A new campaign setting

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Forgotten Realms is great, Dragonlance is great, Dark Sun is great, Spelljammer is great, Hollow World and Ravenloft and Eberon and Blackmoore and Greyhawk and Ghostwalk and Al-Qadim and...

They're all wonderful. We have stong emotional connections to these worlds, and in some way lived part of our lives in them. But it's time for fresh blood. The last Dungeons and Dragons campaign setting, Eberron, was released 8 years ago. This game thrives on fresh ideas as much as it stands upon the pillars of what comes before. Novelty is the genesis of wonder. So please Wizards, I ask for a new campaign setting this edition. Give us a new world to muddy our boots in.

What kind of setting would you like to see? What books, movies, and other art should it draw inspiration from? 
I love you guys.
I think a new campaign setting is a good idea.  It may be more of an enticement for some fans of other editions to look at the game than the new edition itself.  As for what I'd like to see in the new setting, that's a rougher question.  There are a bunch of things I want to see, but they don't all mesh together into a coherent setting.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I think a new campaign setting is a good idea.  It may be more of an enticement for some fans of other editions to look at the game than the new edition itself.  As for what I'd like to see in the new setting, that's a rougher question.  There are a bunch of things I want to see, but they don't all mesh together into a coherent setting.



You bring up a good point. Fans of already esisting settings can still play them with the rules they were released under. If you were a 2nd edition Realms player, there was no real need to switch to the new edition, but if you wanted to play Ebberon you had to update.
I love you guys.
If not update, then at least buy the setting book(s).
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

The 4e concept of a general semi-defined setting as the baseline works best for me.  I've done my own worlds for the last 30+ years.  What I've found is that the class backstory, i.e., in 2e, the bards were angents of the druids, tends to drive my settings.
I'd like to see Next out for a couple years before WotC publishes a new setting that plays into the new edition's mechanics and particulars.

Personally, I would like to see a campaign setting focused on demihuman cultures rather than human. 
Novelty is the genesis of wonder. So please Wizards, I ask for a new campaign setting this edition. Give us a new world to muddy our boots in.

Trying to put together a new campaign world and a new game at the same time would be a disaster. WotC doesn't have the staff to give both the attention they need, and the coordination challenge of trying to do both would slow the whole process way down.

That said, I do hope we get a new campaign setting for 5e at some point. You are right that the game could use something new.

There are a couple of things I would like to see. A very low magic/low fantasy setting. Something where non-human races and creatures are quite rare. A lot of the 2e campaigns I played in where built around this sort of world, but they are quite rare now.

A swashbuckling sea based campaign world could be great fun. This is generally a fairly easy type of campaign to run, but a world built around it would provide a lot of interesting material to work with. I would like a early Renaissance technology world, probably with a bit of steampunk flair to it. Something where gun powder and techno-magic items wouldn't feel out of place.


in general i would like to see bigger difrences between campaign settings.
and in a modular system each campaign settings could have moduals specific to that campaign.

to me many campsign settings in editions uptill now feld same ish, darksun usualy being the exeption to this rule.
I woulden't mind if eberon would use quite a difrent rule set then for example forgotten realms.
Things like how the cosmolegy works would also be campaign setting based

 
The running thone of choose your own rule set to apply is dominating the design conversations so I would like an initial setting with release (like the Points of light) and then a campaign setting crafters book.  Something that puts world building into an easy format for new players.  I know it's a lot of theoretical concept stuff. It I would like that kind of product.  

I think a steam punk setting would be kind of cool.  I would love it if they just steam punked up Ravenloft though, you know, as the edition update. 
I would like to see something new... but it would need to be sufficiently different from generic fantasy to make me want to buy it.  Generic fantasy settings are, mostly, not that much different from what you are likely to make yourself... so seem a little pointless to me.  Especially as they will be producing FR material.

A swashbuckling theme might be a good starting point.  
Novelty is the genesis of wonder. So please Wizards, I ask for a new campaign setting this edition. Give us a new world to muddy our boots in.

Trying to put together a new campaign world and a new game at the same time would be a disaster. WotC doesn't have the staff to give both the attention they need, and the coordination challenge of trying to do both would slow the whole process way down.


Well, they don't actually have to make it.  They can hold another setting contest and take the best one.  That would get us a new setting, with minimal work on their part.  And it would give homebrewers a chance to become recognized designers.  As long as WotC gets something that's good enough, it's a win/win.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

But on the other side, it can be argued that new and fresh setting = a good sellin point for a new edition. Like the flurry of settings in AD&D2 days, and Eberron was a good part of 3,X's success later on, maybe.
I'd like to see DDN provide a toolbox for world creation, rather than more pre-built settings.  Some guidelines to spark ideas maybe; nothing as in-depth as a world-builder guide (not in the core books at least).  

