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Thread: Help flesh out my campaign setting

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    Help flesh out my campaign setting

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    The world of Delun.

    *Warning* I have borrowed a lot from Forgotten Realms and Ebberon.

    In the beginning there was Aloth, the one true creator God. He created the cosmos, the planet of Delun, all celestials, demons, dragons, giants, and all the other ancient creatures. He also gave divine and arcane magic to his creations.

    These beings roamed freely across the surface of Delun and warred constantly for eons. In their warring abberations were created and most used as warriors against other creatures. Aloth finally grew tired of all the warring and thus banished all creatures now considered "outsiders" to their respective planes. However they still held influence over Delun and some were able to channel their power through their followers. At this point the common races, humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, and gnomes, appear in their "pre-historic" forms. The beings wielding the most power at this time are dragons and giants. These beings still waged war on each other while abberations began to wield great magic (Illithids).

    Eventually an elven wizard grew so strong in magic that he threatened the very fabric of creation. In an event that almost destroyed the cosmos Aloth stepped in and saved his creations from oblivion. He stripped his world of the magic he gave them and put severe restrictions on the channeling of divine magic. The common races reverted back to their primitive state. The once great kingdoms of giants were destroyed and they became scattered throughout the world. Dragons vanished all together and haven't been seen in thousands of years. The land was divided into the continents as they are known today. And the common races began to evolve into their current states.

    There are 4 major continents. The first is populated by humans, dwarves, a few elves, gnomes and halflings, and was united by a human king. The second is an entire forest and ruled by the Wood Elves. The third is an evil land where all sorts of evil creatures run wild. The fourth is a wild land where the wild versions of the common races roam. As technologies evolved and the races grew they began to war with each other. The evil beings began to invade the elven kingdom and the human land. Some wood elves fled to the human lands to help them in their struggles. However the humans did not return the favor and thus a rift was caused between humans and wood elves. The wood elves that stayed with the humans and adopted their ways became known as the grey elves. War wracked the human land and the land was eventually divided into 6 or 8 major kingdoms. The northern moutains and hills of Darmier, the cold plains of Melbran, the Wood Elf forest kingdom of (something I can't think of), the human kingdom of Elshar, the evil lands of Eldros, the gnome kingdom of free city-states of Illiforn. And I can't think of the other 2. These are all on the one continent of the "human lands".

    But wars with powerful wizards raged for the past 1500 years and have shaped the world into what it is today. After the last Mage War (number 7 I think) the kingdoms united to enact the laws outlawing magic and its use and thus the Mage Hunters were created. So thorough were the Mage Hunters that almost all knowledge of magic has vanished from the world. The Wood Elves on their own continent still use magic to some extent. And evil doers everywhere seek out magic and magic items.

    There are only a few surviving true wizards left. They will only adventure or leave the confines of their hiding spot in extreme circumstances. And taking apprentices is a huge no-no for that apprentice could be a spy for the Mage Hunters. The current most powerful wizard is roughly 15th level.

    Sorcerers have formed together in the larger cities and have an underground network of survival much like a thieves guild only even more secret. A major campaign of the Mage Hunters is to infiltrate these enclaves and destroy them from within. The current most powerful sorcerer is about 12th level. As much as wizards are feared and hated sorcerers are even more so due to the unique way they wield magic.

    Clerics are afforded some luxury due in large part to their healing abilities. They must still carry a letter of permission from their church to cast spells outside the walls of their church. The common folk still mistrust them.

    Paladins are adored and feared by everyone. They are akin to the Mage Hunters but for divine magic. They also police their own church to make sure their bishops do not become corrupted.

    Druids are never found within the city limits. They take no measure to hide their divine power for it comes from nature and the persecution that some of their kind have met in the "civilized" lands has taught them to hate all urban centers and to keep away from them.

    No one really knows of the divine power that flows through Rangers. Being social outcasts in general they have taken it upon themselves to protect both nature and man from each other. Each individual ranger tends to put their own outlook on that creed. Some escort travelers on the roads while others have been reported to attack travelers in the name of nature. All the while they have managed to hide the fact that they can wield magic.

    "Never trust a gnome!" is the common saying. given their innate ability for magic most people do not trust gnomes. However those that reside in Illiforn have a different view. While they still are untrusted they are tolerated in that land because they are so prevalent. Rumor has it that an extremist branch of the Mage Hunters seeks to kill all gnomes.


    The land has only been under this ban on magic users for about 300 years. Since generations have come and gone the memories of the Mage Wars still have heavily influence.

    The grey elves have been given their own forest kingdom in Elshar.

