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The Landfolk, made up chiefly of the Lagos, Quillions, Varki, Cervano, Bolster and Delvin, are one of the more populous Folks of the Howl Basin and are seen by many even who identify more closely with other folks as the "down home" citizens of the Basin. The Landfolk value peace and prosperity, as most folks do, and have found (in their estimation) that community, honest dealing, and hard work are the best way to achieve those values. As such, they're driven toward large families and resilient communities, as comfortable in tight-knit rural counties, station towns, and major cities alike. Landfolk are often seen as the natural farmers and tenders of the land, and the tendancy toward larger families means there are plenty of them (especially the Lagos) to be found almost anywhere in the Basin.

Lifestyles and Culture

Cultural Values

Above all, Landfolk value peace and sufficiency, and have found that three specific virtues: community, honesty, and industriousness. These three values more or less entirely underpin the shared Landfolk identity in a way that runs deeper than typical styles of dress or favoured forms of artistic expression. Repeatedly acting out against these norms in a highly public way is a fast track to lowering your Connections score with the Landfolk.


The Landfolk ethos eschews over-emphasis on self-reliance, favouring a community-oriented approach that praises reliance on your family, neighbours, and friends and their reciprocal reliance back on yourself. The Landfolk ideals of community applied to life in Howl Basin make the Landfolk equally comfortable as homesteaders, members of sprawling countryside communities, and in the relatively dense cities in the region. Under this virtue, it is considered the norm to borrow and lend, and to be subject to one another. Landfolk who uphold the virtue of community can be assured of support whenever they need it, and don't think twice of offering such support themselves, such as their means and abilities warrant.

The cultural thinking around these values tends to lead toward large "families", be they reproductive or of the found-family variety. The line between "extended family" and "close friends" is naturally about as fuzzy as it could be while still maintaining any sort of distinction at all.


Close-knit communities and co-reliance require a high degree of Honesty, both in the literal sense of an unwillingness to deceive as well as in broader interpretations of the word, like standing by one's word that a certain action be completed. While not as legalistic or transactional as the Hivefolk, among the Landfolk, the Straight Deal is practically law, and a Landfolk's agreement and the handshake that goes with it is better than a contract in the average Landfolk's eye. A common ideal is therefore to be slow to promise, and never fail to deliver on those promises actually made.


Team work makes the dream work, and there's a reason the word "work" appears twice in that adage. Landfolk communities require a certain willingness to pitch in toward hard work, and occupations that involve physical labour to one degree or another are, if not venerated, highly respected. For better or worse, the inverse is also true: some jobs are also seen as somewhat "wasteful" or "beneath" the Landfolk. In general, these are jobs which are culturally linked to the vices of sloth or greed through their apparently-genteel lifestyles or parasitic nature, such as certain subsets of the "professional" careers, such as some forms of lawyer, investment bankers, and the like. A landfolk saying (believed to originate with the Delvin) is that "A dollar left to rise feeds none"; the general sentiment being that it is preferable to spend money ensuring the health of the community rather than let it slowly appreciate (or not) in a bank account. The Lagos version of the same saying is "Greenbacks ain't lettuce." Conversely to all of the above, many trades that don't fit the stereotype of "shovel-swinging miner" or "longshorman" levels of 'hard work' are still exhaustively praised. Homemaking in particular is seen as the mother of all professions and is sometimes said to be "everyone's first occupation", with your "salary" profession being "what needs done to make ends meet" by comparison.

For this reason, the economics and industry of Landfolk communities tend to be geared toward maintaining a steady ratio of "supplies to bodies" rather than rapid economic growth.