4e focuses on 'Points of Light', a starting point for players to build thier own world.  That's great but there are so many different kinds of fantasy settings out there.  The published settings of D&D are a good example.  We have everything from Forgotten Realms, to Eberron, to Dark Sun.  

I'd like to see DDN explore these different world types with the same assumption as Points of Light.  That is, that the players have the tools to build their own world.  If I want a world resembling Forgotten Realms, there are guidelines for that; if, on the other hand, I want a world like Eberron, there's that too.
/\ Art
I want fantasy Earth replete with anacronisms everywhere and shamelessly plugging humanoids in place of various real cultures.  Unfortunately, political correctness will ensure it will never happen.
I want fantasy Earth replete with anacronisms everywhere and shamelessly plugging humanoids in place of various real cultures.  Unfortunately, political correctness will ensure it will never happen.



another idea i heared and liked was to use maps of teraformed mars.
take mars add water and climate, as mars has some of the most extreme geological features found in our solar system.

one of the largest known volcano's
Olympus Mons is 600 km across its base and about 25 km above the surrounding plain this is so high the top would extend outside the atmosphere if you would add a earth like atmosphere.

 Valles Marineris, the largest canyon system in the solar system

many impact craters that could be home to creatures unique to that crater
With 5e's emphasis on modular rules, a good new setting might be one that offers some very different rules. 

Dragonlance would be a good place for aerial dragon combat and mass combat modules.
Ravenloft would be a good place for fear, curses, and madness modules.  
Dark Sun is the place for wlderness survival, exposure, and starvation modules as well as alternate building materials. 
Spelljammer is alien environments as ship-based combat.
Eberron has dragonmarks, magic-tech, and the like. 

Any new world would have to have a simmilar amount of new ideas, a new hook that requires new rules and modules. Just like Ravenloft becomes the product you want to buy if you plan to run a horror campaign, this would be the go-to book for some other genre. 
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With 5e's emphasis on modular rules, a good new setting might be one that offers some very different rules. 

Dragonlance would be a good place for aerial dragon combat and mass combat modules.
Ravenloft would be a good place for fear, curses, and madness modules.  
Dark Sun is the place for wlderness survival, exposure, and starvation modules as well as alternate building materials. 
Spelljammer is alien environments as ship-based combat.
Eberron has dragonmarks, magic-tech, and the like. 

Any new world would have to have a simmilar amount of new ideas, a new hook that requires new rules and modules. Just like Ravenloft becomes the product you want to buy if you plan to run a horror campaign, this would be the go-to book for some other genre. 


I would like to buy a complete book on mass combat, but I don't care for Dragonlance, so I probably wouldn't buy the bundled version.

On the other hand I would love to move the tiefling and the warforged to respective setting books Laughing
DISCLAIMER: I never played 4ed, so I may misunderstand some of the rules.
 
I would like to buy a complete book on mass combat, but I don't care for Dragonlance, so I probably wouldn't buy the bundled version.

On the other hand I would love to move the tiefling and the warforged to respective setting books 



well maybe this is where DDI comes in.
moduals might be introduced in campaign setting books but DDI might have a nice overview of all moduals from any campaign.

so if you want the mass combat rules free of dragonlance fluff you can get them in DDI.
 
I want to see a TRUE neutral setting.

They went too far with the Nentir Vale naming too many places and gods and historical events.
I want to see a TRUE neutral setting.

They went too far with the Nentir Vale naming too many places and gods and historical events.

Interesting.  Here is Quietville DMs, now go in there and trash the place!  Eberron starts after the peace, with another war on the horizon.  This could be sort of balanced out until the campaign escalates a change in one direction or another.

well maybe this is where DDI comes in.
moduals might be introduced in campaign setting books but DDI might have a nice overview of all moduals from any campaign.

so if you want the mass combat rules free of dragonlance fluff you can get them in DDI.
 


I guess that we all havedifferent needs. Some people ask for pdfs, but I prefer hard cover books. I don't think that I will buy DDI, but other people will.

DISCLAIMER: I never played 4ed, so I may misunderstand some of the rules.
Classical Age (ancient Asia, Egypt, Greece, Persia).
Most campaign settings take place after horrible events. After the big war, after the cataclysm, after the defiling.

It might be interesting to have a setting that is set right smack dab in the middle of something horrible. Open warfare. A horrible disaster. The breakdown of civilization. The turning point when things could get better or things could get much worse. Right when heroes are needed the most. 

Alternatively, with the theme of D&D Next being "uniting the editions" and "resurrecting the best of the past" it might be fun to have a time travel based world, a campaign setting with a rich backstory and multiple time periods with the hook being the collision of the past, present, and future(s). 
Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: 
What Would Wrecan Say?

5 Minute Workday

My Webcomic
Updated Tue & Thur

 

Most campaign settings take place after horrible events. After the big war, after the cataclysm, after the defiling.