    The Wood elves on their own continent still war on the borders of their land with evil creatures from the evil land.



    I think thats about it. I created two new Prestige Classes, the Mage Hunter and the Hidden Mage. Characters can not start as 1st level wizards.

    I was also thinking about setting this during a medieval bronze age but I think I am going to change that.

    And I am only allowing core books and maybe the complete books.

    So help me flesh it out more. Any ideas?
    "I'm afraid it is you who are mistaken. About a great, many things."

    "It is not the rules that make or break a game, it's the GM and the players."


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    The Mage Hunter is already a class but I can't find the book on my shelf. I'll have to look harder. There might be some useful information to add to your class or it may cover some pitfalls you haven't thought of yet.

    By evil creatures, you are referring to sentient monsters like giantkin and goblinkin right? They have a loose system of government, or enough intelligence to band together to attack the other continents?

    Are you going for a pantheon of deities or does all clerical/paladin magic come from Aloth?

    So far I think its intriguing. Do the gnomes possess a technological superiority or are they just magical? How magical are your elves and do sorcerers still boast dragon blood?

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    There is the occult slayer on page 66-68 of the Complete Warrior. I can't think of a mage hunter off the top of my head.

    Is there any particular area you want help with or do you just want broad general ideas? Or it could turn into a forum to pick it apart with criticisms...
    Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Arcanist View Post
    The Mage Hunter is already a class but I can't find the book on my shelf. I'll have to look harder. There might be some useful information to add to your class or it may cover some pitfalls you haven't thought of yet.
    Mage Hunter is from the Magic of Faerun. The PrC presented there is a spell caster. Seeing how my Mage Hunters shun magic I altered that PrC to fit my story. Basically giving them bonuses to saves vs. magic and what not.

    Vice Versa with the Hidden Mage PrC. They get bonuses to stealth, bonus feats to hide their spell casting ability, Eschew Materials and what-not.


    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Arcanist View Post
    By evil creatures, you are referring to sentient monsters like giantkin and goblinkin right? They have a loose system of government, or enough intelligence to band together to attack the other continents?
    Yes. The ones on the main continent are more nomadic. The ones on their own continent have formed city states and what-not. They are also untrusting of magic but the power it brings can make one an overlord or get you killed out right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Arcanist View Post
    Are you going for a pantheon of deities or does all clerical/paladin magic come from Aloth?
    Yeah, I basically renamed all the Greyhawk deities and added a few I liked from Forgotten Realms since they have soooooo many.

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Arcanist View Post
    So far I think its intriguing. Do the gnomes possess a technological superiority or are they just magical? How magical are your elves and do sorcerers still boast dragon blood?
    I haven't really thought about it but whatever technology the gnomes posses they horde it for themselves seeing how most people don't trust them.

    Magic is uncommon among the elves but more common than it is among the other races. Only the wood elves on their own continent tolerate it.

    There is rumor that sorcerers get their power from dragons but no one has seen a dragon in thousands of years. Usually no one talks about it because the sorcerers want to stay hidden and the common folk don't want to be falsely accused of being one.

    Quote Originally Posted by rabkala View Post
    There is the occult slayer on page 66-68 of the Complete Warrior. I can't think of a mage hunter off the top of my head.

    Is there any particular area you want help with or do you just want broad general ideas? Or it could turn into a forum to pick it apart with criticisms...
    Just broad general ideas that can develop into specific ideas and please do pick it apart but offer ways to fix it or make it better to.

    Thanks
    "I'm afraid it is you who are mistaken. About a great, many things."

    "It is not the rules that make or break a game, it's the GM and the players."


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    No the class I'm thinking of hunt mages and hate magic as well. I believe they originate in the Outlands and I think they work for the Lady of Pain. Like I said, I'll have to look it up.

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    This is pretty cool. I don't see any gaping plot holes for your to explain away. The only question I can even think of is "What about Bards?" which you probably have an answer for.

    Are there any specific areas you are looking for help with?
    --
    Grimwell

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    Quote Originally Posted by grimwell View Post
    This is pretty cool. I don't see any gaping plot holes for your to explain away. The only question I can even think of is "What about Bards?" which you probably have an answer for.

    Are there any specific areas you are looking for help with?
    Oh yeah Bards!

    They are simply seen as nomadic jesters and what-not. Most individuals aren't aware of their spellcasting ability and other bards usually practice under a mentor. They have yet to estabilsh schools and given the zealousness of the Mage Hunters they probably won't ever.

    I don't know. If you have any other cool ideas that might fit in I would love to hear them.

