[1:03 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Eyo everybody! I’m Mark Evegaars, creator and main writer of the Lugon, The Grand Cross of Four project. This is our first TTRPG project and it’s shaping up to be an epic and big one! Lots of content and very talented artists giving us their support! Looking forward to this Q&A, thanks for having me! Lugon is a setting we’re developing for DnD5e and PF1e, with more systems getting unlocked as stretch goals down the line. It focuses on combining ecology, evolution and magic into one whole, building everything from the ground up. ‘Magic did it’ isn’t a good enough answer! (done)
[1:04 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Thanks, @Mark | The Lugon Project! The floor is open to questions!
[1:05 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Can you give us an overview of the setting? To what degree does it resemble the “traditional” D&D-style high fantasy world?
[1:10 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: In essence, it’s a high-fantasy setting but with a more thought-out basis in the creature and biology department. The vibe is quite similar to a D&D style world, but the races are unique with some great ecology and development behind them, which we found was sometimes lacking in D&D-like splatbooks. In that same regard, a lot of traditional fantasy monsters that don’t really make sense are largely absent or changed. Creatures will have a reason why they have certain magical abilities, be it through organs or symbiosis with another creature, for example. This also transfers to the races and their buildings/cultures. The Cloudiz (a mermaid-like race with flyingfish wings) have taverns/inns that combine both land and aquatic seats for a unique style. Magic also works differently. It’s a substance in Lugon, with energy/effect that life will have to adapt to. A significant event called ‘the Saturation’ made it so magic got even more out of hand, making normal magic casting difficult. But life will adapt and prevail!
[1:11 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Interesting! Can you tell us about your PC races?
[1:17 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Sure thing! There are 11 in total, with them being broadly divided in two groups: The Natural Races and the Hybrid Races. Basically, the Natural Races are older and do not possess innate magical abilities. The Hybrid Races are variants of them that have adapted to the ambient magic, using it in their physiology to gain an evolutionary advantage. Humans are in the setting, for example. They are a Natural race. The Cloudiz that I mentioned before are adapted from them, with them being adapted to mangrove-like areas (hence the swimming and flying adaptations they have). Other Natural Races would be the Lon, a mountainside-dwelling folk with fur on their extremities for isolation, or the Vysari, forest-dwelling folk with longer arms and elongated feet so they walk on their toes (think dog-like) for greater mobility through the treetops. Another Hybrid Race would be the Tana, who are tree-like folk. They can photosynthesise to stay alive in areas where there isn’t a lot of normal food to go around.
[1:17 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: I could post some pics if that would be nice?
[1:18 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Certainly!
[1:18 PM]Si Todd: Gorgeous
[1:19 PM]Si Todd: These are lovely
@Si ToddThese are lovely[1:19 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Cheers! We’re very proud of them. They’re so pretty!
[1:20 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Indeed they are.
[1:20 PM]Dan the GMshoe: I like the fact that the Yrus have wings that are of a size that makes sense.
[1:21 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Yep! That was one of the requirements. Also, the Cloudiz’ smaller wings in comparison to the Yrus mean they are less graceful flyers than the Yrus for example.
[1:23 PM]Si Todd: Have you drawn on any real world folklore for these creatures
[1:26 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Sometimes, yes. The Lon have drawn a bit from the parts of Dwarven folklore that makes sense (turns out being small is rather beneficial in mountains!), while removing the elements that didn’t quite fit. Same with the Cloudiz. We’ve given them a very elusive and somewhat mysterious edge, reminiscent of a siren. A bit less lethal though. And with a greater emphasis on trust when you finally get in their good graces.
[1:26 PM]Dan the GMshoe: What are the other Natural Races?
[1:29 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: We’ve got: – The Humans (Rather self-explanatory) – The Lon (See the picture above, mountain-side dwellers) – The Vysari, Forest dwellers with a sly strong build focused on mobility within a forested environment. – The Jiyt, Plains dwellers that are very tall and sturdy, around 2.5 meters in length. The plains have high grass on them, so they grew to be able to look over the foliage to spot potential predators. They’re nomadic in nature, so they also have quite high endurance.
[1:32 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Do you have pics of the Vysari and the Jiyt?
