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There's more than just worms under your feet
Attributes: You love the land. You’ve put your life into it, even hinged your life on it. You’re a farmer who lives and dies by how you tend the land. Or a mountain man who lives on what food he can find, and is thankful for every meal the land gives him. Or even a hunter-gatherer of the deepest Amazon, one of those whose never even heard of “subsistence farming”, much less “crop rotation”, but uses everything he kills, and doesn’t take more than he can use. Within your native land you know every bump, gully, spring, and tree.
And the land loves you back. You can see it shiver at your touch, you can hear its call. Your relationship is commensal,, you help it, it helps you. You are a man of the land (or an Earth Mother, this is not a gender-limited thing). When the Earth is healthy, you’re happy. When the Earth hurts, you feel it, too. While your power is most concentrated in your native land, you’re by no means powerless outside of your Home Range.
Symbols: The farmer’s hoe, the Earth symbol (Circle with crossed lines inside), the globe, the smudge of dirt across a brow and in the hair on the back of the hands, the very Earth itself.
Masks: Gaia (Greek), Mokos (Slavic), Prthivi (Vedic), Demeter (Greek), Zemepates (Lithuanian), Cain and Abel (Judeo-Christian), Nisse (Scandinavian), Consus (Roman), Tammuz (Sumero-Babylonian), Paul Bunyan (North America)
Suspected Avatars in History: That old ugly guy in the painting “American Gothic”, Bigfoot, Johnny Appleseed, the Jersey Devil, and there have been some Amish ones, but they don’t get out much.
Taboo: Damaging the land permanently. Sure, you can till some fields. You can shave your face or use one of them fancy “exfoliating” scrubs, can’t you? But get a backhoe or dynamite out, and it’s just like cutting off your nose. It’ll probably hurt as much. Want to commit suicide? Take up strip-mining. But it’s not just you, buddy. Any human-inflicted damage to your land hurts you, too. Men of the Land tend to dislike other people for this reason. Take on more of the hurt to protect your land if you want.
Channels: The radius of your home range is equal to your avatar skill in miles. If you’re outside of your Home Range, you roll at a -30%, so long as you’re not airborne or, even worse, in orbit. Leave planet Earth and your avatar skill is gone.
1-50%: The land shares itself with you. On a successful roll of your avatar skill you can sense the presence of intruders on your land, feel their footsteps as though they walked on your skin, and hear they voices in your own ears. The woodsmen of fairy tales always seemed to show up at the right place at the right time in their woods. There’s a reason for that.
51-70%: Blend in to the scenery. No longer do you merely sense your land’s changes, it wraps you in itself. While within your territory you may substitute your Avatar skill for any appropriate stealth or camouflage skill, allowing you to effortless blend in while on your land.
71-90%: The land does your bidding for brief periods. Temporary changes can be made. Need a chasm over there? A pond? Sure. But it won’t last more than a few minutes, so push people in quickly. Minor changes (plants growing, small changes in topography) are made permanently. The land loves you so much it’ll hurt itself. But don’t kick a dog too often, if you know what I mean.
91+%: The land provides for you as you need it, bringing to you whatever you find yourself wanting. Meanwhile, you can bring to it what it needs most: rain, sunshine, and all that. Or bad weather, if you’re like that. But remember about kicking dogs.
Owen | profile | Oct 02, 04 | 10:35 pm
Hi everybody, please take it easy on me, I'm rather new at this (er, this is my first one). Any advice, comments, etc. are much appreciated, and I apologize for it being anglo-centric, I'm not all that boned up on other cultures' agricultural myths. Many thanks to PD for his advice and input!
Owen | profile | Oct 02, 04 | 10:37 pm
Ok, some input: It's tricky, you try to squeeze in both a farmer and a hunter in the same avatar here, I think you should diversify. The hunter already exists, so make this a farmer, most of what's not so good about this stems from this confusion.
Mattias | profile | Oct 04, 04 | 4:19 am
Actually, I've met enough french, scottish and welsh farmers to know that this is good and works mainly.
Miniature Wicker Zombu | profile | Oct 04, 04 | 9:23 am
The taboo, though appropriate, is pretty easy. Not hard to follow. In fact, you would have to go out of your way to break it.
Perhaps the taboo could be:
Mr Unlucky | profile | Oct 04, 04 | 6:18 pm
I like this a lot...not as a pc avatar but as an npc avatar.. this reminds me of no small number of poorly writen horror flicks were the bad guy seemed to always know where everyone was and could move accrost his land hidden. I think that in place of having him temprorarily change the land allow him to teleport around his land, or perhapse to not be hurt as easily on it...
vagina = fun! | profile | Oct 21, 04 | 10:52 pm