making extensive use of soul-empowered magic without it being evident. This sort of magic should be done under controlled circumstances, or when there are no witnesses, etc. Doing this sort of magic is absolutely black magic and about as illegal as it gets in our setting. Enough so the Church of Morrow is empowered to deal with it directly, without even having to worry about ordinary law enforcement.

    This isn't to say that Thamarites can't find ways to be more subtle and sneaky, but a lot of that will come down to being careful and keeping a low profile and not doing massive offensive magical soul-empowered attacks in front of large crowds of witnesses. [Found Here]
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
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