Crossroads in the Woods

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Cammytrice, Feb 22, 2014.

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    Our story begins, as these stories sometimes do, with a problem.

    Generations ago, a band of neighbours took their families and all their possessions and left their town, unhappy with the way it was being run by the Lord’s men. They began their own little settlement in another part of the forested land. Because they did not ask help from anyone, no one asked help of them. No taxes, no tribute, but also, no protection, and no roads. The neighbours were able to set up their lives there, albeit with some difficulty. They were constantly on the lookout for raiders and feral animals who would steal their crops or eat their livestock. But, they were able to raise their children, who in turn married, and had children of their own.

    Now, three generations later, these Neighbours, as they decided to call themselves, must make a decision. Their village is getting too conspicuous and successful to be able to fend off increasing attacks from raiders, and with so many of them now, the land is not enough to meet their needs. The few finished products they sell in the nearest town do not fetch enough to buy the extra supplies they need. They must either split their community, and begin a new village elsewhere, or incorporate into a town. Will they become the very thing that their great grandparents shunned? Or will they be forced to leave the place they’ve always known, and some of their lifelong friends?

    This game is a light, slice-of-life story for those who would like to try their hand at playing anthropomorphic animals, or more experienced anthro players who may want to try a new animal. As such, there will be some fairly strict guidelines for what will, and will not be allowed.

    Animals Allowed: (open)

    • Any reasonable woodland animal, up to badger & fox size.
    • No bears or wolves, insects or solely aquatic animals (fish).
    • Dogs and cats allowed, may be a mutt or an identifiable breed, but remember that it should be a breed that will be able to comfortably live in a rugged environment, so no exotics, please.
    • Birds, reptiles and amphibians allowed as long as they obey the first rule.

    Anthropomorphic Rules: This is how your character will look and behave. (open)

    • Digitigrade feet, tails may be slightly prehensile within limit. They may be able to hold light items, or hook with another tail or paw. Only creatures with naturally prehensile tails may be fully prehensile (opossums).
    • Forepaws will mimic hands but will retain paw pads and claws. Animals with four feet have opposable thumbs, while birds will be able to manipulate their wings to serve as hands. Snakes will remain limbless, but may have full prehensile abilities.
    • Characters' personalities will be at least partly dependent on their natural animal behaviour. For instance, mice may be hyperactive but also a bit shy.
    • Badgers and foxes will be the largest, and will average about 5’ in height, with the smaller animals decreasing in height accordingly. Mice are the smallest, and should be no less than a quarter of the height of badgers and foxes. This is in reference to adult height. Children will be smaller in proper proportion to the adult height of their species.
    • Some feral behaviour is retained, specifically vocalisations and non-verbal behaviour. This includes growling, purring, hissing, croaking, etc. as well as ear and whisker movements, tail movements, etc. Birds are capable of flight, and tree-dwellers and other climbing animals (ie. cats and mice) are natural climbers.

    Laws of Nature: This is how we will reconcile the human with the animal. (open)

    • Meat is available to meat eaters in the form of chickens, cattle (cows and sheep), deer, and fish (and insects/grubs for insectivores, but they should classify as omnivores). There are no pigs, as boar are an allowable character animal.
    • All natural carnivores should be omnivorous; herbivores should be vegetarian, but not vegan. All food animals mentioned are feral. The eating of other sentients is considered cannibalism and deranged.
    • Interbreeding is not possible, but inter-species relationships are possible within limit. Offspring from such pairings will be either/or by random , and never hybrid. Off-limits for inter-species is mixing between different animal orders (mammalian, avian, reptilian, amphibian).

