View Full Version : Dragon Born - Campaign Setting

2010-07-29, 07:34 PM
A good while back, I came up with a rather unique (at least as far as I know) campaign setting. It never got to be used, I thought about making a video game out of it, but passed it over for various reasons, primarily due to being so heavily based on DnD 3.5, including pretty much all non-core material.

I remembered it a couple days ago, and offered to DM a game in this setting, that didn't pan out either, but since I've remembered it, I kind of want to show it in case anyone else wants to use it. All I'm going to put down is the basic overview for now, but I'll be putting down more and more as time goes on.

As it stands, it is completely compatible with DnD 3.5, purely core or otherwise, you loose some of its flavor, but that's true with cutting out anything Campaign Setting Specific. Their technology got to be about 1940's-1950's level in some regards, though with the touch of magic, it is still very DnDish, particularly after the Cataclysm.

...And heading this off, sorry, it appears like it was half-heatedly written as an "epic," it's just how this comes to mind to type it out.

So, as a start, it was originally designed as a one shot, so we have the starting area, The Utopia, in particular its Capitol:

...The capitol city was on the coast of a great bay, spanning more land area than most forests, and extending over the sea by a fair bit. Aside from coastal waters, the city occupied 3 climes, to the south there were the great mountains, to the north, a vast desert, and the east, a fertile grassland.

All races in the world had a strong footprint within the city. Divided into districts, the central district was made to be a cultural melting pot, those who migrated to the city to leave their culture behind, or those who wanted to trade a variety of goods, would head here. It developed into its own complex culture in time, kind of an amalgam of the various cultures.

Around this central district, arranged in a circle was a district for every culture, designed to mimic the usual terrain of their homelands, these areas were to ease the tensions of emigration, and were seen as a great place for those outside of the culture to go to immerse themselves within it. Traditional crafts and cuisines could be found in the main district, but the highest quality, authentic items were in the other districts.

As that era wasn't really meant to be played in originally, there are definitely some gaps there, the civilization was never really named, but in a way it was more of a city state. The city was named "Crosskeep" as it originated as an old fortress in the crossroads of the world, as all terrains join to this one spot.

Dragons were rather important to the world, worshiped as physical gods, and governing the utopia along with the people who live in it.

The one thing all the cultures had in common, was the worship of their physical gods, the dragons. All manners of dragons made their home in and around the capitol. The people took the advice of the Dragons from the start, which resulted in the city flourishing. The city was jointly governed by two councils, one of elected officials of the common races, one for each district, and another of the oldest and wisest dragons.

The dragons required a tribute from all in the city, which was proudly payed by the populace. In exchange for their worship, the Dragons granted their people certain forms of magic. In the name of the Dragons, there were Clerics and Paladins, spreading their will. The Dragon's favored followers became decidedly more Draconic, some grew capable of breathing fire, others gained draconic wings. All in all, the rule of the Dragons was just.

Then the world ended. It was a happy time for all parties involved.

The Cataclysm

...The survivors, in hindsight, realized that there were signs that it was coming. The Dragons grew more oppressive in their rule, they decreed that the lower council was to be disbanded, and tribute requirements of the citizens rose steadily in the next months. The only thing the survivors could not figure out was why it happened.

Just when the people felt there was no more for them to give, the Dragons, in a unified strike, tore down the society that they themselves spent centuries building. In a matter of minutes, there was not a building above a single story standing. After their rampage, the Dragons left, leaving no trace of where they were heading.

So complete was their destruction that the surrounding area for thousands of miles was converted into barely hospitable wasteland. The mountains to the south were fractured, the plains to the east converted to horrible tundra. The ocean turned to a deep purple, a black mist always rising from it, preventing any from taking a drink. The winds in the desert to the North picked up to levels where the sand itself would tear a man apart in minutes, and the wind never died down. In the city itself, the air became so saturated with debris, that it was dangerous to breathe for too long, and then there was the risk should the dragons come back, there would be no weather to obscure the view of a new settlement.

