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View Full Version : Ruined Planet [World Building Help Requested]



Tzi
2013-05-13, 08:25 PM
To preface, this is somewhat of an old idea I've been toying around with.

The idea of "ruined planet," which yes has no name yet, is I guess taking a somewhat conventional D&D world and taking it to IMHO one of its more dire logical conclusions. A world of Multiple races occupying the same ecological niche (Intelligent sapient species building civilizations) eventually coming at odds and to some extent destroying themselves. The world after this event is the world the players dwell within.

Lore:


Originally the world was populated by a host of closely related races. Elves, Humans, Dwarves, in this specific world the races are somewhat related genetically on an evolutionary tree. The Elves being a bit older and more magically infused. Humans being the second oldest, and Dwarves being offshoots directly related to Humans.

Elves however had a problem. As the rising star of man grew, theirs dwindled and faded. Elfkind had a bit of a demographic problem. Their fertility was fading and in the face of the ever multiplying humans with their rapidly advancing civilization, the Elves feared their days were soon drawing to a close. Elves were endowed with lives that last centuries, sometimes 1000 years if they kept in good health. However their ability to reproduce was stymied, Elven children were rare and their civilizations were slow to grow. Humans had in the span of six elven generations colonized the globe. They had gone from their primitive cousins hunting mammoths and riding raptors to the commanders of magi-tech industrial super nations with weapons rivaling the magic the Elves had commanded.

In secret a committee had gathered, wise and learned Elven sages conspired a plan to save their race, their blood, their language and culture. The plan called upon the use of the most bewitching of enchantments, to carefully manipulated the Empires of Man to destroy themselves. What was generations for man was one one for an elf. The Elves manipulated humanity into an eventual global war. The great Empires were decimated and exhausted, but they had not used their greatest weapons.

Meanwhile the Elves enacted the second phase of their plan. The gathering of humans whose genes were dubbed superior. The plan was the breed a new race, half Elf, Half Human, so that the new race would have human fertility and adaptability but retained Elvish magical potency and continue their bloodlines. This was done through often the creation of religious cults, or even kidnapping and slavery. By hook or by crook they got their breeding stock. This is where the plan fell into some disarray. The original conclave called for Elven men, and human women. Ideally to breed as fast as possible. However, the Elves could not all agree. Some Elven women resented the end of their bloodlines and formed their own conclaves, breeding their own race of half elves. Other Elves created side projects as well. The Protocols of the High Elven Kings quickly became a legion of pet projects of Elven communities. Each creating their own vision of the new world to be.

Finally the Elven Magi created Pocket planes, Demi-Planes were time passed slower then in the material world. A place to hide their newly spawned race. The Elves then executed the end game of their plan. They brought upon the world vile invaders. Hideous beings from the void, that would force the then depleted magi-tech industrial super powers to use their most deadly weapons to drive the invaders back. Devices known only as the Bale Fire machines. They acted as explosives, the ravaged cities and scourged the planet of grotesque invaders. The world was decimated, the cities ravaged by the magical weapons. The invaders were driven away but the world was gone. And from that centuries passed in the material universe. While in the Demi-Planes only days passed. Finally the Elves pet project emerged, into a new world. The old one scourged long ago in baleful fire. The old order was dead and the new colonists scattered about their new "virgin," world.

However..... The exact fate of mankind is not known. Nor is the plot mentioned above a widely known account of history. It remains a tightly held secret. Very few know it for certain.



So there is the gist of it. The themes obviously include eugenics, civilization building, uncovering the past, ancient far superior technological civilizations ruins... ect... From this story arcs could emerge. For example Mankind is not extinct, merely hiding underground or on another world entirely. Biding their collective time to strike at the Elves and their Progeny. Carrying a sort of ancient grudge passed down through the ages.

This world would have a slightly altered race list.

Mainly the Races would fall into 3 neat categories...
1) Elfkind, those descended of Elves in some way. This would include the Half-Elf races that dominate the planet. Possibly Fey'ri-esque races. Obviously such races get a retooling. For example this worlds "Drow," are the descendants of Elven women and Human men. Simply bred for different traits ect.

2) Direct descendants of Humans. Though the Half Elves count as both, its possible this exact fact was kept hidden from them, or the nature of why they are half human was not made clear by their Elven ancestors. This category might include things like Dhampirs, Halflings retooled as pygmy humans, A subterranean mole races similar to dwarves, maybe other offshoots as well.

3) Unique new kids on the block. This is generally the things like self aware constructs (Warforged for example) New races or even engineered races which could be say Catfolk, Lizardfolk, ect.

So, there is my idea, comments, suggestions, input, all are welcome.

Jimlad
2013-05-14, 09:47 AM
I like this so far, Mind if I used a world like this in a campaign I'm making? Also, one thing that might be cool would be places you can't enter because of something, give it a bit of a nuclear feel, (Wait a second, the only reason I feel that nuclear is right is the name... Could you add in what the terrain is now? Wasteland? Untamed forests? Hard to add much without that knowledge.)

Tzi
2013-05-14, 10:06 AM
I like this so far, Mind if I used a world like this in a campaign I'm making? Also, one thing that might be cool would be places you can't enter because of something, give it a bit of a nuclear feel, (Wait a second, the only reason I feel that nuclear is right is the name... Could you add in what the terrain is now? Wasteland? Untamed forests? Hard to add much without that knowledge.)

