So, here continues the nation of Bakanoria which i built for XDMC #9. Hopefully somebody might find this useful since that is really the whole point of the contest; to create something that is interesting and useful for other DM's and using the contest as a motivational factor to create better and more interesting stuff.
Bakanoria’s largest population group is that of humans. Humans were the original founders of the nation and they are the primary farm workers. Very rarely will any other race be found working in the field, unless they are married to a human of the realm. Half-elves are the exception to this, as their free spirited nature draws them to the realm for agricultural and farming work. Gnomes and Halflings are often found wandering about the main cities; they are skilled bards and come from all around in order to be appreciated by the people. Dwarves are not uncommon in the country and have their own ales and beer trade. They are almost never seen tending to the wine; however their beer and ale production is appreciated by the church as an extra form of income and is prized by the people when they are looking for a change of pace in their drinking habits. Although few Dragonborn reside in the country, they are virtually all loved by the people as they are considered to be relatives of the goddess. Dragonborn bards of Crescendia are considered to be extremely holy and next to godliness. All other races are sparse in numbers with several exceptions. Elves and Eladrin are almost completely non-existent in the country as they see themselves too proud to be associating with a bunch of drunkards. Tieflings as well as other darker and monstrous races are scorned by the populace and are not allowed into the Halls of Crescendia.
Bakanoria is a nation of virtually all bards. Every member of the clergy is trained either primarily or secondarily as a bard. All of the nations defense forces are trained bards which rely on a music based ritual to defend the nation from attack. Bards make up more than 80% of the population of the country. Other common classes in Bakanoria are spellcasters of all kinds, both divine and arcane. Also, multi-class bard paladins are very common throughout the country as both missionaries and clergy-men. Fighters are common as well; they are praised in the country for their valiant feats of bravery which have been the subject of so many bardic tales. Clerics to the goddess Crescendia are very common, however clerics of other gods and goddess are almost non-existent. Druids and other primal classes are uncommon in Bakanoria. They exist in small numbers along the coast and are there temporarily as a stop-over when traveling to some other country.
The Unrecognized and Unseen Population
All of the above concerns the population recognized by the government and the public. A massive, literal underground exists in Bakanoria as well. In the underground scorned races abound. They are virtually all of some evil inclinations and wish to either do some kind of harm to the populace, or profit off their drunken blindness.
The Goddess Crescendia and her Followers
Good Lesser Deity
Crescendia is an ancient song dragon, rumored to be almost as old and powerful as the dragon gods themselves, however her non-combative nature and her love of telling stories has kept her out of the conflicts between the other dragon gods, Bahamut and Tiamat. Many of her worshippers are not even aware of their prayers to the goddess: every time a man or woman lifts his voice in song, she hears them; every time someone lifts a glass of wine to their lips, she tastes it; every time someone tells a joke, she laughs; every time someone tells a story of bravery or legend, whether its true or not, she listens with her whole heart. Crescendia is a goddess to those that otherwise, would be godless. She is a lord of poetry, songs, drinking, merriment, and in general, joy. Although Crescendia has no official prayer, numerous drinking songs exist in her honor. She would also be considered, by many, as the patron goddess of wine, as she is of the belief that wine facilitates all other joys that come out of human creativity, compassion, and love. Although she generally wishes to see her people joyous and prospering, she has been known by other gods to be a jokester of massive proportions, with many of her pranks taking centuries to come together completely and end up in catastrophic punch-lines. Although Cresendia is a massive elder dragon, she mostly takes the form of a beautiful woman, with long, silver hair, so that she might walk easily among the people and enjoy their laughter with them. She has been known to take mortal lovers as well as marry them, but her immortal life span, when compared with that of her mates, means that she has done this many times. The offspring of these unions were the original song dragons, which now propagate the world, although few would notice, as they too, prefer to take human form and blend in with the public. Crescendia’s commandments include:
Drink in life until not a drop is left.
Sing to lift your spirits.
Laugh to enlighten your soul.
Crescendia’s holy symbol is that of the profile of a laughing dragon drinking wine from a goblet.
The followers of the song dragon goddess amount to approximately 90% of Bakanoria’s population, but the one’s she holds most dear are the bards who sing and tell stories in her name. The cleric’s of her church virtually all have some form of bardic or musical training so that they might better serve; her cleric’s also have penchant for over-indulging in the intoxication of wine, which only brings more joy to the goddess. One thing to note however about Crescendia’s followers is their general lack of perception, which at first would indicate a general stupidity of the populace, but in fact is indicative of their blatant over-indulgence in her holy water. The people are no dumber than anyone else, but they are simply drunk most of their lives. This has caused the followers of Crescndia to have the bad reputation of treating everyone as a drinking buddy.
