Tuesday, September 30, 2014

About anarchy outreach

Not too long ago I went out to lunch with a long time friend and after catching up we talked about a little philosophy. He was interested in anarchist philosophy that I had been reading but had a lot of hesitation about the idea of a society without a government. This being my first time trying to convince someone of anarchy who wasn't already predisposed to the idea, I had a good deal of trouble and it ended up being slightly awkward. I approached it in a way of trying to clear away his objections to the idea of an anarchist society one by one, but got stuck on trying to convince him how defense would work in a free society. I got flustered and did not effectively explain how a free society could provide for defense.

After thinking about the approach I ended up taking, I would like to try a different tact in the future. Instead of trying to convince him directly that anarchy is the best system, I think I should have approached the problem by showing him, first of all, that governments currently do a bad job at providing defense and then that government will not improve. Going about it the way I did was sort of like trying to convince someone to take chemo-therapy without first showing them that, hey, they have cancer and also that the pills they think are helping are actually laced with arsenic. Trying to show that a free society would work based on my ideas and views runs directly counter to a free society’s lack of rulers and deciders. It is better to approach the problem by showing that the current system does not and cannot work, and then to state clearly how one possible solution could function when they ask for a solution and evidence.

  1. Listen to their concerns. Whether it is defense, the poor, education, or scientific research; I know I will never reach through to anyone unless I can first understand what their most pressing concerns are and show empathy with those goals.
  2. Show how governments ignore those concerns. I know that no one will ever be open to an idea of a free society if it requires them to give up on a cause that is very important to them. The idea of solving problems must be decoupled from the idea of government action.
  3. Offer free society solution examples and evidence. People are rational and want to see evidence and a cohesive theory for the alternative I am proposing. I see real world examples all around. Examples will help build their confidence in anarchist theory.
  4. Repeat. They will have a list of concerns of descending importance, so I will take the time to approach all of their concerns and questions, even if it means getting a second hot chocolate. I will listen and take to heart their criticisms in order to grow intellectually.

If you are an anarchist/an-cap/agorist/mutualist/… what concerns have you talked to others about and how did it go?

If you are a democrat/libertarian/republican/independent/green/socialist/communist/… what concerns come to your mind when you hear about having a society without a government?


Next time a player asks me about a random book on a shelf in the dungeon, they are going to get 'THIS IS NOT A GRAND UNIFIED THEORY OF SLIME'. Or maybe some eccentric noble will send them on a quest to learn about slime. This is the most 'just the right amount of insanity that might actually be perfect sanity' as anything I've seen.

evil baboons or perhaps mandrills: the five basic colors of slime: featuring THIEF WIZARD infinitestartoad.blogspot.com.au THIS IS NOT A GRAND UNIFIED THEORY OF SLIME the faceless men of JU have a thousa...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Envisioned Eldritch Equipment, etc. (Part VI)

Come around and get yourself some more magic items!

Folded Metal   250
Damascus steel folded in on itself and tempered to a flexible but sharp edge. It improves the quality of the weapon by one and lets it ignores the hardness of normal steel.
Frostbrand     7000
Frigid metal greets the hand holding this magical longsword. Its pommel resembles an icicle, while its crossguard and blade are blanketed in frost. It acts as a +1 longsword that deals an additional 1d6 cold damage and can summon an ice blast five times a day. As part of an attack or by thrusting the blade into the ground, a Frostbrand can summon forth a 10ft radius circle of spiky ice. This acts as difficult terrain and deals 1d4 cold damage for each five feet a creature moves through the area. This effect lasts for five rounds. When the last daily use is exhausted, the weapon returns to room temperature and does not deal cold damage until the next sunset.
Gentle Touch  10000
Named the Gentle Touch by the ‘information experts’ that created it, this simple looking black bullhide sap causes an astounding amount of pain. Instead of its normal damage, it deals 3d6 damage and is a +2 weapon. It gets its name from being completely unable to deal lethal damage, unable to kill anything or even leave bruises, going so far as to stabilize a creature hit with it if that creature is dying.
Glass       1000
A glass weapon is a terrible choice as an offensive weapon, as its quality is very low, making it prone to breaking, decreasing its quality by two. Glass does not hold an edge well, and any glass weapon drops one damage die size. Where glass weapons are useful is that they are excellent foci for touch spells and rays. Touch and ray spells get+1 save DC and +1 damage per die when cast through a glass weapon.
Gold                3000
Golden weapons were once thought to be merely status symbols, the kind of foolish puffery of nobility, until hedgewizards discovered in ancient tomb the first crude golden weapons, created and used by wizards for their power enhancing effects. Non-magical kings likely adopted gold weapons likely in to scaring their subjects with the possibility of powerful magic. The exact method of making such powerful tools were lost, but the idea of using gold alloys to boost spells was rediscovered. Spells cast through gold weapons deal an extra 3 damage.
Greater Elemental  8000
Similar to its lesser counterpart, a Greater Elemental weapon overflows with elemental magic. The strength of this magic is so strong that in addition to dealing an additional 2d6 elemental damage of its type, a greater elemental weapon can also use its affinity to locate strong elemental sources and creatures of that element within 60ft. The effect shows itself as a strong field of its element coating the entirety of the weapon and extending out about 2 inches.