Well for the geography of the globe, it varies.

One thing is the weapons used to scourge the surface were called "Balefire Machines," which have a somewhat unknown nature or purpose. They are meant to evoke the idea of a nuclear or magical nuclear device. There might still be some on used, sitting in lonely silo's, unlaunched missiles and un-detonated bombs.

The geography will however have some warped elements. For example the expansion of the tropics has occurred. The use of the balefire devices triggered an ecological crisis that was already brewing due to the humans industrialization. When I say jungles think Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind but without the toxicity necessarily. Some areas have been rendered complete badlands with strange warped natures about them due to the Balefire devices. Warped animals and strange rocks would be present, created by the heat in the case of rocks or poisonous mutagenic residue for the animals. Likewise the ruined cities also present an interesting area. Human kind built vast metropolis' in his hey day. These magi-tech wonders (when not charred Fallout 3 esque ruins) sit as erie ghostly empty places. Possibly crawling with undead as the Dhampir's often dwell in ruined cities and practices necromancy to bolster their feeble numbers with massive hordes of their former kin. Beyond that, the geography is whatever there would be on a fairly normal, if less populated, planet. There are vast deserts, oceans. Possibly an retracting polar caps as the planet is warming from the equivalent of a nuclear winter. So some areas are glaciated or covered by thick sheets of ice.

EDIT: some of the cities will make for interesting gaming locations. Simply because some of them still "function," in a sense their power plants still feed power and the high levels of Magi-Tech automation still operate. So you have semi-self sustaining cities operating without any there except scattered undead and perhaps versions of warforged performing maintenance. Also this creates terrain hazards as perhaps parts of the city are slowly failing over the centuries. For example there is a Alchemical plant underground thats been leaking and fueling a fire in the underbelly of the city for years. Leaving a misty poisonous fog to blanket it. ect.

Jimlad
2013-05-14, 10:39 AM
So it's more of a wasteland than it's greened and revived since. Got it. Sounds cool! And what you listed was what I was planing on mentioning if it was a wasteland. Maybe add a few cults, one of which believes that the world should have ended when the war started, and are trying to end it the rest of the way, some things they do is fuel some of the magics that are killing the terrain, researching one of the Balefire Machines to see if they can make new, more powerful ones, and blow up the rest of the world. Maybe a cult who thinks the opposite, and is trying to save the world, and is willing to do anything for it. They sort of make a DOTA battle as they try and get to the one Balefire Machine, as the cult for saving the world needs to see it, and maybe can make a Genesis bomb out of it to save the world. They saving one started as a group funded by the government to save everything in case the world fell, but they've forgotten, now they just know one thing. They must get the world as the disk says. The first evil seems to have just appeared out of nowhere...:smallconfused:

Tzi
2013-05-14, 11:31 AM
So it's more of a wasteland than it's greened and revived since. Got it. Sounds cool! And what you listed was what I was planing on mentioning if it was a wasteland. Maybe add a few cults, one of which believes that the world should have ended when the war started, and are trying to end it the rest of the way, some things they do is fuel some of the magics that are killing the terrain, researching one of the Balefire Machines to see if they can make new, more powerful ones, and blow up the rest of the world. Maybe a cult who thinks the opposite, and is trying to save the world, and is willing to do anything for it. They sort of make a DOTA battle as they try and get to the one Balefire Machine, as the cult for saving the world needs to see it, and maybe can make a Genesis bomb out of it to save the world. They saving one started as a group funded by the government to save everything in case the world fell, but they've forgotten, now they just know one thing. They must get the world as the disk says. The first evil seems to have just appeared out of nowhere...:smallconfused:

Well one thing I've got going are a few factions.

One is "Children of Man," consisting of Dhampirs, towards the end of the war some humans survived in subterranean shelters made to withstand the long harsh winter. Apparently a few elite Alchemists and Scientific minds discovered that infusions of vampiric taint makes one still technically living, resistant to disease and the ill effects caused by the balefire devices. Essentially they are the most direct descendants of the original human population. Most of them carry on practicing Necromancy to create and control vast hordes of undead, strange radical magic deep underground. It is possible they know the truth of everything and are seeking vengeance against the Half Elf kind who now rule the surface world. This group might be most likely to be trying to bring about an Armageddon and have a cult like mentality about ending the world.

Next are the sentient machines. They may be most likely attempting to preserve life and maintain the world. Basically various types of warforged that have remained operational and self aware guarding the last of the old weapons systems, or possibly even acting as druids, trying to re-cultivate and repair the ecology of the world.

Another are actual humans who have survived the ages in two ways, one being in secured shelters, the other being ones who fled the planet. Hints exist that before the Balefire devices were used, some humans gathered together a small number of people and samples of flora and fauna and created some great device that could teleport itself to other planes or move between the voids of the stars. There will exist hints that these humans hiding in some demi-plane are biding their time, preparing their own invasion to reconquer the world. Possibly working in conjunction with the Children of Man.

Others factions are the various colony nations of Half-Elves. The dominating conflicts with them is something I've dubbed "Lineage Wars," mainly due to the nature of how they came to be, its not uncommon for ideological beliefs to arise with each on declaring itself the "Master Race," and seeking to conquer, subdue or rule or even annihilate the others. In other areas colony nations form alliances either for defense against their ideologically zealous cousins, or out of convenience to defend what they feel is the true perfect bloodline.