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building a new campain world


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#1 madmax

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 05:55 PM

hello all, im looking for advise on make a new world, im looking for ideas for a crazy fantasy world with all races. more of a forgotten realms typeish, but all ideas are very welcome! thank you very much
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#2 centauri

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 06:37 PM

Make the world itself unusual somehow. Ringworlds have been done to death, as have disc worlds. Generation ships still have some life in them. How about civilizations living on the hides of myriad huge space whales, that swim around a star. Day and night occur as the creatures bask themselves. Sometimes the creatures mate....

How about a world in which the baddies have won? Either they took over the surface, darkening it and reshaping it to their tastes while banishing the surface dwellers underground, or they made the surface the crap place to live and made their subterranean warrens hip and cool. Either way, most of the "nice" races are as reviled as kobolds and goblins, and the party's dungeon raids are seen as marauding by lesser races.

Or, there's somehow a world "above" the surface world, but at right angles to reality. It's to the surface world what the surface world is to the underground one. The beings who live there are to the usual races what the usual races are to the underground ones - smarter, kinder, more beautiful, etc. They're not angels, though. Anyway, there's conflict because people from the surface like to raid this upper world to get their goods, or kidnap their citizenry. The upper people send to the surface parties who wreak havoc on the surface in retribution. The players have to police their own, or engage in the raids as they choose, all while dealing with invaders from both the upper and lower worlds.
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#3 madmax

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 11:22 AM

thanks a lot! that last idea relly gave me some good inspiration! :) got any more?
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#4 centauri

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 03:39 PM

thanks a lot! that last idea relly gave me some good inspiration! :) got any more?

The world has gone through a cleansing cataclysm. There are a few enclaves of suvivors from a variety of races. Old hatreds are pretty much done away with, which is good because the new gods who are in charge are bringing up their own children and they don't want to share with the remnants of the past.

The constructs have taken over. Somehow, too many or the wrong kinds of constructs were created and have crushed the softer races. Now the constructs are making more constructs. Humans and other races live in the cracks, trying to avoid final extermination, and hacking away at the construct infrastructure. Warforged are a viable player race; they're viewed with suspicion by most mortals, but are also victimized by the more machine-like constructs.

I meant those as separate ideas, but they could be used together. I'm afraid the second one is a little too Terminator/Matrix.
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#5 Phneri

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 03:08 PM

I had a similar cataclysm idea...

Basically, reasonably recently (250 years ago, there will be some of long-lived races around who remember it happening) a cataclysm of epic proportions took place. No one knows exactly what happened, but the boundaries between planes were bent, or in many cases broken. Rifts were created, and huge chunks of the land are permanently unstable. This is called "The Weird," given that all kinds of extraplanar bad things are running around out there, in addition to actual planar effects (such as the negative energy plane bathing a region intermittently).

The surviving races have banded together to form a new empire, and in attempts to survive in this world, they've constructed the Weirdwall. An enormous magical construction used to shield the remaining habitable lands from the creatures and effects on the other side of the wall.

Now, in order to properly defend this wall with so few people left, the empire had to make a decision. As such, the imperial army and the guardians of the wall are comprised almost entirely of undead, with necromancers of varying skill managing anything from squads to entire legions (with magical assistance). There are no more prisons, and no more burials. Every reasonably vile criminal, every recently dead body, is immediately converted into an undead thrall. Religions that do not tolerate undead are forbidden. Clerics (and certain arcane specialists) are registered and watched. Most are recruited into the imperial army, as magical prowess is at a premium.

In addition to the Weird, there's a no-man's land of ruins that lay outside the empire. There is no protection here, but the planar rifts generally don't reach this far directly. And, of course, as the ruins are the remains of most of the rest of civilization, there is the potential for great wealth to be found here.
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#6 James

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 04:59 PM

Stolen from Michael A. Stackpole "A hero born" I think. He called it Chaos.

The "weird" can be reached through the barrier that surrounds it but once on the other side things begin to change....

The longer the heroes are in the "Weird" the more they are changed.