Hammer of the Anarchist      10000
The simple hammer of a commoner, at least until it is held in the hands of someone with purpose and a hatred of Law. Held by someone who hates Law or the rulers of their land, the hammer turns a deep crimson red. It then deals damage as a +2 hammer, and deals triple damage to structures. If it ever strikes someone who has proclaimed their authority over the wielder, like a king, judge, or guard, that person must make a DC 12 WIS save or die. Against those who favor the ruler openly or are Lawful, this weapon does an extra 1d10 damage.
Hammer of Thunderbolts      8000
Rumored to be cheap copies of the weapon of a thunder god, the hammer of thunderbolts charges the air around it. The hammer is heavy, much too heavy to use as a weapon unless the wielder has meditated with the hammer and become attuned. It is a +1 hammer that deals an additional 1d6 shock damage. It can be thrown to great effect, traveleing up to 20 feet, and dealing 1d6 electricity and 1d6 sonic damage within 10ft of the target. It returns to its wielders’ hand at the end of the round.
Heart Mender  20000
Made of a single young willow sapling, and the magically preserved spirit of springtime, this flexible quarterstaff is a +2 weapon with an extended reach of 15 ft. that heals instead of harms when it strikes a target that has less than half their hit points remaining.
Heated    4000
A weapon enchanted this way is almost too hot to touch. Metal weapons retain a deep red glow to them while wooden weapons appear charred and flake off small embers. A heated weapon deals an additional 1d6 fire damage and showers the enemy with embers and soot, engulfing them in a non-magical fire.
Holy Avenger  20000
Immaculate. Pure. Platnum handled. Pearl and diamond studed. Holy weapons such as these are only born from the kindest of deeds from the noblest and most humble of hearts. First seen when a small congregation of one hundred pilgrims of Pelor were beset upon by a horde of demons and undead, the clubs and rocks they clutched became true weapons, touched by Pelor’s blessing. To this day, it is rumored that only one hundred of these weapons exist in the world, and are called from the hands of one good soul to another when their need is great. It acts as a +3 weapon, deals an additional 2d8 radiant damage to undead and evil outsiders, and can be called upon to smite a foe three times per day, each one called by shouting one of Pelor’s three nicknames: the Sun, the Light, and the Protector. Smiting a foe adds damage to your blows equal to your total number of hit dice until the beginning of your next turn. A Holy Avenger cannot be wielded by evil creatures.
Hungry    750
“Empty. Hungry. *Snarl*” are shouted in the mind of the wielder when they pick up a bloodthirsty weapon. Trying to put it down takes a bit of work, and when you do let go of it, it falls away with a *pop*. Bloodthirsty weapons have a barbaric intelligence, one that is thankfully not self-aware. Striking with such a weapon deals an additional 1d6 damage, but when it does so, the weapon also bites its wielder for 1 damage.

