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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Jun 2009

    Default [4e] World in the Making [PEACH]

    Alright, so, a new campaign setting. I don't mean to be jumping on the bandwagon or anything, I am just looking at starting a DnD group with my friends, and, realizing I would probably be the one ending up as DM, I thought I might a well get a start on it. The actual idea for this campaign setting has been long in the making already, so please don't be offended if I leave important things out and skip around a bit, since some of this I've already got figured out (although I'll do my best to make up some fluff about decision making to add in anyway). Although I am probably going to be specifically making this for my own DnD group, I've always thought of myself as a "big picture" kind of guy, so I'll start broadly as if I was making a campaign for publication. Also, I'd like to give credit to the Giant for the general methods of going through this process--I have to admit, I hit a writer's block before I even started making the setting, and reading the Giant's brilliant World articles in the Gaming section inspired me to try to make progress on creating this setting.

    Depending on how this goes, I imagine this will probably end up somewhat like many of the world-building articles that have gone before this have gone, meaning that reader/voter participation will probably matter a lot, as the whole point of posting this is to encourage comments, criticism, and suggestions, and that's not even counting for the occasional polls I might put up occasionally on the especially controversial topic. So, here goes! (Caution, the Spoilers hide excessively large amounts of text, they are there for a reason)

    Part I. What is This Setting About?

    Spoiler
    Show
    Now to the meat of it. This section, of course, is already mainly completed, at least in my mind, but I'll try to hit on everything anyway in summary as I go through, for your benefit. Starting with, of course, the basic and necessary points which make this setting in particular stand out among all the other possible settings out there.

    Overarching story is a simple one to mark out. Nothing fancy here, personally, I've always been a fan of the literature and movies, etc., which explored the meanings of grey areas, as they are very pertinent to real life. For example, a favorite book of mine, The Magic of Recluse, tackles the asumptions that Law and Good go together and are constantly opposing the equivalent forces of Chaos and Evil, that instead, Law and Chaos have no moral attributes, they just are, and in order for the world as we know to exist, there must be a balance. Infact, I quite like this concept of balance so much that it will play an important role in my later remarks, as you will see.

    Style it is then.

    Technology level. That's another easy one. I'm a beginning DM, so, right off the bat, I can say that I don't want to have to bother with dealing with either more or less advanced levels of technology. For this setting, I'll stick with the basics, a predominant medieval society, although with some specific instances of greater or lesser technology as appropriate.

    Climate. Not as easy as techology to tackle, I was beginning to give real thought to uniqueness in climate in my setting, more specifically, either a predominantly mountain world (or rather a lofty mountain world which underneath would exist an expanive cave world) or a world made of radical extremes of weather, much like the world given by George R. R. Martin's brilliant series A Song of Ice and Fire. However, as I thought about it, I realized that these types of backings would provide far to shallow of a world than I am going for, in the DnD sense. They provide far too little of a variety of environments for the Players, it creates a restrictive feel I can't say I like. Out with climate, then, as well.

    Physical Nature is another point which is also generally lacking in depth, unless you get real creative. Unfortunately, I can't for the life of me come up with a subtantial unique physical condition for my world which would still allow for all of the pieces of DnD I enjoy to remain. Nope, my world will just be a plain old world, be it flat or spherical.

    Which brings us to underlying assuptions. As I see it, this is where true variety in campaign settings come from, and where I plan to make a break out. Fortunately for my, in the new 4e Dungeon Master's Guide, it has already been provided a lit of some of these assumptions just for the benefit of struggling DMs like myself. So, without further ado here they are, just waiting to be messed with:

    1. The World is a place of magic and fantasy
    2. The World is ancient enough to have an established history of kingdoms rien and fallen long ago, and ruins as testaments to thi today
    3. Not all of the World has been discovered, mapped, settled, etc. (it is mysterious; wilderness remains)
    4. Monsters exist, and they exist everywhere (i.e. most are not unique or
    one-of-a-kind)
    5. Adventurers (or at least their stats and/or abilities) are rare and exceptional
    6. The Common Races (i.e. humans, dwarfs, elves, halflings, etc.) intermingle freely and band together
    7. Magic, although it undoubtedly exists, is not an everyday occurance
    8. Primordials shaped the world and Gods created mortals to inhabit it; jealous of what the Gods were doing, the Primordials fought with the Gods, and the Gods won
    9. Gods and their celestial servants do not (for the most part) meddle with mortal affairs beyond their worshipers

