View Full Version : The single most stupid or AWESOME! setting I've ever done.

2009-01-27, 08:18 PM
OK, here's the thing, a friend of mine always wanted to play a steampunk campaign, since the regular gaming group is scattered through different parts of the country (either due to vacations or because of our plan to take over the world), our regular gaming sessions are paused, so, we gathered another gaming group and I decided to finally DM the steampunk campaign my friend always wanted. So, today, while walking aeck home from work, I made good use of that time and instead of scaring bystanders, I choose to design the campaign world. My players have different interests, mainly because they are different individuals and not one inmense mass of meat as I wished, so, as you already know, one of them likes steampunk, another one hates steampunk, another one likes gothic vampire/werewolves things and a little ninjas/samurai stuff. So, instead of a single theme focused world I created...

Project AWESOME!
Since I was going to make ungodly crossovers i thought "Meh, if I have ninjas, samurais and vampires in a steampunk setting why not just get CraAazy!?" Therefore I added to this horrific mix of themes cthulhu, pirates, a confederate southern USA like magocracy and cowboys!

The World (Actually, the known world)

So, the "known" world so far is one big continent, from now on known as Vypeeria, a couple of islands to the south east and waaaaay over the east, and an even bigger mainly unexplored continent overseas to the south east.

The continent is divided in various main points for the campaign:

The N.F.C. (northern federation of commerce) wich is as it says, a federation of comercially powerfull states, each one with a different cultural flavour.
The N.F.C. was born from the merging of five powerfull capitalist states, humans from Montblanc, Redriver and Boscobianco, the gnomes from Schwarzberg and the dwarves from River Rock Falls. The capital city of this federation is called, unnoriginally "Metropolis". Overall, this civilization ressembles your typical victorian age steampunk empire. They also stablish trading routes with different parts of the world and are in a sort of cold war with the southern states because over there, slavery is a common practice, while the northern states are abolitionists.

People from the N.F.C. treat muskets and pistols (from the DMG 3.5 renaissance technology table) as martial weapons, and if they have no ranks in knowledge (engineering) they are treated as if having 1/2 rank.

The Great Magocracy of the South.
This is the mage controlled, slavist agriculture oriented alliance of the south. This is where the setting starts to get... strange. There are 8 main cities/plantations/magic schools ( <= and this is still makes much more sense than what's next), each one ruled by a high level wizard speciallist, the most powerfull one is a wizard 5/red wizard 5 evocation speciallist and is the current leader of the southern alliance. Then there's a illusionist 5/red wizard 3, a necromancer 5/redwizard 2, a transmuter 5/red wizard 2, an abjurer 5, a conjurer 5, a diviner 4 and an enchanter 4. This society is anti technology, because it gives power to the common people, and this wizards are'nt happy about sharing power.

They rarely take apprentices, they have only a few to use the "circle magic" abilty, and since the highest level mage ussually duels with the current leader for the leadership of the alliance, more aprenctices means more future rivals. Of course, sometimes there is no need for a duel, specially if assasins can do their job right.

All the internal conflicts is what prevents this guys from taking over the world, I mean, a tenth level wizard is almost a freaking god.
Anyway, the main economical activiity is agriculture, done by the thousands of halflings taken as slaves from overseas.
Some halflings are able to escape from their tyranical masters, and some of them start a peacful life in the north or join a pirate tripulation in the south east islands of the Talladirek sea.

But waaaaaaait, here comes the bizarre thing. There are small towns around this big mage cities (wich are probably towers dont you think?). And some of those towns, specially the ones near swamps and the sea of the coral claw to the east shore, are victims of unknown maddening entities from far beyond the stars that inhabit the deepest parts of the oceans and the darkest underground cities. Some of this alien creatures contact humans during their dreams, and lure them into their dark world where they suffer mutations. Some towns adore this things as gods and the mutations are seen as a blessing. In most casaes the result of mutations is a xenophobic crossbreed alien/human, much like in shadow over innsmouth(thank god for kuo toas.). Some other cases just turn the victim mad (saninty score anyone?) but some other cases, the victim remembers nohing from the contact, and his psionic powers awake.
Psionics are hunted down like animals by the great mages, I mean, someone with similar powers to ours but without the need foe somatic, verbal or material components? we cant allow it. Also, psionics are seen as aberrations in the rest of the world, so they ussually have to hide their powers and explain them in some other way.

