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Thread: Building a World
- Join Date
- Feb 2010
- Ontario, Canada
Building a World
WARNING: This will most likely be a long post.
I want to say first off, that al this is an idea right now, and im not COMMITED to any of it as of yet.
So, as the title says, im going to be creating a world/setting/campaign or what ever you feel like calling it. The problem is, that to get it started, I have some ideas, but right now im focusing on creating the world its self and the history rather than the current plot. I like knowing Where everything is coming from and Why.
I was hoping that some of you helpful and kind souls, briliant, artistic, insane, or insanely brilliant people could help.
First off, I know what I want (for now atleast. who knows maybe things will change!) at the end of the campaign. They will fight an Elder Evil, or attemp to stop it from being released (dont know If I will use one of the ones right out of the book, or just use them as examples to create my own). But what I dont want is for them to just do some whole story line, then "Oh! Look at that, im just going to throw a world ender at you out of no where!". I want it to be part of the lore, so that when they learn the history of the world, they hear about it in some form (perhaps rumours, or incomplete information about it etc). And then during the campaign I drop little hints once in a long while, that maybe this thing DOES exist, but I never say what exactly it is. They could know its bad, just not HOW PANTS ****TINGLY TERRIFYING it really is.
Im not going to assume that everyone reading this has read the Elder Evil's book, so I'll do my best to explain them without taking up to much time.
The 2 Elder Evil's that I like, or like parts of, is The Leviathan, and Pandorym.
The Leviathan: Essentially, the backstory behind it is that everything is made form a balance of law and chaos, but there are always left overs, most of the time, chaos. Leviathan is one such creation that formed form the left over chaos. It is a giant Sea Serpent, but giant in the sense that it spans the entire world. Most of it is udner water, while some "islands" or perhaps continents, are actually just pices of alnd that formed around parts of its body that protrudes form the water. Its head alone is the size of a small kingdom.
This beast has ben slumbering for milenia for what ever reason, but the movements it makes while shifting causes tidal waves, earth quakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. The closer it gets to fully awakening the worse the weather and even stranger (raining frogs, flaming hail, etc). If it does fully awaken, the only thing mortals can hope to do is something that would put it back to sleep, while direct divine intervention by many or all of the dieties would be needed to Stop it or Kill it.
I like this one because this isnt some big bd evil guy that wants to kill everything because hes just evil, its just a creature that is the embodiment of chaos. Just by exisiting it affects the word, but not out of malice, but due to its very nature. I also like the idea of the world being torn assunder, with continents sinking, islands popping up, etc. it would provide an excelent way to continue the campaign in the world directly after or even a few years when the survivors are well...trying to survive.
Pandorym: This guy, was some kind of creature that existed between plane sof existance, a place where nobody should look into let alone screw around with. Basicaly some wizards decided to affront some gods, and when they feard retribution, the summoned the thing as a god kiling weapon to try and scare them off. Well they summone dit, but kept its mind and body locked away seperatly, but never got to release their wepaon. The gods wiped them out and erased all their records of summoning it, how to summon it and where it was.
The reason I like this, is that it has the chance to fight the Elder Evil it self because it isnt some giant world spanning creature (given a few other ones are like that to, such as The Worm that Walks, and Father Llymic, but i digress).
Actually I also liek part of the back story for Kyuss (The Worm that Walks) but I wont get into it.
Now here are some fluff ideas for setting up part of the history of the world.
- X Centuries ago, great empire existed. Went through a Technological and Magical 'rennaisance' so to speak where both gained more acceptance over their traditional beliefs of Religion is all they need.
- Some still clinged to the old ways, claiming that mages and inventors were blasphemers, etc.
- During the highest point of stress betweent he tradionalists, some event causes some of the religious zealots captured a group of mages, mostly younger ones and students, and publicly executing them.
- This splinters the mages, some of them wanting to take some form of revenge of the zealots, and some supporting to stay calm and let the proper justice to be dealt out. Eventually the resentment of not wanting to avenge their brothers murders caused the one faction of mages to try and take matters int their own hands.
- Events happen and then a 3 way civil war happens. The Religious folks and those that stood with them, the Main faction of the mages and their allies, and the severly out numberd rebel faction of mages.
- After years of a bloody and costly war, the rebel mages decided to try and summon/awaken what they thought was a great being of power that would help them in their quest for vengeance. (Turns out its the Elder Evil, they just didnt know that). They used an area of great importance, such as the capital, or one of the great arcane universities.
-The main faction of mages learned of this, and though they managed to interupt the ritual, all the arcane energies that were released was so great, miles upon miles of land was bathed in raw power, killing almost all who were caught in the blast.
-The blast created the mage wastelands, an area where magic runs rampant, ranging from the strange and bizzar like talking rocks and areas with sudden gravity shifts, to the dangerous, like walls of flame that go on for miles, or the undead bodies of the warring soldiers doing wat they were in life (like drills, firing seige weaponry off at enemies or strongholds that are no longer there).
**Im also considering the arcane bast being much more devestating, having the raw energies also be released into ley lines and shattering the continent along those areas so instead of one large one, it splits into two or three sei large continents.
- With such a taxing war, and so many dead. Due tot he location of that final battle, so much information was lost, and many resources. Centuries of gatherd arcane knowledge was destroyed in seconds, many of the greatest wizards and leaders of armies had vanished in that blast. Trade routes were cut off, and entire population centres had been left to fend for them selves.
- A dark age fell upon the world, where much of what they knew had to be relearned and re-invented, and mage were hunted (think of the witch hunt) due to many believeing that the blast was caused on purpose.
-After a LONG LONG time, the darka ge finaly ended, with arcane magic being slowly acepted to some degree again, atlest in more built up areas, and practioners not being hunted down. They are on the verge of a new rennaisance, and technology is advancing quickly to where it once was. Around this time is where the current part of the campaign will take place.
- All the while, the Elder Evil thas been stuck in its prison. No trick clever enough, no plan sufficient enough to escape, so it just pounds upon the walls, howling with a thousand voices. Waiting, and waiting.
This is just one of the ideas ive had for the prologue for a campaign, and the most developed one so far. I have another couple that ive tssed around a couple ideas as well, but nothing much. Any thoughts? Ideas of your own? suggestions?
Right now I dont have a SET PLAN, so if someone has a beter idea than me, I'd love to hear it and take it into consideration.
- Join Date
- Aug 2010
Re: Building a World
Sounds like an interesting back story.
I think that you'll need to build areas on your game that foreshadow the unleashing of this elder chaos or prophecies the elder evil and what it will do when it escapes. Madmen, fragments of work left behind, a cult of dedicated lunatics. The kind thing a low level party can cut its teeth on but that doesn't reveal too much, too soon. Prophecy is always fun because you can make it really vague. It leaves the party not really knowing what is going on but sensing that it's big and that they're a part of it. It works better if you never explain it and let them work it out all by themselves.
- Join Date
- Sep 2012
Re: Building a World
I agree with the use of prophecy. It helps keep the PCs on track without you actually giving them a set goal.