Also, I found the ranking badges displayed for all the world to see pretty interesting.
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#7 Daniel

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 05:37 PM

Stolen from Michael A. Stackpole "A hero born" I think. He called it Chaos.

...

The longer the heroes are in the "Weird" the more they are changed.


I've not read 'A Hero Born', but it sounds a lot like the Tropis 'Dreamlands'. Does it come with your recommendations?

Danny :plot:
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#8 James

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 06:00 PM

Yes, a "A hero born" is recommended.

However, my favoricte Stackpole book is "Talion: Revenant" and I wished he would write more books in that setting.
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#9 Daniel

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 06:03 PM

Cool I'll grab a copy in a fortnight, or so. We should totally have a book club here, a place for folk to recommend books and such. If I know gamers, we read a metric tonne of books between us.

Danny :plot:
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#10 MelkiorWhiteblade

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 06:29 PM

I move that a rpgmp3.com book club be established!

Although weight of books wouldn't be the normal way to count how many books were read, as hardcovers weigh more than paperbacks, and the page thickness accounts for a bit too. :wink:
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#11 Phneri

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 11:53 PM

Stolen from Michael A. Stackpole "A hero born" I think. He called it Chaos.

The "weird" can be reached through the barrier that surrounds it but once on the other side things begin to change....

The longer the heroes are in the "Weird" the more they are changed.

Also, I found the ranking badges displayed for all the world to see pretty interesting.


Don't I have to read/know/be aware of the work to steal from it? :D

Yeah, The whole idea of the untamed lands on the other side of a massive barrier isn't really new (I think the Chinese had an idea somewhat like this a while ago...something to do with a wall), but what I wanted to focus on primarily was an empire in which the military/police backbone was composed entirely of undead. How this would change elements of alignment, thoughts regarding death, etc.

This would also add a new aspect to a high-level campaign, as powerful spellcasters would start feeling more and more pressure to sign on with the empire to control a few hundred skeletons at a position on the wall.
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#12 James

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 12:04 AM

Phneri,

I didn't mean that you stole it. I meant that I was stealing it. Your suggestion did trigger my memories of the book hence I called it as "stolen" by me.

There is a really cool part in the book. See, people who were born outside the ward walls can back or forth at will but, if you have been born on the "chaos" side you cannot pass through the ward walls.

Well, at the beginning of the book one of the chaos demons has figured out a way to pass through. They build, for lack of a better term, a ski jump ramp. Then they build a sphere out of wood bracings that are lashed together. The sphere is covered in animal skins. The chaos demons then filled the sphere with cattle blood. Then one of the demons enters the sphere and is completely submerged in the blood. He breaths through a tube made from cattle intestine. He is sealed in and they release the ball. It rolls down and then soars through the air and then the wall. Something to do with the protection from the blood, but the demon makes it through. That is the start of the book too.
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#13 James

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 12:04 AM

Phneri,

I didn't mean that you stole it. I meant that I was stealing it. Your suggestion did trigger my memories of the book hence I called it as "stolen" by me.

There is a really cool part in the book. See, people who were born outside the ward walls can back or forth at will but, if you have been born on the "chaos" side you cannot pass through the ward walls.

Well, at the beginning of the book one of the chaos demons has figured out a way to pass through. They build, for lack of a better term, a ski jump ramp. Then they build a sphere out of wood bracings that are lashed together. The sphere is covered in animal skins. The chaos demons then filled the sphere with cattle blood. Then one of the demons enters the sphere and is completely submerged in the blood. He breaths through a tube made from cattle intestine. He is sealed in and they release the ball. It rolls down and then soars through the air and then the wall. Something to do with the protection from the blood, but the demon makes it through. That is the start of the book too.
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#14 fictionalfemme

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 11:36 AM

Take a look at this?

http://www.clanwebsi...me_1_0Final.pdf
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#15 James

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 12:15 PM

fictionalfemme - Thanks!

I have already added this to my library.

