Friday, April 21, 2017

How I got started with my Homebrew Setting

I’m going to engage the Rambler for a minute and talk about something that i think is important.  Inspiration takes a lot of forms and there are a lot of ways an idea can change or grow over time.  This is the rough, rambling story of how i came up with the core idea for the campaign setting i’ve been working on for the last let’s say 5 or 6 years.  I’m just finishing my undergraduate psychology degree and i’m home on a Christmas break.  I don’t have the space to carry all of my books, but i’ve managed to borrow some Pathfinder books from a buddy of mine.  I’ve played 3.5 and been there and done that, but i really dig the adventure paths and the Bestiaries.  

I start tinkering (which is to say obsessively reading all of the books i’ve got access to) with the books and notice that a.) I really like the way the adventure paths are laid out, and b.) that i definitely enjoy the bestiaries an awful lot.  My mind starts grabbing at the idea of a Fey dominated adventure path idea, and it starts checking out the monsters that are available, and does some math.  There are enough monsters at the various CRs, that you could build a 1 to high level Adventure Path built around the fey.  

This idea percolated in my head for most of that break (This is also the break that spawned the maps for my reverse Stargate/Land of the Lost adventure arc), and when i got back to it, it had morphed into a campaign setting idea about an older age of fantasy.  “What happens if we build a world where the traditional fantasy races aren’t the dominant powers, and the Fey, the Giants, and the Dragons are still the Apex predators?”  What would it be like to playing a massive underdog in a setting built for bigger, badder monsters?  

I tinkered with this idea a couple more times, and i put some thoughts on paper for it, and made a couple of gods for the setting.  I came up with a Queen of Flowers and a King Stag idea, and started doodling out some thoughts on how they ruled the fey.  I took these thoughts with me to Gencon that year (this is also the year i lost my voice for 6 weeks after the show).  I ended up chatting with John Wick of all people about it, and he said he liked the idea.  This is also the show the Steve Jackson cracked a fat joke at me (which was adorable).   So we roll time forward a little and i start to stat things out for a Pathfinder based setting.  

Time slips away a little more, and when i get back to working on this setting, I’ve pretty heavily converted to 5th edition (i love a lot of the things about Pathfinder, but i’m more world building right now, and frankly, it’s fairly easy to convert back and forth).  So now i started reworking my setting ideas again, and i’ve got a notion.

Then my brother calls me and asks me to run an introductory adventure for some of his friends using 5th edition.  I put together a quick continent map, a local map, and a short adventure that has some quirks to it (He calls on a Wednesday for a Friday night game).  Everyone has fun, they like the starting location, and that becomes the basis for the city of Lakeport.  Everything else since then has been an outgrowth of those original ideas, and me just making changes that make sense in my brain.  

Hopefully you guys are enjoying the Lakeport setting and the hows and the whys of everything i have put together, and hopefully i get it to the point that it’s a publishable campaign setting so that you can all play around in the world i’ve pieced together from the various ideas and inspirations i have bumped into.  Thank you all for taking the time to read this, and i hope you all have fun.    

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