Private Sanctuary 279 – Create Demiplane: Races in the Demiplane

Returning to the Private Sanctuary for another exciting installment of their Create Demiplane series, this week Alex and Anthony discuss various races and their cultures in the demiplane!

Listen Here!

You Decide!

After listening to Episode 269, come back here and vote in the comments section about what other racial cultures should exist on the demiplane, if any. Leave your comments below, and we’ll reply to them on the next episode of Create Demiplane! Next time, we’re planning on talking about cities and nations, but after this episode its impossible to tell whether we’ll stick with that plane or get drawn off on another tangent. Literally ANYTHING you say could influence what we talk about next time!

Create Demiplane Thus Far ….

  • A quick summary of our Demiplane after Episode 279.
  • “Subartic Plane” – Everything has been frozen over by ice and snow. No sunlight. Think Alaska in the dead of winter, year-round.
  • Major Deity — Codename “Flame Deity.” True Neutral. Major Deity. Has the following domains: Community, Healing, Fire, Protection, and SCALYKIN (You Decide winner!).
  • Settlements are “fueled” by dragons; their fire keeps the settlements running.
  • Primarily Red and Golds. Need mortals to build them shelters because red/gold dragons are vulnerable to cold and would eventually die without a place to retreat to.
  • Dragons are seen by mortals as avatars/children of the Major Fire Deity. Governments are theocracies with the settlement’s dragons acting as rulers.
  • New settlements are given an egg and a group of clerics to act as the wyrmling’s regents. The clerics have full power over the new settlement until the dragon reaches Adulthood (101 years).
  • Dragon flames provide heat and light for living, cooking, and growing food.
  • Silver and white dragons are in the setting; don’t know about other colors.
  • Dragon Alignment isn’t set in stone; dragons tend towards their bestiary alignments, but their alignment is overall fluid.
  • Magma dragons are forces of nature and aren’t commonly used for settlements. One, maybe two known examples. (Thought: Forge city with magma dragon in a massive furnace.)
  • Brass dragons are also city dwellers. Together, a brass and a gold dragon might have forced reds into the current symbiotic arrangement.
  • Whooly Rhinocerraptors are a major danger. Need to figure out what they eat.
  • Less powerful, domestic rhinoceraptors exist. They are primary mounts / modes of travel.
  • Cosmic Covenant: Clerics worship gods to get the powers they need to survive, plus have to service dragons.
  • Lots of draconic sorcerers and bloodragers.
  • Wizardry isn’t necessarily hated, but isn’t well liked. Maybe there’s a city of wizards that is trying to break the status quo?
  • Undead have their own cities. Ravener who makes you kill yourself to serve him. Isolationist lich who isn’t having any of your stuff. The cold weather basically insta-mummifies undead for you.
  • Ravener Dragon City is bad-ass.
  • Mesmerist controlling a young dragon for petty self-indulgence. Occultists often uses draconic implements and are thusly hated. Psychics sort of ignored. Kineticists are either feared (water) or taken by the state (fire).
  • “Underdark” that’s like Ice Age. Sheets of ice allow sunlight through. “The Land that Time Forgot.”
  • How did mortals get here? Is this actually a demiplane?
  • Bernie Sanders analog NPC. “We need to ban together against the dragons.” He’s petitioning his LG dragon for equal rights.
  • The Frigid Expanse
  • More bad guys that are gnomes.
  • Evil dragons keeping people illiterate so there’s no wizards. Opposed to the liches.
  • magic storms that short out endure elements
  • Name = a word that means “blizzard”?
  • Races
    • Dwarves – Best snow sleds ever. Greedy for dragon gold. Steam-boiled engines. Big into alchemy? Dwarven raiders? Dwarven tradition is bad for health, so dwarves adapted so much that they threw their traditions out of the window. “We ain’t gonna bow to no dirty stinkin’ dragons!”
    • Elves – Don’t need the dragons. Aloof; generally don’t interact with people because they don’t need to. Elves have cities that sit on top of snowstorms. Dragons and elves have a treaty that the elven cities have to keep moving so they don’t devastate the region. People hate when they come to town of result.Their storms are decades long. People blame snowstorms on elves as a result. Elves and humans think the other are jerks. Areas with elf cities over them always have snowfall, ranging from flurries to whiteout conditions. Eye of the storm is the WORST because elf city blocks out the sun.
    • Gnomes’ fey ties allow them to exist in the cold independently of the dragons.
    • ‘goblins are a myth. hobgoblins too.
    • Halflings make the crops / farm. They make and maintain greenhouses to live their lavish hobbit hole lifestyles. Druids?Above the politics of dragons and men. No one messes with them as a result.They give food rations. (Halflings are predominant, but other races can be druids.) Halfling towns are sanctuaries against wars. Halfling diplomats. Generally independent of dragons. Maybe Sovereign dragons team up with them? They live in the “lands that time forgot?” Halfling dinosaur riders?
    • Kobolds have a strong tie to dragons.They’re like little minions. Heralds / eyes and ears / sneaky filtching.Craven little jerks.
    • Orcs are the new drow. The orcs went underground when the snows hit. The orcs can be the Morlocks of our demiplane; combo of drow and derro. Not all completely dumb. Orcs go out of their way to get humans to make half-orcs. Orcs have gold and dragons want it, so people trade with or attack orcs for their gold. Underworld dragons rob them. They want half-orcs; they’re very valued. Some cities trade humans for their “children.” Half-orcs that fail to live up to orc expectations are exiled or worse.
    • Samsarans the Graybeards
    • Skinwalkers Werewolf/Wererhinociiraptor/Werebear – Tribes exist and are generally bad news (sans werebear). Skinwalkers have were-ancestor familie. Werewolves infect, rhinociraptors are apex, werebears are lumberjacks (and they’re okay).
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  1. Dean Jones

