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Old 05-28-2015, 12:14 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2015
Default [Custom Setting] World History needs logic checking

Hello, I am the DM for a low tech fantasy game (TL2, with elves being TL3). I recently finished writing up the world history for the continent of Kirimish, which is where the adventure takes place, and I was hoping the nice people on this forum would help me by reading through it and checking for errors in logic (Why would they do action A when action B makes way more sense).

The history is written in an obsidian portal page here, and has links to other subjects in the world for added explanation: https://the-fall-of-brekhan.obsidian...ry-of-kirimish

This history is being used as the back story of The Fall of Brekhan campaign, which we are playing every Thursday and posting on youTube. (Here: There are also a few racial and employment templates on the obsidian portal page if anyone is interested. Feel free to use anything you find on the page, just provide provide credit to me or the show when you do.

Last edited by VariousRen; 05-28-2015 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Link was placed incorrectly.
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Old 05-28-2015, 03:28 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2011
Default Re: [Custom Setting] World History needs logic checking

I found a few problems with your world history, so put on your thick skin because this could get nasty. :)

The Tristímer arenít well-defined. The description of them as a race doesnít match up well with their early history. The history implies that they really arenít very social, therefore they are probably better described as aggressive rather than warlike as warlike implies organized aggressiveness on behalf of the larger social group. Theyíre probably territorial as well.

Year 1:

Year 53: The humans have multiplied and spread carries with it the implication that this is all or mostly natural increase on the part of the humans. Youíre talking maybe half-way in to the third generation (counting the initial colonizers/settlers as generation zero). Sorry, not believable as an event. Continued colonization/settlement from wherever the humans originated, much more likely to produce the effect, assuming they donít all pack up and go home after a few fights with the Tristímer. Humans wonít be establishing new towns and villages, either. That implies unwalled settlements. Theyíll be building fortresses. Walled fortifications with the town/village inside and defenders, even if only a militia formed from the inhabitants to repel attacks.

Year 102: The Tristímer-Human War began in Year 88 and the humans win overwhelmingly in just fourteen years? How many Tristímer were there to start with? How easy were they for humans to find? Were they unable to ally amongst themselves against the threat of the humans? Why wasnít it, new human settlement is overwhelmed by fast-breeding Tristímer who leave no survivors to escape and warn the other humans?

Year 188: The elves land and arenít attacked by the Tristímer? Why didnít the Tristímer attack?

Year 189: If they did attack, why do the elves teach one their language, the language of magic, just one year later? Are the elves stupid? They were attacked, what amounts to them, yesterday and today theyíre effectively teaching their enemy magic.

Year 205: Rather than building new fortress cities, they should be renovating the old fortresses and retreating to them. In the two years since the war began, they donít have time to build fortresses from scratch.

Year 210: The humans have no magic, they shouldnít be able to hold out this long again the Tristímer or alternatively the Tristímer should be on the run. The war has now lasted half as long as the First Human-Tristímer War. The Tristímer waited over a century before launching this war. Theyíve waited five generations, so presumably they ought to be able to carry the humans on numbers alone, otherwise theyíd have waited six generations or however long they needed to achieve numerical superiority. With magic, they should be mopping the floor with the humans.

Another point from History of the Elves: ďÖbut with every elf that learned the power the strength was diminished until the power of the divine was no more. Since that day only strength of will hasÖĒ This seems to imply that there is only so much magic available and the amount that can be used by any individual decreases as the population of magicians increases. That is, if X magicians each have 1/X power, then X+1 magicians only have 1/(X+1) power. The elves might teach newly born elves magic but they shouldnít be teaching anyone else no matter how much they plead and they ought to be able to notice the decrease in their abilities as magicians increase.

For the Tristímer and Tristne magicians to be having as much effect as is being implied they must have sufficient numbers that the elves ought to have noticed a decline in their own power and started hunting down and eliminating Tristímer magicians and all Tristne from Year 190 on.

Year 211: Why are humans fractured? They might have rivalries with other colony-fortresses but those should be set aside when theyíre in a fight for survival. If the Tristímer have isolated the individual fortresses from each other that would explain the lack of/inability to coordinate their actions but it doesnít really constitute fracturing. Another possibility is that there are two or more human colonizing powers and each is hoping the other powers will contribute to the defeat of the Tristímer but be annihilated in the process leaving them in sole possession of the continent, which is unwise but not unreasonable historically.

Year 217: Eight elves are effectively taking down how many Tristímer mages? Either the Tristímer donít have all that many magicians or the Elves didnít teach very much of their language to the Tristímer after all.

