My World: Thyressa - The Golden Age


Homebrew and House Rules


”Map”:
[URL]http://s1375.photobucket.com/user/kelseymacailbert/media/WorldMapOneArctica ndTropical_zpsde1101c4.jpg.html[/URL]

The lines are the northern tropic and the arctic circle. Ovals represent groups of small islands. Yes, I know it's a really ugly map. It's an alpha release.

Here lies my world. The basic idea is that of a modern fantasy setting where magic is out in the open, rather than hidden away from public view. It was originally supposed to be an extension of D&D/Pathfinder tropes into the modern day, but I've moved a bit away from that to just create the world I envision. I've been considering this setting for about 4 years, through more retcons and total do-overs than I can count. Now it's time to actually sit down and flesh things out. So, let's begin.

Metaplot:
For centuries, the gods had held humanity back, using them as tools in machinations too great to be understood. As humans gained industry and communication ability, these machinations grew larger and larger, eventually culminating in the greatest war ever seen. As the carnage grew, the gods interceded personally, but this was a foolish decision. They thought of the old days, when they could manifest and lay waste to entire armies, not of the new era, one of mass industrialized forces and terrifying weaponry. Gods were never invincible, just incredibly tough, and this was too much for them. As gods began to die, humanity began to realize they were being manipulated by beings not so omnipotent as claimed, and began focusing their efforts on wiping them out. This was ultimately successful, and the war ended as those involved declared a new era, without the machinations of the divine to rend divides.

The death of divinity released massive amounts of magic into the world. Suddenly, human mages had greater magical strength than they had before, and latent magical blood began showing in some segments of the population. With this new found magical strength, humans were able to greatly reduce scarcity and improve a lot of their technology. A golden age greater than ever seen before is booming, one characterized by relative geopolitical stability, low poverty, and contentedless.

This magic brings with it a problem, however. Human mages aren't the only ones getting stronger. So are the thousands of monsters that plague this world. Magical beasts, fae, giants, undead, and many other threats. Not only are they stronger, they are also far more numerous than they have ever been before. Not to mention those human mages that don't want to play nice. Such is the side effect of a magic filled world.

There is another threat as well. He who was once Lord of All Things. The Allfather. King of Kings. The most powerful god who ever lived. He alone survived the war that killed the others of his kind. His allies and enemies, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, wife and parents. All dead. Once, he just wanted to rule over all of humanity, but now he wants revenge. He wants to crush this golden age of humanity, and make every living day a brutal struggle for what Hell passes for life. Problem is, during the war he barely survived his wounds, even with all the might of his allies and family beside him. Now he is alone, and the humans have far better magic and technology and much less infighting. If he dares manifest in the world, they will almost surely kill him. So he must stay on his own plane, where he is unreachable, and go back to his old manipulative ways. Find impressionable, naive humans, and induct them into destructive cults. Use them to slowly but surely chip away at the establishment. It'll take decades of troublemaking to have the desired effect, but he has time to wait. He is a god, after all. In the meantime, maybe he can dominate some of those monsters stomping around.

”Nations”:
As you probably guessed, the map given represents a portion of the world, not the whole thing. This portion is where I focus the game. All of the nations are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, which is an economic union who's members lack border controls and tariffs with each other, and where citizens of one nation are free to travel and settle in others as desired. There is a shared currency based on dollars and cents, with each nation having it's own unique designs for bills and coins (You can spend money in one country's design in another country without a problem.). It's kinda like the European Union, basically. Though not a military or security alliance, the Commonwealth does maintain some such capability. In particular, there is the Commonwealth Magical Security Service, more commonly known as Mako (a combination of the first two letters in the two words of it's Minkasi language name, as well as an allude to it's naval roots), a force of monster/witch hunters that specializes in incidents at sea and incidents that cross national borders, as well as providing assistance to national security forces whenever requested. This is the main organization for PCs to belong to.

Nation writeups still under construction. Here is what I have so far:

Markkheim

-One of the first parts of the New World to be colonized, about the same time as Tulani. It is a very rugged land, with a people who certainly like to think of themselves as rugged. In fact, Markks like to think of themselves as a lot of things. Especially if it involves taking some cultural element from their lauded Viking Age and totally misinterpreting it. They are polite, proud, and professional, and somewhat reserved. Once one gets to know them well enough, however, they can be surprisingly warm. They are known for their rustic visual aesthetic when it comes to clothing and architecture, a very good rail network, a deep community bent, a wealth of natural resources, and some of the best engineers around.

