The PoL concept made me decide to base my campaign in a more pulpy world that my usual DnD ideas (I really like Ravenloft with give my world a more hammer horror 1700's style). I also decided I wanted to do away with my usual pseudo-European temperate landscapes. So I want to run a game starting in a small village the steaming jungles of a world that is scattered with the ruins of a Yuan-Ti civilization. Blood cults, demon worship, lizard folk and dinosaurs will be common. Inspired by Conan, Indiana Jones, Tarzan, and the like. I thought about armour issues (plate mail in the jungle might get hot) but eventually decided that these sort of issues cloud the action/pulp feel I want to go for so I'm simply going to ignore that. I think I'm going to make alignment less strict so th PC can meet lots of exotic types without it immediately resolving to violence. I keep thinking I need to look into the Eberron jungle place (Xen'Drik?) some more, could be a good inspiration.
I unfortunatly did not get very much experience using my campaign in 3.5. When I did DM it was before I had set up my own world topography, sontinental powers and pantheon.
Pondera, my world (I am claiming that name now so dont you dare take it now.) has yet to see more than 2 sessions played within it.
Fortunatly I had done very little in the mechanics department, so I can just switch it over without much trouble. The only issue I see is that the great wheel (alignment) is somewhat important to my pantheon.
You see, I have a group of normal Greco-Roman style deities, but beyond them I have 5 Aspects. These are higher beings, more forces of nature than actual deities, they have wills and grant spells but do not have forms and cannot be destroyed. One aspect is neutral good, one is neutral evil, one is lawful neutral, one is chaotic neutral and one is neutral. They all exist in balance.
I've thought of an idea. I'm keeping it well away from races (cept for one mention of dwarves) and such - that is, this is something that could be a book just as well - until I see Phb4.0 I'm just going to post a chat log of me explaining it to my friend, cutting out all of his parts. It's big so I'll block it. With all of the cutting a few parts might be vague - lemme know if thats the case. Spoiler:Show
Hito: Now, the first major city is Ordomontare. It was a coastal city, got along well with the Fahnehics. Was just a pit stop of sorts for wanderings ships. Hito: But eventually, some of the more sophisticated Fahnehics and some Ordomontare people realized the forests could stand to be cleared a bit Hito: So Shin-Shogomai was born (it's just called Shi by natives.) Hito: It's BY FAR the largest city. Ordomontare is the second largest, it's not even half as big as Shi. Hito: And between them was the Guin Road. Hito: and that's where the problems started. Hito: With this, the Fahnehic people for the first time had a major barrier. True, they could pass for pilgrimage. But it was guarded, and much more of a hassle Hito: this is where the Fahnehic people divided Hito: Those on the east side of the Guin road (the side with Hoko) became the Durufahneh, the other was the Samafahneh you'll probably belong to. Hito: It'll help when I can show you the map Hito: now, the building of Shi was founded by the Eledai - a mining group who paid for the right to use the mineral pits. (They are going to be foreign, and probably one race, but that part is waiting for PhB 4.0) Hito: This arrangement worked well - the Eledai got exclusive rights, and Shi got money for land they weren't using. Hito: But when Shi is finished, dwarves in the city (if wizards takes away the dwarf penchant to mine I'ma kill them) said that they wanted to work at the mines. Hito: So the Shi government took away most of the Eledai rights, but stopped demanding tribute Hito: while the Eledai got their remaining mines for free, they were still pretty angry as the dwarves used tunnels they dug Hito: The dwarves from Shi (and a smattering of other races) formed the mining community of Resholan. They took the absolutely perfect spot Hito: the Tikket river, at the heart of Resholan, flowed straight to Ordomontare, where the materials could be traded Hito: the Eledai had once enjoyed this privilege Hito: in addition, as "natives" were using the mines now, a road was built from Resholan to Shi, the Traders Road Hito: and, as rivers only flow one way, an extremely long road was built from Resholan to Ordomontare, almost on the bank of the Tikket, for two way travel and such. Hito: As this was even longer than the road from Ordomontare to Shi, it was jokingly called the "Diguin Road", or double-grand Hito: The Eledai cursed their fate, moved their operation farther west, and started all over again Hito: to this day, the conflict between the Eledai and Resholan is very strong - in fact, a neutral zone was designated in the prime mineral field between them just so they'd stop killing each other Hito: Anyway, this feedback triangle - Resholan for resources, Shi for administration and