Year 218: Where did the handful of mages come from? The history suggests that these are already existing human magicians rather than the humans being taught Elvish and the Elves evidently donít have a proverb along the lines of Ďonce bitten, twice shy.í After the Tristímer the Elves should want a century or two of observation of the humans at an absolute minimum before they teach the humans spell one. If the humans go extinct before then, oh well. The Elves donít owe the humans a single thing. Not even protection from the use of magic by the Tristímer.

Year 223: Why are the Tristímer in full retreat? Come to that, why havenít the Tristímer withdrawn from the human areas for a bit? If Elvish magic is the problem, I donít care if the Tristímer donít do subtle. Theyíre certainly bright enough to pull back, go looking for the Elves and wipe them out. And the Tristímer have a pretty good idea where to start looking to boot. With the Elves gone, the humans would be toast.

Year 255: Thereís no reason for a coalition to have ďseveral factions fall into brutal civil wars.Ē Yes, the coalition might break up and the polities that composed the coalition might fight with each other in brutal wars but civil wars suggests that there are two or more warring factions in each individual polity. If thatís the case, then there ought to be common cause between like-minded factions to join and help each other across polities. Maybe thatís what you mean did happen but it needs more detail to make it seem more likely than ďwar among the former members of the coalition.Ē

Year 264: A full language and grammar is barely within the realm of possibility. Even if humans had resided among the Elves from the very first contact in Year 210 until the Elves vanished at the end of the war in Year 218, thatís only nine years of observation. What the history says you actually had available for observation was less than a year in 210 and perhaps that long again in Years 214-215, in the actual Elvish culture. From Years 215-218, which is probably less than the full four years the dates suggest, observations are limited to the Elves while they are traveling with the human armies. The History implies that the Elves kept to themselves by and large except during battle and it seems highly unlikely that anyone had time to take from their own duties in battle to make detailed notes about what the Elves did. I would think that there is no ďcomplete description of Elvish culture.Ē I would suspect that it barely rises to a broad strokes ďthey do this, they do thatĒ with no folkways or explanation of why things are done this way rather than that way.

Year 349: As with the Tristímer, the Elves should have noted an unexplained decline in their power that should suggest that the humans have been spreading magic despite their oaths long before this.

Year 352: If a hundred Elves are more than a match for all of humanity in 351, why does Remberic think it has even a small chance this year?

Year 353: The results of the Battle of Broken Oaths makes no sense. The Elves really donít care about ruling humans except as a means to an end, the end being the control of human magicians. All that should result from the Battle of Broken Oaths is a decision by the Elves that Remberic isnít interested in the ďpledging allegianceĒ option, so they obviously prefer that the Elves annihilate all their magicians. Fine, that works for them. If anything, the Elves might decide that thereís no need to extend the offer to anyone else. Indeed, they might decide, ďWell, sorry, we know you Trossledorians would rather have accepted our rule but the offer was for all humans on the continent and most of your fellows have said no, so please bring out your mages for execution.Ē

Year 554: Almost a two century gap where not much detail occurs.

Year 3535: And an almost 3000 year gap. Why did Fate assassinate her mother? Is that even an accepted means of succession among the Elves?
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:41 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2015
Default Re: [Custom Setting] World History needs logic checking

@Curmudgeon, it wasn't nasty at all, all very well thought out points! Sorry for the slow response, but I was busy over the weekend and didn't have time to sit down and type.

A very good point on the Trist, "Agressive and Territorial" is what I was aiming for, and I'll be updating their description to reflect that a little more.

Year 53: I'll be adding in the fact that there are further landings from the human fleets out at sea. Whatever drove them from their homes (intentionally left undescribed, as I might set a campaign there one day) continues to be a threat, and Kirimish is the best place they've found so far.

Year 102: I should better describe what "Winning" means at this point in history. The humans push the Trist back to the edge of civilized lands, into the deep forests and mountains. From now on the Trist mainly exist as an external threat at the border of the lands. They only ever fought as war bands and tribes, history is full examples where small well organised groups crushed much larger forces.

On the point of magic, it's only the divine strength of magic that is divided, and it was long ago spread among all of the elves. Magic in the current world can still be achieved by spending your own energy (FP) to do things, but divine energy is no longer a force worth worrying about (This is how divine power was transformed into mortal magic)

I will respond in full in a few hours, but turns out the weekend's business isn't quite over! Thank you for the awesome response, and I will be doing some rewriting tonight!
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custom setting, history, low tech, world history

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