    Habitat and Technology: This is how they live. (open)

    • Medieval houses are generally two rooms: one for sleeping, one for living. Cooking is done on the hearth. Windows are small with shutters only. No screens, no glass. Roofs are thatched and walls are usually wood or stone and may be plastered with clay. Gaps between wooden beams are stuffed with moss to keep out drafts.
    • Ground-dwellers must have ground homes, but have the option of free-standing dwellings or burrowed out homes (hobbit-style).
    • No subterranean dwellings, please.
    • Tree-dwellers and birds have the option of tree houses or ground homes, but ground homes should be free-standing or opportunistic burrows (rotted-out tree, or natural above ground root system that leaves space for a dwelling). They cannot dig their own burrowed homes unless they are naturally able to do so.
    • There will be quite a bit of leeway given for tree and burrow dwellings, but keep in mind that they should still follow the general rules for medieval housing.
    • Technology is limited to medieval standards, with modifications for body-type allowed as long as it conforms to the current tech, so no ultra-light metal armour for birds, for example.
    • Clothing should be tops and short breeches for men and dresses for women. Headwear is usually a cowl, with a woven straw hat for farming/outdoor work, or a small wool cap (think Robin Hood) for eyeshade when hunting or traveling, etc. Footwear is not needed except for winter boots for warmth. Fabrics available are wool, linen, and tanned hide. Leather is processed from hide. Cotton does not exist here.

    Community: Leadership and Community Relations. (open)

    • Larger animals are the natural leaders/elders, but it is a general democracy.
    • Meetings for community decisions take place in the meeting house and are usually decided by oral vote. All neighbours aged 14 and above are allowed a vote.
    • The elderly are respected for their wisdom, and may be consulted for advice, even if they are not part of the leadership.
    • Other than these distinctions, it is a communistic society that operates on the barter system, with no standard currency. Finished goods may be taken to the nearest town to be sold for coin with which to buy materials not available locally, such as ore for smithing.

    Culture: The more medieval human side. (open)

    • This is mostly background information to how the village works.
    • There is no church, but everyone is ‘Christian’, and God is very important. For a wedding or a funeral, a priest is fetched from the nearest town. Occasionally, a travelling monk will come through.
    • Sunday is a day of rest. Since most villagers cannot read, there are only services when a priest is present. Instead, most families will have a family prayer and the father will teach the children. Children learn to recite common prayers and verses. After family time, children can go off and play, adults will go visiting and begin to prepare the dinner. Sunday dinner is a community meal.
    • Children under the age of five do not work but begin to learn house chores at age two. Boys will begin to follow their father from age five to adulthood. They may apprentice to another villager at 14 for a skilled job such as tanning, carpentry, or smithing. These men will only take one apprentice, as their son(s) will be learning from them as well. Any man who does not work a skilled job is a farmer by default.
    • Elders may work as long as they are able, and then will usually keep themselves busy with small woodcraft or house chores.
    • Women spin and weave the fabric for the family’s clothes. Sometimes they will trade between each other.
    • One or two leaders may know how to read, and may teach their sons. They may own a Bible or at least a book of common prayer and verses. This is something I will approve only on an individual character basis. We can’t all be the intellectuals.
    • All children learn to count.
    • The village is currently supporting 50 neighbours (including children).
    • There is a small mill for milling grain and corn. It is run by a waterwheel which is fed by the river the village is situated near.

    General Game Rules: To keep things running smoothly.
    • All characters will be approved by me. If I say no, it is for a reason.
    • All characters must be community-focused and mentally stable. NO loners, outcasts, thieves, etc. No village idiots, either.
    • You may pair up with another player to form a family group, or you may play a family group yourself. Children in one family can be lumped together as one character until they are of ‘adult’ age (14). No one may have more than 5 characters in total. You will wear yourself out. You do not have to play an entire family group. You could focus on one adult and keep the others as NPCs.
    • Any NPCs used to fill up a scene (ie. in a meeting or at Sunday dinner), should not be named. This is for ease of distinction. Family NPCs may be named as needed.
    • All raiders are NPCs and may NOT be established characters.
    • Please try to keep the species varied. We can’t all be cats and foxes, folks. If I decide there are too many of one kind of animal, I may reject your character.
    • TALK AMONGST YOURSELVES. Please don’t wait for the GM to tell you what to do. Think for yourself!
    • Do your homework! Try to keep your character true to its species. There will always be character variations, but you should be able to prove that what you’re doing is in some way in keeping with the spirit of your chosen species. Some leeway is allowed for medieval technology (if something can’t be definitively disproven), but try to keep the tech true to the time period.
    • And if you’re unsure, ASK ME! :)