expertise, and Ordomontare for trade to foreign areas - worked extremely well Hito: the Samafahneh did the best they could to adjust while keeping their culture Hito: while the Durufahneh became more brazen Hito: but the big shakeup came from another country Hito: the reason the Fahneh could originally live without forming any armies (before Ordomontare and such) was because of their borders - to the west, the impassible desert known as Shorplun, or "the dead place". To the north, a barren land that has some people but was nothing significant (well, more on that later.) and to the east - the foreign country Mulragden, which had built a huge gate separating it from the Fahnehic lands (btw, Shogomai is the name for the whole area in general) Hito: but one day, the gates flew open, and an army came Hito: Shi hastily mobilized an army, which formed a garrison called Barrow Hito: but it seemed doomed for them, as they had barely prepared a military Hito: until the invading army made the mistake of going south, just a little too close to Hoko, when they were promptly slaughtered. You see, they knew the Fahnehics back as a peaceful, unified, tribe - not the savage Durufahneh Hito: the gates were closed, and both sides learned a valuable lesson Hito: Barrow became a permanent establishment for the violent types Hito: which put a bit of pressure on the Durufahneh Hito: there have been a few small battles, and a war could very well happen Hito: and thats where it stands. there are a few other areas to mention that characters can be from, but those are the major parts. Hito: OH,wait, one other remaining city is pretty major Hito: see, theres a lot of opportunity for profit with all of the transit between the three cities Hito: not exactly a moral thing Hito: so a city was formed outside of Shi's jurisdiction - Tai-Shogomai (Tai) Hito: Tai has connections with all three major roads Hito: but, despite being so close to Shi, they opted instead of a connecting road to build a huge barrier Hito: so Shi knew something was up. Rather then attacking the city outright (they WERE making money, despite being the seedy underbelly sort of place) they built their own wall. the idea is "pretend we don't know about the illicit stuff, and demand money to not go call them on our laws.: Hito: so, for review, the major conflicts are: Hito: 1. The various wildernesses either ignored where monsters fester, or areas in Fahnehic territory where things got out of hand Hito: 2. The Eledai-Resholan mining debacle. Hito: 3.The Tai-Shi double-think situation. Hito: 4. the Barrow/Durufahneh conflict (and, to a lesser extent, the Durufahneh/everyone else conflict) Hito: 5. The state of the Fahnehic relgion (namely, the state of pilgrimages to Hoko for the Samafahneh) Hito: but it's not all bad! Hito: Samafahnehic lands have some monster infestations, but they try to keep it nice and under control, and are very peaceful to outsiders Hito: Shin-Shogomai/Shi is a pretty peaceful city, well organized (with most of it's troublemakers now living in Tai-Shogomai instead Hito: Ordomontare just have their own bizzare ways. They are pretty separated from the politics nowadays. Hito: but yeah, quite a few battles Hito: not to mention the Mulragden might throw open the gates and invade again sometime. Hito: but thats the campaign setting Hito: when I get the PhP4.0, I'll plug in races and classes Hito: and start writing adventures (I have some intros running in my head)
An unearthly grinding permeated the multiverse, audible on all worlds and planes. In the skies overhead, the stars formed into constellations unmistakably depicting the holy symbols of the gods. One after the other each fell to the earth. All understood this symbolized the fall of the gods. The grinding became louder as the planes themselves began shifting and churning. The very firmament that one stood upon contracted and shrank. Mountains that stood on the distant horizon pressed in to become a stone’s throw away, continents became islands. With a great roar, the very world itself ripped, its continent-islands scattering apart. In the skies could be seen the shattered remains of a thousand other worlds. The shattered remains came to settle as one, all thrown together like a great jigsaw puzzle, creating a new material world. The inner and outer planes were likewise torn asunder and reassembled in ways previously unknown, creating the new cosmology of the Feywild, Shadowfell, Elemental Tempest, and Astral Sea. New constellations assembled in the skies, forming the holy symbols of the new gods. All understood that the universe as they knew it was gone, a new world awaited.
Every game world imaginable is combined together in one big mess – my homebrew, Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Mystara, Middle Earth, Dark Sun, Imperial Rome, ancient Egypt, Transylvania, etc. The scale for each setting’s map will be reduced to about 100 miles across; metropolises become cities, cities become towns, towns become villages, villages become hamlets.
