Vote Up A Campaign Setting 2 (Now Voting: Setting Title!)
Vote Up A Campaign Setting 2
Yes, it's happening for a second time! Once again, you, the forum posters, will be invited to vote on various aspects of a campaign setting, and those results will be realized into a brand-new setting for D&D 3.5 Edition. Yes, it's ludicrous and beyond insanity, but it's also been done before.
For new readers, I welcome you to this exciting process and hope to see your input during and after the voting period! If you've been dissatisfied by other campaign settings, or are simply looking for something new, this is your opportunity to add your voice to the mix and hopefully see your opinions come through in the final product.
For those who were here the first time, what's changed? Well, first of all, following the absurd amount of work that was the original VUACS, its director has stepped down, passing me the reins. As a direct result of that (and given that we are now working with only one edition), we have an all-new build team, larger and more concentrated than before. The original poll structure has been overhauled, and efforts have been made to increase the control voters have in the creative process this time around.
The new build team, as it currently stands:
Violent memetic megalomaniac and tyrant, your host and director
Secret Weapons Officer - don't tell him I told you
Minister of "Fun" and Right Hand of Chaos
Calamity from the Skies
Minister of Information, Office New Guy
Inducer of headaches, Chief of Minions, Provoker of Dangerous Persons
Famous statue, Minister of Simple Solutions
Exasperated serf, resigned peon, Minister of Reason and Right Hand of Excellent
With more possibly to come!
To kick this off, here are the Official Rules for Voting:
1. Only a single vote per person per aspect is allowed. Multiple voting will not be counted. In some cases, voters can select multiple options, but voting again will not be allowed. This could probably have gone unsaid, but its nice to clarify it for everyones benefit. 2. Please only vote for the options provided. Write-in options are largely discouraged. Exceptions will be noted, when/if appropriate. 3. Please do not criticize or disparage the votes of other forum members. Let the votes fall where they may. Its a campaign setting, & as such, there will be room enough for everyones opinions. So just be patient, & allow other voters to voice their own opinions. 4. Suggestions for different aspects are allowed, but any major suggestions will have to be voted upon, so be advised that anything you offer could be voted down by others. 5. Changing of votes is somewhat discouraged, but permissible. If you must change your vote, please let us know that you are doing so, & what your original vote was. We tally votes often, to keep post #1 up to date, & its hard enough to keep track of which posts havent been tallied yet. 6. If your vote cannot be tallied due to violation of any of these rules, We will post to inform you of that before voting ends. We will also ask you to modify your vote, so that it may be changed. 7. Unless otherwise stated, each poll's result will be winner-takes-all. We will sometimes take "popular losers" & work them in somewhere, but the winner of each poll will get the most attention in the crafting of the setting. 8. Please, please, please put your vote in Bold. It makes the tallying so much easier.
Now Voting For: Setting Title
1. Setting: Garden World
Under the Sea
The Cityworld's population has congregated in massive urban areas, resulting in an enormous city (or cities) that is a dominant feature of the world.
The Cliff World is a land of heights marred by great gashes and dizzying drops. Adventurers descend from the plateaus and mountains to rappel down the sheer and shattered cliff faces into the depths of the valleys and rifts below.
The Desert World is largely dominated by arid climates and high temperatures. Scarcity of food and water makes life more difficult, and the environment itself is a threat.
A world of Diverse Climes may be quite like Earth, though the diversity could well be more wild than that. Here, though, is where you will find many different climates with none predominating.
The verdant Garden World is a lush land of greenery; perhaps a thick and perilous jungle, or a serene and endless forest, or a pastoral breadbasket of farmland. With plenty to spare, life can excel.
In the rugged Highlands, green and white compete in a temperate and often mist-laden region. Though summers are good and plentiful, the nights are dark and the winters long and lethal.
The Ice World has forgotten heat, buried under snow and seeing its waters sealed away by walls of ice. There may be parts where warmth is still known or where greenery struggles through, some prairies or riverlands where the cold is restrained.
A Mediterranean setting contains vast seas and naval travel in a warm climate, separating diverse nations whose resources are both pride and bone of contention.