    Re the possible city of wizards

    You previously mentioned that Hallow can be cast with Endure Elements attached to it, which might allow a small settlement to survive even without a dragon.

    The Spell Sage archetype wizard ability Spell Study allows a wizard to expend 2 spell slots to spontaneously cast from the Druid, Cleric or bard list.

    A level 10 wizard can set up a 40ft radius area that you can live in for a year using a 10 round ritual.

  2. Dean Jones

    Suggestion for a possible, scary-wary dire threat race: Wyrwood.

    They’re constructs, so they don’t care at all about the cold. They’re not even really alive, so they’re very, very ‘other’ and their most appropriate classes are rogues, making them sneaky, and wizard, which makes them unpopular in the setting because wizards = bad.

    Questions: where’d the materials come from to make them? Well, at least it limits their reproduction.

  3. Chris Carlson

    Okay, hear me out. Centaurs. Go look at like those huge draft horses with all the extra fur and it’s perfect for the ice setting.

    Also, i like the tribes of weres but i think limiting it to three isn’t necessary. You can have werewolves and Werebears and werewollyrhinocraptors and that’s fine but what about weretigers? I live in Minnesota, so as close as our world gets to this Demiplane, and siberian tigers love our zoo year round. White furred weretigers. Also reskin wererats to werelemmings (they don’t actually run off cliffs that was done on purpose to the lemmings in order to film them dying) and are perfect for this land.

    Fryst is the word frozen in icelandic, and Norwegian and Swedish, and i think it’s perfect for the Demiplane. (Also its the first world you guys have made)

    On that subject, i don’t think it should be an actual demiplane. I always took the “create Demiplane” as a cool name to represent worldbuilding as a subject matter. I’ve always taken create Demiplane as a way for villans to make crazy extraplanar lairs. Not for a world like Fryst. Fryst feels much more involved and complicated. That said it could be the icy prison plane of the dragon god and all dragons that are here only showed up with the gods froze the planet and trapped the fire dragon god in the center of the planet.

  4. Lewis Teegarden

    skinwalkers – 2 words – Snow leopards.

    I had a cool thought about the Halflings, expanding on the “Neutral Druid above the politics of the dragons” living in their hot-house farming domes. Give them a French Foreign Legion (without the military trappings) group. Anyone who can make it to one of the farms is given sanctuary. No matter what their past, they are taken in and given new identities in exchange for service. In the new Arcane Anthology book there is a feat called “Nameless One”. After an 8 hour ritual, the character “eschews all of her former identities, going as far as to render her former name completely inaccessible by mortal means.” This could be coupled with a Geas to prevent the person from betraying the Druid community. Tie it all together into ritual that the person must agree to freely.

    It gives the Druids a group of laborers to help with the fields, and an out for anyone who needs to hide themselves from the Dragon’s.

    • Lewis Teegarden

      wow… I guess pointing out “Nameless one” to you was a little silly… I just realized that you wrote the feat…

      Love that book by the way, especially the Jatembe stuff.

  5. Christopher Eich

    Are there any large bodies of water? Oceans, lakes, ect? If yes, who, if anyone, is fishing on them?
    Lakes I could see being done by anyone, since all you need is a hand auger and a pole. Arctic fishing is a bit more dangerous. Think “deadliest catch”, without all the modern equipment. That might actually be a decent tie-in for Gillmen, or maybe Merfolk. Seriously though, in a land of ice and snow, the freezing cold ocean is a pretty big point that you didn’t even touch on.
    Personal biases compel me to bring up Ghorans. They could work with the halfling druid circles to produce a reliable food source, in the ghorans own bodies. The ghorans can plant their new seeds and have the halflings sell the corpses (or pieces of them that don’t LOOK like corpses) while the new ghoran grows.

    So besides the playable races and woolly rhinoceraptor, what creatures inhabit the world? Are undead particularly prevalent?

    Also, I tend to agree with Chris Carlson’s view regarding the (demi)plane. It feels like the scope of the whole thing has gone past demiplane into full out plane, even if it’s a relatively small one.

  6. Antariuk

    Pretty much agree with the above comments on races (especially the Wyrwood, great idea!), so I’ll stick to the demiplane “problem” and the underdark.

    Making this frozen world a demiplane vs. a real plane is more than semantics because a real plane might not fit into a homebrewed cosmology (especially a tightly constructed one such as the Dark Sun cosmology, since you guys mentioned that setting), and even in a Planescape game the GM might be hesitant to throw in yet another complete plane with gates or portals and everything. With a demiplane you don’t have this problem because, as Alex said, you can just have it appear randomly without the need to think through all the cosmological ramifications.

    In terms of size, make it big enough to be spectacular by demiplane standards! If the size goes beyond what most spellcasters will be able to do, how is that not awesome? Make it part of the demiplane’s metaplot that one could still find some relics or secrets there about the construction process that would allow a PC spellcaster to drastically increase the size of a demiplane (but only once).

    Also, the demiplane could have been through a dramatic evolution itself and maybe wasn’t a frozen world when created. Just as a random string of thoughts, how about this: it was created by a powerful kitsune (Alex fanservice) wizard as a place of research and contemplation, but then she died on another plane and centuries later word got out among high-level beings that there is a demiplane up for grabs. In the end, three beings made the race: a malevolent spirit from the borderlands between the elemental plane of water and the negative energy plane, an ancient time dragon, and an epic fey druid, each of them accompanied by an entourage of followers. They battled for this place and unleashed ridiculous amounts of energy, but destroyed the entire demiplane in the process. The time dragon used its time-travelling powers to gain an advantage in the final battle, but he only succeeded on his third (and last) attempt when he decided that instead of fighting the spirit and the fey, he would support the spirit and get rid of it afterwards and claim victory. So he got back in time and provided the spirit with all his arcane energies, but the entire thing blew up in his face: the spirit, malevolent as it was, used all the power at once to meld its essence with the demiplane and changed the climate (and the planar traits) to an eternal, evil winter. The fey druid killed in the proces along with most of her creatures, but a few elves, wolves, and other animals survived and managed to adapt to the harsh environment. The time dragon found out that he and his followers were trapped in this place, unable to ever leave it because they had spend all their energies. He instructed his follower dragons to watch over the mortals and vanished into the wilderness, maybe to one day return and restore the plane to it’s former state.

    As for the underdark, I really like the idea of a fiery, hellish place instead of the tired old cliché with moist caves full of drow and mushrooms. Maybe take a note from Eberron and make it a really weird, surreal place that has weird effects on its visitors because it is so close to the demiplane’s borders. Psychic magic could be more powerful down there because it’s a place where the nightmares and the evil thoughts of mortal races gather and pool and become some kind of warped, hellish reality.

  7. Bastille

    I am late to the party.

    For names, I like the words glacier and barrens.

    1. Glacia (glay-see-ya or glay-shee-ya, put the accent on glay or see/shee)
    2. The Shivering Barrens


    The bedrock of the plane is a tapestry of frozen white dragon scales that have been weaved together by ancient Samsaran architects. Painted on the expansive scaly sheet, is a living mosaic that displays the foretelling drama of the inhabitants moment by moment. Only those who dig deep under the hardened scurf of snow, can scry into the events on the surface.

    Temples with deep icy caverns might provide access to these moving pictures.

  8. Bastille

    Roaming bands of Half-Yeti Skalds
    They’re sonorous howls breach the frozen expanse with haunting melodies.
    – They hate Dwarves
    – They eat Halflings
    – Frozen drool weaponry that impales on every bite
    – Their howls are mind affecting only if a band howls together
    – Thick natural armor
    – They use the wooly rhinocoraptors as mounts

    Half-Yeti magic for the Half-Yeti Shaman or Druid:
    – They can build and animate Snowyetis or snow golems
    – They can animate any creature sculpted with snow
    – Ritual magic requires the use of different kinds of snow
    – They seek blizzards, a source of power

  9. Hi guys, great show, really enjoyed the different takes on the core races (especially the elves).

    I agree with Aasimar/Tieflings, but what about the elemental planetouched? The undine could be modified to be more aligned with ice and snow. Instead of the Elemental (Water) Bloodline, they would be instead be tied to the Boreal Bloodline, and would be able to move normally over snow or ice rather than having a swim speed. If you wanted to take it a step further and make this a race in its own right, you could even reverse the ability modifiers (+2 Str/-2 Dex) to represent a big, stoic race. Since they have cold resistance, they could be another alternative culture to that of the dragon-centric civilizations that you have along with those of the three skinwalker tribes.

    Anyway, looking forward to how this shapes out!

  10. James Vance

    You should make Christmas something the elves bring.

    • Alex Augunas

      If by “Christmas,” you mean, “Frigid blasts of arctic snow and ice that can freeze a man alive if he isn’t careful,” then sure. Christmas.