Villain Codex campaign setting project (maps!)

Homebrew and House Rules

Silver Crusade

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Over the course of the COVID-19 shutdown I've had a lot of time on my hands, so I've started working on something I haven't had time to do in a long time: Write my own adventure material.

Of course, I know that once it's over I'll be back to work and won't have time to keep up with it, so what I'm doing is writing a framework designed to slot the Villain Codex and Monster Codex into. My start was reading the various geography-based cues in the Villain Codex and making a map to fit.

Map gallery on Imgur.

I plan to run this as a sort of intrigue-filled sandbox. I'll write up short gazetteers over the coming days, but here's a quick rundown.

The Unified Kingdom of the Marklands is the working title for the conjoined realm ruled by the Regal Court. The elven nation that the elven spy represents as ambassador is tentatively slated for the unlabeled landmass east of the Tramian islands.

The Barony of Westhaven is the holding of the Baroness who has allied with the Lord Marshal of the Cruel Musketeers - it's a larger territory than the other western principalities because, as noted in the book, she has expanded her holdings with the help of the Musketeers.

The Tramian Atoll is an obvious source of havens for the Scandalous Pirates.

The hills and forest on the northern boundary of Northmark is intended as a home for elements of the Musketeers and/or the Ruthless Brigands - who may be hired as mercenaries by the Baroness or the Regal Court as events progress (the petitioning paladin from the Regal Court entry is the lord of the border settlement on the road to Northold and will appear in the Court at the proper time asking for help with the bandits). The free cities dotting the southward coast are there because they're mentioned in the Ruthless Brigands introduction, and variety in locations is always a good thing.

The southern forest, by contrast, is home to the Merry Outlaws - and may be overtaken by Nature's Scourge as events progress.

The Arcane Society, Secret Society, Thieves' Guild, Slayers' Guild, and Corrupt Guard can slot into any of the cities as needed. I'm thinking the Secret Society might be best based in Southaven, filling the role of nobility loyal to the Queen as well as their clandestine role.

One of the ruins in the mountains can be home to the Fang Monastery, though I'm admittedly not sold on including them.

The Diabolical Church can start insinuating themselves into one of the western territories apart from Westhaven - possibly setting themselves up as a counterbalance to the burgeoning power of the Baroness. If the players' intervention makes things go to hell in the Marklands, though, they might set up there and make the expression literal. ;)

The Savage Marauders, and later the Demon Knights, are more an event than a pervasive threat; they can sweep in from the north or east at any appropriate point if the players seem lost in the sandbox and need something to do. The same can be said for any of the villainous organizations making a power play, of course; the world isn't going to sit around waiting on the PCs to do things.

The Brutal Slavers, Merchant Caravan, and Carnival Troupe are all by nature mobile and prone to sticking to small towns - and possibly even preying on each other.

The Death Cult can arise as a threat basically anywhere, coming from within the realm familiar to the PCs in contrast to the marauders. The Sinister Cult is set up as a sort of ultimate threat, and I don't know that I'll use it; I don't tend to like Lovecraftian horror.

The Monster Codex (which I picked up for $10 in the spring sale!) comes in as you get into and east of the mountains, where I've marked a few orc villages, but that will get developed further when the book gets here.

My fellow GMs are free to use any or all of what I put in this thread. I don't intend to homebrew rules content for it; this is purely a setting project using Pathfinder 1e rules. I hope you like it, and I welcome feedback. :)

Remember you can tie in the NPC codex to bolster numbers or to combine some elements of the various factions to create a more unique group. Have fun with this it seems slightly intriguing.


Silver Crusade

Eldred the Grey wrote:

Remember you can tie in the NPC codex to bolster numbers or to combine some elements of the various factions to create a more unique group. Have fun with this it seems slightly intriguing.


This is still in alpha stages. I'm keenly aware, and when I run this as a game (which is going to be down the line still; I'm in the middle of running Shattered Star at the moment) I won't just play straight out of the book; my players might have read it, after all. But the main part of this is getting a setting outline written and maps finalized.

Speaking of which, I just put another one in the gallery; I'd added in farmland, bridges, and some more villages so it didn't look like the western territories were more densely populated than the major kingdom but forgotten to export it when I uploaded for this post.

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Those remaining western territories is where you can plonk the NPC codex people, the powerful ones can be the reason that the Baronesses faction hasn't grown as quick or as powerful.


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