Tulani

-One of the first parts of the New World to be colonized, soon after Nyamban explorers first discovered it (though the Markks would say they found it first). The majority of the population is descended from southern Nyambans, though there are quite a few white immigrants. Most of the population lives in the marshy Southeast, but Tulani is famous for the great rolling plains out west, where the majority of the continent's agriculture is. Tulanans are known for their food and beer, their hospitality, their relaxed attitude towards life, their literary tradition, and one of the best educational systems in the world.

Watande

-One of the most urban nations in the world, Watande was once a loose confederation of native tribes along the largest lake complex in the world, with no real concept of ideas like nationhood, but all of that changed when the white man came. They worked hard to build up new technologies to maintain their independence, and, despite many signs suggesting the contrary, proved ultimately successful. So much so, they managed to pull ahead during the Industrial Revolution, ensuring their status as a nation that, while not big enough to be a major power, is wealthy and secure.

Lacienta

-Optimistic. Powerful. Heartbreakingly beautiful. All of these and more describe the Land of the Rising Sun. Known for its stunning architecture, from ancient pyramid temples and highly sophisticated cities to Colonial missions and villas, its landscape, stretching from sun kissed coast to sprawling desert, misty mountains to deep jungles, and all the sights in between, its vibrant and active culture, its top wide variety of delicious food, wine, and tequila, and movie and music industries that enjoy massive popularity worldwide. One of the strongest nations in the world, currently tying with Tsuntan for the top spot.

Minkasai

-Minkasai is a nation of contradictions. A nation still embroiled in it's past traditions, yet at the cusp of technological innovation. A nation known for it's political and social moderation, yet formally the most powerful nation in the world, and still among the top five. Openly friendly and unfailingly polite, yet private and reserved at the same time. A nation deeply invested in harmony and unity of culture, yet almost one fifth of the population are descended from white immigrants who arrived a century ago. A very mountainous nation, always low on farmland, yet near boundless natural resources to trade. Minkasai is many things, and uninteresting certainly isn't one of them.

”PCs”:
The PCs of this setting belong to the aforementioned Mako unit. To join Mako, one must have military experience, law enforcement experience, or a college degree, and be at least 22 years of age. You must also be a Sorcerer. The Sorcerer class is being eliminated, but every PC character gets a bloodline and is referred to as a Sorcerer. Earlier, when I referred to latent magic manifesting, this is what I was referring to. I am modifying the benefits of each Sorcerer bloodline, so that they are useful to any class. Add a bunch of stuff to bloodlines to replace magic items (if a PC really needed a piece of equipment, Mako would provide it, and looting or accepting rewards is a no-no, so WBL and the magic item system won't work), and there we go. Increase BAB progression by 5 Monte Cook style and increase frequency of attribute bonuses from level so that Bloodlines don't have to handle that. These template based Sorcerers are pretty powerful, which is why the government hires them for the very hazardous task at hand. This should also make switch hitting a bit easier, since you don't need to invest in a magic weapon.

I am working on what classes to allow right now. I am banning the Paladin, Gunslinger (redundant when everybody got a gun), and Summoner. Clerics are non-divine casters unless they are NPC cultists, spell list is being modified so PCs can be elementalists instead of priests. Druids allowed and have a lot of political power. Fighter gets some of Gunslinger's toys. Barbarian very heavy modification. Bard, Oracle, Inquisitor, Cavalier, no decision. Magus allowed with modification for ranged combat. Monk banned. Rogue, Wizard, Witch, Ranger, Alchemist allowed. I just got the ACG, haven't had time to form impressions of it's classes. Intend to peruse extensive 3PP collection to see if there are any base classes there I can add to the setting.

So, any thoughts, concerns, ideas, criticisms, or questions so far?

I want to get basic writeups for each nation, the playable races (elves, orcs, goblins, and the like exist, and are considered human beings), and the tech level done next. No promises on how long that takes me.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Gunslingers are actually their strongest when there are guns everywhere. It is something some people seem to forget but with guns everywhere rule, gunslingers get dex to damage from level 1.