    Assumptions #1, #4, #5, and #9 are obviously, at least in my mind as a beginner DM, must-haves, as even small alterations to these assumptions will just make it too unwieldy for myself and my friends to handle. We are, after all, looking to play a DnD game, and in order to be able to use most of the givens in 4e DnD (thus making my job greatly easier) these assumptions will have to remain. After all, I'm looking for possibilities in changes in the style of play, not the logistics of it.

    Assumption #2 is a promising one. After all, in almost every setting I've seen so far, there are alway some sort of ruins of ancient cultures, rumors of a great and terrible past, fallen kingdoms, the lot. In my opinion, this seems to be taken for granted, too much even. What if there is no civilized history, and the cultures from which the Players are springing from are the very first inhabitants, the settlers of a strange and wild world, with no idea of what lay beyond their newly built towns what exactly the world is made of? I like that, that is going to stay around a little longer as a possibility. Right along with this is Assumption #3, as they are, at least in the ways I just described, too similar to consider seperately.

    Assumption #6 is also another one I think is taken for granted too often. Perhaps some of the Races don't even have knownledge of some of the other's existance? Perhaps the Adventures would be the first individuals of a certain Race which an entire culture experiences? Or maybe being a certain Race in a certain territory could get you outright killed? I like that, perhaps I can parallel my setting with reality in that sometimes, cultures just plain aren't able to cope with each other in harmony. Specifically, I'm looking at the Human Race, as it is this one above all others which seems to be the most stereotyped and taken-for-granted Race, purely for the reason that we ourselves are members of it, and subconciously we feel the need to a) create distinctions between Humans and other Races in that, even though the others might not be, the Human Race is universal and b) have ourselves as the dominant society. I'm thinking that, with the things I mentioned above in Assumptions #2 and #3, perhaps the humans are newcomers to a strange and foreign land, fewer in number compared to the other races, who have already settled the lands, although living in such reclusion that they themselves might not know what lies beyond the protective shroud of their forests, or their mountains, or their islands.

    Assumptions #7 and #8 I also chose to look at together. Assumption #8 (or at least part of it, as mentioned in detail in the book) I know is going to be the first to go. I don't like it that the Primordial are, at least in the common eye, seen as threats, and are challenged by the Gods. Going along with the theme of "balance" I mentioned earlier, I think that it is wrong to assume Gods are good, as the creates of life, and Primordials are Evils, as the pervaders of chaos. Which, for one thing, the Primordials are obviously not, as they made order out of their beloved Elemental Chaos in order to create the World, which strikes be as a distinctly non-chaotic thing to do. Also, are Primordials Gods themselves, in their own right? Balance, I think, is key in the Primordial's eyes, not constant chaos. In my world, I think, there was no war between the Gods and Primordials, they both just are, and on a similar note, both exist as objects of worship for mortals. And, to link in #8, I think that to tie it all in, since Divine magic comes from the Gods, Arcane magic, in sync with my theme of balance, therefore must stem from the Primordials. And since the Primordials are built upon elements, Arcane magic must be built from elements as well. In my world, magic is extremely prevalent, both through contolled instances (the spells an rituals) and in raw instances affecting the environment-in balance. In fact, I think my entire setting should have the raw, wild feel. Forests aren't forests; they are wild and untamed expanses where the magical and the earthly exist in balance, although perhaps not so much in harmony.

