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The Neoclassic
2007-09-11, 01:51 PM
I'm looking for feedback and ideas for expansion on Vere, a homebrewed setting I've been working on for about five months now. Designed to have both beautiful aspects and harsh amounts of versimilitude juxtaposed, it is particularly strong on culture but weaker in the areas of history and adventuring opportunities. Vere is SRD compatible, using no other copyrighted material.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, though I'm particularly interested in:
a) Ideas for exciting adventures set in its locales.
b) Suggestions for fleshing out the less-developed areas
c) Comments on your view of its strengths and weaknesses.

The main link to Vere is here: http://eruvian.com/locale.asp?localeID=151.

If you don't want to peruse the entire setting, below are three of the most developed components:
1) Kenalne, a primarily human city-state where kobolds form a permenant underclass- http://eruvian.com/locale.asp?localeID=144
2) Neftsalyi'dam, a morally ambiguous land of dark elves- http://eruvian.com/locale.asp?localeID=173
3) The mesai, a custom race with a strong hatred of undead- http://eruvian.com/race.asp?raceID=15

Thank you in advance for all your help!

EvilElitest
2007-09-11, 05:11 PM
I don't have time at the moment, but could you fix your links and i'd check it out when i get the time
from,
EE

The Neoclassic
2007-09-11, 06:10 PM
Grrrr, stupid links. Yeah, sorry about that- hopefully by the time more people see this they will be fixed.

The Neoclassic
2007-09-16, 10:44 PM
*Bump* Sorry, I'll only do this once. Even if you don't look at the setting, tell me why it's not appealing to respond to; I want to know how to get better responses in the future. Thanks to anyone who replies. :smalltongue:

Umarth
2007-09-17, 09:16 AM
If youíre looking for feedback my recommendation would be posting small segments that are easy to read.

I've personally poked around in the site you linked to but there is a lot of stuff there. None of it really grabbed my attention right off the bat and so I didn't feel like spending the time to really dive into it and write up a review.

Doesn't mean your stuff is bad and doesn't mean it's good just that it didn't grab my attention long enough to really review.

I'd also say if youíre interested in getting your material reviewed you should spend some time reviewing other folkís homebrewed material. This community only works if people who post material for review are willing to review others material as well.

As for a review of your world I'll take a stab at part of it:

The East (http://eruvian.com/locale.asp?localeID=277)

Overview: The East is the largest and vaguest region in Huis.
Vaguest region in Huis? Is this supposed to mean the area will intentionally be left mostly unwritten so DMs can fill it as they need.
An area can't really be vague for the folks that live there.


Name: Sodality of Empyrean
Description: A society of feireld heroes who call Cyahen their homeland, the Sodality of Empyrean is active from Goerth to Darrathan. Members of the sodality usually wear the tabard over their armor.


What tabard is "the tabard"? What are feireld heroes?


Emmen (Realm):
Overview: Emmen is home to the Mannish people.

Mannish seems like an odd name to me. You'll get a lot of jokes about this at the table.
DM: Standing before you is the beautiful princess of Emmen.
Player 1: Would you say she has a large Adams apple?
DM: No.... why?
P2: Large hands maybe?
DM: No...
P3: Guys lay off. Obviously this is the most beautiful Man princess we've ever seen.
P2: She's a man baby!
P1: Forsooth fair dude chick how doth thou do today?
P1-P3: Laughter.

Also on the culture section while you tell me they wear belts, like their clothes to match their eyes, and have Fabio hair I'm not really told anything about who they are as a people. While "clothes make the mannish", as the saying goes, we need more than that to really understand these mannish men.


Here's some general feedback after having scanned over some more sections of your material:
1) Lots of odd names with no explanation of who these groups are (names should link to a glossary with short descriptions).
2) Most sections are snippets with out enough information to really know anything about the area.
3) It doesn't grab the reader. Look at the first couple lines of each section and ask yourself if they will grab the reader and make them want to read more.
4) Pumpkin with Black/Red text is ugly and hard to read. Not sure if you can change that but the site could use a new color scheme. If you want people to read something make it easy to read.

The Neoclassic
2007-09-17, 12:11 PM
Thank you very much for the feedback, Umarth. I did try to pick out a few good sections to provide the links to for those who didn't have the hours to wander through all of it (I'm not sure whether you tried those or not), but you did point out some stuff I should work on. You're completely right; a lot of Vere is unfinished and so lacks riveting descriptions at the beginning of the sections. I did pick Kenalne and Neftsalyi'dam to post the links to here because they are (while not complete) rather detailed with twists on usual fantasy stereotypes (kobolds and dark elves, respectively).