It will not be a serious campaign, but rather, over the top and wahoo behavior will be encouraged. PCs are fully expected to go trouncing through settings and destroying iconic villains. Power levels across the board will be reduced along with the reduction in physical scale. Heroic tier characters will be able to conquer former nation-states. Paragon tier characters will be able to conquer whole regions. Epic tier characters will be able to conquer whole campaign settings.
Players are encouraged to make their characters from whatever setting strikes their fancy, and the campaign will start from the one that they choose using a sandbox format with no predetermined plot. As the scale for each world is tiny, it will be no major feat to travel to the next campaign setting over. Whimsy shall determine what the next world will be when the PCs travel there.
I have finally decided on mine. I had thought of doing a pseudo-historical earth campaign (with French Elves and Moorish Dragonborn, etc) but decided against it. Instead I am just using real history as an inspiration for my own world, without copying directly. Mostly it is inspired by playing far too much Medieval II as the Byzantines and trying to bring the world back under proper Roman Rule.:D
I am setting my campaign in the village of Falconpoint. It's built around a fortress guarding a ford in the Shieldwarden River. The fortress was one of a series that represented the northernmost border of the ancient Chironian Empire. The Empire withdrew from the area a few hundred years ago, due to war, internal strife and plague, but never collapsed. Leaving the towns and villages of the border region to their own devices.
Across the river lies wilderness that had NEVER been conquered by the Empire, filled with savage barbarian humanoid tribes and monsters and something ahs been riling them up, of late. Further, there are rumors that the empire is rebuilding itself and seeks to reclaim its lost provinces, by force if necessary. Falconpoint will soon find itself caught between a rock and a hard place.
The races won't deviate from the standard D&D models for them. Dwarves are still miners, elves are still tree huggers, etc. I haven't figured out what to do with Eladrin, just yet. Dragonborn will be descended from mercenaries brought over by the Chironians centuries before, thus they are a commonplace sight in any area where the Empire holds or even once held sway.
Tieflings are an odd case. I am making them the descendants of a particularly corrupt noble house (now long fallen) of the old empire, rather than an ancient empire of their own. They tend to be low caste sorts, living on the fringes of human society. In my campaign, it is possible for two normal humans to "carry the curse in their blood" and give birth to a tiefling child (think of it as a recessive gene). Further, it is considered bad luck by superstitious sorts (i.e. most peasants) to harm one so they aren't usually in danger of being burned at the stake. Of course no one says you ahve to be FRIENDLY to them either and of course, mnsters and major NPC types don;t usually hold to such silly superstititions...
The game will start in the grand keep of a lord with the surrounding town. If the Keep of the Shadowfell adventure permits, this will be what was once the Keep on the Shadowfell. A great festival marking the hundredth anniversary of the Keep's 'redemption' (probably needs a better name) draws the players together where they hear the well-known local tale of how a group of brave adventurers cleared the unhallowed place of its monster denizens (Of course, at this point I will take out Keep on the Shadowfell and run that with the pregens).
I will take a gander at the Keep on the Shadowfell for possible nearby places that can serve some low-level adventures. If the book is vague about the surrounding area then I will give a quick fluff-up and let the players loose in my world.
I've shamelessly stolen plenty of villages, adventure sites, etc. from the New Points of Light (and Dark) thread (and others), adapting it as it suits my needs (which is sometimes quite a bit). My mapped out world is relatively small now, simply a rough map of three small provinces.
As the PCs explore my world and fight its evils they will slowly learn more of the heroes that crawled through the Keep on the Shadowfell (as the adventures come out I'll run them with the original pregens). As I learn more about the adventure path I'll decide if I want to include more than just the background in my game.
My world is a standard one. Alosh has had its world spanning empires nearly a thousand years ago that lasted for millenia. However Arkhosia defeated Bael Turath before similarly disappearing (although no-one quite remembers why). In the aftermath a kingdom rose up called Herran which lasted for a few centuries. It was run by humans but was much more tolerant of other races then Bael Turath was. Unfortunately it fell five hundred years ago with much upheaval. Many of the well populated areas were abandoned with its populations fleeing to the countryside as chaos spread throughout the kingdom.