On the whole, the vast majority of Landfolk are either homesteaders, descended from homesteaders, or at least consider themselves homesteaders, at least within the context of the Howl Basin. The lifestyle works well for the cultural ethos of the Landfolk and suits the idea of a growing and perpetually-developing family. In addition to the obvious land set aside for farming and the rearing of small livestock such as chickens (where meat is eaten amongst the various heritages that make up the Landfolk, anyway), homesteads tend to include multiple dwellings if they have been established for any real length of time. It's not unheard of to build a separate home for Nana and Papa or additional farmhouses for children who have reached adulthood and started families but who (for one reason or another) don't want to bootstrap a whole new homesteading holding somewhere else removed from the family. In some extreme cases, whole communities have sprung up organically in this very way.


It's not unheard of for there to be town-dwelling Landfolk, and Landfolk towns tend to spring up organically. While a few are Station Towns and are best thought of in that way, even remote of the railroads, Landfolk Towns exist. These tend to form at locations that are "central" to surrounding homesteads in terms of natural routes of travel, and support basic common services that the surrounding homesteads rely on, like general stores, specialist trades (farriers and machinists and the like), professional services (including - often especially - medical services), religious facilities, and in areas aligned to the Federation, government offices. Most importantly, such towns almost always provide a congregated poiint of access to some form of transportation, be it a road, a waterway, or the railway.

Landfolk Townies and Homesteaders see one another as more or less one division of the folk, joined by the common elements of the culture and their comparative isolation from other communities. To a certain extent they are "playfully" at odds with their city-dwelling cousins, who they view as partially assimilated into Hivefolk culture.

Landfolk in the Cities

Cities are populated heavily, and full of opportunity, which can tend to attract younger Landfolk wishing to make their way in the world and forge new paths of Landfolk traditions. This by and large has two possible outcomes: the formation of Landfolk boroughs in those cities, and cultural attrition from the greater Landfolk identity. In the former class, life continues as normal, substituting available labour jobs for traditional pursuits like farming and woodworking, and the city block or row of townhouses for the role of the homestead. In the latter, it's not uncommon for children who were raised Landfolk to more fully embrace city life, and align themselves more culturally with either the city itself or with the dominant folk (usually, in Howl Basin's limited major cities, the Hivefolk.)

Coming Up Landfolk

Whether born into families of homesteaders, townies, or cityfolk, childhood for Landfolk is largely the same, and highly valued, as it tends to be somewhat abbreviated and end at adolescent. The oldest children in the family invariably become quickly integrated into the workflow of the family unit, whether that is simply a nuclear family or a full extended family sharing a united homestead or neighbourhood. This often takes the farm of attending to the younger siblings (or even cousins) and helping out with the chores of day to day life. Informal education and cultural imprinting begins at a young age, focusing on life skills relevant to both general daily life and usually one or both parents' trades (including homemaking). Formal education, where available, focuses on history (local or federal, depending on the community's general alignment on the matter), trades-arithmetic, reading and writing (usually in both Lagosi and the community's relavent language), and often a religious or folklore topic.

Becoming Landfolk

It's not uncommon for people to be adopted into Landfolk communities and come to consider themselves as Landfolk, and be considered the same by their neighbours. Usually, this requires becoming something of a permanent fixture in a Landfolk community; no matter how honest their dealings are otherwise, itinerants and travelling merchants tend to be viewed as slightly foreign even after several repeat visits to a Landfolk community. However, for those who choose to make their lives in a Landfolk settlement (or in close proximity to Landfolk homesteads) and who build up a good reputation for upholding the three values (Community, Honesty, and Industriousness), they may eventually get the reputation locally of being "one of the folk". Usually after this happens it is not long before that reputation starts proceeding the character in question, and the culture begins to rub off.

Shunned by the Landfolk

Conversely, it is possible to become excluded by Landfolk society, though it's not necessarily trivial to do so. Career criminality (or even singular crimes, if sufficiently egregious), a reputation for refusal to help out your community, and sufficient displays of shiftlessness or greed (the former without reasonable excuse - ability matters), can lead to a person becoming a social outcast, or even an outright outlaw. Such individuals become seen as outsiders to the Landfolk community, even in communities in which they were raised or currently reside. Others' shoulders become cold, and help is extended less and less often by your neighbours.