It might be interesting to have a setting that is set right smack dab in the middle of something horrible. Open warfare. A horrible disaster. The breakdown of civilization. The turning point when things could get better or things could get much worse. Right when heroes are needed the most. 

Alternatively, with the theme of D&D Next being "uniting the editions" and "resurrecting the best of the past" it might be fun to have a time travel based world, a campaign setting with a rich backstory and multiple time periods with the hook being the collision of the past, present, and future(s). 


Or take the other way around: take a world at the apogee of its might and glory, but with as powerfull menaces pointed at them, ignored for now... The rotten golden apple if you will...
I couldn't agree more.  I love the old DnD worlds, but I'd love to see something new as well.  Specifically I'd love to see something specifically built to include the new races and classes that are sure to come with 5th edition.  All the old settings are already populated by powerful humans/elves/dwarves etc.  It's always felt a little odd to me to spot weld a bunch of new stuff onto an already established setting.  Guess I'm kindofa purist in that sense.  Anyhow, it would be great to see a new setting putting the new 5th edition stuff up front and center.  Give them a chance to shine. 
Although I agree, I'd hate for it to intrude on the effort to provide the tools they want to provide with 5E that we might use to create our own. Because really, unless the new setting were to bear an uncanny resemblance to one of the settings in my imagination, I'd be going my own way, anyway.
I can't tell you how eager I was when 4e announced a new setting book every year. I figured once they'd gone through all the pre-existing settings they'd start trailblazing some exciting new stuff. The tough part is, $40 hardbound books with full color (and generally excellent) art are a big gamble. So we get Neverwinter the Campaign Setting--and Menzoberranzen! There's a pressure against doing something new, that it might go the way of Ghostwalk.

So here's an idea Sel Carim and I were kicking around over lunch the other day...what if you made books along the lines of D20 Apocalypse, or the old Polyhedron magazine. Softbound, but packed with something like a half-dozen little mini-settings that people can try out and see if they like them. If there's a big response on one--maybe put out a setting book for it?

Or another formula we talked about--take a book people are likely to buy anyway, like a Frostburn, Stormwrack, Sandstorm kind of book, and have a chapter in it that gives you an overview of a bunch of fun settings that fit the theme of the book (5 snowy wilderness based settings, 5 nautical settings, 5 desert settings).

That way even if nothing else happens with them--those of us with a hankering for new settings will snap up books we normally wouldn't bother with. And we get that new creative blood we've been talking about. Plus not much added risk. Seems like a good idea to me...
Now with 100% more Vorthos!
Forgotten Realms is great, Dragonlance is great, Dark Sun is great, Spelljammer is great, Hollow World and Ravenloft and Eberon and Blackmoore and Greyhawk and Ghostwalk and Al-Qadim and...

They're all wonderful. We have stong emotional connections to these worlds, and in some way lived part of our lives in them. But it's time for fresh blood. The last Dungeons and Dragons campaign setting, Eberron, was released 8 years ago. This game thrives on fresh ideas as much as it stands upon the pillars of what comes before. Novelty is the genesis of wonder. So please Wizards, I ask for a new campaign setting this edition. Give us a new world to muddy our boots in.



Frankly I'd love to see a new setting but honestly that can take as much time to develop as a new game system. So while I'd love to see one I'm not excepting it any time soon. Personally I think it would be awesome to see is return of an old setting. The Known World, Hollow World and Lankmarr for example, as these setting haven't really be supporte in decades and many new gamers have no experience in them, so for them these would be new settings. I know several experineced D&D players some with 12+ years of experence (which is nothing to snicker at). Who have no clue about these worlds as they came to the game in very late 2.5 and early 3rd. For them words like Karameikos, Gray Mouser (unless they've read the books) and Jomphur have no meaning.

So I would love a new setting as well, but there many old worlds out there that newer gamers have no clue about and could be up and running in less time then it would take to develop a new system (IMO). So WoTC please work on a new setting, but in the meantime blow the dust off of a forgotten treasure and let a new generation of gamers build the same kinds of memories that made these settings so dear to us old schoolers.

"We are men of action, lies do not become us" ~ D.P.R.
But on the other side, it can be argued that new and fresh setting = a good sellin point for a new edition. Like the flurry of settings in AD&D2 days, and Eberron was a good part of 3,X's success later on, maybe.