[1:34 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Unfortunately, I do not. It’s part of the plan for the KS to get them. They’re part of the base tier. If we get it funded, they’ll get their own art, together with some of the other races that didn’t get one yet in this style. I do have some other races from other artists though (they are in different styles though than the others)!
[1:35 PM]Dan the GMshoe: That’d be great!
[1:37 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: These are the ones that currently have some sort of art/concept art!
[1:38 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Very nice!
[1:38 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Are there any generally hostile non-PC races? Orc or Goblin equivalents?
[1:46 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: No, not really. Every humanoid race can be hostile, after all. You do have your intelligent or semi-intelligent non-PC enemies. Let me list a couple from the top of my head. – The Called: The result of a magical ritual of zealots of Creation (One of the four forces of the Grand Cross of Four) going wrong. If I have to compare them with something, it would be undead, but instead of dead, they embody Creation. Endlessly healing and growing, searching for sustenance to keep growing. They’ve got a worm inside them that is their core that keeps them whole in this weird state. – Elementals: Elementals are very prevalent in Lugon, due to the way magic and souls work within the setting. They pop up often and are more often than not hostile, unless you’ve got a good reputation with them. – The Bovnaz: When a creature dies, it clings to life. In the rare case that it manages to gather enough magic and substance from the surroundings in which it died, a Bovnaz is born. An embodiment of the area that it spawned in, they are best described as a mix of Fae and Elementals with a sprinkle of Undead-like lore. Bovnaz are not often seen in Lugon, being treated as a myth by the common folk. (edited)
[1:47 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Wow. I can see the thought and love you’ve poured into this.
[1:48 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Haha, thanks! It’s a very large passion project indeed!
[1:48 PM]Dan the GMshoe: What is the Grand Cross of Four?
[1:52 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: The Grand Cross of Four stands for the four forces that are needed to create a world and maintain it. The four sides of the Grand Cross are as follows: – Creation: To create what needs to be put into existence. – Destruction: To destroy what needs to be gone. – Order: To keep the same what the world needs. – Chaos: To change what needs to change in creation. Only one side of the Cross isn’t sufficient. Sheer Creation will lead to overpopulation and wild growth, for example. Sheer Destruction means there will be nothing left. Sheer Order means total stagnation of both good and bad aspects, while Sheer Chaos means that all things are constantly in flux, even the good.
[1:53 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Do these serve as alignment equivalents?
[1:54 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Not necessarily. In the case of Order and Chaos, they line up nicely with Lawful/Chaotic. But Destruction isn’t necessarily evil, nor is Creation necessarily good. So my answer would be ‘partially’.
[1:55 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: I’ve got an early sketch of the Grand Cross, I’ll show it. Does need some polishing up though!
[1:55 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: This one’s a bit clearer with a background.
[1:56 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Is there any significance to the placement of the forces aside from their opposites?
[1:57 PM]Dan the GMshoe: (brb)
[1:57 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Not really. It could as well be tilted. The only thing that has significance in their placement is that they have opposites and they meet somewhat in the middle.
[1:57 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: No problem!
[2:00 PM]CoalCrystal: Are the four forces indicative of how magic works in your setting?
[2:04 PM]Dan the GMshoe: (back)
[2:04 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: They each have their own style that ties in with their theme somewhat, yes. – Destruction –> Chain Magic. Magic that needs to be cast over multiple rounds, getting stronger with each cast. – Creation –> Beacon Magic. Magic that places small buffs on allies, with the caster able to cast greater spells by consuming those buffs. – Chaos –> Flux Magic. A varied school of magic which also brings some penalties for the caster with their first couple of spell slots due to the need to experiment. – Order –> Soul Magic. Powerful but somewhat static, each school is tied to a Mantra. You need to stand in a specific school’s Mantra to cast spells from that school. (edited)
@Dan the GMshoe(back)[2:04 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Welcome back!
[2:04 PM]Dan the GMshoe: (Thanks!)
[2:05 PM]Dan the GMshoe: What classes are available? Does the nature of the setting introduce any new ones or preclude any existing ones?
