[Time of the Tarrasque] My homebrewed Pathfinder setting

Homebrew and House Rules

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Every few decades, that dreaded abomination, the Tarrasque, reawakens from its long slumber. At such a time, the world's greatest heroes must defend the land from its nigh-insatiable appetite. Sometimes these heroes fail, and civilizations fall. And even when they succeed, the lands in the Tarrasque's wake are forever changed.

This month, I was finally able to start my first campaign in a homebrewed setting that I've been tinkering with for several years (ever since D&D 3.0/3.5, but we ended up running it in Pathfinder).

I've created a public wiki with information for my players. The Lands of the Sun page gives the basic pitch for the start of the campaign (quoted below), and links to information on character creation and world background.


The region known as the Dragon's Wing is dominated by the coastal Sultanate of Asasor and the Lokoran Desert of the interior. Asasor is a subtropical nation of dark-skinned humans and halflings, ruled by the priests of the sun and moon gods. The sultan claims the borders of the Lokoran, and this frontier serves as a buffer between his realm and the sun-adapted orcs of that desert.

The Dragonspire Mountains, beyond the Lokoran, were once home to the evil hobgoblin empire of Rizagarn, but that nation's power was broken by the alliance of northern nations who founded the Shield. The hobgoblins' territory once extended as far as Asasor's borders, and the surviving eastern tribes remain a thorn in the sultanate's side. Fortunately, the hobgoblins and orcs hate each other as much as they do humans and halflings, which keeps their numbers from growing too great. But one of Asasor's greatest fears is that a charismatic warlord will arise among one of those races and undo the precarious balance along the frontier.

The priests of Asasor are also vigilant against the cult of Asmolon, the evil god of darkness and undead. This cult was responsible for the destruction of the halflings' ancestral homeland across the southern sea, and the sun god's champions try to prevent another such catastrophe by finding and destroying any evil they can uncover. They are also wary of the Cult of the Tarrasque, which has numerous adherents among the orcs, who zealously guard sacred sites in the desert where the beast has appeared in the past.

"Lands of the Sun" will initially focus on the hills and deserts of the frontier, with the heroes dealing with threats from orcs, hobgoblins, and death cults. Most adventurers here are humans, halflings, or half-orcs, but the other core races do visit and live within the sultanate in small numbers.

I've posted summaries of our first two sessions to my gaming blog, Studded Plate:

Last week's blog post:

#3: Under an Autumn Moon: A little giant lore, some fun at a festival, and a desperate clash with orcs.

And this week's posts:

#4: Rock Bits on a Dais: In which our heroes find a desert tomb containing many disturbing things.

Time of the Tarrasque: Sources Used: A bonus column for this week, in which I discuss the rulebooks used in the campaign.

Time of the Tarrasque #5: Beetle Mania: The conclusion of the tomb adventure, then parting ways with the caravan.

This week, a bit of new world lore:

Time of the Tarrasque: Funeral Customs: What to do with your dead in the Lands of the Sun. (Assuming you're not a necromancer, that is.)

Time of the Tarrasque #6: Where All the Bodies are Buried: In which the elf bard gets news from his troubled homeland, and the party investigates graverobbing.

Time of the Tarrasque #7: Zombie Dogs: In our last session, the heroes ambushed some graverobbers, then had a run-in with their employer.

Time of the Tarrasque #8: Privy of the Void Cult: The party raids the alchemist's shop...but loses the alchemist.

Time of the Tarrasque #9: I Double Dog Dare You: The party has a dog-gone hard time tracking and taking down the wolf-rider who stole their prisoner.

Time of the Tarrasque #10: Where Do I Get a Bird Like That?: In which our heroes visit Spine Hollow, an enclave of nature-worshipers.

Time of the Tarrasque #11: Where's the Cactus?: In which our heroes pursue a small spy...and her even tinier cactus?

Time of the Tarrasque #12: Alarming Some Orcs: In which our heroes find and assault Ilgash's hideout.

