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Old 11-18-2005, 01:24 PM   #9
JoelSammallahti's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Show off your own setting!

I currently run a TL3 Fantasy campaign, Surunkymen portit (The Gates of Mournwater). Low-mana, high-continuity, designed with opportunities for tragedy in mind. It doesn't have many features that aren't found in most other fantasy campaigns, although some things are maybe significant for not being included, such as dragons, Tolkien/D&D races, undead, and gods.

The major theme in the campaign is the choice of living up to or renouncing the expectations of your ancestors. The theme arose from the players' character design. The four original PCs' backgrounds all had a strong emphasis on it: a warrior who lost his honor by failing to protect his tribe; the son of a mighty shaman, who did not get a chance to learn magic from his father; a general who fell out of favor with his lord and had to send his daughter into exile; and a bard who was not named as an infant.

This last is a very big deal in the setting, as naming is what binds a person to his family in the afterlife. Without this connection, a person is weak-willed and vulnerable to magic, and upon dying is forced to become one of the "forgotten dead". One PC, the general, recently suffered a mortal wound and caught a glimpse of the world of the dead before being pulled back. It was a great, dark cavern miles underground, where the dead hung upon roots connected to the spirits of their living relatives. At the very bottom (or center) lay the spirits of those who had no living families to cling to, the forgotten dead.

The story so far has been concerned with a civil war that's been alternately raging and brewing for the last 80 or so years, and more and more with averting the return to power of an ancient wizard-king, Vihmoja, who's been gone for close to a thousand years. It has been great slowly revealing this major force through prophesy, the work of his minions, and dreams over two years of gaming. Although most of the PCs are convinced he must be stopped from reclaiming the throne, I have left it completely up to them what they wish to do about his coming, and I'm very happy that one of the PCs, the bard, chose to follow this 'once and future king' instead. He is currently acting as herald, preparing the land for his return. I've composed the central piece of prophecy/propaganda about Vihmoja as a song (as well as a couple of other songs of the setting), and the player can sing quite well in an imposing, chorus-trained bass.
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