Interesting concept I wonder if we could get Hal to run a one off of this sometime.
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#16 Daniel

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 12:47 PM

Interesting concept I wonder if we could get Hal to run a one off of this sometime.


If this is what Jess has been rattling on about for the past fortnight, you're likely to see us do it soon enough -- just to shut her up :D

Naw, we're planning to run a monthly Indie-Review game, so if the others are willing I might just pick this as our first review. Any game were I can pretend to be a god of Death is right up my street!

"Let the earth burn!"

Danny :plot:
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#17 fictionalfemme

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 09:16 PM

Whoot! All hail the Death God :lol:


Although my version isn't exactly the same as Dawn of Worlds. It's more based on the message board game I used to play...
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#18 fool2046

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 01:46 AM

How about a world in which the baddies have won? Either they took over the surface, darkening it and reshaping it to their tastes while banishing the surface dwellers underground, or they made the surface the crap place to live and made their subterranean warrens hip and cool. Either way, most of the "nice" races are as reviled as kobolds and goblins, and the party's dungeon raids are seen as marauding by lesser races.


I really like the idea of the aboveground being the hostile place with the underground being the only safe place, although I would probably keep the surface landscape the same or maybe brighter just to offset the danger of it.

Maybe the surface is so dangerous that the lesser evil races have set up some sort of truce or alliance with the traditional good races (racial emnity goes out the window when you're all about to die). Lets face facts humans and elves aren't renowned for their digging skills how would they escape without some help?

overground would still be the fastest way to travel to most places, so some brave fools may try it, and there would still be plunder up there to be had.

All that leaves you with is what is so damned scary that everyone is hiding? Some sort of flying enemy? Something invisible in sunlight? Something that needs sunlight to live, a plant like a triffid maybe? Most of the animals suddenly turn bad? All of the above? Heh or maybe the elves just suddenly went really really bad, just like the dark fey of legend.

In all those cases maybe the rest of the world is thriving because of the lack of human influence?

I highly recommend reading The Death Gate Cycle ("Dragon Wing" being the first book) by the infamous "Weis and Hickman" there are at least 5 excellent worlds imagined in that series.
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#19 GRIM_REPAIR

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 10:03 PM

hello all, im looking for advise on make a new world, im looking for ideas for a crazy fantasy world with all races. more of a forgotten realms typeish, but all ideas are very welcome! thank you very much


If you are looking for a "all races", "all ideas", campaign example for inspiration I would suggest GURPS Banestorm. The basic idea is that everything is in a parallel world. LOTR, WOW, FR, Greyhawk, Car Wars, Wild West, WWII, etc. all in one campaign.

Since you want to make your own "crazy" campaign, start with a basic campaign with all the elements you want and "twist" each one.

Example 1: "You are surrounded with what looks like an Amazon rain forest, except all the trees are purple."

Let the players know they are not in Kansas anymore.

Example 2: "Up ahead you see what looks like a Dwarf in plate armor, but with a pink mohawk, carrying a warhammer and a shotgun."

Destroy the players expectations and stereotypes. Do the same with each campaign element.

Campaign example: "The country is a feudal state run like an over-sized Renaissance Fair, except all the nobles are Glamazon vampires. "

Keep the descriptions >short< and informative. With the above description the players know they are going to have to talk a certain way (huzzah!), it's a matriarchal society, there is a fashion industry, and monsters exist (and probably magic too).

Campaigns are more then just dates, races, and countries, and boring demographics. Embrace the Great Person theory: NPC's matter.

Each NPC should be memorable and be part of the world.

Example 4: "Splug the goblin goes over to the dead hobgoblin opens the corpses mouth and takes a **** in it, and then careful closes the mouth back up."

This quickly establishes the personality of the NPC, and provides color (maybe too much). Give the NPC's as much flavor as you can but never let the NPC's "steal the show". The PC's are the heroes.

Never have Mary Sues. If any of your NPC's look like Gandalf, or can be described as a "brooding hero", you should probably freed them into the shredder and let the PC's have the spotlight.
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