What’s the Big Picture? What’s going on in this setting that makes it ripe for adventure. What’s changing, evolving, declining?
With the recent death of King Virdin at the Battle of Goliad, the kingdom of Damara is shattered under overwhelming force of Vaasa. Ruled by the mysterious Witch-King Zhengyi, Vaasa now demands tribute of the disparate barons still clinging to the shattered remains of Damara.
Refugees from the northern regions of Damara flood its southern barony of Arcata, seeking to escape the ever growing demands of the Witch-King’s army.
What’s the world’s culture? What are the cultural analogs? Analogs can be taken from historical earth, current events or fantasy works.
The kingdom of Damara was comprised of complicated feudal vassalage, made all the more unclear by the death of King Virdin. The baronies and duchies of Damara are Arcata, Bloodstone, Brandiar, Carmathan, Morov, Ostel, Polten, Soravia.
Damarans have English names and Vaasans have Nordic names.
What’s the conflict in which the characters are involved? What are the sides? What’s wrong?
You may have once been proud land owners, sworn to King Virdin’s banner, or pursued research or other paths of enlightenment. For now, you have retreated to the city of Valls in the southern barony of Arcata. From here, amidst the crushing swell of refugees, you are planning and working to restore your previous life. You know there are others who would rally to your cause, but for now you are a disenfranchised, and impoverished mouth to feed amongst the multitudes.
What physical place does this conflict take place in? What ecology, environment, place?
The Barony of Bloodstone has an ecology/environment that is similar to south western Alberta (harsh winters, fertile valleys, ample woodlands, long summer evenings). It is located on the eastern edge of the Galena mountains.
What’s the name of the most important place in this setting?
The village of Bloodstone, the baronial seat of the Bloodstone Barony. Once a prosperous duchy in western Damara, it’s mines have recently failed as the expected tribute continues to grow.
What’s the name of a faraway place that folks talk about, dream about or mutter under their breath about?
- The Citadel of the Witch-King Zhengyi.
- Heliogabalis, free city of Damara, bustling with vices and commerce.
Who are the antagonists? Who is opposing the goals of the characters?
The primary antagonist is the Witch-King Zhengyi, a powerful wizard who rules through his various lieutenants. The Grandfather of Assassins, a lieutenant of the Witch-King collects tribute from the various baronies throughout the shattered remains of Damara.
Imagine all of the characters are standing a room/ruin/field with the antagonists or their minions. What do the antagonists want from that meeting? What do the characters want from that meeting?
The Witch-King would demand homage. If the characters would swear fealty, on the Scepter of Scour, to the Witch-King, power and riches would be theirs.
Alternately, imagine the characters standing at the scene of some great disaster or calamity clearly caused by one of the antagonists. What’s the disaster? How did it happen? What are the characters going to do about it right now?
The horizon is filled with plumes of dark smoke. The smell of death hangs heavy in the air. As you approach the remains of Bloodstone village, the villagers refuse to meet your gaze, instead they mindlessly focus on tossing the numerous bodies onto the already massive funeral pyre. You were to be their savior, and their voiceless accusations pierce your soul.
What type of magic exists in this world?
Dwarves and Elves use their Natural Magic.
Humans practice a wide array of magical disciplines from Sorcery and Enchantment to the more questionable Summoning.
In matters of Faith, humans of Damara turn to the Lord of Light, a beacon of hope and renewal.
The Druids of the wilder lands call upon the powers of ancient spirits, seeking to bind them to their will.
There are those who seek power in death and those who seek power from dead or forgotten gods (or worse).
What character stocks are in play in this world? Which are restricted and why?
Character stock is limited to Elves, Men, and Dwarves.
What cultural traits apply to the characters of this game world? Pick three character traits for each culture.
- Damara – Brave, Folksy Wisdom, Greedy
- Vaasa – Dour, Merciless, Xenophobic
What’s your Resources cycle? 1 month, seasonal, 6 months, annual? What’s the game world’s currency? Who collects the taxes? What do people do for work? What’s the major economy?
Six months (each spring and fall). The games currency revolves around the silver piece standard.
Economic issues will grow in importance as the campaign progresses.
Material world: What weapons and armor are available? Are some weapons and armor restricted to certain cultures or character stocks? What property is available? Are resources and gear otherwise restricted?