View Full Version : The Shattered Lands (3.5, PEACH)

2013-02-23, 08:30 PM
The Shattered Lands
Campaign setting

So, a while ago I had an idea. That idea was "What would the world be like if all of those warring D&D nations got their stuff together and decided to militarize monster-hunting", and it evolved into this world. Well, at least one facet of it. I eventually created a timeline of the world, with four distinct "Ages" of the world, each separated by a major event, and a fifth age on the horizon. Now that I think about it, any of the ages could be a good time to run a game, but the fifth is dependent on my players' choices in the campaign we are playing. This post is going to be the basics of how magic and the like work, and the specifics of each age will be in the following posts, along with any relevant changes to races.

Magic in this world is a type of energy that dwells on a separate plane, parallel to the material plane, but quite strange. This plane is called the Void (I know, very original), and contains the different types of magic. Those types are as follows: Frost, Electricity, Fire, Earth, Nature, Negative, Positive, and Shaping (More on these later). The Detect Magic spell serves as a window into the Void, and lets you see the different types of magic as distinct auras. Magic is in constant motion, and flows through the world, but only so long as magic is being used. If a large amount of a certain type of magic is used in one place and then magic is left dormant, it pools there and can leak through to the material plane (This will be very important after the First Age). The pool of Magic is massive, but not infinite, and had to be replenished in ancient times to prevent it from running out.

Now, for the different types of magic.
Frost magic deals with cold spells, mostly from the Evocation school. Preservation, Fatigue, Slowing effects, and Disabling spells fall under the realm of Frost magic, and it effects the environment when pooled by causing a drop in temperature, in extreme cases even a tundra. Its Aura when seen in the Void is white.
Electricity magic deals with shock spells, once again from the evocation school. It also encompasses spells that speed things up, flight, wind effects, and storms. When it pools, it causes storms and an abundance of rain. Its Aura when seen in the Void is cyan.
Fire magic deals with fire spells, destruction, cleansing, and light. It is equal parts burning fury, radiant sun, and purifying warmth (Atonement is a fire spell). It causes deserts to form when it pools, and volcanoes when used in conjunction with earth magic. Its Aura when seen in the Void is red.
Earth magic is the realm of molding the ground, creating defenses, and heartening the weak. Any spells that involve stone or mud fall under it, as well as buffing spells like Bear's Endurance or Bull's Strength. It causes vast mountain ranges to appear where it pools. Its Aura when seen in the Void is brown
Nature magic deals with the natural world, plants, and life, as well as summoning and curing disease. Almost all druid spells fall under Nature magic, and it causes great forests to spring up where it pools in the Void. Its Aura when seen in the Void is green.
Negative magic encompasses the perversion of death, spells that involve negative energy, and spells that steal or detect the life force of others. It is not inherently evil in its use, but the power that it grants can become corrupting. When it pools, it causes a blight upon the land, creating dark forests of dead trees. Its Aura when seen in the Void is black.
Positive magic is healing, benevolence, and righteous fury. It encompasses all cure spells, and turning undead uses positive magic. It creates consecrated ground when it pools, creating patches of land where no undead can pass without harm coming to them. Its Aura when seen in the Void is yellow.
Shaping magic, the last form, is unique in its scope and effects. All magic used to transform the people in any way, be it thoughts, form, or perceptions is Shaping magic. Thus, it encompasses most of the schools of Enchantment, Transmutation, and Illusion. It has no concrete effects on the natural landscape of the world, only that of the living creatures that dwell where it pools. It causes them to evolve rapidly and only positively, speeding up natural selection drastically. Because of its many uses, it pervades the world, and makes up the background color of the Void, Purple.
These classifications are very much work-in-progress, and some help would be appreciated. If I missed a type of spells, which I am sure I did, please let me know

Wizards specialize in a form of magic, not a school, and different specialists take on some of the characteristics of their chosen type of magic. Electricity Wizards may become impulsive and quick to act, or Nature wizards might become withdrawn and solitary. Shaping wizards often develop small god complexes, and Negative wizards often gain a morbid fascination with death.

Next post: The First Age!

2013-02-23, 08:31 PM
The First Age

In the first age, there was a great race, known only as The First. The First were the only humanoids in that age, and no other modern species but Dragons and some animals existed. They ruled the continent of Panterrus, and had mastered magic. They had a Magocracy, and were ruled by an Archmage, the greatest wizard of the land.
The First were the ones to discover the massive pool of energy in the Void, and the first to manipulate it. They became extremely powerful wizards, but soon realized that their supply of magic was not infinite. They regulated spellcasting, and each year had a replenishment ritual to try to renew some of that year's lost magic. For a while, they ruled in peace, and their only conflicts were with Dragons and the beasts of that time.
However, all was not well. At the twilight of the First Age, a great civil war had gripped the First. They were split between three rival factions after the Archmage had become a dictator. The Loyalists, Revolutionaries, and the Anarchists fought across Panterrus, and ripped it apart in a bloody war. The three most powerful wizards of the age, each the head of a faction, met in the center of the continent, and ripped the world apart in a massive blast of magic, shattering the continent of Panterrus and creating four, smaller continents.

The First Age was intended mostly for background, and thus isn't very fleshed out. It is possible to have an adventure in it, and if I did I would probably run it during the civil war that spelled their doom.