On the Sea, adventurers sail to distant horizons, unknown islands and coasts yet untouched. While there may be land (in great quantities, even), it simply pales in attraction compared to the horrors and wonders that await beyond the shores.
The Sky World may lie on the peaks of mountains, or floating islands in a sea of clouds, or on the tops of mighty and ancient trees. Below may lie threats greater than mere falling - and in the clouds above, there may lurk things waiting to descend.
In Space, the sky is no longer the limit, for you or for anyone out there. Voyaging in the aether to far-flung vistas, perhaps joining interstellar wars or scouting for the oncoming alien invasion, the universe has no horizons.
Under the Sea, you'd best know how to swim, for the creatures of the deep might be on the hunt for a thrashing air-breather. Are there such things above the waves? Are you one of them, or do you also come from below the tides, the lands of the merpeople and the abysses of the dark things?
Living Underground changes the way you perceive things such as light and motion. The extensive caverns are a natural labyrinth where anything may lurk. Is there even an aboveground? If so, will you someday be forced to venture up?
The World Unbounded is unearthly in one or more regards; perhaps the sky is literally a heaven and below are rifts into Hell; perhaps the world is impossibly diverse or limitless; the driving element is that conventional rules do not apply.
2. Theme: Genesis
Eye of the Storm
The theme of Exploration suggests travel to unknown vistas, places beyond the borders of the map, and encounters with the unexpected and unimaginable. There's a surfeit of world to find that nobody ever has, and what you run into is not likely to be anything you could have expected.
In the Eye of the Storm, the apocalypse is now. As disaster looms and makes its first strikes, you must struggle to make it through to the end. Will you be able to halt the calamity, or merely weather it?
On the Frontier, the border between order and chaos, trouble is ever afoot. Civilization's very fringe invites a flood from the wild and seethes with thrill and danger.
In the age of Genesis, the first civilizations live on a world still in the throes of creation, where primal forces carve and forge the foundations of existence and the laws of life are still in their untried infancy.
A Heroic world cleaves to simple ideals, inspiration and wonder that can triumph over schemes and darkness. One man with a sword can make a difference, and the vilest villain can be struck down by those brave enough to face him.
In a land of High Adventure, wonders and perils wait for those audacious enough to seek them out. Adventurers know what's out there to be seized, and to the most daring go the spoils.
A world beset by Horror may be a dark place indeed; no matter what facade civilization has established, the dread seeps into the soul. Whether existential or derived from some menacing force, there is a terror that refuses to die.
A land under Invasion is in a bitter conflict between an aggressor force that pushes into a territory and those who live there and fear death, starvation or slavery. Whether you are invader or invaded, justified or wrong, you will be sucked into the struggle between two forces.
The Noir theme speaks to intrigue, uncertainty and a cynical worldview. There are few true heroes in this land, and the idealistic learn bitter lessons about the nature of life and its uncaring and often faceless cruelties.
Post-Apocalypse, the world is not what it once was. Those who survived the apocalypse, and their descendants, must make do in the shattered remnants of what once was while contending with the consequences of the disaster itself.
A world in its Savage age may be primitive or advanced, but its people are barbaric and fierce. Lawlessness and the rule of force predominate, and the time of invention and creation is at its end.
In this land, your Survival may be your most immediate concern, as well as that of everyone else. Where the world seems to go out of its way to deprive you of the basic necessities of life, the ability to seize what you need and to endure what comes is what separates the living from the dead.
In a time of War, shifting allegiances and diluted ideologies come together in a massive conflict between many parties, one with no clear resolution in sight. The tides of battle sweep up all who lie in their path, and in the chaos there may be a place for a hero to stand tall.
3. Magic Level: Very High
Very Low Magic suggests a world where not only is magic scarce, but its current practitioners - few and far between - have very little actual power at their disposal. What great magic has been done can not be replicated, and threats both mundane and supernatural are profoundly more dangerous to the point of being potentially insurmountable. Warning: In a Very Low Magic setting, many classes, feats, spells and sourcebooks become unavailable. Game balance will be affected, and as a result DMs must exercise extremely cautious judgment when designing encounters and rewards.