[2:09 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: In previous versions, there would be some restrictions on classes. But we’ve found ways to incorporate older classes into the setting too, although with some minor caveats in some cases (Bards using the souls of others in their vicinity to buffer the brunt of the impact of casting, for example). It does mean that non-Lugon classes are a bit of a rarity in the setting, which makes them rather interesting to play! Plus, the players are special anyway, right? No problem there! There are also 4 totally new casting classes introduced based on the Grand Cross. Goaler of Frostflame: Destruction Spellguide: Creation Casomancer: Chaos Disciple of Anima: Order
[2:09 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Each of them has their own factions and lore too, so it’s rather fun to delve into if I say so myself!
[2:12 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Can you describe the cosmology of the setting? Are there gods, demons, etc.?
[2:16 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Sure thing! There are Five greater main ‘deity’ like figures in Lugon, called Arals. Arals work slightly differently from traditional gods. They don’t gain power from followers, for example. Moreover they are less omniscient/omnipresent than gods. They created the world and are connected to certain aspects of it, but don’t hold total domination over it. Think of them as construction workers building a skyscraper. They built it, even know how to effectively destroy or change it, but it takes effort. At the top, there’s Hudol, the Aral of Magic. The first soul that came to be after millions of years of random processes. From that first soul came the Four. Terraz, The Aral of Destruction Gwianz, The Aral of Creation Legria, The Aral of Chaos Garebma, The Aral of Order (edited)
[2:17 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: There are many lesser Arals, but outside of about 5 examples in the book those are left vague. The more specific an Aral, the less powerful it is. So if a player wants to worship an Aral of Squirrels, go for it!
[2:17 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Gives the players and GMs some leeway and makes some sense in-setting. The Aral of Death would be a sub-Aral of Terraz, for example. (edited)
[2:19 PM]Dan the GMshoe: How big a factor do good and evil play in the setting? Is morality as objective as it is in “standard” D&D settings?
[2:22 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: They don’t factor in a whole lot. There’s a lot of grey area involved. The main villain of one of Lugon’s campaigns, called Vorn Stavin (I’ve been running two groups in Lugon at the same era, but on different sides of the main continent for the past 4.5 years, great fun!) is somebody that has Lugon’s benefit at heart, but goes at it in such a way that he has to be stopped (think Thanos, but this guy was there first!). Everybody can be good or evil, so I chose to not focus on that conundrum too much in the setting itself. Might change when more Lugon adventures are released though!
[2:24 PM]Dan the GMshoe: So you don’t use alignments in this setting?
[2:25 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Not specifically outside the basics laid down by the systems themselves (Pathfinder and DnD for now, in this case).
[2:26 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Lawful and Chaotic are use a bit more often though due to them being intrinsic to the setting.
[2:27 PM]Dan the GMshoe: What is the setting’s paladin equivalent like?
[2:29 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: A paladin can either follow a certain ideal (like DnD5e does it) or follow an Aral. The paladin class itself is playable within Lugon, so there’s not really a need for another class. The most often-seen paladins would follow one of the Four though, or follow Hudol (which makes them Paladins of Magic). The ones that follow Hudol are those that keep the balance as a whole in mind and fight for that, as well as being the more studious ones of the bunch.
[2:31 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Can you tell us some more about the way the nature of magic in this setting affects spellcasting?
[2:39 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Sure thing! Hoping this would come up. In Lugon, magic is a substance full of energy that can be manipulated by your willpower/soul. Think of the ambient magic in your environment as wind and your character as a sailing boat. When casting, they harness the wind in their sails to move forward. This is the way traditional casting works. But a catastrophic event, called the Saturation, changed this. True to its name, it saturated Lugon with magic. Now that wind is no longer just wind but a hurricane. Putting up your sail would tear it to shreds –> destroying your soul. So different ways were invented to circumvent this. Life will adapt and find a way, this is no different. Chain magic starts with a small sail that doesn’t catch as much wind, then increases the size as they speed up so the strain is less. Beacon magic starts with putting up small sails, then putting up a massive one once they’ve gained speed. Soul magic keeps the sail but fortifies it immensely at the cost of maneuverability. It holds, but it can steer only with immense effort. Flux magic experiments with the sail, tearing it in a controlled manner and fortifying it to see what sticks. Eventually, they arrive at a solution that works, but until then they have some trouble. The old classes have similar caveats in play. Some examples: – Wizards use their spellbook to catch the brunt of the stress casting brings. – Warlocks use their powerful patron to lessen the blow. – Clerics are similar to Warlocks, but have the Arals’ help instead.