I agree that a large amount of settings can be a money maker. Just looking at my own experence,  I own most books for vitually every setting from basic, 1e and 2e. That's a lot of money when you add it up. Although for 3e the only WoTC setting I played and bought books for as FR, never gave Eberron a second glance (Eberron was really your only other option for a non-core or FR "offical WoTC" setting) and instead spent more money on 3rd party game settings like Scared Lands, Freeport and Iron Kingdoms, had not these other settings exsisted I would have spent money only on FR. So in sumation, from my spending practices alone, the lack of WoTC settings beyond FR and Eberron meant less of my money went to WoTC which wasn't good for their business.
"We are men of action, lies do not become us" ~ D.P.R.
I think it's a crying shame D&D has never had a real sword-and-planet / dying Earth / weird fantasy setting.  There's a solid vein of awesome where Jack Vance, Clark Ashton Smith, and Edgar Rice Burroughs meet, and it's about time this game started mining it.
I think it's a crying shame D&D has never had a real sword-and-planet / dying Earth / weird fantasy setting.  There's a solid vein of awesome where Jack Vance, Clark Ashton Smith, and Edgar Rice Burroughs meet, and it's about time this game started mining it.

I don't know about 'weird earth' but there is at least one planetary romance, sword and planet, game out there.  It's a D20 Modern mini-game called Iron Lords of Jupiter, written by a fella calling himself Lizard. 

It appeared in Dungeon #101, a magazine that you can 'flip/over' for Polyhedron #160 (that's where the game is actually found).  If you're interested, a PDF can be bought at Paizo's website.     

There were a few D20 Modern mini-games in Dungeon #90-111 (from 2002-2004).  Mecha Crusade,  Pulp Heroes, Thunderball Rally.  All were really good I think, especially considering the space constraints.

Hopefully there's no faux pas in recommending another site (I don't believe out-of-print Dungeon mags are available anywhere else).  If so, forgive me ;).  I left out links, just in case. 
/\ Art
The phrases 'Jack Vance' (of vancian casting) and 'dying earth' immediately make me think that I would not go near such a setting with a ten foot pole (though I've no idea who the other two guys you mentioned are), but hey, if they think it'll make them money, have fun with it.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
The phrases 'Jack Vance' (of vancian casting) and 'dying earth' immediately make me think that I would not go near such a setting with a ten foot pole (though I've no idea who the other two guys you mentioned are), but hey, if they think it'll make them money, have fun with it.

Never heard of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the guy that gave us Tarzan and John Carter (Warlord of Mars)?  Color me surprised .

I've never heard of Clark Ashton Smith though (just in passing), so maybe I shouldn't be talking ;).
/\ Art
The phrases 'Jack Vance' (of vancian casting) and 'dying earth' immediately make me think that I would not go near such a setting with a ten foot pole (though I've no idea who the other two guys you mentioned are), but hey, if they think it'll make them money, have fun with it.


I have a suspicion you've never read any Jack Vance.
The phrases 'Jack Vance' (of vancian casting) and 'dying earth' immediately make me think that I would not go near such a setting with a ten foot pole (though I've no idea who the other two guys you mentioned are), but hey, if they think it'll make them money, have fun with it.


I have a suspicion you've never read any Jack Vance.



Nope.  But I already know I dislike his magic system.

And the phrase 'dying earth' is an immediate turnoff, anyway ... not a big fan of dark, depressing settings, which a place pretty much has to be to be called dying.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.


There are a couple of things I would like to see. A very low magic/low fantasy setting. Something where non-human races and creatures are quite rare. A lot of the 2e campaigns I played in where built around this sort of world, but they are quite rare now.




This is something I would like to see, particularly if the plan for D&D Next is to have Tieflings, Dragonborn, etc. as part of the core right from the start. There is nothing wrong with those races, but my preference has always tended to a low fantasy setting game. And granted, I have DMed long enough that once I learn the new rules system I will likely construct my own setting anyway - it would still be nice to see something officially from WotC in that vein.

To the point made by another poster(s) about cataclysmic events - it would be interesting (to me) to be put in a setting similar to the Black Death period in Europe; dying population, distrust, religious extremism, etc. There are a lot of interesting thing you could do with a setting like that.
What's the matter, you dissentious rogues, That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion Make yourselves scabs?
I think it's a crying shame D&D has never had a real sword-and-planet / dying Earth / weird fantasy setting.  There's a solid vein of awesome where Jack Vance, Clark Ashton Smith, and Edgar Rice Burroughs meet, and it's about time this game started mining it.



I like the dying planet take (but most people will say that Dark Sun filled that) but frankly between the two, I'd rather see an official, true Sword and Sorcery setting as per Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, E.R. Eddison, Clark Ashton Smith and Karl Edward Wagner works

"We are men of action, lies do not become us" ~ D.P.R.
I'd like the idea of a Colonization setting.  Whole idea of an Old World continent discovering and settling a New World Continent.

Also some Magic teh Gathering settings.  Some are real cool and I love the Planeswalker's Guides to stuff like Innistrad.  I instantly saved them to my computer to use in a campaign.
 
