So I’ve been very quite for a while, my main participation in the hobby has been painting miniatures, however the time is coming for me to start making a campaign again and to begin putting things in order for doing that with the goal of starting the campaign in December this year or January. So I’m not in a great hurry, but steady work during my holidays should see me ready to go at the right time. Now rather than develop the campaign and keep it under wraps I figured I would share my developments on the blog.
So my first step is to start organising the setting, it doesn’t need to be hyper detailed but it does need to give a lear enough over view that I can plan things out and create the game(s) that I want for the campaign.
Now I’m using a setting that I’ve been working with on and off for years for this campaign and so a lot of my goals here are to take existing ideas and organise them better, especially in ways that make them easier for players to access. To this end I’ll be trying to make a series of documents, starting with a “One Page” overview, then expanding that to a “Ten Page” summary. These page counts are important as they serve as a way to focus the writing and keep things organised into something that I can either quickly revisit for my own use it perhaps share with players to fill them in on the setting/campaign.
For the “One Page” I drew inspiration from the competition that WotC ran that resulted in Eberron, actually its also where the 10 Page idea comes from (that was round 2 of the competition). This is actually the setting that I was thinking of at the time of that competition, but it has gone through some changes in the intervening years. This is not how I would have delivered the One Page for the competition btw, this is the format I’m using for planing purposes.
So here is the One Page;
Setting: The Shattered Lands
Genre: Primarily sword & sorcery, though other genres are possible.
Core Ethos Sentence: Kingdoms grow and the destinies of many are decided by the actions of a few.
Thematic Elements: The struggle between freedom and oppression.
Setting Elements: 3 goddesses shaped the world and its inhabitants. In time jealousy poisoned Callach’s heart and conflict grew between the goddesses. This conflict ultimately shattered the world and erected a barrier between it and its reflections and the Planes beyond. In time an alliance was formed between a human king and a gold dragon and from this grew the great empire of Caedria. The empire grew until it touched all the known world by either its authority or with trade. In its shadow grew its downfall, Dragonspire, whose dragon lords defeated the Empress at great cost. This lead to the collapse of the empire as greedy and ambitious rulers made their own claims. Now a hundred years later the regions of the world begin to emerge into new lands, their destinies to be shaped by their as yet unknown heroes. The setting stands united by a common past and divided by its future.
System: The setting is being developed with 4E DnD and DnDNext in mind.
Who are the heroes? The heroes are those people who take up weapons or magic to protect the freedom of others, either by intent or consequence of their actions.
What do they do? They explore, fight monsters, uncover plots, unite disparate groups in a common goal and through their actions protect the freedom of others.
Threats, Conflicts, Villains:
Threats range from localised dangers such as criminal organisations or beasts to dangerous groups like the Durosh’kan all the way to powerful kingdoms like Dragonspire.
Conflicts happen between groups driven by beneficial co-operation and those who seek power over others. Those motivated by power are often driven by mundane political ambitions, but groups such as the Istathri seek the release of evil beings into the world on the promise of great rewards for their service.
Villains include Callach whose agents work to free her and the draconic rulers of Dragonspire. In addition many classic DnD villains easily fit into the setting.
Nature of Magic:
Magic is composed of 6 elements; Earth, Fire, Air and Water are tied to the great barrier between the world and the Great Planes and Wood and Metal are tied to the Reflection Planes that stand close to the world inside the great barrier. The ability to perform minor magics is relatively common, including the ability to create kuvakts, small objects that act like magic batteries. However the knowledge, or faith, required to perform greater spells is rare and as a result people who can wield it are sometimes met with fear.
What’s new? What’s different?
Race is secondary to culture, and culture is driven by the history of the region and its technology. In addition kuvakts create a means of incorporating a range of technology into the setting without creating a conflict between magic, setting and reflection on real history for the development of technology.