People from the magocracy recieve half san loss from dealing with otherwordly creatures and they are treated as always having 1/2 rank knowledge (arcana)

The Wild West
Where men are men, dwarves are men and irls are men. OK, not like that.
The desertic lands of the west, it's mountains are rich in iron and precious metals, here, the dwarves have battled the native elves for centuries. The advantage of the elves, their numbers and their knowledge of the place, what do the dwarves got? Their masterworks handmade pistols known as revolvers.

Revolver: Dmg (S): 2d4 Dmg (M) 2d6 Critical x2 R.I: 30ft weight: 3lb Damage: Piercing

A revolver cannot be bought, desert dwarves made them only for themselves, they see humans as too ambitious to carry around those things and gnomes too stupid. A dwarf needs 500gp for base materials before starting to craft his revolver. A revolver can hold up to 6 bullets, recharging a revolver takes one full round action (or a move with the rapid reload feat). Ten bullets weight 1 pound and they cost the dwarf 2sp in base materials per bullet to craft them.

Different companies of the N.F.C. are exploiting this lands, they hire dwarves as guides, guards and miners. Dwarves also exploit their own mines, wich is the second most popular job among the dwarves, beign the first one, cattle, that's what has earned them their nickname of "cowboys":smallwink:
But, for mining issues, companies also hire another local race, the goblins. This little greenfellows have horrible work ethics, they are noisy and hard to live with... but oh gods, do they know about explosives. Any explosive weapon is treated by goblins as martial weapons instead of exotic in game terms.

Elves, protect the isolated grass lands and small oasis of the dessert. Their fighting tribes are leaded by one shapeshifting druid and one wise woman (lvl 3 cleric or wizard). This guys are expert bowmen and good warriors, wich compensate for the fact that they are ussually half naked (hey, that must at least give a +2 to their intimidate checks, right? RIGHT?)

People from the wild west are treated as if having 1/2 rank in knowledge nature and they have the heat endurance special ability

Talladirek sea islands
In the southeastern most part of the continent, there is a place where all the scum of the world gathers to live a life of crime, excitement and freedom. Some of the, simple smugglers, other great robbers, but whatever the path they choose they are all the pirates of the talladirek. This guys are smart, they choose the islands of that zone because ships from the continent must pass through there or nearby areas in order to reach the landmass overseas.

Towns are few, only a couple of them are permanent, the others are temporal stablishments that dissapear as fast as they were built. Pirate caves on the other hand... you will rarely find an island wich is not home of some pirate's secret hide out, of course, it's secret so you know that the hide out is there, only that you dont know exactly where.
Pirates are mostly humans and rogue halfling slaves. On rare occasions a dwarf or a gnome might turn to piracy when escaping from the law, and the stangest of all the races to be seen on a ship must be the elf, or probably the orcs, who knows, no wait! Orcs piates are common, so yeah, the elves are a strange sight in the crew.

If you want to know how piraty this pirates are, just think about the pirates of the caribean movies, it's a lot like that, but with only half as much sea monsters.

People from th pirate islands are treated as if they always have 1/2 rank in proffesion (sailor) and they treat muskets and pistols as martial weapons.

Craowvartia (or the dark east)
This place is there to please my vampires/werewolves loving player. This land is actually to the north east so is colder than the rest of the continent, some village are still living in the middle ages, massive castels are houses for a dying aristocracy trying to adapt to the new world. Is a land of cold summers and colder winters, a land of darkness, undeads, werewolves... and is populated mainly by orcs.