Directly after the cataclysm was when the game was to start, survival being the number one priority. The players were to have found some surivors, and set off to form a new settlement, hoping to become self sufficient enough that a plan could be made to see what to do if/when the dragons notice society creeping back. Creatures suited to the new hostile environments would appear, and Barbarian tribes forming out of survivors from the neighboring lands would be a major threat, but the weather would be no less so.

Resources would be scarce, crafting would be in high demand, as would people knowledgeable in nature, and dragons. Cleric, Paladin, Favored Soul, and similar classes wouldn't be able to be used, at least not at first. Wizards and other classes relying on expensive materials would also have some difficulty, having to make due with sub optimal materials for scribing their spells, and salvaging from the city. Out in the wild in the new settlement, the Wizard would think of something to use as a spellbook, maybe even his house.

Even though most of my original ideas were for post cataclysm, with some filling out, the Utopian age could be a fun setting in and of itself I would think. I shall leave things for now though, and edit in more later, starting with the major races of the setting.

2010-07-30, 01:12 AM
There were a good amount of "Major" races in Dragon Born, most of them various flavors of standard races, with some more exotic, and one "unique" one, with every race, there were at least two varieties, some just a separate ethnicity, others had much more diversity. All of them are modified from their DnD incarnation in some form.

The Base races found in the PHB that were to be part of the setting were: Humans, Dwarves, Elves, and Gnomes, none of the others even exist in this setting (including Half-Elves). Four more races from standard DnD, Ogres, Kobolds, Goblins and Lizardfolk. Finally, there were the Draken, who were "Dragon Touched" similar to plane touched. Beyond these races, there were no intelligent or civilized races in the world, no orcs, no Illithids, and so on.

Your character's race would be made up of two parts, the actual race/ethnicity, and the culture they grew up in. The race and ethnicity would determine starting attributes, while the culture would give various bonuses, usually in the form of two weapon proficiencies, one of which is exotic normally, two or three skills to receive a bonus in, and a small special ability.

Also as a note, Draconic is the "Trade Language" in Crosskeep, similar to common which does not exist, most cultures have their own language as well, anyone from Crosskeep knows Draconic. The stats are also created with 3.5 in mind, but could probably be converted to another system, D20 Modern might be a good system for this, but I've never looked at it.

I've also been using "Generic" as a word for someone who's ancestry is spread quite a bit between more than one racial culture.

Currently filled in: Stats for all humans, all Mazika, Generic Dwarves, Generic Gnomes, Generic Ogres, and have the Universal abilities of all races that have them.


Humans are one of the most widespread of all races, adapting to all types of terrains and lifestyles. Humans are renown for, at least attempting to, assimilating into all manner of cultures, They are ambitious, and often can be seen leading all manner of happenstance.

Playing a "generic human" grants no stats beyond those granted by culture. But being unassociated with any culture in particular gives a generic human an additional +1 bonus to any skill the culture already grants skill to (netting to +3)

Unless otherwise noted, all Humans have a favored class of their highest level class, this overrides the Cultural favored class.

Varieties of Humans:

Abdu (Badlands)

Generations of living in desert like climates, where one mistake could quite possibly end your life have left the Abdu people a hardy people.

- +2 Con
- 4 resistance when dealing with hostile environments

Karzi (City)

The ancestral natives of Crosskeep, these people have developed a culture focused around cunning and street smarts.

- +2 Int for skill and Language Purposes, +1 int for other purposes.

Magi (Magic)

The Magi people are natural born spellcasters, magic is in their blood, and it is rare for a Magus to exibit no magical capability.

- +2 Charisma

- Favored Class (Sorceror) this is in addition to the cultural favored class.

Mune (Plains) (pronounced Moo-nay

The Mune lived out in the great grasslands of Crosskeep originally, making a simple living has farmers, hunting to supplement their food. They have passed down simple wisdom throughout the generations.

- +2 Wisdom

Human Cultures:

Not ready yet.

I had one other culture for Humans, but I decided to cut it, it doesn't really add anything to the world. If you read the Mazika entries, you can probably tell I'm going to be overhauling the Human descriptions.