    The available races are, Human, Wild Human, Wood Elf, Grey Elf, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Wild Halfling, Halfling (I might be using tallfellows and one of the other ones from FR), Wood Gnomes (I think), Wild Dwarves...

    I don't have my notes with me but I think there are a couple more.

    The Drow are actually the oldest elves on the planet. They were subjugated long ago by the dragons and giants and used in their wars. They eventually fought for their freedom and fled underground.


    I am really concerned about the impact of magic. There aren't any epic level NPCs so at a certain point the PCs are going to be the most powerful beings on the planet. Which will have a significant impact on the world, but then again all powerful beings in this setting have had such an impact.

    One campaign idea I have is that there is an evil powerful creature that is scouring the land for magic items/artifacts and uniting other evil creatures under his banner. Kind of like Sauron. I like epic good vs. evil games in D&D.
    "I'm afraid it is you who are mistaken. About a great, many things."

    "It is not the rules that make or break a game, it's the GM and the players."


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    To address your concerns about the impact of magic, look to the Birthright setting from TSR in the 1990's. It was not nearly as magic hostile as your world, but the high level NPC's weren't as high level as you find in other worlds (unless they were bad guys).

    It's ok for your PC's to be the most powerful beings on the planet, with hordes of people asking them to solve every problem...
    --
    Grimwell

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    Something to consider is something I did with Bards.

    Bards are non-magical - and the only thing people worry about are possible thefts of loot or maidens' honor when they come to town. They are, however, major messengers and are the broadcast news anchors of their day. When the bard comes to town, EVERYONE comes to listen!! If you've read the series, think of Thom in the Eye of the World series by Robert Jordan.

    Of course, bards DO have magic, they just keep it a VERY tight secret.
    They are a very close-knit group that is tighter than any thieves' guild.

    (just something to think about)

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    I recall there being a variant for turning base classes into Prestige classes. Are you thinking of doing that for Wizard and Sorceror?

    Are you changing the drop rate for magic items? Is wielding a magic item taboo?

    Are you using Psionics?

    Quote Originally Posted by Inquisitor Tremayne View Post
    I am really concerned about the impact of magic. There aren't any epic level NPCs so at a certain point the PCs are going to be the most powerful beings on the planet.
    It seems like you have it set up so that very powerful creatures that attract too much attention either get destroyed to keep the balance in check, or shunted off to another plane. The PCs might get the hint and take thier adventuring elsewhere. On that note, are there more powerful casters that have bailed to another plane to avoid persecution? Do the Mage Hunters try to police other planes?

    How do the gods of Magic (like Boccob) feel about all this? Are there any wizards hiding within his church? Does he provide sanctuary? Is it even legal to worship him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAwkward View Post
    I recall there being a variant for turning base classes into Prestige classes. Are you thinking of doing that for Wizard and Sorceror?
    No I'm not making them PrCs. Just no one can start as a 1st level Wizard and they have to have a mentor to even take their first level.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrAwkward View Post
    Are you changing the drop rate for magic items? Is wielding a magic item taboo?
    Yes. Magic items will be very rare for common folk, rare for low-level NPCs, and uncommon for the PCs. Wielding a magic item that has an extreme and noticeable power is a serious taboo. However, + weapons still find use and people who wield weapons with special abilities like flaming and thundering are watched closely.

    So its rare that a normal person is goign to ever see a magic item but for adveturers it would be considered uncommon. THey don't see a lot of them but a level 4 adventure has seen at least a couple items.


    Quote Originally Posted by DrAwkward View Post
    Are you using Psionics?
    Heck no!

    Quote Originally Posted by DrAwkward View Post
    It seems like you have it set up so that very powerful creatures that attract too much attention either get destroyed to keep the balance in check, or shunted off to another plane. The PCs might get the hint and take thier adventuring elsewhere. On that note, are there more powerful casters that have bailed to another plane to avoid persecution? Do the Mage Hunters try to police other planes?
    No. The other planes are still a large mystery and very few have even ever been off of their home plane.

    So much magic has been lost or destroyed that travel among the planes is rare and there are so many spells that are lost forever.

    I'm going to have to go through and edit the spell list. Any help on what spells to take away would be good. It wouldn't have to be taken away permanently, they might find it later on.


    Quote Originally Posted by DrAwkward View Post
    How do the gods of Magic (like Boccob) feel about all this? Are there any wizards hiding within his church? Does he provide sanctuary? Is it even legal to worship him?
    Yes the worship of the God of Magic is outlawed. But he can't do much about it because the deities are already severely limited in the influence they have over their followers. I am going to have to edit that list too.
    "I'm afraid it is you who are mistaken. About a great, many things."

    "It is not the rules that make or break a game, it's the GM and the players."


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    Quote Originally Posted by Inquisitor Tremayne View Post
    So its rare that a normal person is goign to ever see a magic item but for adveturers it would be considered uncommon. THey don't see a lot of them but a level 4 adventure has seen at least a couple items.
    One thing to watch for, then -- as they progress, the party might start to fall behind the curve. They won't have access to spells and items that are "assumed" for certain level characters, and the corresponding CR monsters will eat thier hats.

    Hand built NPCs that face the same restrictions should be balanced. Monsters out of the Manuals may be inherently rougher than expected -- especially things with DR/magic, or things that lay out elemental damage.

    The players may end up with a lot of money and nothing to spend it on. They'll have magic items that they can't legally sell but don't (or can't) use. A lot of what makes a character a certain level of power is the proper application of funds.

    Finally, any wizards or sorceror PCs are going to be multiclassed. Multiclassed casters are kinda gimpy. Frankly, I don't see someone wanting to even go that path because they'd end up weaker for it. If that's what you had in mind, cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inquisitor Tremayne
    I'm going to have to go through and edit the spell list. Any help on what spells to take away would be good. It wouldn't have to be taken away permanently, they might find it later on.
    First thing I'd do is get rid of all the dungeon breaking spells. Knock, Detect Secret Doors, Teleport, etc.
    Second, I'd take a hard pass through the Necromancy list since thats what usually gives wizards a bad name.
    Finally, I might add some spells to the Bard's list to account for some of the arcane spells that are good to have in a party but are otherwise low key and mostly harmless.

    Is the God of Magic an evil deity? Is it a legitimate ban? Is there a corrupting aspect of arcane magic?
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    Have you considered pulling from the Wheel of Time d20 book? The magic in that setting is fairly limited.
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    Very interesting premise. So what is the structure of the Mage Hunters? Are they similar to some kind of inquisition, where people accuse someone of sorcery and they send out their hit men? Do they have prisons, or do they just hang or burn any accused at the stake? Who makes the decisions as to who to hunt? Or is it generally policed by the people themselves, who call in the Mage Hunters as special forces? All that can impact the society and how people interact.

    As far as spell lists, it'd probably be a lot easier to just remove certain schools of magic to start, such as Evocation, Necromancy, and Conjuration, which are generally flashy and would give the wizard away. It also probably would be easier to choose on a case by case basis rather than trying to go through all the spells available and allowing/disallowing them. Have the players give good justification for specific exceptions if they want to tempt fate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    Very interesting premise. So what is the structure of the Mage Hunters? Are they similar to some kind of inquisition, where people accuse someone of sorcery and they send out their hit men? Do they have prisons, or do they just hang or burn any accused at the stake? Who makes the decisions as to who to hunt? Or is it generally policed by the people themselves, who call in the Mage Hunters as special forces? All that can impact the society and how people interact.
    I'm kind of brainstorming out loud so bear with me...

    Officially, they are a branch of whatever ruling body exists in a particular kingdom and are used at the whim of their ruler. They investigate any claims of someone being a magic user and persecute the individual if they are. By persecute I mean kill. To be a magic user outside of divine magic or special privilege equals death at the hands of the Mage Hunters.

    Unofficially, they are a zealous and stealthy entity that scours the entire land looking for magic users and killing them before they can become a threat. Their main goal is the elimination of ALL magic users in the world. They know that clerics and paladins are somewhat protected by their church so they only keep a close watchful eye on them for any slip up that will allow them to enact their authority. The word of a Mage Hunter is never questioned in the killing of a person accused to be a magic user. Because of this the Mage Hunters are extremely careful with their actions. They only strike when they are 100% certain that their target is a magic user.


    So I want them to be public yet have a secret branch that kills a lot more magic users than the public branch. SOmething like if the population knew how many magic users were out there and how many the Mage Hunters have killed the Mage Hunters might get a bad rap.

    Something like that. I need some reason to have them be secret other than they can sneak up on magic users in hiding.



    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    As far as spell lists, it'd probably be a lot easier to just remove certain schools of magic to start, such as Evocation, Necromancy, and Conjuration, which are generally flashy and would give the wizard away. It also probably would be easier to choose on a case by case basis rather than trying to go through all the spells available and allowing/disallowing them. Have the players give good justification for specific exceptions if they want to tempt fate.
    That sounds like a good start.
    "I'm afraid it is you who are mistaken. About a great, many things."

    "It is not the rules that make or break a game, it's the GM and the players."


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