It's more an issue of flavor redundancy than mechanical redundancy. When everyone has guns, the gun specialist becomes thematically identical to the Fighter, but with cooler abilities. So, the classes get merged, and the Fighter is a gritty weapons expert and grizzled veteran.

Dark Archive

I'd say Gunslingers could fit in fine, but its a matter of taste as well- I think gunslingers as daredevils with guns is one kind of character, not just the gun. I'm talking flavor-wise here. Its important to remember each class is intended to represent a kind of character trope that can be slipped into. Gunslingers represent something different than fights or rangers in that they get rewarded for taking risks, and act alot like swashbucklers in the ACG.

I dislike people using tolkien-sque races for every newborn setting- its more of me not liking to see the same races repeated over and over every time.

I think you might benefit from the Technology guide book, as it deals with a lot super-science-y stuff that might fit in well here. Also:

I see you are focusing on "the gods are evil plot" as a core concept here and make no mention of Clerics on how you think they fit. As for faith, have people found new religion, like based on a philosophy not deities? For example, I could suggest a new kind of Paladin, not tied to the gods, but to the concepts of your Mako organization- Protect the World regardless of Nation. Harmony. Order. Same could be true of a Cleric, too.

As for the gods themselves, I wonder about the titanomachy- the other beings they might've been keeping imprisoned or had agreements with. Could the fall of the gods let any ancient horrors out that only the Gods had been keeping contained? Part of me wants to say Kaiju and that sort of thing, but in Greek mythology the gods did imprison the titans deep beneath the surface of the world.

All in all, you look like you got a good start going.


Very imaginative. I'd enjoy playing in your world. Really like the vaguely colonial feel, as well as the government agent espionage implications you mentioned in another thread. Talk of colonies and the new world makes want to see somewhere vaguely based of of pre-revolutionary Boston and Philidelphia. The idea of playing a PC based on Ben Franklin tickles me.

Some of your blend of elements reminds me of Eberron... though it sounds like you want to play up the espionage more.

For the PC classes that you are unsure of how they fit in... I suggest looking through their archetypes and seeing if one of them fits in somewhere better than the core version. Classic bards for instance don't sound especially fitting, but their are tons of archetypes that radically alter the Bard's flavor. If you pick certain archetypes as the default for each class, it will go along way toward re-skinning away the classic D&D feel. Also, you could make different nations have a different archetype for each class.

For example, your default for fighters could be the Trench Fighter archetype that gives some gun related abilities. Also I could see certain parts of the world having Corsair fighters that just add pistols to the list of Pirate weapons.

Almost every class has an archetype that injects Fire Arms into their build. I suggest looking those over.


edross wrote:

Very imaginative. I'd enjoy playing in your world. Really like the vaguely colonial feel, as well as the government agent espionage implications you mentioned in another thread. Talk of colonies and the new world makes want to see somewhere vaguely based of of pre-revolutionary Boston and Philidelphia. The idea of playing a PC based on Ben Franklin tickles me.

Some of your blend of elements reminds me of Eberron... though it sounds like you want to play up the espionage more.

It's actually a lot more post-colonial than pre-colonial. I mostly pull my materiel from the 20th century (cultural post-WW2, technology mostly post WW2, artistic styles mixed [Art Deco is thing in current use, as is Space Age and some other styles). Espionage isn't really a major factor. It's more about people who are somewhere between special forces and law enforcement. The major hook is that magic is a wonderful thing that has greatly improved the lives of everyone, but it is very dangerous. Satanic Panic (but with "Satanists" that are actually harmful) is of course a thing here, given the fluff for the Allfather.

North America is a major factor, as is East Asia. They basically make up the map I have shown. Africa currently exists off-map.

Quote:

For the PC classes that you are unsure of how they fit in... I suggest looking through their archetypes and seeing if one of them fits in somewhere better than the core version. Classic bards for instance don't sound especially fitting, but their are tons of archetypes that radically alter the Bard's flavor. If you pick certain archetypes as the default for each class, it will go along way toward re-skinning away the classic D&D feel. Also, you could make different nations have a different archetype for each class.