Race: The First
The First look almost exactly like humans, although they are smarter, if more frail. They speak Celestial.
Game Information:
+2 Intelligence, -2 Constitution
Medium Size
Base land speed of 30 feet
Low-Light Vision
+2 Racial bonus on Knowledge(Arcana) and Knowledge(The Planes) checks
Can cast Detect Magic as the spell 5/day
Favored Class: Any Spellcaster

2013-02-23, 08:33 PM
The Age of Dragons

In this new world, three miniature continents dominated half of the globe, where Panterrus once stood. Velcia, Kartilan, and Almarn stood in defiance, their ecosystems shaped by the residual magic of the First Age. Western Almarn was a massive Taiga, with a bit of tundra to its north, because of the intense cold magic used there in the past. Central Almarn had vast pine forests stretching between great mountain ranges due to its druidic origins. The deserts of Eastern Almarn owe their existence to the symphony of frost and flame that was their conception, searing heat from the daytime sun and bone-chilling cold at night playing across the barren wastes. Kartilan was shaped by the presence of powerful earth magic, creating extreme mountains and sweeping grasslands across the continent. Finally, Velcia was created by the vareity of magic that the Archmage had mastered, with Forests, Mountains, Savannahs, and Deserts all taking their place on the small continent.

As the years went by, the last remaining members of the First evolved and adapted to their new surroundings. They evolved and changed based on where they took refuge in this brave new world, the high amounts of magic in the air quickening their transformation. Those who fled to the mountains and caves became short and stocky from having to work long and hard in their cramped mines and tunnels. The First who fled to the forests became lithe and long-lived, flitting between trees to find food. Those who found refuge in the savannas and plains of Velcia and Kartilan grew taller, broader, and brutish, with tusks for teeth and green skin to live amongst the savage beasts of the plains. The First who went to the forests and tundras of Almarn and the mountains of Velcia became large, with bluish skin and thick blond hair to preserve heat. Finally, the First who came to the northern mountains of Velcia evolved in a way found nowhere else. They grew tall, strong, hardy, long-lived, and intensely magical, shaped in the most drastic ways by the lingering polymorph spells that pervaded the land and led to solely positive mutation.

However, through all this time, one race truly flourished. Dragons came into their own, growing massive and terrible. With the First gone, the Dragons became the dominant species on the globe, and created their own civilization. As the most powerful and advanced race, they took it upon themselves to act as a sort of moderator to the rest of the world. They watched as, one by one, the new races that had evolved from the first rediscovered magic, tapping into the vast pool of energy left by the First. As each one tapped into the web, the Dragons contacted them, revealing to them the great web that now connected all creatures to that day. And for five thousand years, the world was at peace in the Age of Dragons.

The Age of Dragons is also a background age, this one intended solely for the development of races and the creation of the landscape. An adventure in this time would be hard to run, seeing as most of it is just the rediscovery of magic.

2013-02-23, 08:34 PM
The Age of Heroes

As the Age of Dragons was in its twilight, the Humans arrived. They came from the other side of the world, arriving on the shores of Velcia in their great longships. They soon arrived all over the Shattered Lands. They were the spitting image of The First, and were assumed to be inherently magical. However, it was soon discovered that humans were extremely xenophobic, and starting killing all magical creatures around their settlements.

Soon, the humans gained enough power to pose a serious threat to Dragons and the rest of the magical beasts of the world. The Dragons called a grand council to decide what to do about this predicament. After much debate, they decided that the best course of action would be to try to continue along the path that they had chosen for all other races as they appeared: Wait until the Humans discovered magic, then contact them. However, this decision was not very popular. A small group of foolish dragons set out to destroy a small human settlement. They were killed in their attack, but not after heavy losses from the Humans. This cemented the Humans’ xenophobia, and a massive war started.

The next one and a half thousand years would be known as the Age of Heroes. Many human and magical states covered the Shattered Lands, and great adventurers of all races rose up across the world to slay powerful enemies. From legends such as King Caeris the Dragonslayer in Velcia, to the Last Greatfather of the Giants, to Eltaris the Bold of the High Elves, great heroes were known throughout the land. Little technological progress was made during this time, as the Magical civilizations did not need and and the Humans were too preoccupied with their wars.

This is where classic D&D comes in. The races are just like they would be in a game of standard 3.5, except for one notable change: what are called High Elves in the PHB are now called forest elves, and high elves are a separate race, described here. This and the Age of Man are probably the easiest to run an adventure in, as there are plenty of hooks, most of which involve the conflict between humanity and magic.

2013-02-23, 08:35 PM
Reserved for Age of Man

2013-02-23, 08:36 PM
Reserved for Spillover#1

2013-02-23, 08:38 PM
Reserved for Spillover #2

2013-02-23, 08:39 PM
Reserved for Spillover #3

2013-02-23, 08:40 PM
That should be it! Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions, and I'll try to have it all written up soon.

2013-02-25, 12:47 PM
Looking interesting so far! But why is it called the shattered lands?

I'm interested to see more on your magic system, and current ages for the setting, to see how the races have evolved from "the first". If you want to as you progress do a peach exchange, I might have something I may need your help with. I'll sub this and see how it's going from time to time. Nice work! :smallwink: