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Talmek
05-09-2009, 05:44 PM
Hi folks,

I finally got a chance to visit my FLGS for the first time (I'm a habitual amazon/eBay buyer) and while there I apparently got some bonus inspiration combined with the $150 worth of miniatures I purchased. I've created a small synopsis of a new campaign setting I'm hoping to create. Tell me what you think.

CAMPAIGN: KINGDOM OF CALATHAR

DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS VERSION: 4TH EDITION

CAMPAIGN SYNOPSIS: Calathar is a world of high-magic, conflict, espionage and inter-dimensional drama. On the continent of Marlek, actively warring nations bring conflict and strife down on the countryside, as corrupt royalty stands to gain land and wealth. Alliances are continually made, broken and sabotaged by outside forces in order to keep the war living and the commoners fearful for their families and their lives.

The current year is 1201, V.A. (Valde Aterro – Great Waste in Common). On the first day of the new century, the Gods handed down their unanimous condemnation of the eternal warring between the nations of Marlek, completely destroying the country of Ganham and in the process creating what is now simply known as the Great Waste. This single divine act has created near-universal fear for the citizens and commoners of all the remaining nations, while certain evil sects seek to bring complete destruction to the world, satiating their gods and guaranteeing their rewards from them.

Grimwell
05-09-2009, 09:27 PM
My first question is the same one I always ask myself: What is the role of the adventurer in this world?

Talmek
05-10-2009, 12:09 AM
The role of the adventurer is as stated in the Dungeon Master's Guide - The world needs heroes to prevent the few points of light (civilization) from being engulfed in the shadow of evil.

With this role is the added stress/wonder of, "If the Gods have struck down one country seemingly at random, where is the next one going to occur?" This allows for more plot lines to open up for which direction the characters go. If they are self-preserving and do nothing to try and stop the war, perhaps the gods will move forward and destroy another country?

Grimwell
05-10-2009, 09:30 AM
With this role is the added stress/wonder of, "If the Gods have struck down one country seemingly at random, where is the next one going to occur?" This allows for more plot lines to open up for which direction the characters go. If they are self-preserving and do nothing to try and stop the war, perhaps the gods will move forward and destroy another country?

This is what I was looking for. I like the idea behind your setting, it's powerful and there is definitely a silent clock ticking down until the next doomsday. That's a powerful motivator with plenty of options for the players (stop, assist, run and hide!).

I can see this being a great opportunity for some of the new holy classes to step forth and say "This is how we must appease the gods!" or "I must strike you down to prevent a greater disaster from happening to all." to the rulers of the next country.

Basically, I can see a lot of good campaign fodder for religious characters. I don't know if that's the angle you are hoping to take or not yet, but it's an easy one that would be interesting and give great meaning to the faiths.

DMMike
05-10-2009, 04:37 PM
Talmek - the campaign has some good, built-in adventure potential, what with the high magic, wars, and relatively high level of societal advancement. I see some pitfalls too - concrete acts of divinity pretty much dictate a theocratic structure to society, and high-magic nations should have at least the complexity of technologically developed nations, so you'll need to be able to either railroad your party's progress or ad-lib like a mofo in order to maintain that appearance of complexity.

Talmek
05-10-2009, 05:56 PM
I have come up with the first two countries, and a little knowledge (History) for them as well. Thanks for the comments folks, keep them coming.



ARUNATH



Common Knowledge: Arunath is a nation of militant humans, whose natives are taught tactics, soldiering and military history from the beginning of their education. All citizens are required to serve as conscripts of the Arunathi armed forces for a minimum of four years after reaching the age of majority.

Expert Knowledge: Conscripts are informed after they have completed combat training that they cannot become a voting, or “full” citizen without having fought in at least one major battle during their conscription period. This is withheld with the intent that commoners will look forward to battle in order to raise their citizen status and possibly become nobility. However, few if any conscripts have actually attained full citizenship without it being posthumous.


Master Knowledge: King Ryqil IV has been ill for many years and has left his Prime Minister Thurtor Renile to lead until he recovers. Ryqil is unaware, however, that his second-in-command not only has no intention to relinquish this newly acquired power, but that he is currently searching for a means to assassinate the king without throwing the entire country into chaos.


