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Author Topic: Stone Age Mage?  (Read 246 times)

Offline Shiftkitty

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Stone Age Mage?
« on: March 11, 2017, 11:34:19 AM »
I want to set up a campaign for my new group and was thinking of hitting them with a Stone Age setting. Dinosaurs, very low-tech equipment (clubs instead of swords, slings instead of longbows, etc.), and scattered tribes  of semi-nomadic hunter/gathers would be the norm. I', stuck on a couple of things:

1. RACES: Would you make it a humans-only campaign, or would you allow other races for PCs and just make something up? (An elf, for example, could have been found as an orphaned infant and raised by one of the women in the tribe.) Might an "Elfquest" deal be better, where the races live as separate tribes amid much mistrust of one another? If so, how to handle mixed race parties? (I'm inclined to do the humans-only thing, or have everyone be of one race.

2. MAGIC: Would you limit spellcasters to druids? Or limit spells to naturalistic spells, such as those dealing with wind, fire, water, or earth directly? What about priests? What sort of gods would be appropriate to fit a primitive campaign?

3. EQUIPMENT: Would armor be limited to Hide and Leather armor? Some sources identify Leather armor as hardened leather, a process I don't think they had in the earliest days of modern man (not going Neanderthal or Cro-Magnon). The time period table in the DMG only goes back to the Ancient Age, but I read that the bow had been around for ages before that. What weapons and other gear would you allow?

This isn't solid, yet, but my goal with this campaign would be eventually a generational campaign (if the gang likes the game, some have never played before and others haven't played since they were teens in the '80s). I don't have any of the supplements that cover various time periods (like the green covered supplements for Charlemagne, Rome, etc.). It's a hefty project, I think, so any suggestions would be appreciated. (Pacing of the generations of civilization is something I'm still hashing out!)
"Attack now! We can level up in Hell!"
~ My nephew getting carried away at his first D&D game

Offline hive_mind

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Re: Stone Age Mage?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2017, 03:39:16 PM »
You might want to take a look at Wolf Packs & Winter Snow.  http://www.rpgnow.com/product/189190/Wolfpacks-and-Winter-Snow-PDF

It's a pretty interesting take (especially like the Cave Paintings Magic) and may have something you can crib for your own game.

Offline Shiftkitty

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Re: Stone Age Mage?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2017, 07:47:23 AM »
Good resource! Thanks a bunch!
"Attack now! We can level up in Hell!"
~ My nephew getting carried away at his first D&D game

Offline hive_mind

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Re: Stone Age Mage?
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2017, 01:11:36 PM »
I believe there was an article on Ice Age D&D at one point as well.  An issue somewhere in the 60's I believe (67 or 68 maybe).  I don't believe it really covered magic, but it's been a long time since I looked at it so maybe I'm wrong.

Offline Loma

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Re: Stone Age Mage?
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2017, 08:52:54 AM »
If you're in the stone age, you obviously have to ban metal from the game, but that doesn't mean you have to limit armor to leather and hide. You should look up bone armor. You could also adapt chitin armor, from the Elder Scrolls games. Although I've never seen it in a game, some ancient peoples also used linen and wicker as armor. Some native American tribes even used wood as armor.

For wizard spells, you could use the Savage Setting list, on page 1136 of the Wizard's Spell Compendium.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 08:56:52 AM by Loma »
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Offline Shiftkitty

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Re: Stone Age Mage?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 10:12:49 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions, all. Sorry I took so long to get back here. Work schedule has been insane! I did look at the resources suggested and they were very helpful. I got to run a quickie one-shot with just humans and elves, a first meeting-type thing. The elves and humans almost went to war over fishing rights, but settled on the "you fish on that side, we'll fish on this side, and nobody fishes in the middle" approach. I threw in stampeding mammoths, treachery, a usurper in the human camp, both races' first encounters with kobolds, orcs, and dwarves, and while there was no gold to be divided up at the end of the game, one of the guys said that he really enjoyed the concept of the races meeting each other for the first time and setting the stage for far-flung relations. One asked about what would make the orcs and kobolds automatically hostile? My reasoning was this:

The kobolds, being small and easy prey for larger creatures, had never seen these large things that entered their cave beforeand assumed that they were there to eat them. (Long story about how the group got there.) They attacked because they were defending their cave. Small and frightful, it didn't help when one of the humans smashed a kobold's head in with a club. in the first round of attacks.

The orcs are very savage-minded and were hunting. If you aren't orc, you're potential food. Add in the language barrier (both verbal and body-language) and there is no negotiation.

The dwarves were mistrustful since kobolds, orcs, and other things often war with them for the caves. The dwarves' natural attraction to precious stones drew them into the caves. When the men and elves did not attack but only sought shelter in the cave from a storm, the dwarves remained mistrustful, but allowed them to stay dry near the entrance.

Overall it was a fun game to run, I thought. Now I have to dredge up some material for the next time I'm at the helm. I'll be continuing the Stone Age thing since it seemed the others liked it as well.
"Attack now! We can level up in Hell!"
~ My nephew getting carried away at his first D&D game