For instance.
Show

The province of Gavony is where humanity remains safest and strongest. It is home to Thraben, the plane's largest city. Thraben houses the Cathedral of Avacyn, where the archangel herself resided before vanishing. Smaller towns radiate outward from Thraben across Gavony's rocky moors. Small copses of trees dot the landscape of rolling hills and heaths. Because more human dead are buried here than anywhere else, Gavony is more plagued by the undead than other provinces, and geists are more common as well.


 


Plains | Art by Adam Paquette


Thraben, the High City


The city of Thraben sits on a massive mesa in the middle of the Lake of Herons, a long body of water that flows around the rock and over an enormous waterfall. The eastern tip of the rock juts out over the waterfall itself, and it is on this dramatic pinnacle that the Cathedral of Avacyn stands.


Thraben is the largest city in the known lands of Innistrad. It's the seat of the Avacynian Church, built as a city of walls and various bulwarks designed to keep supernatural threats at bay. While smaller settlements are constantly under siege by monsters, the inner parts of Thraben and the Cathedral are the safest areas in Innistrad, which sometimes gives the bishops of the church a skewed perspective on how dangerous the world outside really is.


 


Concept art by Steve Belledin


The Walls of Thraben are a complex system of bulwarks and defense lines. There are remnants of older walls, which have crumbled and lost their effectiveness. But even the old walls demarcate the city into sections, some which have a penal or ceremonial function.



  • Outer Wall. The main defense of Thraben. A thick, high wall that rings the perimeter of the city. The church has approved the expansion of the wall several times to keep the city from getting too crowded.

  • Merchant's Wall. A complex of fellowship halls that forms a substantial market square. This is the center of commerce in Thraben.

  • Child's Wall. The inner wall that surrounds the grounds of the Old Cathedral. Nearly as strong and tall as the outer wall, the Child's Wall has not been altered in ages. It is inscribed with the names of every child born in Innistrad. Many parents make a pilgrimage to the wall in the year after their child's birth, believing that having their child's name written on the wall will add protection to its life.

  • Fang Wall. When werewolves are caught, they are executed in front of this wall. Then their fangs are removed and shoved between the crevices of the stones.

  • Bloodless Wall. When vampires are caught, they are chained to this wall and left to starve to death.


 


Abbey Griffin | Art by Jaime Jones


Cathedral of Avacyn


A massive cathedral with three wings and a network of cloisters, courtyards, outlying schools, and forges. There are well-kept gardens and substantial training grounds for cathars (holy warriors). Outside of Thraben, churches are quite rustic, constructed from rough planks and often containing only a single room. The Cathedral is opulent by comparison.


The grounds between the wings form a triangular courtyard that is locked from public view by high walls. Most people don't know the courtyard exists. Only the most powerful bishops are permitted to set foot in it.


The Cathedral's structure symbolically divides the wealthy and poor of the world. Each class has its own designated place to worship:



  • Chapel of Noble Peers. The opulent, gilded chapel that is reserved for the high levels of clergy and titled members of society.

  • Midvast Hall. The larger, less opulent hall for ordained fellows and lesser clergy.

  • Common Cloisters. The covered corridors along the edges Midvast Hall where commoners stand during worship. There are only certain holy days when the commoners are permitted to enter the Old Cathedral.


At first glance, the courtyard resembles an ornate garden with stands of fruit trees and gold-and-white flowers that are cultivated with painstaking care. At the heart of the garden, the trees fall away, leaving a view of a curious object: the Helvault.


 


Tree of Redemption | Art by Vincent Proce


The Helvault


The Helvault is a huge silver mass that stands at the precipice inside the courtyard of the Cathedral of Avacyn. Its surface is rough and unrefined, and thin veins of dark mortar branch across its surface.


The River Kirch


This wide, fast-flowing river originates in the mountains of Stensia. It empties into the Lake of Herons, with murky water, high ridges bordering the bank, and depths of hundreds of feet. Great sea serpents and other creatures are said to hide in the depths of the Lake of Herons, which stretches almost 20 miles before flowing over the 2,000-foot waterfall known as Kirch Falls.


 


Island | Art by Jung Park


The Voice of the Moon


On Innistrad, as elsewhere, the moon controls the tides (as well as the path of rivers and other bodies of water). The River Kirch flows into the Lake of Herons, over Kirch Falls, and into the sea. The continuous roar of the water over the falls has a different rhythm depending on the season and volume of water coming down from the high lands. The Cathedral grounds are lush and fertile from the continual spray of mist.


 


Paraselene | Art by Ryan Yee


Moonchanters


A sect of clergy sing prayers according to this changing rhythm, believing it puts them in better connection with the moon. Others in the church believe that you should commune with Avacyn herself, not the symbolic power of the moon.


Seraphic Shrouds


The mist from the waterfall is collected in long banners of heavy, white cloth. The water wrung out is considered holy, but once it is gone, the shrouds still have magical properties. Skaberen will kill for these shrouds, as they give extra stamina to their undead skaab creations.


