View Full Version : The Endless Wastes of Nalal [Sandstorm Campaign Setting]

2007-06-21, 09:12 AM
Online PDF File (http://www.freewebs.com/midnightmurder/aSandstormCampaign%2D7%5F7.pdf)

Here is a Sandstorm campaign setting that I have been working on for a while. It is not done yet, as I still have a lot to do to flesh out the environment and background. I thought I'd show it off to gather some ideas.

Edit: Added (to my version of the PDF) that Clerics can switch out Turn Undead for the turning ability of one of their deity's domains. Taking that domain gives a +2 bonus to that type of turning.

Campaign Specific PrCs:
Cekara Nomad: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49940
Dune Disciple: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48468

Dromec: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2847184

To Do:
Giant Camel Spider (Solifugae): The myths are finally true!!! Muahaha.
Adapt the Sorceror base class to the Evershift flavor-wise (they channel the chaos of the Evershift to cast spontaneous spells)
Add fluff (people, places, things)
Organize the PDF

2007-06-21, 10:40 PM
Wow, good work Maerok. I will follow this with interest.

2007-06-22, 05:11 AM
This looks very nice indeed. I really like settings that stick closely to the one environment type. In a way that restriction really forces you to be creative.

If I had one gripe it would be the real-world gods, as I love to see original deities. This is very minor though :smallwink: keep it up.

2007-06-22, 08:40 AM
Eh, I know. I might end up replacing the gods. They are more a sort of title/mantle than the real deal. That's work for a later day. Now I'm interesting in establishing a few places of interest, maybe some touchstone sites, and worship/regional feats.

2007-06-25, 12:03 AM
Been working on dromecs (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48668) (a desert merchant race), planning a desert variant for the ninja, as well as a new pantheon of my own creation. I'll post an update soon enough but here is the creation myth/history. I might continue it from here but these are the most important gods.

~~The Nalal Pantheon~~
Seki* - Sand (N) Male
Benka** - Sky (N) Female
Ursig* - Land Water (LN) Female
Ombrin** - Sky Water (LN) Male
Nalthof* - Plants (LN) Female
Naosib** - Sun/Moon, Time, and Changes (CN) Female
Bautai* - Creatures/Animals (CN) Male
Methrosii** - Tragedy/Hardship/Dusk (NE) Female
Talamun** - Comedy/Hope/Culture/Dawn (NG) Male
Marru*** - War/Strength/Greed/Insanity (CE) Male
Nastrosephin*** - Protection/Travel/Guardians (LG) Female

*=Earth God Lineage (from Seki)
**=Sky God Lineage (from Benka)
***=Dual Lineage (from Earth and Sky lineages)

I'll continue to tweak alignments and totem animals (animal representations are only listed in the creation story for now, and only for some gods) until I'm satisfied.

And something to note about the very end, humans could actually be considered extraplanar to Nalal (though they are Humanoids). They, along with the other Core races (I might bar half-elfs), settled in at the beginning of when Nalal begins to civilize (such as the native bhuka and asherati who would have been created when Bautai was made). Humans will actually be a minority.

Before the formation of Nalal, there was a titanic sandstorm within a void. This swirling mass of sand and winds coalesced around a single point within this chaotic realm; it was the very center of the Evershift, the force responsible for chaos and entropy. Yet something changed, and slowly the swirling mass began to stabilize. Sand and wind became one, but only for an instance as the skies opened up and the golden flesh of Nalal rained down to form an endless desert; one which twisted and turned upon itself under the influence of the vast power it had formed from.

It is from these sand-filled rains that the Marru were born; at first came the Eternal Twins, Seki and Benka. As mere animals - Seki the Worldworm, and Benka the Thunderbird-, they took up the shaping of the primal land and sky. Their task lasted for eons but in return chaos itself awarded them divinity. The joyous tears of these new gods, coupled with eternities of mortal perspiration, flooded early Nalal, rising from the sands and falling from the skies.