    I would like to add as well another, unmentioned assumption I think I'd like to break. That is, of course, the assumptions regarding the natures of the elements themselves. In architype (or stereotype, depending on your perspective), the elements making up the elemental chaos are simply Air, Earth, Water, and Fire. I have never really been satisfied with this arrangement. It fails to comprensively take into account for such thing as electricity, cold temperatures (heat is explained in fire, but with no ice, there i no opposite), and even life itself (what are humans made of?). Instead, I think I am going to expand these into a greater list, maybe ten or so. Some possible elements are:

    Air
    Earth (Rock?)
    Fire
    Water
    Electricity
    Ice (Cold)
    Sound
    Metal (Ferrous?)
    Gem (Minerals, Precious metals?)
    Light (Sun?)
    Dark (Moon?)
    Plant
    Animal
    Mind (Int/Cha/Wis)
    Body (Str/Con/Dex)
    Poison (Acid?)
    Fey (Feywild?)
    Shadow (Shadowfell?)

    As you can see, I went back and added notes in parantheses as I saw fit. Now it just comes down to choosing which to toss out, as you can see, there are far too many. For obvious reasons, Air, Earth--which I am thinking of specifing as Rock, Fire, and Water, are in. Electricity and Ice are in as well, but Sound is iffy, it will go to the runner-up list. Metal is a definite yes. Gem will go there as well, it is dissimilar enough to Rock to possibly warrant its idependence, however, not so much as to guarantee it. Light and Dark are fairly similar to the last on the list, Fey and Shadow, so really it comes down to what kind of feel you want associated with them. Personally, I like Fey and Shadow, as they are less associated with the good and evil stereotype of light and dark, better going along with my theme of balance. The next four, plant, animal, mind, and body, aren't really enough of elements to stay at all, and their purpose, to represent the elements utilized by the Gods to create mortals. Lastly, Poison, although it seems as if it wouldn't be an element, when you think about it, Poison, Venom, Acid, and other harmful and corrosive chemicals also aren't explained very well by the Air/Earth/Water/Fire network, and neither by the other elements I have decided to include so far, so poison should stay. That gives us ten so far, but it is still somewhat lacking in something. I'll go ahead and add Gem, and I think I'll combine both Plant and Animal into a single element, and add that in, bringing the total to twelve. I like that, twelve has significance in many cultures today, giving a noticable meaning to the circle of elements. In fact, I could use some of these metaphors later when I'm making the history for the setting (in particular, I'm looking at a corellation to the twelve Tribes of Israel, as it is common ground to a majority of the earth's peoples, being part of Christianity, Judaisism, and, to a certain extent, Islam as well). I could even go so far as to hint at a "lost thirteenth element," although that seems a little too cliche.

    So here's the (hopefully) final list:

    Air
    Earth
    Fire
    Water
    Ice
    Electricity
    Metal
    Gem
    Poison
    Fey
    Shadow
    Plant-Animal (Need name)

    That just about sums up this section, I hope.


    Updates:

    Part II. The Twelve Tribes:
    Spoiler
    Show
    There will twelve major regions, dominated by tribes of non-humans races, each with one of the twelve elements as their religion/symbol/mascot etc. They are split up by compass direction as they will appear on the map. Examples of possible culture inspirations and geographical features of each are shown as well.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Northern Kingdoms:
    Ghelace, the domain of the Ice Tribe
    Ferohn, the bastion of the Iron Tribe
    Duntai, the realm of the Earth Tribe
    Culture: Scottish, Norse, Native American (North), Mongol
    Geography: Tundra, Badlands, Hills, Mountains, Cedar Forests

    Western Kingdoms:
    Ignis, the land of the Fire Tribe
    Lunid, the kindom of the Shadow Tribe
    Culture: Medieval Europe, Native American (South)
    Geography: Fen, Marshes, Swamps, Jungle, Plains, Forest, Badlands, Hills

    Eastern Kingdoms:
    Sirciel, islands of the Water Tribe
    Aeris, land of the Air Tribe
    Culture: Norse, Pirate, Native American (North)
    Geography: Islands, Archipelagos, Jungle, Marshes, Mountians, Plateau

    Southern Kingdoms:
    Maunalor, realm of the Life Tribe
    Khengsa, dominion of the Gem Tribe
    Culture: Arabic, Indian, Oriental, Native American (South), Mongol
    Geography: Plains, Savannah, Desert