Town orcs are brutish, hard working and they almost never speak to foreingers, they practicallt doesnt speak between them either.
Noble orcs, on the other hand, are athletic, well manered and charismatic. They enjoy fine swordplay and ancient tomes of forgotten knowledge or religious books. Some of them seem to live for ever, well, at least tose who are a victim of vampirism, the other ones just die when they get old.

Culture of this part of the world is, as you can imagine, a rip off of old vampire movies. Yes, we get it, local people hates us, undeads are all around, and this eastern european accent is driving me crazy! Although, it is a treat to the ear sometimes.

People from this part of the world recieve only half sanity loss from thigs involving undeads and are always treated as if having at least 1/2 rank in knowledge religion

The far east Or the land of the rising sun... (someone just shoot me if I do that again)
So, I dont speak japaneese nor do I speak chineese, so this land is still unnamed, anyone feel like giving it a name? Eh?

Anyway, considering how far away from the main parts of the "known" world this is, I have thought of almost nothing for it (and I'm a little tired, I started writting this two hours ago and I just want to end this!), all I know is that there's going to be ninjas and samurais, and of course, it will ressemble jappan, or china. I dont even know wich race will be dominant here, humans probably. OK, let's improvise...

This place is like meiji japan, one emperor, some contact with the european like cultures and this guys are just starting to know the wonders of the steam technology (wich are lots if you consider that in this world, you can make a freaking plane out of a tea pot).

But, if it is like meiji japan, then there's little place for samurais... mmmm, then let's just forget about history, I mean, I'm just basing most of the campaign in real world history, BASING, not copy pasting, so yeah, lot's of samurais protecting lords and politicians. Ninjas are always there, working as soldiers, spies or assasins... and battling pirates of course.

People from this lands treat the katana and the wakisashi as martial weapons, they are also treated as having at least 1/2 rank in one perform skill of the player/DM choice

Phew... That was a lot of writting, OK, I'll EDIT this post tomorrow probably and add more detailed information regarding classes and races. Bye bye!

EDIT 1:-------------------------------------------------------------------


This guys are almost everywhere, they are the rulers of the souther magocracy, they are the dominant race of the N.F.C. There are human towns in Craowvartia, they are the most powerfull race in the land of the rising sun and thanks to humans, the wild west natural resources are beign exploited. Humans are the undisputed lords of the world, probably because their short life span compared to other races make them try too do as much as they can in as little time as possible.

Personality: They can adapt to almost any situation, they are flexible, they generally like adventures and challenges and can be quite ambitious. Beign so big in number and since they are scattered all around the world, personalities tend to be quite different among humans, yeah, you can find similat people in the same town or country, but that's a rare thing when you compare humans from two different countries.

Physicall Description: Come on! You've seen humans! You dont need me to tell you how you and your friends look like!

Relations:Humans get well mostly with dwarves and gnomes, well, at least those from the N.F.C. People of the magocracy are highly xenophobes and some are quite racists, so they dont get well with anyone other than other humans from the magocracy. Orcs and humans are in good terms in Craowvartia, but the real reason behind it is the little to no contact between the villages of that land. Humans from the land of the rising sun are a complete mystery, their relationship with the rest of the world is mainly comercial, and their language and habits are so alien to those of the west that it's hard to understand them

Human Lands: Human ambition mostly leads to them becoming leaders wherever they go, in only humans lands, well, humans are the obvious leaders right? In the N.F.C. they are the most numerous race, gnomes prefer to pull the strings from behind the stage and dwarves are mostly interested in profit and doing their job right so they have no problem with other races handling the political issues.

Religion:OK, I'm still working on this... probably, following the real world influence, they'll follow a monoteistic religion in the N.F.C and the southlands?
While those from the eastern lands follow more phillosophic oriented religions?

Languages: The most common language is the (now known as) metropolitan, a language that was born in the N.F.C. previous to it's birth. Then there is the local languages of Boscobianco, Redriver and Montbalnc. In the magocracy, people speak the arcanum. Craowvartians speak craowvartian, and then those of the eatern most part of the world speak their own strange language.