Ice Javelin     400
A chilly javelin that when thrown turns to ice and deals cold damage to a small area around the target, 1d6 cold damage in a 5 ft. radius. It turns that area into difficult terrain for 1 round. It returns to being a normal javelin once the icy patch melts. It can turn to ice one time each day.
Inconspicuous       500
An inconspicuous weapon is one in a large category of different weapons. These include everything from items that function as weapons, those that have hidden weapons, weapons that are concealed as other objects, or other concealed-weapon type devices of a similar nature. Such weapons are easy to hide and give advantage on sleight of hand to hide or conceal them. While other weapons might be disguised or re-purposed, inconspicuous weapons are designed especially for that purpose and take no penalties nor are they slow to the draw. Inconspicuous weapons grant advantage on the first attack made in combat if it was previously in its inconspicuous form.

Inquisitor's Censer      4000
Long, thick black iron chains bind a screaming face motif ball to the metal rod handle. Carved intricately along the chains is a long mantra against sin. When swung or used in battle, the +1 flail will emit a noxious incense. Striking a foe will splatter this incense upon them, which makes it impossible for them to speak or cast spells for 1 round, as the mist forces itself down their throat. Alternatively, it can be swung in a circle over the head to spray the thick mist in a 20ft radius, blocking all speech and spellcasting inside for as long as the mace is swung plus one round after.

Ivory        1000
Many large tusked animals are hunted purely for this ‘White Gold’. It makes weak weapons that have their damage die reduced by one, but it is a boon for non-harmful spells. Any non-hostile spells cast through an ivory weapon will last 10% longer and heal 1 more HP per healing die rolled. Ivory weapons deal normal damage against demons and devils.
Javelin of Lightning       2500
A simple iron javelin that when thrown it can turn into a bolt of lightning once a day. It deals 3d6 electricity damage in a 60ft line and returns to being a normal javelin at the end of that line.
Keen Rapier    4000
This weapon is usually identified not by its blade but by the special wire mesh hand guard that holds it. The hand guard is of delicate, wire-thin steel that shifts to the hand of its wielder and extended to cover the lower third of the blade to protect its wielder. This rapier is so sharp, leaves that fall upon its blade are cut in twain. It is a +1 rapier with a critical range of 17-20, deals 1 bleed damage on a critical hit, and deals an additional 1d6 damage when its wielder has advantage on the attack.

A cool one from monstermanualsewnfrompants.blogspot.com/
Leech      14000
A large, darkly stained oaken club has a wet sheen and is sticky to the touch. Upon picking it up, it flops slightly to one side and it swings like a dead fish. In addition to being a +3 club, the Leech can re-size itself to become a great club on command, it restores its wielder's hit points for one half the damage it deals, and once per day can be commanded to steal an ability from an opponent it has just hit. The stolen ability can be used for 1 hour, during which time the opponent cannot use it.
Living Crystal 3000
Stone weapons are normally inferior to steel, but this special, dwarven grown crystal holds an edge just as well as steel. If it is broken or even completely shattered, it can be regrown by submerging it for a week in heavy mineral water that can be found in some deep caves. Only the first weapon regrown this way holds its integrity, others grown from the pieces of the same weapon will look correct but crumble at the slightest touch.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Camping and Travel Tool

So, I made a tool for my camping and travel house rules. It ended up looking pretty dandy, and maybe you’ll find it useful.

Here is the one that I made to be printable to one 8.5x11 and folded in half.

Let me know what you think! Is this something that will be useful for your campaign? Could be useful with a bit of bloodying up in a Savages campaign.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Envisioned Eldritch Equipment, etc. (Part V)

Previous post, part IV.

Speed up! Here is another 20 items. We're finally out of the ensouled woods, so to speak.

Ensouled, Infernal, Lesser 3000

"Bonds" Glowing, crude, red gouges adorn this weapon. Inscrutable at first, they twist to form letters and words as they are looked at. They always spell out twisted and devious threats of pain and suffering in the watcher's native tongue. Upon striking a foe, binding spectral chains float around them and bind them to a contract. Name a contract to bind them to: "do not move from that spot for 1 round", "do not attack the contractor for 1 round", "attack next round", or "move away from that spot next round". Intelligent creatures are magically made aware of the contract and if it is purposefully broken, the contract deals 3 damage. Unintelligent creatures cannot be contracted and simply take 1 damage instead as the spectral chains fall through them. Like deals with a devil, the creature need only conform to the letter of the contract, not necessarily the intent.