For example, your default for fighters could be the Trench Fighter archetype that gives some gun related abilities. Also I could see certain parts of the world having Corsair fighters that just add pistols to the list of Pirate weapons.

Almost every class has an archetype that injects Fire Arms into their build. I suggest looking those over.

I am. Thanks. I also intend to look into the Skald from the Advanced Class Guide.


I intend to add more information in a few hours. Some of you may have noticed the use of the name Nyambe above. This does in fact come from the published campaign setting, which, while not directly featured in the setting at this point in time, does exist in an area not yet mapped (modified for modern technology and the mythos of this setting, of course). Two nations of the setting have their roots in Nyambe, so materiel from the main book will be appearing. For those unfamiliar, check it out. It's a very satisfying setting.


More Nations:
Tsuntan

-The oldest civilization still in existence, Tsuntan was the center of intellectual, scientific, and technological advancement during ancient times, before falling behind other nations. Low population (famine caused by civil war) during the Industrial Era led to the adoption of a Minkasi-style immigration program, but a more multicultural attitude towards the new arrivals has greatly changed Tsuntan civilization over the last century, with many lamenting the tendency towards the individual and away from the community. Despite this, it has done well for itself, having recently surpassed Minkasai in economic power to share the number one spot with Lacienta. Seeking to yet again lead a new era, Tsuntan turns its eyes to the stars, where none have gone before. It is also an agriculturally significant nation, exporting a lot of food around the continent.

Soriva

-Originally the home of various nomadic tribes famous mostly for their horse skills (though many tribes relied on the reindeer rather than the horse), it was eventually colonized by the Vilusti from the West, who now make up the majority of the population. Soriva is a rough and unforgiving land, unable to support much agriculture aside from reindeer hunting, but it has a lot of natural resources. It is very closely aligned with Minkasai, who is responsible for enabling its independence from Vilusti. Known primarily for its animation, which has a reputation for being well written but quite dark, its car industry (road infrastructure is a problem do to having a very high number of isolated communities, so Soriva builds cars that can handle virtually anything, and has proven very successful in exporting them), its rather open and friendly attitude with outsiders (so long as they respect the way Sorivans do things), its independent and small community focused worldview, its ruralness, and its legendarily moderate and slow to change outlook on politics, economics, and culture.

Albenna

-For such a small country, Albenna is surprisingly influential. Originally settled by Kaelish refugees fleeing the destruction of their culture (who ironically enough ended up destroying the native culture pretty thoroughly), it started off just scraping by, but grew stronger as famine and exile brought more and more settlers. Albennan monarchs funded magical research very heavily in an effort to bolster low troop numbers, and before the death of the gods they were the most skilled as a result. Afterwards, they were at the forefront of new developments, and their magical colleges attract students from worldwide. They've done so much work in the field that the language they constructed to facilitate quicker spell incantations is an international standard along with several other concepts they developed. However, they also have the highest rate of monster attacks and rogue spellcasters. Aside from magic, they are also known for their music, dance, literature, hearty and simple cuisine, and pub culture. They have a reputation for being very chatty and highly eloquent, as well as being quite witty. Tends to be very laid back, but has an extensive military history do to having had many conflicts with its neighbors (all of whom are now allies).

Natori Islands

-A nation built by immigrants, Natori's geographic location has made it a prime location for international trade. This convenience brought settlers from all over the region, and attracted the attention of pretty much anyone who wanted a colony. Rulers changed so frequently that it formed its own melting pot culture rather than adopting the culture of a colonizer, which eventually fueled nationalism and desire for independence. Natori culture emphasizes egalitarianism, innovation, improvisation, and the constant strive to create new and better things. Natori are often seen as bright, optimistic, energetic, creative, intense, flighty, and a bit too centered on wealth and flashy new toys. Very well known for its tourism and shipbuilding industries, its Tiki Culture, most of which was made up for tourists, and inventing surfing, a sport that is popular region wide, especially in Valedonia.

I hope to have Valedonia and Leontiny up soon. Mailiao, Hantora, and Vrakesh will take time, because I need to seek assistance with those. I have decided that Jontun is feeling way too forced, so I'm giving all that land to Soriva. I'll redo the map when I have time.

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