Time of the Tarrasque #13: Death Pleases the War Goddess: In which we have our first PC death.

Campaign Updates: A quick update on the status of the campaigns I've featured on my blog, including this one. (Even shorter version: I've had to put the game on hiatus for a while.)

We remain on a rather extended hiatus, but this week's blog is a bit of an "under the hood" style look at the game:

Creating Pantheons for "Time of the Tarrasque": A quick summary of how I devised gods for my latest campaign world.

This week's blog post offers a tidbit of world lore:

Visitors from the Clockwork Realm: More fun with templates, and other planes.

This is pretty legit. Good work.

As soon as I read that the Orcs and Hobgoblins hate each other as much as they both hate humans, I was thinking that is a recipe for disaster. A sword of Damocles hanging over human civilization in Asasor.

Hope your game gets back on track so you can keep this going.

VoodistMonk wrote:

This is pretty legit. Good work.

As soon as I read that the Orcs and Hobgoblins hate each other as much as they both hate humans, I was thinking that is a recipe for disaster. A sword of Damocles hanging over human civilization in Asasor.

Hope your game gets back on track so you can keep this going.

Thanks! I hope to meet with my players this weekend to discuss resuming the game, in fact.

The Phryx and the Queen of Winter: A new wintry fey race from my "Time of the Tarrasque" setting.

Time of the Tarrasque: Almost Time Again!: My Pathfinder campaign's hiatus will soon be over. Huzzah! Here's some of our plans for the transition back to regular play.

Time of the Tarrasque #14: Family Matters: After a year's hiatus, we finally return to my homebrew Pathfinder campaign!

Time of the Tarrasque #15: Give Me a Clear Charge Line: Hobgoblins want to see some orcs die, too.

Just discovering this. Looks really interesting!

blahpers wrote:
Just discovering this. Looks really interesting!

Thanks! We're still getting back into the swing of things after our long hiatus, but it's going well.

And we did another session this weekend:

Time of the Tarrasque #16: Gorza's Well: A visit to our cavalier's home village provides a fight and some information.

Time of the Tarrasque: Dust Mantis: The monster featured in our latest session.

Time of the Tarrasque #17: Quaint Local Religions: Our heroes witness a sky burial, and make a deal with some kobolds.

Time of the Tarrasque: The Story So Far: A list of links to past sessions of my homebrew Pathfinder campaign, with one-line synopses for each installment.

Time of the Tarrasque #18: Beating Out Some Answers: In which our heroes fight more orcs, and scare a lot of information out of one.

Time of the Tarrasque #19: Mist Opportunities: In which our heroes fight various scavenger--and scavenged--creatures of the desert.

Time of the Tarrasque #20: Too Much Climbing: In which the caravan climbs the Shalash Escarpment, and Edel gets news from home.

Time of the Tarrasque #21: Really Big Words: In which our heroes explore an ancient ziggurat built by cyclopes.

Time of the Tarrasque #22: Ooh, Shiny!: In which our heroes earn some useful magic items.

Some world lore this week:

The Clockwork Realm Revisited: Just a cog in the Great Machine--but what a cog!

Time of the Tarrasque #23: Death Comes to Dal-Raman: In which our heroes foil an assassination attempt.

Time of the Tarrasque #24: A Story to Tell Her Camel: In which justice is served, and a couple of our heroes pass a very pleasant night.

Time of the Tarrasque #25: Why Are Those Clouds Green?: In which the desert-born PCs see a proper forest for the first time, and they meet a new ally.

Time of the Tarrasque #26: Hurry Up and Wait: A lot of downtime, and a revealing talk.

Time of the Tarrasque #27: A New Year Dawns: In which our heroes experience a holy day celebrated in an occupied town.

Time of the Tarrasque: Another Hiatus (and the State of the Blog)

My blog lives! What I'm playing, and what I'm planning.

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