Ensouled, Infernal 9000

Silent, blood-red chains adorn the hilt of the weapon. Like the lesser version of this weapon, the wielder names a contract upon striking a foe. Stronger contracts are available for this stronger infernal weapon: one of the lesser contracts that lasts 2 rounds instead of 1, move to a certain spot next round, or attack a specific ally of the wielder next round. Breaking the contract deals 5 damage. Unintelligent creatures just take 2 damage.

Ensouled, Infernal, Greater 30000

Miniature, ghostly imps take up perch upon a greater infernal weapon, silently cackling and cutting the arms of the wielder leaving the same glowing red marks, this is painful but non-damaging. A greater infernal weapon has the most powerful and binding contracts: Lesser contracts for 4 rounds, normal contracts for 2 rounds, attack one of contractor’s foes next round, must drop a specific item next round, or must help you next round. Breaking the contract deals 15 damage. Unintelligent enemies just take 7 damage.

Ensouled, Rilmani, Lesser 3000

"Balance" Perfectly ordinary, a Rilmani weapon exemplifies balance and neutrality with an exceedingly normal number of stains, knots, and scratches. It can be easy to mistake these ensouled weapons for their non-magic counterparts. Time is the ultimate balancer of the unbalanced, and a Rilmani ensouled weapon takes advantage of this. Hitting a foe moves its wielder up 1 point on the initiative order for the following rounds and drops the foe down 1 initiative point in the following rounds. If the wielder would gain an initiative point but is already acting first, drop the wielder’s initiative by 20 and they take another turn in that round at that new initiative order. The reverse is true for their opponent, if they would drop initiative points but are already acting last, they lose their next turn and gain 20 initiative.

Ensouled, Rilmani 9000

A Rilmani ensouled weapon seems, in almost every way, to be a well-aged mundane weapon, and only magic can detect the difference. This functions like the lesser version, but the initiative changes are +2 and -2 instead.

Ensouled, Rilmani, Greater 30000

Thin, settled dust puffs off of the weapon each time it is disturbed. Errant cobwebs string from the weapon to nearby surfaces if it is set down. The wielder appears twenty years older, or a proportional amount for non-humans. As the normal ensouled version, but the initiative changes are +4 and -4. When striking an enemy, they must make a CON save, DC 15 or be slowed for 1 round and the wielder is hasted until the end of their next turn.

Ensouled, Undead, Lesser 3000

"Death" Always cold and a little moist to the touch, a weapon holding the soul of the undead gives its wielder a slight chill up their spine. When it deals damage to an enemy, this weapon spreads out a cool, foggy death pall. It deals 2 necrotic damage to other creatures within 5 ft. of that foe, excluding the wielder. This necrotic damage is doubled if that hit killed that enemy. Creatures that take this necrotic damage get disadvantage on death saving throws and healing they receive for 1 round.

Ensouled, Undead 9000

The chill of the dead soul inside numbs the hands of its wielder, almost painfully so. Like the lesser version, a weapon so ensouled deals in death. The necrotic damage increases to 4 damage and the penalty duration is now 2 rounds.

Ensouled, Undead, Greater 30000

Dense fog rolls off of a weapon that harbors such a strong fragment of undead soul. The weapon shimmers slightly, as if wrapped in the faintest and most immaterial of cloth. A greater undead ensouled weapon deals 6 necrotic damage to foes within 10ft, and the penalty on death saving throws and healing lasts for 5 rounds. Enemies that die from the initial necrotic burst, release their own necrotic burst and deal damage as if killed by the weapon itself.

Ensouled, Water Elemental, Lesser 3000

Like the tides, this weapon varies from being cool to the touch to frigid iciness. In any level of humidity, water droplets condense onto this weapon and freeze in small teardrops as the weapon grows colder. A water elemental’s soul confers shifting strength to an ensouled weapon. At the start of combat, this weapon deals 1 cold damage. After a successful hit, it deals 1d6 cold. On the next hit, it will deal 2d6 cold. Reaching ‘high tide’ it returns back one step on each hit, and starts over upon reaching 1 cold damage.