The Dwarves are a stout, prideful people. Both major cultures of the Dwarves have a mixture of national zeal, and a belief that everything has its place.

Generic Dwarves have +2 to constitution, -2 to charisma

All Dwarves have Darkvision out to 60ft.

Arnite (Mountain)

Not ready yet.

Durunite (Stone)

Not ready yet.

Dwarven Cultures

Not ready yet.


The Elven Cultures are secretive, family ties are unbreakable, and a promise is never made if it cannot be kept. The two major cultures are closely related, so much to the point that they could be considered two different sides of the same. Each culture has a role to perform as a sworn duty to beings that the elves will not share knowledge of.

There are no "Generic Elves" the two cultures are forbidden from intermingling, the elves have their duty, and the two duties cannot be mixed together.

An elf may be found outside of their own culture to an extent, but have two restrictions with culture. An elf of one culture's decent is forbidden from joining the other elven culture. Elves who join a culture other than their native are expected by their ancestors to continue to perform their duty, an elf who turns away from their ancestral duty is an enemy to both cultures.

Daimar (Mystic)

Not ready yet.

Zentahr (Night)

Not ready yet.

Elven Cultures

Not ready yet.


The Gnomes are often considered to be the children of the earth, no other race has found so many uses for the various minerals in their ancestral homes deep underground. Gnomes are a relatively recent addition to surface society, first venturing onto the surface a couple centuries after the rebuilding of Crosskeep by the Dragons and Karzi.

While still preferring underground areas over the surface land, they closed off access to their original homelands, driven out by something, but not even the modern gnomes know what it was, they just know they don't want to find out. Gnomish Alchemists and Engineers, are one of the biggest reasons for the technology advancing to the heights it reached before the cataclysm.

Generic Gnomes receive a +2 to Dexterity, but a -2 to Wisdom. Gnomes seem to have required action before thought in ages past, and it sticks with them to this day. Were it not for this trait, Gnomes would not have advanced technology as far as they did, but many more would have survived to the cataclysm.

All Gnomes have Darkvision out to 60ft.

Ka'Zun (Cave)

Not ready yet.

Na'Zun (Deep)

Not ready yet.

Gnomish Cultures

Not ready yet.

Think of the apostrophe in the Gnomish culture names as a click of the tongue, giving it a sound kind of along the lines of "KA-Tk-zoon" and "NA-Tk-zoon"

Goblins (Mazika Clan)

The Mazika Goblins followed the Gnomes in their Exodus, the Mazika found the Gnome's knowledge of geography, and digging essential to their survival during the flight, and offered their own innate magical ability, and heightened awareness in an effort for mutual survival. While the Mazika warred with the Na'Zun back in time immemorial, the three cultures in modern times have become very close.

Mazika Goblins in early life are divided into castes, and even outisde of Mazika culture, this practice is continued. This sacred tradition gives the Mazika special properties in comparison to each other.
All Mazika, except for the Washika, have 30ft Tremorsense.

Krzika (Electric)

Krzika goblins, more than any other caste, have embraced the new technology of Crosskeep. With these new "electronics" that have appeared, many have an interface that allow Krzika goblins to power them themselves without needing to use them in the rare area with electricity. Krzika Goblins sometimes find work powering objects in areas that require temporary electricity in the city.

In ancestral times, the Krzika were the protectors of the Mazika, channeling electricity was found to be a good way to dissuade potential predators, and during the wars, the Ka'Zun disliked fighting the Krzika that managed to incorporate electricity into their fighting style.

-+2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution
- Small Size
- Electric loop (su) The Krzika have a powerful electric current flowing through their bodies. If they wish to, they may touch an enemy as a standard action, and deal 1 electric damage, +1 for every HD the Krzika has. If the Krzika is in contact with metal during this everyone touching this piece of metal, including the Krzika himself, take twice this amount. A Krzika electricuted by himself passes out for (10 - his constitution modifier) rounds for a minimum of 1 round.

