Setting up a new setting - questions

Homebrew and House Rules


Hi everyone,

it's been a long time since a posted on the forum so I thought I might as well do so for a change of pace.

I'v been thinking of setting up a new setting for my players and myself since I feel that current one isn't resonating well with them. To be honest, I am having issues with re-living it in my head, so I'v decided to put players on a short 1-3 session quest which will push them into a new setting and give them the opportunity to experience it. If they like it, they can continue through it, if not, they can turn back to old one.

The new setting would be - Fantasy-based medieval Europe.

Idea: Reshape the medieval Europe (High Middle Ages Medieval Period) softly by changing races (England-humans, French-elves, Irish-dwarves, etc.). The general idea is that on the outside, the world should be as similar as to the lore of medieval Europe, but on the cultural and supernatural lore level, it's completely off. The end idea is to emerge players into something which is familiar to them, but yet it's not completely same as it would be in real world.

Goods and Bads: As a GM, I have to do little to explain the world as players already know how it probably looks like. I feel it would encourage more positivity in even re-reading old history books about medieval ages, simpler character ideas, better immersion and better setting then current one. The bad is that it's gonna require some general idea how to change the world subtly, so I am already struggling with some ideas. Without too much text, here is a few questions:

1) How to incorporate religion such as Christianity and current Pathfinder dietific ideas? I wish to keep the Christianity being main religion for example. Perhaps characters could worship different aspects of religion? This is the most puzzling question currently.
2) I am currently seeing this a lower Fantasy setting, so I need advice how to keep characters balanced if the regular magical items wouldn't be available.
3) I would love some general ideas and info in order how to incorporate Fantasy in Europian setting if anyone has to offer. Likewise, what sort of questions would you ask if faced in such a setting as a player? What obstacles would be goods and bads of such a setting per you own personal opinions?
4) Any other idea or advice is welcome currently.

Those are all questions currently,

Thanks upfront for any answers,


The High Medieval Period (1000-1250)

1) Christianity is monotheistic but Catholic Christianity has a number of saints who can be prayed to for intervention, so clerical domains ought to still work but would center around saints not deities. You could even put them around various angels and have it still work (this would be akin to the Valar and Maiar of Tolkien).

-That said, if saints can exist as powers so too can non-Christian deities and this is going to cause issues for druids. Do you want your players getting involved in struggles between religions? Do you want there to be issues between those following the Old Ways and the New? Do druids not have powers?

-This is when the split between the Eastern and Western Churches occurred (the Prodestant Reformation wouldn't happen for another three hundred years). Will your players become involved in this somehow?

-Judaism and Islam both exist and Jews are generally badly treated and thought of. The Crusades also happen during this time. You're going to need to figure out how clerics of other religions work (if they don't work you're, by default, saying Christianity is the only real religion).

2) Assume you're running an E6 setting or adapt it for this. Lower expectations for monsters and such because really powerful ones will end things pretty quickly. You're also going to need to decide how magic items work.

3) Why aren't long-lived races dominant? Which race was in charge of the Roman Empire? Where are halflings and gnomes? Are non-human races treated as subhuman and subject to slavery? How are wizards treated? Magic was generally seen as devil-dealing even if it didn't involve it. Sorcerers would have some issues because of their heritages. Witches would be shunned or outcast. If you alter any attitudes towards arcane magic, it's really going to change things around.

4) I don't think you're going to be able to just insert-race-here and keep things subtle for changes unless the races are just humans in funny costumes. There are a whole host of different things that are interconnected. You're also going to have to consider how even relatively minor spells are going to affect things. Even if access is limited to, say, 3rd level spells that includes Cure Disease - meaning you'll need to decide what level certain diseases (like bubonic plague) are. 1237–1242 was the Mongol invasion - do you want them to be Humans, Elves, Orcs, something else?



1) That sounds reasonable and I had similar ideas about.

It would probably cause a religion conflict to a degree. Depends what players are playing. Currently, I would imagine local communities still harboring religion and magics of old time. They might even try to protect their local herbwoman who has been known to help when needed in times of troubles.

In regards to split, I would probably keep them slightly away from it. In the part of country where they are, it's all all pretty much Catholic Church.

They simply wouldn't work unless they wish to actively hide their faith. Catholicism would probably be the only choice or other pagan faiths. To a degree, players might receive protection from the fact that they are wondering mercenaries. People will often turn a blind eye against someone, as long as they help them.

2) E6 won't work as some players wish to play higher level game. lv12 will probably be cap. Rest of advancement can be gained through feats.

I haven't touched on magical items, but I am thinking of simply having it all built in character features.

3) These are valid questions in regards to races, but I didn't go this far, nor do I probably have to for the next 10 sessions or so. It's a good longterm question, but I do not have enough time to tackle on everything just yet.

Magic is pretty much seen as heretical if coming from anyone else, other then a priest of Church, but it would depend from region to region. Yes, in general, witches would be outcast, sorcerers would have problems with heritages, etc., but a lot of people would turn a blind eye to it. I do not have really exact answer for this and I don't think that there is a good solution for it.

4) It's either gonna work or it won't. The medieval period campaign would be easier to lead in general then the current one, in spite of all the potential issues.

The truth is that I am probably running out of fumes as a GM, but players don't get it. I don't want to disappoint them on other side, but the boulder on my back became to big. That's another story though.



Step 1. Get hold of pretty much everything for Ars Magica.
Step 2. Read said stuff.
Step 3. Wonder if you shouldn't just play AM instead.

And I'm only half joking. Even if you don't run it, it is an invaluable resource for roleplaying in Mediaeval Europe.



I'v read a bit about Ars Magica on wiki. The setting seems almost exactly what I am aiming for. I'll try to read through the book if I get some free time during a week. I appreciate the advice.

Small update also, I have received mostly positive feedback from players in regards to the new setting idea. Most of them seem to be on board with the decision so any further advice is welcome.



I did something similar to this. I still had humans as the dominant race, but the various other fantasy races came from other locations in Europe. For instance, the dwarves came from their mountain holdfasts in the Swiss Alps, halfling hail from the green and rolling hills of Ireland, orcs from the far north. You could use Automatic Bonus Progression to limit magic items.

Indagare wrote:
The High Medieval Period (1000-1250)

That's some great information there. I'm going to steal it for ideas for my next campaign. This is something I've been thinking about for awhile and could never get to come together in my head.

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