    Central Kingdoms:
    Taele Sior, domain of the Fey Tribe
    Reboare, land of the Storm Tribe
    Veleshum, kingdom of the Poison Tribe
    Culture: Western, Cosmopolitan, Renaissance, Medieval, British
    Geography: Urban, Hills, Badlands, Plains, Forest


    Part III. Races:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Race wise, Most all of the races in the player's handbooks 1 and 2 will be present, at least in some amount.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Dragonborn-centered around a perhaps feudal, medieval Europe-like society, they will be controlling a region of hills/badlands especially in the Central kingdoms (the Storm Tribes). While humans are tolerated, relations between the Dragonborn kingdoms and their neighbors will be strained at times because of the Dragonborn's history of conquering/warfare.
    Dwarf-this was a fun one. Rather than being the stereotypical mountain-dwelling introverts they are usually portrayed as, they will be instead a nomadic, Scottish-clan-type culture splayed across the tundras of the north (the Ice Tribes), maybe with influences of Inuit and Mongol. They will be distrust of outsiders, but will also tolerate the arrival of humans. Strong relationships will be between them and the Goliaths of the mountains.
    Eladrin-They will have a much more stereotypical culture, I was running out of creativity when I got to them (if anyone has a better idea, please speak up). Naturally, they will be in the majestic forests of the Central Kingdoms (the Fey Tribes), as well as a separate culture found in the more wild and visceral forests and jungles of the south (the Life Tribes) beside some settlements of Shifters. They will be more distrusting of the newcomers, the humans, and less tolerant of them then other races.
    Elf-Elves will be the current inhabitants of the islands of the east, stretching from the frigid isles of the north, to the blistering, jungle-covered volcanic archipelagos of the South (the Water Tribes). As a trading, seafaring culture, local flavors could vary from Viking/Norse in the north to Pacific-islander-esque in the south. Each local variety of elves will have their own opinion of the other races, as well as of humans.
    Half-elf-As humans are new to the world, half-elves will be few and far between. They will generally assume the cultures of the elves they came from, rather than joining the great migration of the human.
    Halfling-Perhaps the most prevalent and dominant race of the setting, Halfings will be found almost everywhere in part, but they will originate in the Cities and metropolitan areas of the Central kingdoms (Neutral city-states with no allegiance to single tribes). Halfings who come from these city-states will be almost haughty, as the Halflings most recently had an empire which united most of the lands.
    Human-The humans of this setting will be very different culture-wise from the existing inhabitants of the known lands. Having just recently arrived from far across the oceans and seas on strange, arcane city-ships, almost sailing islands, they will by now have established settlements, although concentrated on the western coast (beside the Fire and Shadow tribelands), spanning all across the continent, even as far north as the tundras of the Ice Tribes, as far south as the desert of the Gem tribes, and a far east as the islands of the Water Tribes. Cultures will be hugely varied. Unlike the current inhabitants, the humans, instead of worshiping the primordial elements (all other races will basically regard the elements as a religion/philosophy, and actual gods will be rare), they will actually have a pantheon of gods/goddesses whom will serve the very same purposes as the primordials. As a result, there will be a culture clash between these radical humans and the traditional societies. Some of the traditional societies will be more tolerating than others. Here and there, members of both societies (humans and everyone else) will convert to the other's philosophies for personal reasons. So far, no wars or outright conflicts have broken out between the races and the humans, mainly because most of the races, due to the relatively small size of the human population, consider the humans to be too insignificant of a threat. However, the humans are growing more numerous far more quickly than the common races (with the exception of the halflings and a few others), and some relationships are growing more strained.
    Tiefling-the Tieflings will be the inhabitants of the mountains and swamps of the West (the Shadow Tribes). I have no idea what kind of culture they have, but I know they are perhaps the most welcoming of the humans, but as to why I have yet to decide.

