View Full Version : Help with a Homebrew Setting

F.H. Zebedee
2007-06-14, 08:52 PM
Okay, I've been considering running a campaign with a homebrew setting in PBP here.

Basically, the beginning premise is that 1,000 years ago, an entire small continent began persecuting their halflings due to the bias of the reigning families (human and elf), the result of an atrocity commited by a band of halfling thieves. Rather than depose the rulers, and become truly villainous, the halflings decided that they would flee and hide. Some tried their hands at sailing, meeting mixed success. Some perished, others thrived.

However, another group of halflings decided to settle with a community of forest gnomes. The gnomes, friendly and kind, took in the halflings, and hid them using all manner of illusion and trickery. However, all parties involved knew that this could not last. Someday, some bountyhunter or such would find a way around the illusions, and make a killing, literally. The gnomes provided a solution. An old gnomish wizard in the region crafted a spell that ringed a considerable portion of land in mountains, and on top of that, warded it permanently against entry by any Medium or larger creature with sentient intelligence, barring Outsiders. However, this barrier worked both ways. The halflings and gnomes could not leave. In addition, the barrier destroyed all transportation magics and most divinations, meaning that the outside world could not force its way in.

Fast forward to the present day. Roughly 2,000 Halflings and 500 Gnomes have converted a large portion of the region to a functional small city. Towards the edges of the mountains, it is ringed by forests. The forests are preserved at the insistance of a staunch group of supporters that insist that they contribute valuable resources that the people find themselves needing, wood, food, and other such things. However, another group wants this space cleared to make room for more farmers and other settlers.

Basically, the players initially get plunged into this conflict, and then begin having to deal with various other issues plaguing the communities. As all parties are rather civilized, it has not decended into warfare yet, but both sides are not above assassination and other underhanded tactics.

The party finds themselves in the midst of a political situation verging on powder keg, as both races, long ago trapped in a bid for survival, now find themselves growing claustrophobic and at odds with varied factions. It has been so long since anybody has been outside, that none know if they’d be better or worse off emerging from their shelter.

So, around how big would be a good size for this place, anyways? Later on, the players will get to venture into the world as a whole, but not for the first few levels. What sort of effects and changes should result for classes? Any that should be removed? I'm thinking I'll run SRD only, for the most part, with no Psionics. The only races will be Halflings/Gnomes for the first part, though players may be able to switch later on.
Other fixes/Classes Allowed:
*Sorceror: Gets Eschew Materials at lvl. 1
*Wizard: Not sure. Kinda hazy on including them. Fun, but could break things easily. Maybe Divination and most of their transport spells will be removed.
*Bard: What to do to the bard? Presumaby this area is fairly small compared to the wide open countryside. Any implications mayhaps?
*Barbarian: Would a small, fairly civilized society have these?
*Paladin: Considering that there's probably very little real evil and probably only three or four distinct churches/faiths in the region, would they have much reason to exist? I'm thinking of making them the police force, but I'm not sure.
*Fighter: Should fit. Will allow the Thug variant.
*Ranger: Should also fit. Will allow Urban Ranger variant.
*Cleric: Cloistered only. What dieties should I work into this? Homebrew some up, default, etc?
*Druid: Aspects of Nature variant, and Animal Companion as a Ranger. Still beefy, but less so.
*Monk: Huh. No idea what to do with this bloke. They just kinda...I dunno, don't really sound like they'd fit.
*Rogue: Want to play up that here, they're more likely to be "Faces"/Cons than outright thieves. Any suggestions? Also allowing Wilderness Rogue.

Also, for the most part, PRCs will probably be banned. Maybe I'll allow Rich's Stone Skipper, and a few choice SRD ones.

So, what suggestions do you all have for me here?

2007-06-14, 10:31 PM
One thing about gnomes you may wish to think about would be:

# +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against kobolds and goblinoids.
# +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against monsters of the giant type. Any time a creature loses its Dexterity bonus (if any) to Armor Class, such as when it’s caught flat-footed, it loses its dodge bonus, too.
You said the mountains would keep out the taller folk, what about kobolds and goblins? If there are some kobolds and goblins inside the ring, the halfings and gnomes might actually get along better with them on the outside than with humans and elves.

Also, if gnomes never expect to fight giants again, would they keep training to be able to fight them?

You may wish to give gnomes some minor bonus against human and elves instead of kobolds, goblins and giants. Or give them something totally different instead.

1000 years would be roughly 10 gnome generations and 20 halfing. If there are only gnomes and halfings inside the ring, then the gnomes may learn Halfing as an automatic language instead of common and the halfings may learn Gnome instead of common. Bards, wizards and priests might be the only ones who can still speak common inside the ring, common being something of a scholarly language if used at all.

F.H. Zebedee
2007-06-15, 12:30 PM
Those are some very valid points there.

I've been considering making the Kobolds a sort of Mexico/US border situation. The Kobolds, as the enchantment allows small creatures to enter, just not to leave, can enter and find sanctuary. However, to gnomes/halflings, this just means more mouths to try and feed on a fixed ammount of food. So, maybe instead change it around so that Gnomes get +2 on Sense Motive and Intimidate vs. Kobolds and Goblinoids, as they'd tend to be a bit more pragmatic and future-minded than the halflings, who probably for the most part just think "More neighbors!"
Hmmm... Kobolds as a playable race, maybe give them -2 to Diplomacy in the area.
And yeah, I suppose the giant part can just go completely.

As for languages, another good point. Common would pretty much be a language only for scholars, while almost everybody would be bilingual/speak a kind of Pidgin gnomish/halfling. Maybe even a hybrid language unique to the region, and then some learn common just to deal with the rare outsiders.

Now, I think it's beginning to come together. Gnomish border patrols, schooled to know Common and a few other outside languages, roaming the inside of the mountain ring and dealing with anybody who tries to enter. Heck, playing border patrol for a session or two might be pretty fun.