Ensouled, Water Elemental 9000

Changing weight and balance, the elemental soul within pushes and pulls the wielder side to side. Like its lesser cousin, this weapon confers bonuses that grow then diminish with successive hits: 1 cold damage, 1d6 cold, 2d6 cold, and 3d6 cold with 1 round of slowing from blue frost spreading over their skin.

Ensouled, Water Elemental, Greater 30000

Attacks with this weapon are followed with a deluge of water and the sound of a wave breaking. Normal fires within 5 ft. of the wielder and the target are extinguished. The weapon shifts its bonuses cyclically, cresting to a peak then settling down: 1 cold, 1d6 cold, 2d6 cold, 3d6 cold with slow for 1 round, and 4d6 cold with stun for 1 round as the foe is frozen in ice. A greater water elemental's soul holds more command over its own tides and starts at 2d6 cold instead of at 1 cold damage at the beginning of combat.

Ethereal Reach 5000

An ethereal reach weapon shimmers with a faint, see-through green like a silk curtain billowing through a shaft of light. Weapons so enchanted can strike ethereal targets as if they are weren't ethereal, and five times per day can strike with extended reach even through solid, non-magical objects. This gives an additional 5 ft. of reach for melee weapons and no range penalty for ranged weapons.

Etherium 6000

Rare and elusive deposits of translucent, silvery ore found only in the endlessly floating rocks of the astral plane, metal weapons made of forged etherium are not easily bound to any one plane. They can strike creatures as if they were on the same plane as the wielder, for example: astral projecting, blinking, shadow walking, phasing, or ethereal. Such weapons are, however, also blocked by solid barriers manifesting in other planes as well. Outsiders killed with an etherium weapon die instead of just reforming on their home plane. Etherium weapons are always well made.

Field-Fire Spear 800

This slightly singed oaken long spear can summon fires at the feet of its target. Three times per day, it can be called upon to start a 5 ft diameter fire as part of an attack. This non-magical fire goes out on its own in five rounds under normal conditions.

Fire & Ice 15000

Fire alights down one oily half of a gold and silver hued shortsword and icy fog billows down the other half. It is a +1 weapon that deals an additional 1d4 fire and 1d4 cold damage. Dealing damage with this weapon shoots a firebolt for 2d6 fire damage at a target within 60 ft and restores a 1st or 2nd level spell or spell slot.

Flametongue 5000

Long used by Salamanders for their foot-soldiers in their incursions into the mortal plane, this +1 longsword can be set ablaze or called to lash out with fire. It deals an additional 1d6 fire damage when ablaze, can be lit or extinguished at command, and provides light as a torch when lit. It can also throw fire while ablaze with a lashing fiery tongue. Each day, it can throw five firebolts of 2d6 fire damage each. Up to two firebolts can be fired as part of any attack, at up to two targets within 60 ft. When it has thrown its last firebolt for the day, it is extinguished and cannot be set ablaze again until dawn.

Flower Petal 12000

This delicate, +2, porcelain-handled sickle is painted and carved with a fine relief of cherry blossoms, too bad it has hundreds of small cracks. Attacking with this weapon reveals its true nature as it shatters into a cloud of twirling flower petal blade shards that slice into all creatures in a 5 ft. radius from a center-point within reach. This attack ignores armor and cover. After the attack, the blade reforms with another small crack. If broken, it reforms in 1d6 rounds.

Flowstone 1000

Flowing magma rock shaped and cooled into a weapon by lavamancers. Heat and aggression flow through the weapon. +1 attack and damage but -1 AC.

Focused 2500

A focused weapon has an increased critical range, +1 critical range.

Next post, part VI

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dragonskin Goblet Mk. II

I found a nice looking mug at a thrift store nearby and had another go at a dragonskin mug. It had a broken handle that looked like it had been hot-glued back on, but I figured it would hold (and I'd be reinforcing it plenty with pistachio shells, hot glue, and polyurethane). I used a mug so that it would hold liquid normally and would be food safe.