Bakanoria has few religious holidays, but those that exist are fiercely popular and all work comes to a crashing halt on these days. In keeping with her religious tenants, these holidays are meant to be an entertaining relief from the work of farming. The entire populace empties their homes during these occasions and joins in giant parties, banquets and dances, all in addition to whatever the actual event may be. The Festival of Song is held in Val’sata and is a week long event of music. The Festival of Wine lasts several days and is celebrated throughout the country. Two other events of note (mainly because they form challenges to the players) are: The Drunken Tournament and Storyteller’s Eve
The Drunken Tournament
The Drunken Tournament was conceived after one of Crescendia’s favorite past times: watching the drunken brawls that happen in taverns. The tournament could better be described as the bar fight days. The tournament happens twice a year, once in the winter, and once in the summer. Although the tournament does involve fighting, it is relegated to non-lethal combat only. Anybody wising to partake in the tournament simply gathers at one of the Halls of Crescendia and waits for the tournament to begin. When all entrants have been approved, the tournament starts. All competitors drink as much wine as they can and then they beat the tar out of each other with their fists until nobody is left standing. The crowd chooses a winner based on who drank the most while fighting the hardest. The winner from each hall is given gifts by the church for their fighting spirit and songs are sung of their glorious combat for the following years.
Entering in the Tournament – Skill Challenge for Both Heroic and Paragon Tier
Player Characters Wishing to Join the Tournament need but wait outside one of the Halls of Crescendia on the night of the tournament, if they choose to compete in one of the main cities, such as Val’sata or any other city along the coast, the challenge becomes paragon tier as the opponents are greater in number and more powerful than those located in the farmlands. They must strip themselves of all armor, weapons, and magic items. They then engage in a complex skill challenge to see who if they can be victorious.
Number Entrants: 5 in heroic tier and 10 in paragon tier.
Base Skill Ranks for non-player entrants 10 for Heroic tier combatants and 17 for Paragon entrants.
Complexity Level 6 (something i made up)
The first part of this skill challenge is the drinking component. The Player must make a series of endurance tests to see how many drinks they can put away. The DC of the Endurance Check starts at 15 in heroic tier and 20 in Paragon tier. Each time the player succeeds on one of these checks, the player suffers a cumulative -2 penalty to further skill checks during the tournament for endurance, athletics, and acrobatics. The player keeps making endurance checks until they have failed 6 times. The number of times they succeeded is recorded. While the player is doing this, the DM is doing this as well for each entry into the combat.
Once the drinking portion of the skill challenge is complete, the player enters into drunken combat. The athletics skill is used to attack other competitors, endurance is used to defend against their attacks, and acrobatics checks are used to gain crowd favor. The player can attempt to perform at most three acrobatics attempts during the combat. If the player is attacked, he must make an opposed endurance check against the opponent. I fhe attacks someone else, the same is true in reverse. The fight lasts until all combatants have failed 6 checks. Every time the player succeeds on a check, he records that. The DM records all successes for the other combatants. When the fight is over, the combatant with the most amounts of successes in both the drinking portion and fighting portion is declared the winner.
Rewards for winning the tournament are left up to the DM’s discretion, however they should be both tangible in the form of gold or magic items, as well as non-tangible such as fame, or friends within the higher ranks of the church (in the case of paragon tier).
Story Teller’s Eve
Although Crescendia favors song, she is just as keen to hear a good story as sing one. On Story Teller’s Eve, the Singing Wells fall silent for the only time each year. Bards from all around the world gather around the wells to tell stories of daring, legends of bravery, and tales of horror. On Story Teller’s Eve, Crescendia sits inside her den listening to every story told by every bard in her country. At dawn, when all the stories have finished, Crescendia herself, sings a song to the bard who told the greatest story. More than one bard has fainted and nearly died of pure joy from hearing the goddess praise him so highly. The names of these bards are hung in the Stringer School and the excellence of their abilities is praised for eternity. It is said that winners of the tournament are often visited personally by the goddess in the future.
Telling A Story - The Story Teller’s Eve event is an epic level skill challenge of complexity 4. The player can make use of Bluff, Diplomacy, and any knowledge based skills in order to weave the story and win over the crowd. The DC of each check is34. The player should be encouraged to role play out his story before the other players in the party. The player must make 10 successes before 5 failures. If he is successful, he is considered victorious by the goddess and she sings a song praising him of his tale. The goddess will also appear before him on the following day to meet him in person.
In the next part i'll post up player backgrounds for people from Bakanoria as well as some of the organizations. Stay tuned for part 3!