The 50000 Foot View, Part 2

Last week in part 1 we talked about a few of the broad brush strokes of the campaign. Let’s keep going on that front…

  • The Far East — the Jade Empire and its Rainbow Court. This was the least fleshed out by me for my original campaigns, but it was envisioned to bring classic Chinese, Japanese and Southeast Asian themes to the fore. I envisioned they had similar problems that the “Roman” Empire did with their own twists. They had diplomatic relations to the other Nations and Free Cities, but were largely at peace with them all. (Aided by the fact that the only empire close to them was the “Arabian” one.)
  • The area that would be roughly “India” has descended into civil wars. Rumors have that some dark power is arising there and will end the civil wars and usher in a new age of darkness.  Or is that rally cry of the “Arabian” Empire that is secretly sowing discord along with the Jade Empire to keep the area weak?
  • “Transylvania” fights anyone that threatens their borders. They watch for the darkness and fight it by any means necessary.

So now that we have the broad strokes of the campaign landscape, where do we go from here?

When I came up with this world, I offered it up to my players as:

  • northpolemapBritish Isles: Either forcing out the seasonal raiders and a declining “Roman” Empire, or immediately after the empire has departed, can the heroes bring peace and stability to the chaotic realm?
  • “Roman” Empire: Working for either a noble house or the emperor, the players are in the midst of the storm. Can they achieve glory and wealth while protecting what they care about?  (In the campaign, that we did run, the players are attached to a Library that is trying to compete with the Great Library of Alexandria.)
  • “Arabian” Empire: A campaign could explore the diverse nature of this empire. I linked the campaign that was run in this sector with exploring more of the Church of Illuminating Scales.
  • “Egyptian” Empire: What does the empire watch to the south?  Can they fend off their greedy neighbors?
  • Jade Empire: Really the sky is the limit with this empire.  I would probably have the same corruption themes at work within the court politics.  Wheels within wheels.
  • The shattered kingdoms of “India”: Can the players help a small warlord establish their mark upon the world? Is there a dark tide rising and if so, can they stop it before it gains too much power?
  • Free Cities and the Barbarian hordes:  What drives the barbarians south?  Can the free cities hold on in the face of such unrelenting hostility?
  • “Transylvania”: The heroes are agents sent out in the world to watch for spreading of “darkness” and battle against it.  This really could be a worked in parallel with the other ideas.

Once a region is picked, I would work on developing that more so the players have more of an understanding as to what is going on in the part of the world they are playing in. It doesn’t make much sense to develop the Jade Empire if telling a story in the “Roman” or “Arabian” Empires. Even less sense, if the PCs are in Avalon.

The other thing facing this campaign setting is simply what rules you use.  If it is D&D, you want to work in how the races and magic system fit into the land. Other settings provide similar challenges…

I’m sure in future posts, I’ll talk about this idea for a world setting more because I ran into several interesting problems that I’m not sure if I had the best solution for. In the meantime, it’s a brave new world out there. Care to shape it?

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