Low Magic suggests a reduced presence of magic in the world, and those with significant magical power (such as it is) are quite unusual. Magic is not a significant factor in most peoples' lives, and magical items are far less accessible. Warning: In a Low Magic setting, some classes, feats, spells and sourcebooks may become unavailable. Game balance may be affected, and as a result DMs must exercise extremely cautious judgment when designing encounters.
Moderate Magic is not so prevalent as to be easily sourced or readily identified, but is still rather powerful, as are a reasonable proportion of its practitioners.
High Magic is the standard level of D&D in 3.5 Edition.
Very High Magic is both prevalent and powerful, widely acknowledged (if not accepted) and in wide use.
4. PC Races: Animus, Arboreal, Eldren, Mygalo, Niebla, Paraνso, Protean
An Animus is a spirit yet to be incarnated as a mortal being, an unborn soul.
An Arboreal is a plantlike entity reminiscent of trees or vines.
Arthrons are insectoid beings with no clear ties to a single species.
The Centaur race may be adjusted to better fit player use in the setting.
The Dwarf race may be adjusted to better fit player use in the setting.
Eldren are otherworldly fey, no older than other races but far stranger.
Elves may be adjusted to better fit player use in the setting.
The Gnome race may be adjusted to better fit player use in the setting.
Goblins may be adjusted to better fit player use in the setting.
Grimlocks are large blind brutes with powerful senses. They may be adjusted to better fit player use in the setting.
The Halfling race may be adjusted to better fit player use in the setting.
Lizardfolk may be adjusted to better fit player use in the setting.
Mygalos are small, wild and hairy humanoids reminiscent of tarantulas.
Niebla, or cloudfolk, are humanoids whose bodies are partially composed of the mist that fills their cloud forest homes.
The Orc race may be adjusted to better fit player use in the setting.
Paraνso are tribal birdmen whose wildly diverse plumage indicates their respective skills and abilities.
A Protean, or Shapeless, is a being composed of leftover and unsettled creation energy, capable of changing its form at will.
Sahuagin, or sea-devils, are an amphibious and predatory race. They may be adjusted to better fit player use in the setting.
The Troglodytes are cave-dwelling reptiles. They may be adjusted to better fit player use in the setting.
The elemental Vari are several humanoid races distinctive for their strong association with a single element.
5. Geography: Many Large Islands
Few Large Continents
Many Small Continents
Many Large Islands
Myriad Small Islands
Vote for up to three biomes that would interest you. Write-ins are allowed on this poll.
Collapsing Arctic Treeline*
Temperate Mixed Broadleaf
In-Depth for Biomes
A Cloud Forest is moist, often tropical, and montane, experiencing a cloud cover of fog due to the high moisture and altitude.
Coral Reefs flourish in tropical waters, providing a home for an unbelievable panoply of underwater species.
Dry Broadleaf forests are largely deciduous with a leafless dry season that destroys the canopy.
Fields and Grasslands are more suitable agrarian areas, with few to no woody plants.
A Jungle has an inconsistent canopy which has allowed a dense undergrowth to flourish.
Kelp Forests flourish underwater, sometimes anchored to the seabed. Largely coldwater or temperate, they form a thick residence and congregation point for several aquatic species.
Mangroves are found in coastal and watery areas that experience tidal swells, stabilizing small areas of land. They have a tendency to grow in unusual fashions and are a distinct shrubland habitat.
Moist Broadleaf forests are dominated by leafy, flowering trees and high humidity.
Rainforests are characterized by heavy rainfall, low levels of undergrowth, a thick canopy and tremendous biodiversity.
A Savannah is characterized as a wooded grassland where the trees are sufficiently spaced so as to not form a canopy.
A Taiga or Boreal Forest is largely coniferous, temperate to cold, and experiences fairly low precipitation.
Temperate Mixed Broadleaf is a moist and seasonal biome characterized by layered plant distribution, with tall canopy trees above a denser mass of shorter trees, saplings, shrubs and a diverse and thriving ground cover.
Chaparral features woody plants trending towards smaller shrubs mixed with a few stouter trees. It experiences hot dry summers and wet winters, making it highly prone to wildfires.
The Collapsing Arctic Treeline is the result of forests created in an area that would later experience arctic conditions. The established biome supports itself, with the trees past the natural treeline offering cover for younger plants to develop, but as the extant forest is eroded away by the cold and the winds, the forest will trend back towards the natural treeline over time through attrition.
