Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings
I think I found something where I can now very clearly put my finger on, why the setting still doesn't really seem to get off the ground and develop it's own dynamics. In those settings I really like, you just have to see two people encountering each other and just from their race or uniforms, you immediately know that this could explode at any moment. The greatest settings I've seen in recent years are Dragon Age and Mass Effect, and they both have that in loades. Dark Sun also has all kinds of combinations that won't end well.
So instead of trying to get a good baseline of specific organizations and factions, maybe going a step back and defining a couple of general cultures first will get better results to get a world where plots almost grow by themselves, just by putting certain people together near each other. So far the races just have some differences in the culture of their daily life, but I think it's the differences in interacting with other cultures that are much more important at this stage.
I got my map, I got my races, my monsters, and my technology. But I think in regard of how to place them in the world it's a good opportunity to go back to the starting point and first figure out the dynamics of the world. And then it will be populated with specific factions, people, and communities. What I have so far in that regard are predominantly just straight ripoffs that can be summed up in a single sentence, and I have a feeling that it won't go anywhere trying to flesh them out in the rather random pattern they are spilled over the map right now.
- PF/d20 Sword & Sorcery campaign setting