Gavony's Geography


Thraben lies in on the northern edge of the province of Gavony. It's the largest walled city in Innistrad, although parts of Nephalia's seaports are more densely populated. Thraben's population is mainly clergy, merchants, and artisans. With the church's influence, the city maintains a high standard of cleanliness and order. There is a standing militia and the church pays a host of workers to keep the streets swept, the public gardens and grafs tended, and the riff-raff off the street. Begging is strictly prohibited, and there is a street curfew enforced by the militia. Several alms houses exist just outside the main walls of Thraben, and the church regularly sponsors "caravans" to take the needy to the sea ports, where they will ostensibly be able to find employment or trade work more easily.


 


Clifftop Retreat | Art by John Avon


Gavony Parishes


Parishes are an administrative designation used by the church. Gavony has five parishes, including Thraben. There are three in the area called Nearheath: Videns, Wittal, and Effalen. The region known as the Moorland is a single parish of the same name, although it is larger in size than the other four combined. Each parish may have multiple priests, chapels, and small altars.


Nearheath


Within a few miles south of Thraben's walls, there are several medium-sized towns. This area is called the Nearheath and is inhabited mainly by artisans and farmers. Being so close to Thraben affords a good deal of protection to these towns. Most have fortifications or walls in case of a ghoul attack or some other threat, but there are many outlying farms as well. Nearheath is composed of several parishes:



  • Videns. A region of vineyards and rolling hills with small castles with walled estates. The River Kirch runs through this region.

  • Wittal. This is the most thickly forested area of Gavony. Although small in size, the forest is dense and dark, with ancient pines trees that dwarf the deciduous forests in the neighboring parishes. The forest has become particularly dangerous now that the infamous werewolf Skaharra and her Leeraug cohorts have moved to the area.

  • Effalen. This is the rockiest area of Gavony. A vicious coterie of vampires have taken to preying on the periphery of the parish for sport.


Two of the main villages in the Nearheath are Estwald and Hanweir. Estwald is the center of woodworking in Gavony and part of the Wittal Parish. Hanweir is the agricultural jewel of Gavony. Hanweir is the site of the largest open-air market, the place where livestock are traded and trappers from Kessig bring their wares. Hanweir is in Videns Parish, and the River Kirch runs through the village, making it a bustling port where goods are brought in from the other provinces before being transported up to Thraben by horse and cart.


 


Hanweir Watchkeep | Art by Wayne Reynolds


The Moorland


Beyond the Nearheath is the Moorland. This has always been a more desolate region, filled with stories of spectral wolves and wandering spirits. There are few trees in the Moorland and the ground is covered with coarse grass, bracken, and violet heather. There are boulders and standing rocks, and the countryside seems to be covered in perpetual mist. The area is rife with geists, many of them dangerous, and travelers are constantly at risk from them as well as other things that wander the countryside.


Gisa and Geralf


There used to be more towns in the Moorland than there are now. Two rival necromancers—brother and sister, both quite insane—moved into the area in recent years. The siblings were scions of a noble family and distant relatives of the current Lunarch. They were banished from Thraben in a hushed scandal and have since moved to the Moorland, where they wage war against one another by raising armies of undead. Their battles have prompted many of the Moorland's inhabitants to move to the Nearheath, leaving the area even more desolate than before. Now, marauding ghouls range freely through the moors, lost playthings in the mad, epic battles of Gisa and Geralf.


Trostad


This was formerly a village of trappers on the border with Kessig, which has been entirely overrun by Geralf and his undead creations. His sister constantly lays siege to the village, seemingly for no purpose other than to best her brother. Geralf has grander ambitions and has been sending armies of undead into the Nearheath and raiding villages there.


 


Gavony Township | Art by Peter Mohrbacher


Grafs


There are more graveyards—known as grafs—in Gavony than anywhere else in Innistrad. Thraben in particular has many mausoleums, graveyards, and even paupers' gravesites, because people bring their dead from all over Innistrad to bury them in the perceived safety of the holy city. There is a gate, the Arch of the Dead, through which pilgrims bring the bodies of their loved ones into the city.


 


Moan of the Unhallowed | Art by Nils Hamm


Blessed Grafs


Thraben has city blocks devoted to burial sites known as Blessed Grafs. These are a grid of tombs and mausoleums under heavy guard from Elgaud soldiers and tended by horticulturists to keep trees and flowers blooming around the tombs. In Thraben, these are the equivalent of parks, and people visit them recreationally. It is considered relaxing to spend time in a place where kin are enjoying their Blessed Sleep.