Flooded Grasslands include forests, savannahs and grasslands that experience at least partial flooding every year. For some, their soil is always moist due to a steadily inundated water table. They trend toward marsh-like conditions.
A Lagoon environment consists of a coastal saltwater bay cut off by some physical impediment from the larger body of water that spawned it.
Xeric Scrubland receives very low moisture throughout the year, as a desert, but the plantlife has adapted to the conditions and flourished as best it can. Succulent plants such as cacti and geophytes make the best use of water they can.
6. Divinities: Infinite Gods
Small Group No Hierarchy
Medium Group No Hierarchy
Large Group No Hierarchy
A world with No Gods may still have some creator beings or spirit force; gods may have existed in the past and departed or died, or powerful godlike beings may still stride across the world. However, no true gods now exist to hear and respond to prayer or act on behalf of their worshipers.
Yin/Yang Gods are in opposition to one another; as the only two divine beings, they are each others' only peer and foe.
A Triumvirate is composed of three gods of equal or near-equal standing who act in concert or in complement to one another.
A Cardinal Group is fairly small, containing a god to represent some element of a collective set (seasons, elements etc). They may act as a cohesive group, a committee seeking balance, or in total opposition.
A Small Group or Pantheon is composed of fewer than 20 member deities.
A Medium Group or Pantheon is composed of fewer than 32 member deities.
A Large Group or Pantheon is composed of 32 or more member deities.
A world with Infinite Gods may have several powerful deities with their own satellite demigods, or an uncountable number of minor divinities, or anything in between.
Vote for up to three natures that interest you. Write-ins are allowed on this poll.
Nature of Divinities
Family of Gods
Gods of Alignment
In-Depth for Natures of Divinities
A system of Active Apotheosis allows mortals to create gods of other mortals in some fashion, whether by joining with a collective god or body of such gods after death, or with divine power from acclamation in life.
Bearer Deities have a less active hand in the world, at least from the perspective of most. In reality, they are the very supports the world rests on, whether metaphysically or literally, and what contributions they make keep the world on track.
Child Gods are young and naive, coming into their power and still experimenting with their universe.
A Divine/Mortal Lineage is passed down from a deity or deities through a mortal bloodline, becoming part-divine. Members of these bloodlines may be treated as living gods or demigods.
A Family of Gods is closely related, featuring parents and children, siblings, cousins and branches. A hierarchy exists, whether respected or not, and may conflict with divinities outside the line.
Fetishes are items crafted by some mortal agency that have supernatural power over mortals.
Gods of Alignment concern themselves with the great struggles: good vs. evil, law vs. chaos. Their purview thus tends to be somewhat disconnected from the practical realities of the world.
Hero-Gods gained divinity through mighty deeds as mortals.
Interloper deities are not the original gods of the world; they have come from elsewhere and invade the territory of native deities.
Local Deities are small-scale powers, protectors of one people, one town, one island, one region. They do not often organize or associate.
Natural Spirits are divine forces forged from the essence of the world itself, highly territorial and singleminded. Though more of a presence than a direct power, these spirits have a subtle but undeniable influence.
Physical Gods walk the world in their full glory, moving among their followers in disguise or under their true names. They take a very active hand in the workings of the world.
Primal Embodiments are nature made incarnate, walking the world as pristine and fundamental forces full of awareness and will. They have simple portfolios and total devotion to same.
Racial Divinities concern themselves primarily with a single race of mortals and its needs, looking outward only to turn force against the race's enemies or work against world events that would influence or threaten the race.
Warring Pantheons oppose one another and struggle across battlefields both mortal and divine. Whatever ideology drives them to fight transcends the barriers and feeds into their worshipers.
7. Cosmology: Locus of Stability
One Single Plane
Locus of Stability
Islands in a Stormy Sea
Great Wheel of Planes
In a universe with One Single Plane, the world is not coterminous or coexistant with any other plane, and is shielded from/does not transact with other planes normally. Only very powerful magic, such as gate or astral projection, allows a planar connection to form, which will immediately isolate creatures doing so from their home plane. Gods, spirits and fiends reside on the mortal world.