Notable Cities: Silverclaw, Ashberg, Camp Bywater, Mount Yorkdown



GANHAM (THE GREAT WASTE)



Common Knowledge: Ganham was considered the technological leader of the Eight Nations prior to it's destruction. Many innovations were created to make agriculture more efficient, which lead to the export of grain and other foods. This gave Ganham a surplus of funds, which was utilized to educate all citizens, regardless of social status.


Expert Knowledge: Their exportation of foodstuffs also gave them a strategic advantage over other countries, as they were able to control the rate of food distributed. This unique position made Ganham the grudging ally to many of it's customers.


Master Knowledge: The Great Waste now is nothing more than a barren land full of aberrations and monsters. Even the once-normal wildlife is overly aggressive and rumored to have become somewhat intelligent. Magic does not function normally in the Great Waste, and it is said that if someone spends too much time there, their will to return to their country is diminished to the point that they eventually accept the Waste as their new homeland.


Notable Cities: Linnilis (Now in ruins)

Amon Alden
05-11-2009, 12:38 AM
Nice creation so far. I think you should leave the "Kingdom of" off of your title though.

I like what you've come up with so far. You have your waste land and militant country. You should definitely have a nation in there that is trying to abstain from the whole thing. obviously there will be some other countries in the thick of it. Countries in our world that come to mind you might want to emulate in some way are Kuwait and Switzerland. Not necessarily the size but the fact that one has a highly sought commodity whatever that may be in your world, and the other has never been in any conflicts... ever.

I look forward to seeing where you go with this.

Talmek
05-11-2009, 11:27 AM
I've worked on a couple more nation concepts and I figured since I had already started making it public, I should share some more with the fine denizens of P&PG. As always, opinions and help are always welcome.


MARENDALE



Common Knowledge: Marendale was once the home of King Marnus Redhand, one-time leader of the Eight Nations and under his rule was the only time peace was known throughout the continent. Now it is a land of corrupt nobility and degenerate clergy, where commoners are imprisoned, publicly humiliated and worse simply because of their status. It is required of all foreign visitors to announce themselves in the capital of Aneo prior to being allowed to conduct business in the city. Anyone found unannounced will be put in stocks for no less than three days and nights. This tradition stems from the King's murder by assassins who played as foreign dignitaries.


Expert Knowledge: Marendale relied heavily on Ganham's food exportation in exchange for magical training and textiles. Without their primary source of food, the upper-classes have taken to taxing the common folk more than ever before, breeding discontent and small-level uprisings in a few of the provinces. It is said that a man of common status has been stirring up the common folk in an attempt to disrupt the status quo, but despite the Crownsmen's best efforts (and a hefty reward), he has not been captured.


Master Knowledge: The Crownsmen (the King's personal detachment of well-trained and particularly brutal soldiers) commander Captain Drew Olasse recently executed a commoner in the village of New Brasek for suspicion of hiding the “Scarlet Ghost”, a nickname for the commoner responsible for the recent uprisings. With this execution came the promise of the entire town's destruction if anyone outside the village spoke of what transpired.


Notable Cities: Lanhill, New Brasek, Sidenvale, Timberlind


NHUR


Common Knowledge: The country of Nhur is primarily made up of nomadic halfling barbarian tribes with only one central hub for trade, known as Cilaya. The capital of Nhur, Iceshine is constructed completely of ice held together by some unknown form of magic that is of indeterminate age. While susceptible to physical damage, no form of heat damages the fortress, even allowing residents to build fires directly onto the ice-floors without melting.


Expert Knowledge: The Frostburn tribe, current spokesmen for the tribes of Nhur have moved away from the Iceshine fortress due to strange dreams and diseases of late. The tribal leader,Sigrin Skebi has ordered his tribe to leave from the fortress until further notice. They have taken refuge at the only other permanent city, Cilaya.


Master Knowledge: Sigrin is not in his right mind. He was approached by a demon in a dream and promised wealth and protection in exchange for he and his tribe permanently vacating the fortress, allowing the demon to reside there and utilize it for his own devices. The only person he has spoken to of this is the tribal witch doctor, Ulmo Haleshe.


Notable Cities: Cilaya, Iceshine