Author Topic: What Makes Your World Yours?  (Read 394 times)

Offline Shiftkitty

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What Makes Your World Yours?
« on: January 25, 2017, 10:18:42 AM »
My current campaign with a new group around here takes place in the realm of Ironwood. Ironwood has gone through a recent revolution where one prince conquered his older brothers in a Machiavellian coup and then marched on his Uncle the King, who took power through his own dirty deeds. (With no sons of his own, he slew the old king and took the throne, claiming his nephews as his sons, using their own greed against them to keep them in check.)

Anyway, societal norms in the newly united realm of Ironwood, and indeed when the place was a collection of splintered principalities, include:
-Necromancy is banned and punishable by death. ("Join the dead you love so dearly!")
-Women do not serve in the armed forces or any other combat-prone position (such as local watch, law enforcement, etc.).
-Female adventurers tend to draw a lot of attention either by admiring looks for a strong woman or by "learn your place!" glares. (Slowly, though, this is dying out as more women buck the trend.)
-Demi-humans are permitted full citizenship so long as they abide by local law.
-Males age 13 and up (or the equivalent) must report for training in homeland defense.
-Males age 16 and up (or the equivalent) must report for homeland defense duty one weekend a month (kind of like the National Guard).
-Spell casters are only permitted to train and study in approved schools and must register.

In spite of this, Ironwood is enjoying a growth in prosperity. In spite of the ban on combat roles, women are enjoying more status as business owners and other such positions. The new King is trying to balance the prosperity with keeping his control of the kingdom. Travel across the border is restricted, but almost impossible to enforce, and many adventurers have found fame and fortune confronting the humanoid tribes of neighboring wasteland Mag Kriev (a rocky plain that is home to orcs, hobgoblins, fugitives from justice, etc.).

What's your world, and what makes it yours?
"Attack now! We can level up in Hell!"
~ My nephew getting carried away at his first D&D game

Offline DMMike

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Re: What Makes Your World Yours?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2017, 06:48:20 PM »
Below are some of my campaign's oddities, from DF11 Guide to the Realms of Aedenne (dragonsfoot.org)

Aedenne peculiarities

* No gnomes!

* Because arcane and divine magic are incompatible, there are no cleric- magic users.

* Demihumans tend to stay among their own kind, so any that travel through a human village or town will be a source of fascination and possible hostility as noted below.

* Elves are disliked among humans, sometimes bordering on hatred. This prejudice is returned in full measure by the Elves, who consider humans ‘nasty, brutish and short-lived.’

* Half-Elves are treated the worst, almost as if they were lepers. Even at the best of times, they are given the distrust shown to gypsies in our world.

* Most wizards are part of the Mage Guild, which has towers in most large cities. Depending on the size of the town, there could be as many as 4; titled for the 4 elements (‘Tower of Air’, ‘Tower of Water’, etc.) Those not a part of the guild is ‘heathen’ (ie from the heath, hedge wizards) and are mistrusted by the guild.

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Offline A_wizard_am_I!

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Re: What Makes Your World Yours?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 07:23:01 PM »
My setting Arandor is quite different from the usual D&D settings.  Some highlights:

  • Elves are exiles of the Dreamlands, thrown out by Those Who Sleep for their endless warring with the Goblins.  High Elves are tall, slender creatures with shiny, metallic hair and eyes like crystal, ice, fire or a starry night sky.  Wild elves are short, child-like creatures with shaggy fur-like hair and eyes like that of predatory animals.  Low Elves are muscular, man-sized creatures with hairless, tattooed bodies and vibrant colored eyes.
  • Dwarves are short, furry creatures with black eyes that came to Arandor long ago from the nearby moon, Unax.  Master craftsmen and builders, they have created many Waygates that allow instant travel across Arandor, though most are de-activated.
  • Halflings share common ancestry with Humans and have fully integrated with Human society, even though they cannot reproduce with them.   Halflings can be any class, just like Humans can.
  • Human half-breeds have no social stigma.  Half-Elves are allowed to live among elves or humans, and often travel between the two as merchants, diplomats, entertainers and sellswords.  Half-Orcs were originally bred by humans to make strong soldiers that can see in the dark in their wars with their underground dwelling Orc enemies.  Half-Orcs eventually bred true and now are part of Human society alongside the Halflings and Half-Elves.
  • Gnomes are short creatures with large, brightly colored noses.  Their lives are tied to world itself, and when killed are reborn somewhere else in Arandor with memories intact, making them effectively immortal.
  • Humans have a wider range of hair and skin colors compared to our world, such as grey-skinned or purple haired humans.

  • Paladins originally got their power from a fallen star, but since it was lost long ago, the power is now only granted by another Paladin.
  • Druids are the common priests of Arandor, with Clerics being more rare.  Monks can cast spells, but have much less emphasis on martial arts.
  • Illusionists and Bards are quite common as traveling entertainers.  Magic-users, called Maegi on Arandor, are much more rare.
  • Rangers are much more common and have are trained differently in various regions.  Some rangers can cast illusionist or cleric spells instead of druid or mage spells.

The World
  • Rather than the numerous planes of most D&D settings, Arandor simply has four.  The Waking World or Mortal Realm are names for the prime material plane.
  • The Dreamlands are where most magical creatures originate, including all Fey creatures.
  • The Netherworld is home to all the most dark and evil creatures, such as demons, devils, and some undead.
  • The Realm Beyond is where most living creatures go when they die, but also home to strange creatures like angels and some undead.