Sazika (Water)

The Sazika Goblins held two rolls in ancient society, they provided agriculture underground, and they kept the clan healthy. They can pull the moisture in the air out of the immediate area, several Sazika working together were able to create pools of water for growing plants in. Their other ability was to purify water, to keep clean drinking water, and keep their irrigation clean.

-+2 Wisdom, -2 Constitution
- Small Size
- Condensation (su) In a temperate environment, a single Sazika can draw enough moisture out of the air to provide water for 1 goblin, +1 for every 3 HD he has, In a particularly moist environment he can draw out enough moisture to keep 1 goblin for every HD he has hydrated. In a dry location, he can draw out enough moisture to keep one goblin hydrated for every 5 HD he has. These numbers assume he is attempting to do this for 14 hours throughout the day.
- Purify Water (su) A Sazika Goblin can Purify up to 1 gallon of water per HD he has a day. The Sazika can split this up between several bodies of water, and does not need to use this all at once. The Sazika cannot wait several days to purify more water than he would normally be able to.

Ragika (Fire)

Were it not for the Ragika, the Mazika would not have survived their initial few days under the earth. The Ragika, gave the Mazika light, allowing the Goblins to find a suitable cavern to try and figure out how to escape. While escaping took centuries longer than they expected, the Ragika were always happy to lend some light.

-+2 Charisma, -2 Constitution
- Small Size
- Torch (su) A Ragika with a free hand may form a flame within his palm as a move action. This flame sheds light as a torch, or may be focused into a line as a bulls eye lantern, extending its range to twice the range of a torch. This counts as a Light spell equal to half the Ragika's HD (0 at level 1) and is at a caster level equal to the Ragika's HD. Optionally, the Ragika may ignite combustibles as a standard action while using his "torch."

Washika (Wind)

The Washika were the spiritual guides of the Mazika in ancient times, and still to this day it is their duty to lead the Mazika, and perform the caste binding ritual. The Washika pass down the stories of their people, as Mazika does not have a written language, their manipulation of the winds also proved useful in navigating the joint group of the Mazika, Ka'Zun and Na'Zun out of the depths of the earth.

-+2 Wisdom, -2 Constitution
- Small Size
- 30ft Blindsense (this replaces the 30ft Tremorsense typical of Mazika Goblins).
- Washika goblins can adjust the direction of the wind by 5 degrees per HD per hour, and can boost or reduce the windspeed of the area by 1 mile per hour, per HD the Washika has. The Washika in a closed space can use this ability to lead towards open spaces, whether that is underground or above ground.

Mazika Clan Culture

Not ready yet.

Kobolds (Kurzu Clan)

The Kurzu lived as nomads in the grassland neighboring Crosskeep for a long time, the Kurzu themselves would say since before time. They were peaceful astrologers and astronomers, and would shelter lost travelers who had an alarming tendency to stumble into Kurzu camps. Just before Crosskeep really started to flourish, the Kurzu settled right on the edge of town. After the Karzi accepted the first other culture to settle in the area, the Kurzu started revealing the secrets of the stars, and convinced the Karzi into the creation of the districts. Often, when a new culture would immigrate to Crosskeep, the Kurzu had already set the new district up.

Each opposing breed (Flame/Frost and Sun/Moon) forms a symbiotic sort of relationship with its opposite. The inbred shortcomings of own breed are the strengths of the other, and as such, close bonds of two kobolds are more likely to be of opposite breed than with any other.

The Kurzu come in four varieties, each with various abilities that are used in day to day life. These varieties do not breed true, two Kurzu Li kobolds might have Kurzu Ni Hatchlings, regardless of their own lineage as well. Due to this, there are no generic Kurzu Kobolds.

All Kurzu have low-light vision.

Kurzu Gi (Flame)

Not ready yet.

Kurzu Li (Moon)

Not ready yet.

Kurzu Ni (Frost)

Not ready yet.

Kurzu Wa (Sun)

Not ready yet.

Kurzu Clan Culture

Not ready yet.

