A good while back, I came up with a rather unique (at least as far as I know) campaign setting. It never got to be used, I thought about making a video game out of it, but passed it over for various reasons, primarily due to being so heavily based on DnD 3.5, including pretty much all non-core material.
I remembered it a couple days ago, and offered to DM a game in this setting, that didn't pan out either, but since I've remembered it, I kind of want to show it in case anyone else wants to use it. All I'm going to put down is the basic overview for now, but I'll be putting down more and more as time goes on.
As it stands, it is completely compatible with DnD 3.5, purely core or otherwise, you loose some of its flavor, but that's true with cutting out anything Campaign Setting Specific. Their technology got to be about 1940's-1950's level in some regards, though with the touch of magic, it is still very DnDish, particularly after the Cataclysm.
...And heading this off, sorry, it appears like it was half-heatedly written as an "epic," it's just how this comes to mind to type it out.
So, as a start, it was originally designed as a one shot, so we have the starting area, The Utopia, in particular its Capitol:
...The capitol city was on the coast of a great bay, spanning more land area than most forests, and extending over the sea by a fair bit. Aside from coastal waters, the city occupied 3 climes, to the south there were the great mountains, to the north, a vast desert, and the east, a fertile grassland.
All races in the world had a strong footprint within the city. Divided into districts, the central district was made to be a cultural melting pot, those who migrated to the city to leave their culture behind, or those who wanted to trade a variety of goods, would head here. It developed into its own complex culture in time, kind of an amalgam of the various cultures.
Around this central district, arranged in a circle was a district for every culture, designed to mimic the usual terrain of their homelands, these areas were to ease the tensions of emigration, and were seen as a great place for those outside of the culture to go to immerse themselves within it. Traditional crafts and cuisines could be found in the main district, but the highest quality, authentic items were in the other districts.
As that era wasn't really meant to be played in originally, there are definitely some gaps there, the civilization was never really named, but in a way it was more of a city state. The city was named "Crosskeep" as it originated as an old fortress in the crossroads of the world, as all terrains join to this one spot.
Dragons were rather important to the world, worshiped as physical gods, and governing the utopia along with the people who live in it.
The one thing all the cultures had in common, was the worship of their physical gods, the dragons. All manners of dragons made their home in and around the capitol. The people took the advice of the Dragons from the start, which resulted in the city flourishing. The city was jointly governed by two councils, one of elected officials of the common races, one for each district, and another of the oldest and wisest dragons.
The dragons required a tribute from all in the city, which was proudly payed by the populace. In exchange for their worship, the Dragons granted their people certain forms of magic. In the name of the Dragons, there were Clerics and Paladins, spreading their will. The Dragon's favored followers became decidedly more Draconic, some grew capable of breathing fire, others gained draconic wings. All in all, the rule of the Dragons was just.
Then the world ended. It was a happy time for all parties involved.
...The survivors, in hindsight, realized that there were signs that it was coming. The Dragons grew more oppressive in their rule, they decreed that the lower council was to be disbanded, and tribute requirements of the citizens rose steadily in the next months. The only thing the survivors could not figure out was why it happened.
Just when the people felt there was no more for them to give, the Dragons, in a unified strike, tore down the society that they themselves spent centuries building. In a matter of minutes, there was not a building above a single story standing. After their rampage, the Dragons left, leaving no trace of where they were heading.
So complete was their destruction that the surrounding area for thousands of miles was converted into barely hospitable wasteland. The mountains to the south were fractured, the plains to the east converted to horrible tundra. The ocean turned to a deep purple, a black mist always rising from it, preventing any from taking a drink. The winds in the desert to the North picked up to levels where the sand itself would tear a man apart in minutes, and the wind never died down. In the city itself, the air became so saturated with debris, that it was dangerous to breathe for too long, and then there was the risk should the dragons come back, there would be no weather to obscure the view of a new settlement.
Directly after the cataclysm was when the game was to start, survival being the number one priority. The players were to have found some surivors, and set off to form a new settlement, hoping to become self sufficient enough that a plan could be made to see what to do if/when the dragons notice society creeping back. Creatures suited to the new hostile environments would appear, and Barbarian tribes forming out of survivors from the neighboring lands would be a major threat, but the weather would be no less so.
Resources would be scarce, crafting would be in high demand, as would people knowledgeable in nature, and dragons. Cleric, Paladin, Favored Soul, and similar classes wouldn't be able to be used, at least not at first. Wizards and other classes relying on expensive materials would also have some difficulty, having to make due with sub optimal materials for scribing their spells, and salvaging from the city. Out in the wild in the new settlement, the Wizard would think of something to use as a spellbook, maybe even his house.
Even though most of my original ideas were for post cataclysm, with some filling out, the Utopian age could be a fun setting in and of itself I would think, though the main focus is currently Post Cataclysm.
My focus is not balance at this point, and I'm mainly trying to just get it all written down, as time goes on, rules will be clarified and rebalanced.