The Yin/Yang Planes are a pair, two worlds of equal reality working collectively to operate the cosmology, dividing on Hot and Cold, Darkness and Light or Life and Death. Gods, spirits and fiends may reside on one plane and pass over into the other. Travel between these two planes may be common, or leakages may occur.
The world is at the heart of Nested Realities, with a higher, freer plane coexistent with it, a still stranger plane coterminous with that and the highest plane on the outside, from which gods, spirits and fiends watch the whole. (I am not specifying that there would be only four planes). Planar travel must be accomplished by going from one layer to the next.
The planes are not yet fully stabilized. Only within the Locus of Stability do things remain more or less unchanged, while the further one moves away from the Locus, the less stable reality becomes, until it finally breaks down into a storm of raging energy and ever-changing matter.
The many planes bob and float in a chaotic, turbulent Astral Plane, like Islands in a Stormy Sea, separate from one another and difficult to travel between without knowing the established routes. Some planes may be more isolated than others. The Material Plane may be a "dock" or "harbor" to which travel is easier.
The Great Wheel of Planes has been the standard D&D cosmology up until 4th Edition.
In a multiverse of Infinite Possibilities, planar travel can take beings to any sort of world; though a few may be consistent, nothing is unimaginable. This sort of travel is very risky, because it must be done with care and precision to arrive at a consistent location.
Parallel Universes coincide, sharing many similarities but some key differences. Gods, spirits and fiends may take one plane and mortals the other, but what happens in one echoes events in the others.
8. Prestige Classes: Canopy Haunt, Fatemaker, First Hero, Original Heretic, Primal Funnel, Titanslayer
Bearer of the Execration
So many gods, yet the Animist hears not individual voices but only a great chorus, and speaks to them all as one.
In a period of thriving life and creation, to be a Bearer of the Execration is a dark stain indeed; those so cursed are unique individuals who have been infused with a terrible blight that will carry on through the eons.
Above the unsuspecting prey creeps the Canopy Haunt, a nimble and patient lurker - and a master of ambush.
The curiosity of the Creation Raveler is a dangerous thing indeed, for in order to collect the power to work his art, he first needs to pull apart the fabric of something else.
The path of the Dreamstepper moves through the world of imagination and fantasy, whispering into the unconscious and seeing the true chaos of thought.
The primordial forces shaping the world hear the voice of the Elemental Speaker as he calls out in their languages, responding to him with displays of their power.
The Enlightened have just begun to see things beyond the rational world, and cast their gaze both inward and far outward in search of great questions.
Creation is turbulent, uncertain and full of possibilities - until the Fatemaker gets his hands on it, locking in what should be mutable.
The nascent world is young and filled with dangers; it cries out for the First Hero to rise up and take a stand against deadly peril.
In a world of infinite gods, to be Godscorned is akin to being born without a head. These are strange and alien curiosities who must adapt to the absence of the divine.
Where even music and rhythm are new, the Harmony Shaper finds a special power in both, which he brings forth in ways that affect the people and the world.
The art of the Idol Crafter takes on a literally spiritual significance, as the totems and fetishes this artisan creates channel supernatural power.
Neither predators nor undergrowth impede the Jungle Runner, a brother of the forest who seems to pass through the trees like the winds.
The Latent was born with a claim to the inherent magics of the world; now she stakes her claim, bringing forth her true potential.
The awesome might of the supernatural has impressed itself permanently upon the Mythic Witness, who has been powerfully marked by the experience.
Though there hasn't been a lot of time to get to know them, surely some are already discontented with the gods - and the first to raise his voice against the heavens is the Original Heretic.
Where latent energies of creation sing out for release, they find their conduit in the Primal Funnel, who allows the power of nature to erupt forth using himself as a vessel.
As creation begets new races, it is some very few who represent the most Pristine ideal of their kind, expressing most strongly the traits of their race.
The Starseeker casts her gaze upward, ignoring the common earth in her pursuit of the endless freedom of the unknown.
Though the small mortal races should have no chance to survive against the immense perils of the world, the Titanslayer challenges such colossal foes and emerges victorious.
The Trepanned Seer hears the voices of the world around him through a hole in his skull, a spiritual canal through which his awareness is extgended.