Human traits: Same as in PHB

2009-01-27, 09:45 PM
You need raptor banditos (http://www.drmcninja.com/page.php?pageNum=20&issue=3). Yes you do.

2009-01-27, 09:46 PM
Needs more dinosaurs. And robots.

And there should explicitly be Clerics of Chuck Norris.

2009-01-27, 09:51 PM
A couple questions you should consider:

1.) Why is the NFC antislavery? Does this extend as far as wanting to get rid of slavery everywhere, or only in their own territories?

2.) What do the magic council people think of the elder creatures? Are they exploited regularly by the governing forces?

3.) Why are humans tolerated in dwarf lands? What's in it for them?

4.) What are the politics like in between the empires? How much war, for example?

5.) Why would members of these different nations be brought together (for example, to start an adventuring party)?

Off the top of my head: it seems like all of these different empires have a distinct balance of power. Magic, technology, ninja skillz--each advantage is jealously guarded. That might take the edge off of conflict.

But what if some new power source shook up this balance of power? A couple cliche examples:

1.) An item that gives the bearer control over a nigh-unstoppable undead legion

2.) An epic demon (or similar great power) that is willing or forced to serve the first nation to offer it one million sacrifices

3.) The discovery of a new, sprawling island with a great item of power rumored to be hidden somewhere on it

4.) A new empire that has been attacking the nations indiscriminately

2009-01-27, 10:10 PM
Nice reaction from the playground... good.


1)NFC is antislavery because more freemen means more people to sell their products, slaves only wear rags and eat crap, freemen wear fancy rags and eat expensive crap.

2)Elder creatures should be erradicated since they are the source of a power that endangers the stability of the mages power. I didnt understand the second part of your question.

3)The west are'nt dwarf lands, the dwarves come from River Rock Fall, a land a little bit to the north of the main human lands. Reason? Trading mainly, when they joined the NFC, they gaved the other nation their knowledge in minery and iron handling, and recieved the benefit of comercial pacts the human lands already had between them, with the magocracy, Craowvartia and the land of the rising sun

4) Main conflicts: Waiting-for-your-first-move cold war like situation between NFC and magocracy. Civil unrest in the LotRS, elves vs dwarves in the west and small conflicts between diferent noble families of craowvatia.

5)Well, the hardest to get with are those from the magocracy. NFC and western people are in good terms. Aristocrats of both NFC and Craowvartia have good relations. The eastern guys are a true mystery, and pirates, well, they fit rght in wherever they go.

Regarding power balance... this idea camd to me while walking, it's just a baby setting yet, let me work a little more on it.

@Draz74: Gosh, I already feel bad for skipping vikings, and you talk me about robots? Well... is steampunk, so a couple of clockwork steam powered modrons and warforgeds would'nt be that crazy... right?

@cnsvnc: I'm going for a "you can play seriously or joking" kind of awesome here. Raptor banditos (or anything from mcninja) would add a couple of pounds into the silly sde of the balance.

2009-01-28, 03:18 PM
Sounds awesome alright. How about adding a jungle area, maybe you can put dinosaurs there or something

2009-01-28, 06:56 PM
how about vikings and giants from the north in a constant state of war against crowvartia.

or maybe a constant state of war with each other, they might have some equipment that is inscribed with runes and ect.

2009-01-28, 08:22 PM
Ha, today I thought about adding dinosaurs to the jungles from where the halflings come from, and I planned to use the "were T-Rex" Rich Burlew did.

Now, I realized that there is almost no place for divine magic in this world, clerics just seem to be a little off. They might work well for elves in the wild west or for people of Craowvartia.

So... should wizards cast healing magic? Du dun dun... let's see how that works.

2009-01-29, 02:45 AM
I think you need some sort of Mad Max element.

2009-01-29, 03:30 AM
2.) An epic demon (or similar great power) that is willing or forced to serve the first nation to offer it one million sacrifices

Never heard of something really in that particular vein. What are some works it appears in? Or is it not actually cliche?