Afraid of the reprecussions of their careless actions, they panicked and tried to cast the water aside. Seki unleashed mountains and canyons, terraforming the land to contain the floods, as Benka ushered the tides into the sky. Their frenzy created the rivers and the rain, and it was their divine essence that echoed forth to create two new deities; Ursig the Serpent of water bound to the land and Ombrin the Vulture of water bound to the skies.

With this development, the gods were content for the moment. But as time carried on, the powers of the sky gods, Benka and Ombrin, began to erode the land below. So the earth gods began to form a plan to counter the acts of their unaware brethren. Seki and Ursig worked together to produce plants, all along the shores and in certain spots around bodies of water, to preserve the dunes and the waters as best they could. From these creation of cacti, vines, and shrubs, Nalthof was sprung from the deepest thickets of Nalal on shores of the first oasis.

Moved by the newfound beauty of the world below, Benka decided to compete with her brother and unveiled the sun and the moon, bringing along all that is day and all that is night. And it is from this boisterous display that Naosib, Keeper of Changes, was formed. Seki, not to be outdone and playfully jealous of Benka's two intertwined creations, formed animals that would eternally be interrelated with the plants of Nalal; subsequently Bautai, Watcher of Life, was formed.

To avoid any confrontation between the earth gods and the sky gods, Seki offered minor control over the cycles of animals and plants to Ombrin, who added the cycles of life and growth to his cycles of weather; Naosib and Bautai resented this decision, but conceded to their father's power. From here, they passively drove their respective domains to try and overcome the land entirely, but Seki merely laughed, knowing of the endless plane that was Nalal. As a vulture, Ombrin represents the ability of the land to recycle its resources and spawn new life from what was.

The world maintained this state for many years, before Naosib soon became weary of her endless track through the skies. To aid her in stepping down from the heavens at sunrise and sunset, she crafted two divine children: Talamun of the Dawn, Son of Merriment, and Methrosii of the Dusk, Daughter of Strife. These two children represented hope at dawn and at dusk. At their respective times, each of the Solar Children helped their mother in the sky to prepare for the next phase of her journey, from sun to moon and back again. Talamun grew to represent all that was optimistic and idealist, bringing music and entertainment into the world, and reveling in the hope of a new day where things could be made better; Methrosii became the paragon of pessimism and realism, that each day would merely be another day of disaster and misfortune. Methrosii was the herald of violence among mortal beings, and her influence is the basis of conflict on any level. Despite clashing with each other, they continued to honor their duty to Naosib. With the Daughter of Dusk, evil began to slowly creep into the world as many gods did not realize what Naosib had done to ease her task through the skies.

It wasn't until Methrosii began her schemes that war and disturbance settled among Bautai's creatures living above Seki and below Benka on the golden sands of Nalal. It had been a relatively peaceful existence but she only saw those who were unworthy to inhabit the plane. And so she turned on the animals under Bautai's domain, seeding tragedy and discontent, the real substance of existence and not the foolish peace her brother, Talamun, tried to instill; the Children of Naosib are prone to such debates on the matters of tragedy versus comedy and the philosophies of selfishness and altruism. As one desiring proof of worth from those below, Methrosii combined her calamities with the essence of Bautai's animals to form a new god: Marru the Jackal, the deity of power and destruction.