    Suggested Searches: Instead of a resource list, try googling these phrases.
    • medieval peasant (may add: clothing, food, life, technology, etc. to this phrase)
    • Redwall characters (this will give you a good reference for the body typing and some clothing)
    • digitigrade feet (in case you don’t know what it means. This will help you understand how your character moves)
    • Love Love x 1
  2. Character sheet time!




    Appearance: (please include markings, fur patterns, scars, missing limbs, height, etc. May be written and/or picture)

    Personality: (remember to keep in tune with your species. You may also include a hobby, or a part of life they particularly enjoy.)

    Clothing & Accessories: (everyone's clothing will vary a bit. Remember no bright or deep colours. Dyes will be from natural materials, so will be fairly light. Please include any weapons or tools that are usually carried with your character.)

    Occupation: (This is mostly for the men. For women, please state husband's occupation, or father's if unmarried. If an elder and past work, say 'retired' and previous work. If a village leader, please state it here. Your occupation choice may be limited by your species. For instance, if you're a mouse, you are unlikely to have the strength to be a blacksmith.)


    Brief History: (Everyone grew up in the village together, but what are your character's unique experiences? Here you may also state which side of the debate your character is on.)

  3. Name: Aldrich

    Age: 32

    Species: Badger

    Appearance: Aldrich is tall and muscular, topping out at a full 5'. He walks with a slight limp due to falling out of a tree when he was a boy. He doesn't want to admit that his eyesight is not what it used to be, so he tries not to squint if he thinks someone's looking.
    Photo for markings:

    Personality: Aldrich tends towards being a bit gruff at the best of times, but he is a big believer in fairness, sharing, and hard work. He can't abide laziness. Often outspoken and a deep thinker, and prefers to fish in his spare time for the solitude. He has a tendency to rub the top of his nose when he's worried or troubled.

    Clothing & Accessories: A woven linen top and breeches. Not one for fancy colours, the top is not dyed and the breeches are a dull brown. He likes to carry an iron knife with him for whatever he needs, usually cutting a young sapling for a fishing rod or grasses for thatching. He wears an un-dyed cowl and straw hat on sunny days.

    Occupation: Aldrich is a simple farmer, but takes pride in his work, and is a fair hand at most things, so is always ready to help a neighbour. Due to his fair and thoughtful nature, he is one of the natural leaders of the village, taking up the position after his own father's death.

    Family: Married to his beloved Ella, a quiet and calm rabbit, Aldrich has three children; a rabbit son named Blythe who is now fifteen and not yet married, and a pair of twin badger girls named Wren and Willow, who are now six years old. Blythe follows his father and helps him to tend the fields, and the girls follow their mother around the house. The love to work in the little garden and are now learning to spin, weave, and sew.

    Brief History: Aldrich's father was a village leader before him, but as a boy he was more brash and brave. Wanting to do everything and be better than everyone, Aldrich often chafed that he couldn't climb like the squirrel children did, or fly like the bird children. It wasn't until a fall from a tree he'd managed to haul himself up literally brought him back to earth with a broken leg and a wounded ego. His father took that time to really instruct the boy on a much better way to live his life: to find his own best, and let God fill the rest of the gaps that were needed. After a long respite in bed, the young badger was able to walk again, and eventually grew into a strong supporter of others, and a much respected leader. He has had to make a number of difficult decisions in the past, but the current issue facing the village is the most difficult yet. He has his own opinions, but is not yet willing to share them.
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