    PH2:
    Half-Orc-Orcs are most common in the mountains of the north (the Earth Tribes), and a very civilized race in and of themselves, living in relative harmony with their neighbors the Goliaths and the Dwarves. Half-Orcs, like Half-Elves, are rare, but unlike the Half-Elves, Half-Orcs tend to join the humans rather than stay with the Orcs.
    Devas-the Devas will be the Arab influence on the setting, found in the deserts of the south (the Gem Tribes). They will largely be a nomadic, trader race, although some oasis city-states will be present.
    Gnome-Concentrated in swamps and jungles of the West (the Fire Tribes), they will possibly have a strong aztec/mayan culture. Relations between the gnomes and their neighbors will be good. Humans, too, will be welcome.
    Goliath- Like I mentioned above, the Goliaths will be in the mountains of the north (the Iron tribes). They will fulfill the more dwarf-like role in the setting.
    Shifters- Also mentioned above, the Shifters will be in the forests of the south (the Life tribes). Further details are to be worked out.

    As you can see, I am missing a few races to inhabit the lands of the Poison Tribes and the Air Tribes. I am thinking lizardmen for the Poison Tribes, but I have no idea what to do for air.


    Part IV. Classes:
    Spoiler
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    Some brainstorming on the classes:

    Since 4e has now specific divisions in the classes based on their power sources, this makes it pretty easy to make decisions to fit into new settings.

    Spoiler
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    Martial [Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Warlord]- Naturally, as in almost all settings, the martial power source will be far be the most prevalent (World wise at least, if not PC wise). Of course, enemies at the level of the Player character classes will be few and far between, as most will simply be the monster profiles found in the Monster Manual. I don't see much room for additional classes here, but, of course, there are plenty of opportunities for new paragon paths. For example, I was thinking of some options blending elemental powers with the classes, providing flavor. After all, in 4e, paragon paths are the equivalents of prestige classes in 3.5e.
    Divine [Cleric, Paladin, Avenger, Invoker]- Humans will represent the largest proportion of the Divine classes, as they, unlike any of the other races, have a pantheon of gods rather than primordials featuring in their religion. Of course, there will be converts from other races, as well as some who regard their primordial as a god, and can still justify having the Divine Power source. Paragon paths, of course, would be the way to go to provide distinctions between these.
    Arcane [Warlock, Wizard, Bard, Sorcerer]- The Arcane, since it originates from the primordials, would be much more prevalent than the Divine. However, I think that the existing Arcane classes seem to refined to fit very well into the setting. They could probably use a little tweaking, maybe not logistically but at least in flavor, to have a more raw feel. I am debating whether or to add a Defender class based on a warrior relying solely on harnessing the elements in close combat.
    Primal [Barbarian, Druid, Shaman, Warden]- I think the Primal classes should feature strongly in this setting, as they more than any of the other classes have the distinctive raw, wild feel I'm looking for in this setting.

    C/C Away!
    Last edited by Rustscale; 2009-06-11 at 01:48 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Yakk's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4e] World in the Making

    I'd say your goals are insufficiently player-facing.

    In building a world, the first thing I'd do is poke the players. Ask them what kind of stories they want to play in. Think of what kind of stories you want to tell.

    Build just enough of the world to get started on telling those stories.

    World building is quite fun: but you probably won't need most of what you do while world building.

    Build the world around the stories, instead of the stories around the world.

    You can play with parts of the world that are orthogonal to the story to add a bit of wonder and unexpectedness, or maybe because you have another story you want to be hooked to that change at some later time.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [4e] World in the Making

    True, true. As I have talked with my friends about this (meaning starting up the group again, choosing a DM, deciding whether or not to go with Forgotten Realms again, me suggesting making a new setting), it has become evident to a certain extent what most of their interests are story-wise. I actually have tried to work these in already--I suppose I've just skipped over that as I tried to catch up what I type with what I was thinking. This probably stems from that since I started this a while back and never actually wrote anything down, I forgot some of my starting ideas, some of which were what you suggested, the stories they were interested in.

    So, anyway, more specifically, their interests lie in high-adventure stories, predominantly which will have some substantial effect on the world, securing their character's places in the history books. Exploration and discovery was a big one (hence the suggestion that nobody really knows much about the world's history, especially the humans). One of them wanted to be a civilization/settler type figure, making his mark on the setting by defeating some threat or menace to one of the societies (he has yet to make his character). Another wanted to participate in some major war of some kind (I was hoping that I would allow that by creating the conflict between some of the Common Races, as well as--later on--creating conflicting nations).