Here is a quick tutorial, let me know if you want something more detailed!

I did the first layer of shells so it would the mug would lie flat.

 Then I continued building up overlapping layers of shells

 The handle just required some creative layering, but worked essentially the same. I brought the shell layers all the way up the handle, but left space around the lip for 'gems' to top off the shells and for lip space.

 Base-coat everything with black acrylic paint. I decided against trying to spray paint it, as I didn't want to get spray paint where I wanted to leave the normal colors of the mug (and also so I wouldn't have to try and seal that paint, which didn't work out well last time).

 With everything based black, I layered up progressively lighter mixtures of a dark green and black. I did this until I was using the dark green mixed with a grey instead of a black as the final highlighting.

 For a cool acidic effect, I took a neon green and lightly splattered it over the shells by lightly pulling back the bristles and letting go. The acid breath of this dragon left plenty of little droplets...

 To finish painting the scales, I tipped every shell with that same neon green.

 To compliment the green I chose to do a red gem this time. I copied this gem painting tutorial. Basically it is just layering up progressively lighter shades to simulate a gemstone, starting with a 3 to 1 mix of your base color and black. Eventually finishing it off with a 3 to 1 mix of the color and white, and topping it off with a white glare mark.

 I wanted to try out a 3D paint tube I got on clearance to close off the top part of the gem, but it didn't really make a noticeable change.

 With the painting done, now all that was left was to seal the paint against spills, peeling, and chipping. I did that by brushing on two coats of water-based polyurethane. Make sure your paint is completely dry, or this will make it run.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


I figured out what I liked so much about False Machine’s SAVAGES campaign concept. not only does it flip a bunch of stuff on its head(see the other posts about this sweet, sweet idea); but, like the games Pandemic or Shadows over Camelot or even XCOM, I enjoy working together to hold back the inevitable. This is a campaign where entropy is the main villain. Or, in this case, being entropy and resisting order. Here's how I'd run a Savages game:


-Start with a big hex map. Any wilderness terrain works. Players start out knowing the terrain and they are in the middle in their home dungeon. They live here. Maybe its a small place they made together or a bigger place where someone is their master. 
-There is a normal distribution of events, other dungeons, caves, etc. No towns or civilization at first.
-Run it like a normal sandbox, except the players are monsters. Their motivations are inverted, and perspective flipped. This is the outside looking in. Most other monsters are still hostile unless you know them specifically, but now towns and cities are like dungeons to the players. 
-Get stronger by surviving, stealing, and battle. 100 exp for each day survived. Money is meaningless but stealing it from the civilized strengthens the wilds and the thief, gain exp equal to half the value Man would give to it and it must be kept hidden away from them in a lair or dungeon. 
-Roll 1d6 for each hex moved. ‘6’ is a random encounter (Gygaxian roll for empty, monster, etc.) and a ‘1’ means seeing the signs of civilized creatures: one of the factions is active. This means some hexes are now dark, and you probably don't know who took that hex until you investigate.
-Keep a civilization at bay by re-conquering their territory for the wilds, killing them, or driving them off. Each faction has strengths, weaknesses and rewards. Getting rid of a faction means traveling beyond the wilds, into the heart of the beast. When they are first active, start them at a random location on the border of the map. This is almost literally an invasion of hostile aliens from your perspective.
-Some factions are evil savages. They took on ideals and principles from your foes and turned bad. Except for Savages this includes notions of civilization, allegiance, honor, merit, equality, fairness, or trade.

The Outsiders

[Mongols] The Horde: A large, hierarchical tribe of semi-nomadic warriors. Were savages, but took tribalism, loyalty, and a warrior ethos too far. Grouped together in larger and larger gatherings and started acting like man. They gave up their individual spirits and lost their pride in their small tribes. Active: Gain a bordering hex, then move their whole territory one hex in a random direction (remember their size if it goes off the map. Strengths: Mobile, use teamwork, and are accustomed to the wilds like a savage. Weaknesses: Rely on their warlords to keep unity. Weak individually. Most are not too far gone from their savage ways. Rewards: Horses, Beasts, and Savages. 
“Lost souls who have bargained their savage spirit away for the ease of a big, organized tribe. Free them from their living death.”