Marru, from his very instant of creation, began work on the search for greater power. He was the only son of the earth and sky god lineages, which he cited as making him the most appropriate ruler of Nalal and its pantheon. Marru became synonymous with strength, greed, and war at insane costs; his experiments with the Evershift and mortals produced races of creatures known as the Marruspawn. By combining the advanced senses of his totem animal, the jackal, with various races of monsters, he created the Marrusaults, Marrulurks, and Marrutact along with numerous other animal-hybrid war machines. His vast armies were the first of their kind and were unrivaled among the peaceful mortals of the time; yet they soon caught on, as war and its machinations spread. Marru's existence completed Methrosii's work to test the people of Nalal in a trial by fire. It wasn't until some time later that Marru's armies had caught the attention of the other gods in Nalal; an alliance of Seki and Talamun, the Shining Alliance, along with every other god except Naosib and Methrosii took on the majority of his forces and slaughtered them with unprecedented ferocity. It was these acts that brought the greatest smile to Methrosii, to darken the souls of her brethren. Marru was eventually cornered at his temple and center of operations lost in the sands where he was torn asunder into several semi-divine abominations. The five terrible jackal-god hybrids were left to prowl the endless wastes working through a hive mind; each was hopelessly lost in the infinite desert, as Seki took great pains to alter their route so that the five pieces of Marru could never reform once more. Many of his followers and Marruspawn still remain, and it is the duty of many of the followers of the other deities to exterminate them once and for all as they too can channel the war god's mind though his divine power is anchored to the five great beasts. In this state, he has little influence over mortal affairs but still offers spell power to his clerics.

Methrosii had a terrible fit at the failure of Marru, and sent many of her followers among the mortals of Nalal to find his pieces; none have been recovered so far and none of her followers survive their search as Seki himself has been known to root out those who seek the terrible god and send them into a similar endless path. With only Talamun and Bautai quietly suspecting her involvement, she returned to her minor influences on the hearts of those who dwell below on the sands. It was not long after Marru's Sundering that something new came to Nalal, from a world outside of the desert plane. They were settlers, humans and other races, from distant empires and lands; it was within these newcomers that Methrosii found a second chance to inflict tragedy on far greater scales. Talamun and Bautai knew of her new intents and worked together to combine hope and the power of creatures to form a guardian for the rapidly civilizing people of Nalal, Nastrosephin the Sphinx and Guardian of the Innocent. They had created a god of travel and protection, to ward off the advances of Methrosii and defend against the ravages of Marru should he ever become a major threat again.

EDIT: The newest version of the PDF. (http://www.freewebs.com/midnightmurder/aSandstormCampaign%2D7%5F7.pdf)

2007-06-26, 10:13 AM
Any takers? The link in the OP is updated.

I added a new pantheon and a rather lengthy creation myth. I'd like to get this part nailed down before I go on to culture and people and areas.

2007-06-28, 08:34 PM
Dammit, my post got erased!

Still looks good to me. You might consider putting the fluff in a shorter form in the Thread as it's quite a lengthy read. As far as that goes, I cannot say much more than 'seems fine to me'.

I'm looking forward to more campaign specific description, like settlements and specific NPCs, Kingdoms and such.

You need to either link your Prestige Classes here or include them in the PDF.

Some interesting House Rule choices in the PDF, not all that I would agree with, but that hardly matters.

Are you running this on the Boards here or for a Tabletop Group?

2007-07-07, 03:21 PM
(back from vacation)

I'm not quite sure yet. I'd prefer to run it in person, but I don't know anyone else who plays yet. If I were to run it online, I'd be through one of the online RP programs (OpenRPG or something like that) to coordinate the combat and landscapes (the desert is a character in itself, after all).

Edit: Hmm, and I imagine that you might not have liked the cleric changes. It's all in the works for now; a summer project for the time school rolls around and I can find some victims to unleash it on. :smallbiggrin: I'd like to organize it with bookmarks and the like, but I'm using the CutePDF program to make the PDF file, so maybe if there were a free editor. But I'm thinking of a table of contents, etc. And hey, if anyone wanted to pick it up and run a game, that's fine by me (though I'd like to, as always, hear how it goes).

2007-07-12, 03:26 PM
Ah, right. I wondered where you'd wandered off to...

Cleric changes, you say? Well, I'm not really that fussed. Limiting them to Light or Medium Armour seems fair enough in a Desert World. Dropping their Hit Die down to 1D6 is rarely my favourite solution, but it depends what the Class represents in your world. Looks like wandering Priest, so far.

2007-07-19, 09:40 PM
Well now I am considering a sort of Sufism version of the Cloistered Cleric where meditation and divine contact replaces the 'bookwork' of the traditional variant.

2007-07-31, 12:50 PM
Any more progress with the Priest Class?