The Estwald Murders


One of the most notorious cases in recent years involved a series of murders in the Wittal Parish. In Innistrad, murder is not unusual, but these deaths were particularly gruesome. The murderer left mauled body parts from the same victim at various chapels and priests' houses. The church sent a renowned inquisitor named Thedis, who was found dead in the same manner, his head mounted on a post near the outer wall of Thraben. Additional inquisitors and a small force of cathars were sent to the area, and it was eventually determined that it was the work of the newly arrived Leeraug werewolf pack, who were making a territorial claim with the grisly leavings. The battalion is still there, having been unable to roust the werewolves from the forest, although they have contained the murders.


 


 


The everyday life of a human varies dramatically according to one's class. The wealthy families and clergy live in comfort and safety. Thraben clergy, in particular, have every need met by the church. The middle classes—artisans and merchants—are also quite comfortable. But the working class and farmers have a much shorter lifespan; they are more at risk from the dark things of the world, and they suffer from more sickness and famine as well. A farmer lives an average of forty years, while a bishop lives closer to seventy.


 


Concept art by Steven Belledin


Safety is the main commodity in Innistrad. The wealthier you are, the safer you can make yourself. The high walls of Thraben protect the well-to-do who live inside. Titled families in Gavony have fortified manor houses, while the farmers must make do with the wooden walls of their farmhouses.


Because of the lack of physical safety, the poor spend a larger portion of their income of enchantments and non-physical means of protection. Tithing is required for everyone, and the church charges a small fee for every blessing and spell. Even at unstaffed little altars, payment is expected, and many of the faithful diligently pay even when there is no one to enforce it. Not unexpectedly, there is resentment among some for the amount of money required of the poor to uphold their faith. This resentment increases dramatically as the effectiveness of the Avacynian blessings diminish.


 


Concept art by Steve Prescott


Community


The sense of community is very strong among humans in Gavony and in other provinces as well. Little altars and crossway chapels aren't as common in Gavony as in the other provinces because of the strength of the parish churches. The parish church is the focal point of any community in Gavony. Most people worship several times a week, and many pass by the church on a daily basis for a blessing of safety.


 


Concept art by Richard Whitters and Steve Prescott


Travel


The roads in Gavony are best in the four northern parishes, although there are adequate roads in the Moorlands as well. It is easy to hire a soldier to guide you along the roads between Thraben and the Nearheath, and if you can make your trip during the daytime, such guides are usually not needed.


A few terms to know:



  • Chapel. An enclosed space of varying size devoted to worship. There are many chapels built along the crossways of Innistrad. Most have resident clergy who attend them. These sometimes serve has hostels for travelers.

  • Parish. The equivalent of a county. Each parish has its own chapel.

  • Crossway. The name for roads in Innistrad. Most are just dirt tracks for horses and carts.

  • Crossway Altar. An open-air altar along a crossway somewhere in the wilds.


 


Thraben Sentry | Art by David Rapoza


Defense


Martial prowess is highly valued among humans. Cathars, particularly inquisitors, are highly revered. Poorer families have a harder time getting their children accepted to train at the Elgaud Grounds. When children show aptitude for spellcasting, however, they are accepted at the Fal Seminary no matter what their parents' status.


 


Slayer of the Wicked | Art by Anthony Palumbo


The Church of Avacyn


Why there is evil in the world really isn't a question on Innistrad. There always has been, and no one expects it to change. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, spirits, devils: these are part of the natural order of the world. Humans have always battled the forces of darkness and had their back to the wall in the fight of good versus evil. At times the prospects for the continued existence of the human race have seemed grim indeed.


The Blessed Sleep


For the humans of Innistrad, the purpose of life is not to live forever, but to have a restful "sleep" after death—tranquil oblivion, or perhaps oneness with everything, rather than becoming a tormented spirit, mutilated corpse, or undead abomination, as so often happens on Innistrad. The Sleep is considered a reward for a virtuous and vigilant life. "May you spend an eternity in the ground" is a common blessing among the people of this plane.


 


Purify the Grave | Art by Drew Baker


Theological Underpinnings


Faith in the church of Avacyn actually works, but there are no formulas that are consistently successful. Saying the mystical words in the right combination will result in protective magic, but some days it works better than others. And sometimes the evil it's warding against is more powerful than other times. The unreliability of the wards and blessings has led to disagreements over dogma. Although there is still only one church, sects have emerged over disagreements about the right way to do things. The goal of the church is safety, not perfection. Humans want to live in reasonable safety until they die, and then they want to remain peacefully in their graves. Cremation is forbidden because it is believed to result in a restless, angry spirit.


In the Church of Avacyn, there is no conception of heaven and hell. The humans of Innistrad do not believe in a heavenly afterlife to reward their past deeds. And their equivalent of hell is a very literal thing: there are actual cracks in the ground where demons dwell. Avacyn is not expected to eliminate evil in the world or to create a perfect life for everyone. Instead, she is the font of safety and protection. She is the authority to whom the faithful must go before something bad happens, to help ward off those evils that have always been a part of the world.