[2:41 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Do you stick with some variation of Vancian magic?
[2:41 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: With the new classes or for the old ones?
[2:44 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: The new classes do use spell slots, but have their own quirks, so it’s not 100% Vancian magic. The old classes keep their old mechanics, so they do have the trusty old Vancian mechanics.
[2:45 PM]Dan the GMshoe: What are some examples of the quirks you mentioned?
[2:47 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Chain magic for example ramps up in power, so it rewards starting slow (cantrips-level) and working your way up to higher-powered spells. Increasing your Chain, which is a sort of combo system if you’d like. Soul Magic has spell-slots, but each Mantra has their own mini-pool of spell-slots. The quirk is that it takes time to switch Mantras, so you’ve got to plan accordingly.
[2:49 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: If I might suggest a nice little something to show: How about some monsters and biology stuff?
[2:50 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Certainly!
[2:50 PM]Dan the GMshoe: I’d be particularly interested in what your dragons are like, if they exist.
[2:51 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Dragon are a tough case. I am planning some, but as they are, they tend to make little sense with their abilities and/or flight capabilities. As such, we don’t have any Lugonese dragons yet. They are on the list to craft though!
[2:54 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: I do have some other neat creatures though! The Tovar: A huge flightless bird with spikes on it’s elbows for both defense and mating purposes. Has glands in its skin that transfer the energy of the magic surrounding it to its cells, granting it immense stamina in a pinch.
[2:55 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Heh. Those spikes look like wing-mounted machine guns.
[2:56 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: The Lararhn: A mix between a wolf and a large cat, possessing a mane of silvery hair that has evolved to generate static electricity. Organs in its neck also help with generating a charge, using the static and magic to allow it to dish out electrically charged bites and shock potential attackers that make contact.
@Dan the GMshoeHeh. Those spikes look like wing-mounted machine guns. [2:56 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Hahaha, dang it, now I can’t unsee that!1
[2:58 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: One last mythical-tier creature/NPC! Lady Zahanna: An experiment from before the Saturation, Lady Zahanna is an amalgamation of insectoid and arachnid parts. However, despite her appearance, she’s a benevolent entity, wanting only to help and heal. Which she does in rather disturbing ways (stingers with healing venom, tendrils underneath the patient’s skin, you name it).
[2:59 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: This is not her true form, btw. Her true form is far less humanoid and way more Eldritch Horror. She takes this form to not scare would-be allies and friends. She can only keep this form for a limited time though, and she yearns to find a way to permanently look like this.1
[3:00 PM]Dan the GMshoe: In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[3:01 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: I think we covered most basic subjects! And the things we haven’t covered are subjects I can talk multiple hours about, haha. (edited)
[3:01 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: (Alchemy… Poultices… Rituals… Boons… etc. etc.) (edited)
[3:02 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Well, you’re always welcome to hang out with us and to discuss such topics at your leisure.
[3:03 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Haha, I will! If people are interested in a more in-depth look behind the curtains, I’d be more than willing.1
[3:03 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Thanks very much for joining us, @Mark | The Lugon Project! (edited)
[3:03 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Usual reminder: If you’ve enjoyed this Q&A and would like to treat me to a coffee or two, you can do so at https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe. Anything’s appreciated! Ko-fiBuy Dan Davenport a Coffee. ko-fi.com/gmshoeBecome a supporter of Dan Davenport today! ❤️ Ko-fi lets you support the creators you love with no fees on donations.
[3:04 PM]Dan the GMshoe: If you’ll give me a minute here, I’ll get the log posted and link you!
[3:04 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: Thank you very much for having me! If you want to support Lugon, here’s the link to our Kickstarter! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/aralofcreation/the-iugon-the-grand-cross-of-four-projectKickstarterThe WandererThe Lugon, The Grand Cross of FourA unique and thrilling high-fantasy setting for use with DnD 5e and Pathfinder 1e. Combining evolution, ecology, and epic magic!
[3:04 PM]Mark | The Lugon Project: We can use all the help we can get!