[Conquistadors] Marauders: Well armored and trained expedition forces looking for plunder and slaves. Active: Each hex moves independently towards the nearest dungeon or towards the center. They loot and pillage those hexes and send the slaves and plunder to their homeland. If they loot two dungeons, another expedition is called, and a Marauder hex appears on the edge of the map. Strengths: Good weapons, thick armor, and good tactics. Weaknesses: Greedy, poor survivalists, and rely on supplies from their homeland. Rewards: Take their metal, turn their swords against them! Tempt their fellows with their own gold, wait for the screams and the sound of man fighting man. 
“They are lions, stalking the lands for their precious gold. If they hunt well, more lions will come.”

[Crusaders] Missionaries: Religious zealots, apostles, pilgrims, and their savage converts. Those unwilling to convert will be worked until they convert. Active: Convert two random hexes within two hexes of a hex they control. Strengths: Slave labor, magic, and fast spreading. Weaknesses: Lots of ‘converted’ and enslaved savages around. Discount the threat of savages. Churches and shrines are important to them. Rewards: Steal their magic, take the favor of their gods, and free their savages. 
“A pox, spilling from their sanctimonious mouths. A fungus, sprouting where you aren’t looking. ”

[Tang China] Builders: Deeded and fat nobles come with their peasants to build new towns, cities, and walls. Trade and buildings will bring civilization to the savages. Active: A random hex in their territory is built up. Then, they claim a new hex on their border, trying to keep their territory roughly semi-circular. Hexes are built up as follows: None->Trading post -> Village -> Town (wooden walls) -> Large Town (stone walls) ->City->Castle. Each City or Castle adds another hex to the closest border. Strengths: Strong structures, secure supply lines, and a luring influence on weak-willed savages. Weaknesseses: Fat bureaucrats, weak discipline, and hyper-specialized/unstable. Rewards: Lots of food, things to steal, and slaves. 
“Like a weed slowly spreading its roots and choking the land. Burn it all, or even the smallest root will sprout again.”

[Zulu] Warriors: Were savages but fell to man’s ideas of unity, equality, and merit. Strong warriors conquer and integrate savages. They accept and unite with those they defeat instead of killing or eating them. They are like a cancer, they turn good savages into men like them. Active: Gain a new hex along a random border. Gain another hex for every 5 hexes they hold. Strengths: Strong survivalists. Knowledgeable about every aspect of being savages. Good at making men out of savages. Weaknesses: They have the same knowledge and weapons as savages. ‘Honor’ and ‘Merit’ are too important to them. They will leave you alive to try and turn you. Rewards: Knowledge of other tribes of savages. Gain savage allies. 
“Even cancer and blight are ashamed of the deeds of these savages. Equality, honor, and merit are a corruption of the wilds.”

[Heroes] Explorers: Bourgeois merchants, adventurers, and scholars seeking to take the hard fought knowledge and land of the savages and the wilds. Active: Try to explore a dungeon or POI within 2 hexes of a hex they control. If they are no more places to explore, they take control of a random new hex.Strengths: High level adventurers. Can show up anywhere. Weaknesses: Concerned with exploration. Easily distracted. Low numbers. Rewards: Powerful magic. Unique weapons. Secrets.
"Unwelcome guests, like fleas and ticks, to be picked off when found."

Some other thoughts

There are lots of play styles possible for a for Savages game to use. They could go ape-shit and just try to smash as much of man as possible before they get taken out, or fight your way through the largest of cities. Savages could stalk and hunt, trying to find the jugular of each civilization to rip out. The lives of a prophetic tribe might suit them, gathering what they need to build a mega-dungeon deep into the earth. Gather other tribes and weather the storm, like your tribe sees the writing on the wall of a coming apocalypse of man. Defend your dungeon and get as deep as you can, MAN is coming.These are sort of the inverse cousins of the hack & slash/dungeon crawler, stealth, or politics game styles for Savages, respectively.