View Full Version : [World] Isolde: Need opinions/suggestions

2007-03-09, 12:30 PM
Feel free to state any opinions or suggestions to help the fluff. Also, most of the names are works in progress. Feel free to suggest any better ones. The Maelstrom and the Shattered Spine isles are probably going to stay as is though.

Isolde (is the name of the continent, and as of this moment, the world)

Feel of the world:
New. The world is only just achieving a renaissance following near Armageddon.

Magic is tech, and mana is a fuel/resource. I’m going to make magical arms and armor run on the mechanika system. I’m not sure how I’m going to extend this further. Maybe introduce a charge system for other items as well, or to make arcane casters need to draw on mana for additional spell boosts. It is not exactly steampunk though.

Intrigue is high. All three main powers have important resources the other two nations need, but fear of war, combat due to outside sources and the fact that all three nations are physically rather far from each other dictates that large troops cannot mass against one another, and so wars take the form of words, trade, and spycraft.

Nature is ‘dangerous’. Gaia (I’ll use this as short form as the world, nature and any associated gods) is quiet, and Druids are almost actively seeking the downfall of civilization. Wandering monsters DO roam the countryside.

The gods are quiet. They give clerical power, and sometimes answer divinations, but do not actively participate with the world. Some gods have disappeared.

The plane is removed from all others. No one knows why, but there is ABSOLUTELY no access to any other plane. Gating and teleportation does not work. Raise dead does not work. Etc.

This is what is known. Isole used to be a huge continent and a traditional fantasy world similar to faerun. However, a great war broke out between the two largest nations (incidentally predominantly human nations), the north and the south. In this great war, a weapon of arcane mass destruction was built and triggered. It succeeded, but its ramifications were far greater than anyone had expected. It was built merely to destroy the arcane defenses of a nation, but instead overloaded all the ley lines inherent in the world, cutting off the world from the gods and magic. (more on this later)

The world eventually rediscovered magic. Nations were reforged, and they worked hard at returning the world to its former splendour. Armageddon took place about a thousand years ago (reports are sketchy and range from 500-2000 years), but it was such a devastating event that it still weighs on the collective consciousness of the new nations. Perhaps that is why they are still afraid to lean themselves towards open conflict.

I’ll call the sentient aspect of this world/plane Gaia. This world is a plane just like any other in D&D, and the weave is akin to the lifeblood of Gaia. When the device exploded, it severely damaged the integrity of this world, and in self-defense, Gaia cut off all traditional access to magic. Any attempt to channel a spell results in excruciating pain for the caster. Spell slots still regenerate, spell abilities can be used, but the conscious weaving of arcane magic is not possible.

Eventually someone rediscovered the fact that the magic was not lost, merely not accessible by a sentient living being. They then found a way around it; by channeling this energy through a non-living item (an arcane focus) they are still able to control the weave. This device needs to be sufficiently large and intricate in order to contain all the arcane filigree needed to work magic.

This arcane focus is a mechanikal device that holds specific settings in it, with the arcane spellcaster channeling energy in it to form a few basic iterations of the weave. Essentially, that is the reason why all spellcasters in this world are spontaeneous spellcasters. All arcane spellcasters in this world need an arcane focus.

Because this new form of casting is so new, very few arcane classes have developed. The only arcane classes that can be taken are the Arcane Technist (homebrew), Dread Necromancer, Gunmage and War Mage.

Because of the isolation of the world of Isolde and the chaos of the weave, no spells involving planar travel work. In addition, teleportation spells are highly unstable/random. Summoning spells (ie summon animal etc) instead create a transient pseudo-creature.

The device weakened the fabric of reality causing ley lines and nodes exploded in uncontrolled magical energy, severely warping the territories and creatures within the vicinity. The torrent of mana also infused the land, and mana can be mined and refined from these bleeding ley lines.

This mana is the lifeblood of the world. The tapping of mana means that the world is dying from a thousand paper cuts. No one knows this is happening (all the druids know is that humanity is somehow stifling Gaia). And even if it was found out, it is likely that the status quo (guilds, arcane technists) would still remain.

Technology kind of dovetails with magic. Magic is treated as a science, rather than an art. However, because of the cataclysm, a lot of magic was forgotten and had to be relearnt. Only the spells from the PHB and those in the specific spell lists of the classes are easily available.

Firearms are available, but relatively uncommon. Guns were discovered and used before the rediscovery of magic, but have since fallen into disfavor. All guns are breechloading and revolvers do not exist. Steam technology does not exist. Why worry about such ‘novelties’ like gunpowder and steam when you have magic?

When the world/plane was cut from the other planes, so too were the connections to the ‘traditional’ gods. However, people still believed and worshipped them. This caused the creation of ‘ad-hoc’ gods. For example, while Lathander does not have access to the world, enough believers in Isolde have created a world-specific Lathander. However, decreased belief (he does not have access to all believers in the multiverse) means he is weaker, and is the reason why he (and the other gods) do not interact with the world. While this world shares the faerunian pantheon, some gods are curiously silent (not enough believers). One new cult has also recently arisen, but it is still small as of the moment.

The only divine class available is the cleric, and to a very rare extent the druid. Rangers and paladins are of the non-spell casting variant.

Druids exist, but are traditionally very misanthropic, and tend to be poor pcs. They worship gaia, and know that the world is in constant agony, and hold the belief that all of this is due to society in general (largely true). While some seek to find a happy medium between nature and society, just about all druids distrust society in general. Society consider druids misfits and dangers to ‘civilized’ humanity.

2007-03-09, 12:31 PM
Races and society:
Humans have largely inherited the earth. However, all nations are a mixture of humans, half-elf, half-orc, gnome and dwarf.

Humans are the predominant race on Isole.

Dwarves are very rare in ‘common’ society. Firstly, a few major ley lines overloaded in their ancestral mountain homes, turning some into archipelagos, and refusing to leave their ancestral homes, they have generally have been spending the past hundred years rebuilding and fighting off rampaging creatures. They also blame the humans for all that has happened to their world. Unfortunately, the fact that their ancestral halls are in bad shape means that they are forced to venture out and trade for necessities, although they try to do this as rarely as possible.

Elves are unheard of in society, and are an NPC race. Just about all elves vanished after the cataclysm, and marrying with humans diluted the blood of the elves that were left. What was remembered of them has been greatly romanticized, mostly by the humans.

Half elves have capitalized on this romanticism of elves. They are rare, and considered especially exotic/beautiful by society. Most half-elves also tend to mirror the grace that their ancestor elves supposedly had.

Intelligent and quick-witted, gnomes are generally on the cutting edge of any technology, arcane or otherwise. It was a gnome who rediscovered how to cast magic, and they have taken the place of the elves as the ‘spellcaster’. They are also especially good with their hands. Most gnomes tend to have a hobby or passion in their lives. While they might get distracted, more often than not they will eventually return to their interest.

Halflings do not exist in this world.

The traditional origin of half-orcs are when orcs raid human settlements. While half-orcs technically have the same rights as humans, most people still treat them as second class citizens.

2007-03-09, 12:33 PM
Next up: Nations and NPC races!

Also... a sneak peek at the the world of Isolde!