    The reason I'm choosing to build a world rather than just a bare foundation on which to have our adventures is simple really, personally, they have indicated that they aren't keen on switching up settings that much, so having a single, substantial world where we could have successive adventures--something we got used to, as we used Forgotten Realms in 3.5. Plus, like you said, I think it would be fun to bring something up from just a concept to something you can look at on paper and be proud of, eve if most of it won't be use, at least be my own little group.

    All said, you're right, I probably need to focus on the players more themselves (as a beginning DM). So far, though, their comments on what I've got are positive, and they seem to be looking forward to it.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [4e] World in the Making

    Good good!

    Next, if I had my druthers, I'd ask for race/class combinations from the PCs that they want to play. Ask them what they want their society to be like -- a village, a tribe, a city, etc.

    This will give you a set of race/culture pairs to start world building from. And it also gives you some freedom, because there will be gaps.

    What you don't want is excessive barriers to your PCs getting to together and adventuring together. That is why the "the common races mingle" rule in the DMG is really about.

    But if you have a specific set of PCs to work with, and they are all from some sub-set of races, then you don't need universal harmony and intermingling. You just need your PCs to work, not a random party. (That is a very important point, and a serious advantage of home-brewing)

    As a second bonus, a given PC might specify the same race and a quite different society they come from -- which provides a natural break from the race/culture pair trope.

    Things like the nature of magic, unless they are central to a plot, are background. Most players and their characters probably won't know or care. :) And the rate at which you expose players to such background elements needs to be measured, or it can confuse players.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [4e] World in the Making

    Alright, so far I've got from my friends are Dragonborn, Tiefling, Gnome, and Elf/Half-elf. Nobody said they cared much about culture, so they've left me free to work with that. Class wise, we are currently checking out the new classes in the Player's Handbook II, so feedback will have to wait.

    Meanwhile, I'm working on the nations, additional races, cultures, geography, and some classes, I should be able to post a few by the end of the weekend. However, it would be very helpful to get some suggestions. I'll try to sum it all up so we can get some ideas flowing. (BTW, the elements idea is turning out not to be merely background for magic, but it will be a religion in and of itself).

    There will twelve major regions, dominated by tribes of non-humans races, each with one of the twelve elements as their religion/symbol/mascot etc. They are split up by compass direction as they will appear on the map. Examples of possible culture inspirations and geographical features of each are shown as well.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Northern Kingdoms:
    Ghelace, the domain of the Ice Tribe
    Ferohn, the bastion of the Iron Tribe
    Duntai, the realm of the Earth Tribe
    Culture: Scottish, Norse, Native American (North), Mongol
    Geography: Tundra, Badlands, Hills, Mountains, Cedar Forests

    Western Kingdoms:
    Ignis, the land of the Fire Tribe
    Lunid, the kindom of the Shadow Tribe
    Culture: Medieval Europe, Native American (South)
    Geography: Fen, Marshes, Swamps, Jungle, Plains, Forest, Badlands, Hills

    Eastern Kingdoms:
    Sirciel, islands of the Water Tribe
    Aeris, land of the Air Tribe
    Culture: Norse, Pirate, Native American (North)
    Geography: Islands, Archipelagos, Jungle, Marshes, Mountians, Plateau

    Southern Kingdoms:
    Maunalor, realm of the Life Tribe
    Khengsa, dominion of the Gem Tribe
    Culture: Arabic, Indian, Oriental, Native American (South), Mongol
    Geography: Plains, Savannah, Desert

    Central Kingdoms:
    Taele Sior, domain of the Fey Tribe
    Reboare, land of the Storm Tribe
    Veleshum, kingdom of the Poison Tribe
    Culture: Western, Cosmopolitan, Renaissance, Medieval, British
    Geography: Urban, Hills, Badlands, Plains, Forest


    If there is any C/C about the actual ideas of what I've got so far that would be great. Thanks, too, Yakk, for you help so far about methods.
    Last edited by Rustscale; 2009-06-05 at 10:39 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [4e] World in the Making

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    In building a world, the first thing I'd do is poke the players. Ask them what kind of stories they want to play in. Think of what kind of stories you want to tell.
    I did that a couple of times. It's completely useless. They never want anything. The best you can hope to get is "not too much hack and slay" or "whatever you like".