The Wellspring may be a practitioner of magic, but it is her nature as a pool of potential that lets her truly shine, sharing her bountiful magical power with allies.
New World: What's it about? Fencing Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lot's of Bad Men. Lot's of Good Men., Two or Three Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles and a Little Sex. In short, it's about Pokemon.here
Lord_Gareth here! I'm an idea-man and proofreader for the most part on this particular project, in addition to fueling Afroakuma's POWER by annoying the ever-loving crap out of him. While on a normal day I'd be happy to interface between you and Afroakuma, as a member of the build team I sadly cannot use my total immunity to POWER-based damage on your behalf. Please folks, leave annoying Afroakuma to trained professionals.
I, for one, am definitely hoping to turn out something very different from the previous attempt, especially in light of the lessons learned therein. Looking forward to suffering the stings and lashes of a cruel voting populace, ya'll.
*Quietly begins gathering CUNNING*
Originally Posted by Chilingsworth
Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
The Calamity from the Skies is patient and ever capable to intrude upon projects. She does not choose the traditional path, but rather seeks unconventional methods. She expresses the power that comes from unforeseen surprises and is capable of exploiting unexpected weaknesses. She is Calamity and cuts like the wind. She homebrews not because of glory or fame, but rather to spring surprises on the unsuspecting, players and GMs alike.
٩๏̯͡๏)۶ New found land. It's like Untitled Document, for places - Flickerdart
Avatar by Domochevsky
Garden World though I hope its not the only one that wins, I do hope to see knights lancing each other on beetles the size school buses, or to have gastric snakes floating through the canopy. I want a living world full of every creature imaginable. Heck Sasquatch as a playable race, overgrown temples, floating cities... everflowing volcanoes, I want savage pulpish jungles and forests, and even cities with endless fields. I want a world were barbarity and civilization clash fervently, and these are pronounced and jarring.
Last edited by Othniel Edden : 06-17-2011 at 12:26 PM.
Do I have to choose? I really like Eye of the Storm and Garden World.
<Flickerdart> So theoretically the master vampire can control three bonused dire weasels, who in turn each control five sub-weasels
<Flickerdart> The sub-weasels can each control two other sub-weasels
<Flickerdart> It's like a pyramid scheme, except the payoff is bleeding to death!
<Flickerdart> So theoretically the master vampire can control three bonused dire weasels, who in turn each control five sub-weasels
<Flickerdart> The sub-weasels can each control two other sub-weasels
<Flickerdart> It's like a pyramid scheme, except the payoff is bleeding to death!
Wow, afro, you're really jumping right into another one of these? What's the matter, couldn't handle all the free time and relaxation you suddenly found yourself with after two years of slaving away at Zihaja? Dang boy, you a masochist indeed.
Anyway, I vote Highlands: an interesting climate that I've never really seen tried before. Though an Underground setting with no surface existent could have been really interesting too.
You can call me Draz. Trophies:
I'm going for mediterranean, simply because of all the pirates and shipwrecks and sea serpents. However, I do want there to be a jungle continent with the ruins of an ancient civilization and lots of wild animals and old traps, as well as chasms spanned by rope bridges.
I'd go for Eye of the Storm, but that strikes me as more of a campaign theme than a geographical option like many of the others on the current list. That and Post-Apocalyptic and Savage World all seem slightly out of place like that.
So I'll vote for Eye of the Storm, but if this is supposed to be just a geography thing I'd prefer a Cliff World. Maybe both if that's possible, like if the disaster is what is jacking up the land and making cliffs and plateaus all over the place.
Multas Gratias to Kopaka for the great avatar.
Editor and playtester for Legend. Check it out, or drop in on the Legend Chat to have all your questions answered.
Cliffworld sounds utterly amazing. plenty of opportunities to torment players and characters with Daunting heights and creatures that have evolved to use the cliff faces as traps. A rougher, more dangerous landscape than Sky world but still filled with that intense sense of height, sky, and falls. It would be really amazing to see cities carved out of the cliffs, and some sentient-cliff dwellers clearly evolved to live in this land (Either gripping feet or perhaps feet that imitate climber's shoes by being exceptionally rough and stiff. Multi-limbs and strange hands...)