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Old 09-11-2021, 08:28 PM   #15
Join Date: Dec 2004
Default Re: Campaign idea: the Shattered Lands

Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
Gosh and I thought some of my ideas for this setting were wild. Realistic dinosaurs seem kind of boring as monsters but the Nordlond setting has dinosaurs with weird powers I could use. And maybe I could have some aliens from GURPS Tales of the Solar Patrol subbing in for the Barsoomian elements? I like the idea of incorporating sci-fi elements but want to use them judiciously so they don't totally overshadow everything else.
That could work. There's also the possibility of adding social engineering if you want to go beyond just hack & slash. Elves controlling a forested region might not want significant human settlement but might be willing to negotiate easy passage in return for help with local problems. A dwarf colony in the mountains might actually want human settlements in nearby valleys for the sake of trade. The subjects of a given wizard/warlord/high priest might be reluctant to support deposing their despot because he provides genuine protection. He might even be a decent ruler, in which case perhaps negotiation is possible.

One other oddball source of ideas might be Mad Max & similar post-apocalyptic movies. Replace tech with magic and it might give you a sense of what some of the communities are like.

A couple other thoughts - are elves, dwarves, orcs, etc creations of the magic golden age? Or even mutants created by the magical apocalypse?

And how does religion work? Is there an old pre-apoc religion and a new one, like pagans & Christians in late antiquity? That might lead to a situation where some of the various holdings are run by Evil(ish) High Priests of the old religion. Or Neutral High Priests of the old religion who aren't hostile per se but might be reluctant to deal with newer faiths. For druids, I'd be tempted to go less Wiccan/neopagan, more Wicker Man but that's me.

On a tangential note, I remember a D&D blogger who came up with the idea of a campaign using only monsters from the Fiend Folio. He concluded you would wind up with something feeling more post-apocalyptic than vanilla fantasy. You might consider filtering for monsters that are a little weird & unnatural and weeding out more mundane & mythic creatures to give more of an "After the End" feel.
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