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [4e] World in the Making

    An update on the situation. Some of the other members in my DnD have expressed interest in being DM, an now I've grown quite fond of the idea, so we now are having a competition of sorts. Each of us (there are two others) will make a campaign setting, an then the three others will choose. We have until the end of the summer. Wish me luck

    Now get those brainjuices flowing, from what I've seen of other world-building threads (i.e. VUACS--The Hourglass of Zihaja) two months is maybe a fifth of the time needed, I'm going to need as much help as I can get!

    Some new things I've been working on (I decided, due to the shortness of time, to forgo the style of writing out my thought processes akin to the Giant's World articles in favor of more to-the-point methods) are as follows:

    Race wise, Most all of the races in the player's handbooks 1 and 2 will be present, at least in some amount.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Dragonborn-centered around a perhaps feudal, medieval Europe-like society, they will be controlling a region of hills/badlands especially in the Central kingdoms (the Storm Tribes). While humans are tolerated, relations between the Dragonborn kingdoms and their neighbors will be strained at times because of the Dragonborn's history of conquering/warfare.
    Dwarf-this was a fun one. Rather than being the stereotypical mountain-dwelling introverts they are usually portrayed as, they will be instead a nomadic, Scottish-clan-type culture splayed across the tundras of the north (the Ice Tribes), maybe with influences of Inuit and Mongol. They will be distrust of outsiders, but will also tolerate the arrival of humans. Strong relationships will be between them and the Goliaths of the mountains.
    Eladrin-They will have a much more stereotypical culture, I was running out of creativity when I got to them (if anyone has a better idea, please speak up). Naturally, they will be in the majestic forests of the Central Kingdoms (the Fey Tribes), as well as a separate culture found in the more wild and visceral forests and jungles of the south (the Life Tribes) beside some settlements of Shifters. They will be more distrusting of the newcomers, the humans, and less tolerant of them then other races.
    Elf-Elves will be the current inhabitants of the islands of the east, stretching from the frigid isles of the north, to the blistering, jungle-covered volcanic archipelagos of the South (the Water Tribes). As a trading, seafaring culture, local flavors could vary from Viking/Norse in the north to Pacific-islander-esque in the south. Each local variety of elves will have their own opinion of the other races, as well as of humans.
    Half-elf-As humans are new to the world, half-elves will be few and far between. They will generally assume the cultures of the elves they came from, rather than joining the great migration of the human.
    Halfling-Perhaps the most prevalent and dominant race of the setting, Halfings will be found almost everywhere in part, but they will originate in the Cities and metropolitan areas of the Central kingdoms (Neutral city-states with no allegiance to single tribes). Halfings who come from these city-states will be almost haughty, as the Halflings most recently had an empire which united most of the lands.
    Human-The humans of this setting will be very different culture-wise from the existing inhabitants of the known lands. Having just recently arrived from far across the oceans and seas on strange, arcane city-ships, almost sailing islands, they will by now have established settlements, although concentrated on the western coast (beside the Fire and Shadow tribelands), spanning all across the continent, even as far north as the tundras of the Ice Tribes, as far south as the desert of the Gem tribes, and a far east as the islands of the Water Tribes. Cultures will be hugely varied. Unlike the current inhabitants, the humans, instead of worshiping the primordial elements (all other races will basically regard the elements as a religion/philosophy, and actual gods will be rare), they will actually have a pantheon of gods/goddesses whom will serve the very same purposes as the primordials. As a result, there will be a culture clash between these radical humans and the traditional societies. Some of the traditional societies will be more tolerating than others. Here and there, members of both societies (humans and everyone else) will convert to the other's philosophies for personal reasons. So far, no wars or outright conflicts have broken out between the races and the humans, mainly because most of the races, due to the relatively small size of the human population, consider the humans to be too insignificant of a threat. However, the humans are growing more numerous far more quickly than the common races (with the exception of the halflings and a few others), and some relationships are growing more strained.
    Tiefling-the Tieflings will be the inhabitants of the mountains and swamps of the West (the Shadow Tribes). I have no idea what kind of culture they have, but I know they are perhaps the most welcoming of the humans, but as to why I have yet to decide.

