View Full Version : The XYZ campaign setting (or, the campaign setting to end all campaign settings)

2008-01-31, 09:02 AM
Okay guys, if ToBites can make a fantasy setting by voting/discussing, then so can we!

Rather than "necropost" on the old thread (since that's against the rules), I decided to make this one.

Okay, so here are the setting ideas we had in the previous thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63269):

A world ruled by non-humans (elves?).
A world that has begun an ice age.
A world where a revolutionary movement has taken hold.
A world with a central Law vs. Chaos confict
A world where the gods have died/disappeared
A world where civilization has only recently begun.
A world where magic has only recently appeared.

There may have been a couple ideas in the old thread I missed; if you want to bring them up again, please feel free.

As an aside: should we start a vote as to which of these ideas we'll use now, or does anyone else want to contribute another/criticize one/other?

The specifics of races are undecided but worth discussing, though it would probably be best to wait a bit so that we know what the setting is like first (since, you know... elves in an ice age and elves in a revolution are probably going to be different).

The OP from the previous thread:

You’ve all been there - that setting that looked so good... except that one little flaw that bothered you. Not anything big, mind you, but it was something that was ingrained in there and a real effort to remove. Or maybe it was so good, except the designers forgot to include something important. Or maybe it was so good, except it was half finished, at just the wrong spot to contribute, and probably never going to get all-the-way finished.

Why don’t we do it? A poster-built campaign world would be awesome, a world filled with ideas and gestalts and interconnecting concept that work out better together than they did alone. I mean, a second person makes your setting twice as good, so how much better does twenty-three thousand, four hundred and ninety-one other people make it?

I mean, after all, Keith Baker wasn’t the one who came up with the Warforged. And what would Eberron be like without them? No matter your opinion on the quality of Eberron, the answer is “certainly quite different.”

So let’s do it. Let’s make a setting as a group, a conglamerate.

Our first question is obvious, the question every campaign setting confronts first: What is the key to this setting? How can I describe the setting in such a way as to get the point across clearly?

In Iron Kingdoms, it is “a fantasy world’s industrial revolution”. In Eberron, it is “a fantasy setting combined with elements from the pulps”.

This doesn’t say everything about the setting by any means - I mean, “a fantasy world’s industrial revolution” doesn’t tell you that Iron Kingdoms is henotheistic with dualistic elements, about the Menoth Protectorate, about Cryx, or about the invaders from across the sea who worshipped their dark gods in ancient days and caused Thamar to give mankind arcane magic. “A fantasy setting combined with elements from the pulps” doesn’t tell you that the gods might or might not exist, that the fantasy equivalent of WW1 just ended, or about the Mourning. And there’s far, far more to both those settings than those things.

So let’s do it. What do we want to do with the setting - that hasn’t been done (or at least, done well and done well-known) before? Okay, wow, located my “fifty-four thing that happened seeds”. Peruse them, see if you get any ideas.
1 Old Nation Becomes An Empire
2 Reformation of an Empire
3 Secession from an Empire
4 Failed Secession from an Empire
5 Dissolution of an Empire
6 Nation Joins an Empire
7 Significant occupation of a nation by an enemy (rw ex: moorish occupation of spain)
8 Genocide, attempted
9 Genocide, largely successful
10 New Nation
11 Major Cultural Change (rw ex: great awakening)
12 Major Discovery/Innovation (causes social changes) (rw ex: crossbows; industrialization)
13 Major Discovery/Innovation (causes change in military tactics) (rw ex: crossbows; nuclear weapons)
14 Major Discovery/Innovation (causes economic changes) (rw ex: the assembly line)
15 Major Discovery/Innovation (causes religious changes) (rw ex: heliocentricity)
16 Religious War
17 Race War
18 Merging of Two or More Nations
19 Land War
20 Formation of a Federation (ex: articles of confederation)
21 Reformation of a Federation
22 Secession from a Federation
23 Failed Secession from a Federation
24 Dissolution of a Federation
25 Nation Joins a Federation
26 Civil War
27 Reselection of Leadership
28 Reformation of a Nation
29 Plague
30 Major New Law (causes social changes) (rw ex: illegalization of slavery; prohibition)
31 New Moral Philosophy (rw ex: confucianism)
32 New Functional Philosophy (rw ex: the scientific method, romanticism)
33 New Political Philosophy (rw ex: marxism)
34 Colonization
35 New Deity
36 New Religion
37 Death of a Deity
38 Death of a Religion
39 Merging of two Religions
40 Important Bonding of two Deities
41 New Taboo (ex: no bow use on other catholics)
42 Major Cosmological Change (religious) (ex: civil war between deities)
43 Major Cosmological Change (profane) (ex: the plane of fire becomes inaccessible)
44 Increase in Political Power of a Religion
45 Decrease in Political Power of a Religion
46 Successful Invasion
47 Failed Invasion
48 Creation of Notable Site (rw ex: great wall of china)
49 Creation of Religious Site (rw ex: vatican)
50 Population Boom of a Nation
51 Population Decrease of a Nation
52 Change in Theology (rw ex: lutheranism)
53 New Race is Born/Created
54 Extended Conflict (rw ex: hundred years war)Obviously, once we've decided what the major thing about the setting is, the tone will come through naturally. This is just a [Discuss] thread, in terms of Tears of Blood.

2008-01-31, 04:51 PM
Another idea, based off the last one, that's really far more setting than campaign plot, old magic (sorcerers and wizards and clerics, etc.) has stopped showing up. The Old Casters, as they call them, are still present, there just haven't been any new ones in a long time. Instead, other forms of magic have appeared. For example, Blade Scholars (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=948233) and their magic have replaced Paladins and Duskblades. Warlocks have all but disappeared as Monsters (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58810) become more common and inherit their positions of dark power. A new group of Alchemists (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=498216) have challenged the ways of Transmutation Wizards. Those of Sorcerous blood find their children are much more versatile, calling themselves Gates (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69882) and sealing their ancient ancestors inside their bodies to directly harness their arcane birthright. Strangest of all are those who simply think and create, Artists (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70413) shaping their willpower into powerful beings at their beck and call.

Cade Shadow
2008-02-03, 11:27 AM
I like the idea of magic and civilization being new. Like possessing magic is a sign of being civilized. A world where for some people the bronze age has just begun sounds interesting in my book.