 


Concept art by Wayne Reynolds


Church and State


In Innistrad, church and state are deeply interdependent; there is virtually no separation of the two. Local governments rely on the power of the Church to keep order and maintain public safety. Often the rule of law is adjudicated by the prelature, lawyers and judges ordained by the Church. All education is handled by the Church, although different sects sometimes establish their own schools and training grounds. Except for merchants and artisans, all professions are part of the Church. Even merchants and artisans are governed by fellowships, which must be sanctioned by the Church.


Church Hierarchy


Avacyn


The archangel Avacyn is the focal point of the human's worship. She is believed to be the source of all protective magic. It is thought that she controls the seasons and is the force that brings an end to the long and bleak Hunter's Moon. Adherents to Avacyn are called Avacynians, and their church is the Church of Avacyn, or the Avacynian Church.


Avacyn's Host


The archangel Avacyn has a host of angels who serve her.


The Flight of Goldnight. These angels are associated with the sun, in contrast with Avacyn herself. Once a year during the Harvest Moon season, the sun will not dip below the horizon for two full days, and during this time the moon isn't visible. Known as the Feast of Goldnight, this is the holiest day for the humans. It is the time when the Avacynian enchantments are strongest throughout Innistrad.


The Flight of Alabaster. These angels personify the Blessed Sleep and are associated with the Hunter's Moon season. They provide magic that wards against the desecration of dead humans.


The Flight of Herons. These are the angels of birth and purity and are associated with the New Moon season. Their magic is said to ward humans against harm in life (as opposed to the Alabaster host, which wards against harm in death).


 


Angelic Overseer | Art by Jason Chan


Clerical Ranks


Lunarch. The head of the church. This is a position elected by the council of bishops. Currently, it is held by a man named Mikaeus, who is searching desperately for the reason behind the decline of the church's power.


Bishop. The highest order of clergy. They reside in the cathedral at Thraben as members of the Thraben Council, the governing body of the church.


Mayor. Sometimes called the elder, this is the political leader of a parish. He or she has a mix of administrative and religious duties, but the day-to-day administration is left to the priests.


Priest. Priests oversee the church and attend to parishioners' needs. They all use mana to weave spells, but with varying degrees of skill.


Monk. These wandering priests are the lowest order of clergy. Some have been sanctioned by the church to seek out people living alone in the wilderness. But many are fanatics who are no longer formally part of the hierarchy, having said the wrong thing or enforced the wrong dogma and been cast out.


 


Concept art by Steven Belledin


Cathars


Lunar-smiths. Blessed weapons are an important part of Avacynian magic, and these clergy are trained in the art of weapon-making. Certain blessings must be said at certain times during the forging process to make a weapon magically effective against a particular foe. Silversmiths are particularly revered because of the difficulty in imbuing the silver with strong magic, especially anti-lycanthropic magic.


Inquisitors. Inquisitors are cathars who can be hired out to come help a parish if they have a particular problem with vampires or devils.


Parish-blades. Cathars stationed in parishes serve as escorts along roads or protect the cathedral in Thraben. This is an ordained military force that assembles whenever the clergy demands.


Runechanters. Runechanters are a specialized branch of the clergy that specializes in engraving blessings on material objects, including weapons. Everything from swords to axes to children's toys has words written on it in an effort to protect its owner. The best runechanters can write so small that hundreds of these blessings can be squeezed into a small space.



So easy to use. 
I'd like the idea of a Colonization setting.  Whole idea of an Old World continent discovering and settling a New World Continent.



They did that in FR with the Maztica continent which offered that whole New World vs Old World option...at least until it was destoryed in 4e. 

"We are men of action, lies do not become us" ~ D.P.R.
I'd like the idea of a Colonization setting.  Whole idea of an Old World continent discovering and settling a New World Continent.



They did that in FR with the Maztica continent which offered that whole New World vs Old World option...at least until it was destoryed in 4e. 




Well let's bring it back.  Or better yet a different setting with that idea as the focus.
I'd like the idea of a Colonization setting.  Whole idea of an Old World continent discovering and settling a New World Continent.



They did that in FR with the Maztica continent which offered that whole New World vs Old World option...at least until it was destoryed in 4e. 




Well let's bring it back.  Or better yet a different setting with that idea as the focus.



I'm all for that but sadly Maztica was never a popular expansion to FR and wasn't really even supported in 3e (I think it was mentioned is one 3e book but I honestly don't remember) which is probably why they just got rid of it in 4e. So unless they want to restart FR which I'm sure they won't any "new world" locale would indeed have to be in a new setting. Personally I loved Maztica but I could never find a group that wanted to stay there very long, so despite all the material I had I never ran anything more a few adventures there. I have a feeling it was that way for a lot of DMs.




"We are men of action, lies do not become us" ~ D.P.R.