I should review more on this website (you are completely right), and I've done a bit but I just started using this site about a week ago, and for a while was very active on the WotC forums. Right now, I'm giving lots of feedback for Urbis using eruvian.com's review system.

Thank you for showing me a lot of points I need to clarify. By "vague", I meant geographically poorly defined, without a clear reason for cut-offs between it and other parts of the continent. By tabard in the Society (which needs more fleshing out, as is clear), I meant the guild tabard. I thought it was a fairly universal idea, but perhaps I'm just used to it from WoW. Also, feireld are the elves of Cyahen (I believe the nation is listed as their homeland).

As far as the Mannish, that's the THIRD name I've had in my settings that people have found as potentially a source for immaturity. I'm glad it's being pointed out now rather than in game; it just makes me feel even worse about my inability to come up with names. :smallannoyed:

There are supposed to be in-site links (for example, with feireld) but they often don't work. I will look in to this more, since you seem to think it's an important concern. Vere is still in progress, far from complete, which is why so much is still... vague. Should I only publish parts that are for the most part complete? Unlike some great settings like Urbis (in the works for five years, I believe), I just started Vere this April. Section hooks are a good idea; that does require some immediate attention, at least on the parts I'm going to advertise as fairly complete. Finally, I have no control over the site's color scheme, but I will mention it to the person who runs it.

So, as much as your feedback was sorta brutal, it was also (for the most part) very helpful. I really appreciate it and any other constructive criticism people may have to offer. For anyone else who posts, please do take a look at Kenalne or Neftsalyi'dam; they have signifigantly more detail than most other sections do. Any ideas to flesh out weaker areas are also welcome... Pretty much anything is awesome. Thanks again!

Umarth
2007-09-17, 12:58 PM
I'll try and look at Kenalne or Neftsalyi'dam this afternoon or tomorrow sometime and post some reviews of those areas.

Also while my reviews may come across as rather brutal that doesn't mean I don't like what youíre doing overall. My feeling on reviews is that brutally honest means that you get feedback that's going to be the most useful. I certainly don't intend it as an attack.

It sounds like you understand that but I just wanted to make sure you knew where I was coming from. Honestly if I see something that's just garbage overall I don't even bother reviewing it.

One question I have is what sources do you use as a basis for the different cultures in your world? Are they just out of your head or do you base them on real world cultures, fantasy novels, or something else?

Umarth
2007-09-17, 01:39 PM
Actually have a few minutes now so here's a review of one of your sections.

Review of Kenalne:

Seems like this could be an interesting area but it's hard to tell. Reading over it I can only see some very broad brush strokes and it's hard to tell what the final picture will really be like.

Kenalne is part of the Offsea city states.

How long have these states been around?
How long has the Offsea Accords been in place?
Why are the accords able to stay in place?
Why do they call themselves Offsea? Since they don't have costal access it seems unlikely they wouldn't care enough about the ocean to call themselves Offsea.


Why do the merchants of the Agrarian Guild allow Mattius VI to rule? They obviously control all the power in the kingdom so it seems unlikely that they wouldn't have formed an oligarchy and ditched any single ruler.


Mesai, kobolds, and amarelíneve do not sell raw or prepared food except within their own areas to their own race nor do they raise animals or produce for consumption outside of their racial group.
Why? If there is money to be made it seems unlikely that races would refrain from making it.

How big is the City of Kenalne? Have you looked at the city builder pdf on the wizards site?

Comfort Pub, Divine Household, Green Touch Herbs. All seem pretty humdrum. I'm guessing your planning on expanding them some.

[quote] Kobold Slum
Overview: Kobolds fill most sanitation jobs in Kenalne but donít take this attitude home with them, nor does their pay allow them to. The poorest section of the city, this neighborhood sees high crime and disease rates, lots of filth, and a lack of respect for any outsiders, including the city guard. [quote]

How big is this area? Why does the city guard allow them to show such lack of respect?

Rot Finger: He has magical equipment that's in poor repair? What exactly is magical? The tattered cloak, the withered and burned staff, the peasant outfit, or the kobold finger necklace?

This section has the same sort of issue a lot of your sections do. We get visual glimpse at the section but no real meat.

Mesain Neighborhood - Needs fill out.