Monday, October 3, 2016

World Building 101 Part II

Campaign Setting Write Up

So last week I put together the rough outline of what your players are going to need as essentials for building your own campaign setting.  So I thought I would put my money where my mouth is and show you all the basis of the campaign setting that I use when I am testing out new ideas and tinkering with how to build ideas and concepts.  So let’s take a look at my suggested starting points and see what sort of trouble we can get into. 


The Setting I usually has hasn’t acquired a name yet beyond Thark’s World.  Thark’s an essential element, like an Elminster, or a Heroes of the Lance force in the Universe.  He isn’t a sedentary thing, and can be found traipsing across the length and breadth of the world encouraging good people to stand up for what’s right and hitting things with a large hammer.  The starting location I usually use with new folks is the sleepy little town of Lakeport. 

“Lake Port is actually constructed on the crystal blue waters of the Gemhide Lake, set in the central forest of the Feyheart woods.  Gemhide Lake is a confluence where six different rivers come together and mingle their waters, making it an excellent place to set up a town.  The ancient trees of the Feyheart Woods are not keen on civilization encroaching on them, but haven’t bothered the town on the lake itself.  Lakeport is one of the westernmost settlements in the Feyheart before it becomes a wild wood filled with monsters and ancient ruins. 


What does this tell you about the Lakeport region?  Well you know it has a decent amount of trade, since it sits at the confluence of multiple sources of travel and trade.  You know that the lake itself is free of pollutants and other concerns, since it maintains its crystal clarity.  You know that the area immediately around it is called the Feyheart woods, suggesting an ancient connection to the Fey, and that the trees are at least aware of the growth of civilization around it, and are not fans of civilization. Finally, you know that Lakeport is basically the edge of the frontier for parties headed west into the wilder woods in that direction.  Can you build some adventures out of this area? Certainly, but let’s add some more detail to make it a little clearer. 


The Gods:  Here are five gods that are essential to the Lakeport region.  (These are not all of the Gods of the region, but are more important than others for a variety of reasons)

·         Ahrimaius:  The Forge of Creation.  Ahrimiaus is the smith and tinker of the Divine Court, building and designing trinkets small enough for mortal minds and wonders to shatter the imagination of his fellow gods, Ahrimaius is often referred to as the Mad Smith, as his church is one focused on making new things and spreading their works across the World

o   Ahrimaius is important to Lakeport because one of his seven major temples (the Font of Creation) is located in Lakeport

·         Bannock:  The Stalwart.  Bannock serves multiple roles in the Divine Court, but his most critical one for Lakeport is as the Keeper of Civilization.  Bannock’s church seeks to expand the borders of the civilized world and to bring its light into the dark places of the world. 

·         Eridell: The Mercurial.   Eridell is the Lady of Rivers and Water.  She represents the full range of water’s power, from gentle rain to surging flood.  She keeps the waterways and preserves them from those who abuse and spoil them.  Given Lakeport’s position on the water, Eridell is venerated with great devotion in it. 

·         Grandfather Oak: The Eldest.  Oak is the first of the ancient fey gods that ruled in the distant past.  He is the source of every other plant that has come into being since, and he long ago gave away a great deal of his power to give the other gods their chance.  He is a revered figure among the druids of the region, and his ancient trees can be found throughout the Feyheart. 

·         The Slumbering King:  The Dreamer.  The Master of the Divine Court, The Slumbering King represents the potentiality of sentient beings and is the default god of Humanity.  His church can be found everywhere humanity can be found. 

Home Base:  Lakeport is an excellent home base for adventurers because of the following:

·         Mayor Gillean:  Every spring, Mayor Gillean gathers the young adventurers of Lakeport and assigns them into adventuring parties.  Older adventurers are given more dangerous tasks, but the Mayor is primary quest giver in the Lakeport region

·         The Bishop of Lakeport and the Forgemaster are both high level clerics capable of healing grievous injuries to needy members of the adventuring classes.  Services are not free, but both of them have a soft spot for adventurers. 

·         The Priests of Bannock are known sages and historians on numerous topics about the surrounding areas and can help out with a variety of knowledge.  The grand library in the Citadel of Ways (the temple of Bannock) is the largest one in 300 miles.

·         The Font of Creation has an open air bazaar where goods from across the river country are traded.  Hedron, the ancient wizard occasionally sells arcane items of great power, and the high trading season that commences every spring has a flurry of merchants from Dwarven clans to Jumar herds (bipedal rabbit traders) flocking to Lakeport to trade.  The other festival at the end of autumn draws nearly as many merchants, hoping to cash in on the success of young adventurers. 

·         Lakeport is a thriving community that is constantly expanding its borders.  New houses and shops are being built every year to meet the needs of its growing population.

Critical NPCs

·         Mayor Gillean

·         The Forgemaster (High Priest of Ahrimaius)

·         The Keeper of Ways (High Priest of Bannock)

·         The Lady of waves (The High druid of Lakeport)

·         The Bishop of Lakeport (The High Priestess of The Slumbering King)

·         Hedron (The Archwizard)

·         Captain Tully (Captain of the city guards)

·         Fellinore (Head of the Dockworkers Union, thief)

·         Sarada Hightree (Proprietor of the Lakeside Inn)

·         Guera (Master Merchant, keeper of the Bazaar)

 Maps (Coming Soon)


This region is rife with encounterable monsters and places to explore.  The distant past of the Feyheart filled this region with Dolmen structures that serve an unknowable purpose.  On specific nights, individual Dolmens will fill with eerie lights, and strange creatures will emerge.  Other times, these dolmens lead to strange underground structures that can be filled with treasure, monsters, or a combination of the two. 

Two key areas of note:

The Giant’s cup, a dolmen gate complex that is rumored to be the home of a dragon and his legions of minions.

Castle Blackrock:  An ancient castle settled in the last 500 years, Castle Blackrock is a mystery set just across the frontier in the wild wood.  Strange creatures traverse the area, and rumors of monstrous beasts, fey monsters, ancient cults and more fill the inns and taverns of Lakeport on a regular basis. 


 That's a quick write up of the starting point for my campaign setting, if you're interested, I'll add in the oddball races and changes I've made to the inhabitants of Thark's World. 
Game On, Game Fans

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