The majority of people who face this treatment leave the communities in which it begins. More often than any other outcome, they end up settling in another community and "turn their lives around", getting a fresh start (an outcome encouraged by the Landfolk themselves). In some cases however, this treatment entrenches whatever attitudes played a part in the person's prior behaviour and they may become outlaws or settle down with other folks. A fair number of bandit gangs and even some Mountainfolk come about in this fashion.

Gameplay Rules

In the Howl Basin campaign setting, folks serve two roles. If your character was raised within the cultural context of the a Folk, they take that folk as their Background. On the other hand, circumstances occasionally lead to a character becoming a member of a folk retroactively. This happens at their discretion as long as they have and maintain a Connections score above 60% with that folk. At the player's discretion, such a character becomes an "adoptee" member of that Folk. Facilitators are encouraged to roleplay out this adoption as much as fits the taste of the party. Each folk's "lifestyles and culture" section includes a section on any additional requirements to join that faction permanently.

As A Background

When taking Landfolk as your starting background, you develop your starting skillpoints and acquire a character trait as a result of your upbringing. For the purposes of determining your starting skillpoints, there are three subtypes of this background: Homesteader Landfolk, Townie Landfolk, and City Landfolk. You must pick from one of the three types when creating your Landfolk character, but please note you may still have had a mixed history, having lived the lives of any or all of the three subtypes prior to becoming an adventuring character.

Starting Skill Points

All Landfolk start the game with Analysis * 2 + Intuition * 3 skill points which they may distribute among any skills they so choose. These represent the skills you acquired during your youth as a rounded member of the Landfolk society.

In addition, Landfolk characters add the following skills as Occupation Skills depending on their subtype:

If one of these bonus Occupation Skills is already a feature of your chosen occupation, the Facilitator should work with you to come up with a substitute skill. If no substitute skill can be found, take 5 extra Occupation Skill Points in lieu of the substitute.

Landfolk Trait: Salt of the Earth

Regardless of subtype, Landfolk characters start with the Background Trait Salt of the Earth. This is a Passive Effect. Whenever a character with the Salt of the Earth trait is making a connections check with a Landfolk character, organization with the Landfolk alignment, or in a Landfolk-aligned community, they may use their Landfolk connection score in place of their more relevant connection score if the Landfolk score is better. When making connection checks in this way (using the Landfolk score as a substitute), the score that would have been more relevant (such as the personal or organization-specific connection score) is the one that gets marked for Advancement if such a reward is given. In other words, your bond with the Landfolk community is never advanced as a result of using Salt of the Earth. You lose this ability if you become a Landfolk Exile.

Starting Connections

All landfolk characters begin with the following connections at a score of (Hardiness + Intuition + Wisdom):

  • Landfolk
  • The Character's Hometown or County (as appropriate)
  • The Character's Family

This base score is chosen because Landfolk communities by and large favor individuals who are reliable, empathetic, and who demonstrate social grace, but discourages celebrity and self-reliance.

As a Connection

Adoptees who meet the faction alignment requirement and exemplify the traits of the Landfolk to the point of becoming cultural adoptees to the faction retain their original backgrounds and do not retrain skills, for obvious reasons: the past is fundamentally immutable and moving your house doesn't change your capabilities. That being said, they do acquire a new trait.

Landfolk Adoptee Trait: You're Among Friends

This is an Active Effect. Whenever a character with this trait is making a social check (excluding connections checks), the character's player may choose to reduce their Connections: Landfolk score by X points. If they do so, they may lower the result of their social check roll by X points. This decision may be made after the roll. Points spend in this way are lost, but may be made up for with the normal ebb and flow of Connections points. If the player has fewer than 50 Connections: Landfolk points left, they may not use this effect (doing so would represent overstepping the hospitality of their adoptive folk).

If a character gains an Advancement tick on a social skill from a check in which they used the You're Among Friends ability, their Connections: Landfolk score gains as many points as the skill itself does at advancement.