SiSatrhi Lizardfolk

The SiSathri had difficulty gaining acceptance into Crosskeep, they were (correctly) perceived as a wild society, far outside their own climate, and nobody was quite sure why they were there in the first place. The Karzi and Kurzu were most adamant of blocking the SiSathri settlement, but SiSathri ambassadors managed to make a deal. The SiSathri district is more of a band around the landlocked districts of Crosskeep, a jungle maintained by the collective magic of the SiSathri and Daimar. While the outer walls of the city do not extend to their district, the SiSathri have been considered the greatest defense of the city besides the Dragons themselves.

Post cataclysm, the band of jungle around Crosskeep still exists, but the wildlife the SiSathri kept populating the jungle has become much more fierce, and a great deal of horrible hazards have appeared in the jungle, from poisonous plants and insects, to strange "life forms" that drain the fluids out of anyone unfortunate to get caught. Then there's the fact that most of the dead don't stay dead.

Once again, there are no "Generic" SiSathri, much like the Kurzu Kobolds, SiSathri are born as a random breed, though SiSathri have much larger variety between their breeds.

All SiSathri have poison resist +2, and are counted as one size larger for all equipment purposes, and for eating requirements. SiSathri are also cold blooded.

SaZu (Iron)

Not ready yet.

SeBiLe (Venom)

Not ready yet.

SiZo (Feral)

Not ready yet.

SuDe (Shadow)

Not ready yet.

SiSathri Culture

Not ready yet.

Every capitalization for the SiSathri is very sharp, they have a tendency to slur various soft consonants, and any syllable not capitalized (like thri in SiSathri) is voiceless.


The two breeds of Ogres are very different from each other, in fact, being bigger than practically everyone else is about the only thing they share in common.

Generic Ogres are uncommon, but have the following stats: +2 strength, -2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma.

All Ogres count as large size for equipment and food requirements.

Mardu (Badlands)

Not ready yet.

Urzu (Ocean)

Not ready yet.

Ogre Cultures

Not ready yet.

Ok, done for now, a whole lot of nothing there, but that's every "playable" besides the Draken, which really shouldn't be played post cataclysm. My next update, will include the Culture of the Mazika, Kurzu, and Daimar.

2010-07-30, 05:09 PM
Actually this looks quite interesting :) I atleast would be interested in what homebrew spews forth from your mind. I think it would be interesting to play in utopia for maybe a session or 2 so they get occustomed to the idea...then destroy it! You could play through them struggling through those 10 minutes, fleeing, dodging, surviving and then finding others.

2010-07-30, 05:49 PM
Actually this looks quite interesting :) I atleast would be interested in what homebrew spews forth from your mind. I think it would be interesting to play in utopia for maybe a session or 2 so they get occustomed to the idea...then destroy it! You could play through them struggling through those 10 minutes, fleeing, dodging, surviving and then finding others.
I'm actually almost done putting down what I already had written, it was cast down by my players before I had everything statted out, but yeah the Utopia would be awesome for an intrigue style campaign.

I actually did that as an introduction to Eberron once. In a solo campaign with a newbie player, ha made a character for the Cyran army. He became a Warforged Swashbuckler, and he was part of a final skirmish between Karnaath and Cyre, the explosion interrupted the battle, but they were only at the area that the mist reaches to, so it was more no one could see. That sort of thing definitely works well.

Since I have someone watching, I'll continue with my "publishing," It won't be updated again until I get back on Monday though.

2010-07-31, 09:58 PM
Ok, Mazika Goblins have been statted out, I know the humans are weaker by comparison, but I haven't had any ideas to reduce that discrepency, I'll figure it out when I have the norm of power for LA 0... Some castes of the Mazika might need to be LA 1 though, we'll see, Water Caste Goblins (Sazika) will probably be relatively indispensable post-cataclysm.

Also more in depth descriptions of the Mazika and their castes than the humans and their cultures so far, those will be expanded. As for the other races, you can get an overview of the races without culture/caste/breed, several hooks hidden in there.