    PH2:
    Half-Orc-Orcs are most common in the mountains of the north (the Earth Tribes), and a very civilized race in and of themselves, living in relative harmony with their neighbors the Goliaths and the Dwarves. Half-Orcs, like Half-Elves, are rare, but unlike the Half-Elves, Half-Orcs tend to join the humans rather than stay with the Orcs.
    Devas-the Devas will be the Arab influence on the setting, found in the deserts of the south (the Gem Tribes). They will largely be a nomadic, trader race, although some oasis city-states will be present.
    Gnome-Concentrated in swamps and jungles of the West (the Fire Tribes), they will possibly have a strong aztec/mayan culture. Relations between the gnomes and their neighbors will be good. Humans, too, will be welcome.
    Goliath- Like I mentioned above, the Goliaths will be in the mountains of the north (the Iron tribes). They will fulfill the more dwarf-like role in the setting.
    Shifters- Also mentioned above, the Shifters will be in the forests of the south (the Life tribes). Further details are to be worked out.

    As you can see, I am missing a few races to inhabit the lands of the Poison Tribes and the Air Tribes. I am thinking lizardmen for the Poison Tribes, but I have no idea what to do for air.


    Classes hopefully to come soon.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Jun 2009

    Default Re: [4e] World in the Making

    Some brainstorming on the classes:

    Since 4e has now specific divisions in the classes based on their power sources, this makes it pretty easy to make decisions to fit into new settings.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Martial [Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Warlord]- Naturally, as in almost all settings, the martial power source will be far be the most prevalent (World wise at least, if not PC wise). Of course, enemies at the level of the Player character classes will be few and far between, as most will simply be the monster profiles found in the Monster Manual. I don't see much room for additional classes here, but, of course, there are plenty of opportunities for new paragon paths. For example, I was thinking of some options blending elemental powers with the classes, providing flavor. After all, in 4e, paragon paths are the equivalents of prestige classes in 3.5e.
    Divine [Cleric, Paladin, Avenger, Invoker]- Humans will represent the largest proportion of the Divine classes, as they, unlike any of the other races, have a pantheon of gods rather than primordials featuring in their religion. Of course, there will be converts from other races, as well as some who regard their primordial as a god, and can still justify having the Divine Power source. Paragon paths, of course, would be the way to go to provide distinctions between these.
    Arcane [Warlock, Wizard, Bard, Sorcerer]- The Arcane, since it originates from the primordials, would be much more prevalent than the Divine. However, I think that the existing Arcane classes seem to refined to fit very well into the setting. They could probably use a little tweaking, maybe not logistically but at least in flavor, to have a more raw feel. I am debating whether or to add a Defender class based on a warrior relying solely on harnessing the elements in close combat.
    Primal [Barbarian, Druid, Shaman, Warden]- I think the Primal classes should feature strongly in this setting, as they more than any of the other classes have the distinctive raw, wild feel I'm looking for in this setting.


    I'll be working on Geography next. When I get the chance, I'll update the OP with the progress so far.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
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    May 2009

    Default Re: [4e] World in the Making

    And who's DMing until the competition ends? Don't tell me you put the game on hold for this!

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Jun 2009

    Default Re: [4e] World in the Making

    Quote Originally Posted by Kornaki View Post
    And who's DMing until the competition ends? Don't tell me you put the game on hold for this!
    Nobody. Indeed, although none of us mind much anyway. Being the summer, there aren't any times where more than three or four members of our group could get together. We thought we might as well try to get things done individually, at least, if we can't do so together.

    Anyhow, updating OP...

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