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Old 02-10-2021, 01:31 PM   #1
deanjday
 
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Default The World of Solem

This is the first post in hopefully a long running thread of world and campaign building for my upcoming Gurps fantasy campaign.

I will use this first post as a kind of encyclopedia for the rest of the thread, with links to both lore and mechanics posts, so as the thread gets longer, people can easily find the relevant posts.
I have never created a campaign world publicly like this so be kind! I am going to liberally steal and re-purpose from many different sources and settings both rpg and fictional books. I do not yet have a totally clear vision of what I want as the players will also affect this. I will create as I go and amend when I have created potentially inconsistent or contradictory pieces of world building.

Please feel welcome to comment, suggest, cheer on, constructively criticize as much as you want, both on the mechanics (as I am new to GURPS) and the lore of the campaign world.
I will try to do at least one post a day, of something creative.

Influences
Tolkien's Middle Earth
Martin's Westeros
Jordan's Wheel of Time
HP Lovecrafts Mythos
Greek Myth
Norse Myth
Christian Religion
Earthdawn
Glorantha
Forgotten Realms
Warhammers Old World
Dragonlance
The Scarred Lands
Shakespeare
Golarion

Mechanics

Templates

Racial
Goliaths (87)
High Elves (29)
Hobbits (52)
Stone Dwarves (42)
The Vanha (72)
Wind Children (70)

Professional
Knight of the Silver Flame (13)

World Building


Religion and Godlike Beings
Azor (7)
The Creator (2)
The Mother (3)
The Gods and the Celestials (31)
The Titans and Horrors (36)
Helm God of protection and defender of Solem (41)
Torag God of the Earth, the Mountains, the Dwarves and Craft (81)
Yelm God of the sun, fire and volcanoes. (82)
Torbad Lord of the Undead (87)

Races
High Elves (73)
Race Relations on Solem (75)

Organisations & Groups
Church of the Silver Flame (8)
Knights of the Silver Flame (25)

Locations
The Black Road (40)

Last edited by deanjday; 06-01-2021 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 02-10-2021, 01:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: The World of Solem

THE CREATOR

Called the father of Solem, he bought the world into the light and created the very world we live in. He designed the world, the sun and the moons and made mountains and hills, coasts and seas by his plans and his wisdom.

Believed in totally by the peoples of Solem, he is to some a remote and cold god. This is not helped by the somewhat uncaring reputation of the Church of the Silver Flame has within some regions.

It is said that the true name of the Creator is Crovos and if a true believer invokes his name in true dire need, hope and help sometimes indeed comes.

Behind the Curtain
I want to have an overreaching powerful god of creation, who was responsible for Salem's creation, underneath him will be his divine servants a bit like Middle earth's Valar and Maia who will actually act like the settings gods and demi-gods.
I have also though created a direct religion to him called the church of the silver flame. However I see these guys as very cold and extreme in their beliefs ie Catholic Spanish Inquisition. I think the name comes from Eberron, but not sure how much of that original material I will use. I only know at the moment I want them to be religious bigot, zealous bad guys who burn people at the steak if they show a hint of magical potential (maybe the religion has been corrupted by the big bad traitor god).
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Old 02-10-2021, 06:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: The World of Solem

The Mother

The beloved god of life who in partnership with the Creator populated his empty world with life. Plants, animals and peoples she bought whole into being and for this she is ever loved. Seen as the "mother" who birthed us all, she used to be the most widely venerated god o, but this has slowly changed as the church of the silver flame became hugely popular.
Her own religious order the Druids of the old faith has seen its influence wane, especially in the city states where the church now holds sway.
This has created a dangerous rivalry between the old faith and the church of the silver flame, a rivalry Darkfriends are only to ready to exploit.
Her true name is said to be Gaia, and Druids of the old faith say that calling out her true name in the need of nature will always elicit and kind and needed response.

Behind the Curtain
Setting up both my Druid order and the most important most powerful god of nature, not much lower than the Creator in overall power.
Also setting up a nice conflict between rural life and urban city life with the rivalry between the church of the silver flame and the old faith, one of Professor Tolkien's main themes of nature vs industrialism. This is a theme i aim to build into my Elven-Dwarven conflicts as well.
The reference to Darkfriends is directly stolen from the wheel of time and will be used heavily as i introduce many secret cults with Lovecraftian and Warhammer influences corrupting the Men of the world.

Last edited by deanjday; 02-13-2021 at 03:51 AM.
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Old 02-10-2021, 07:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: The World of Solem

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanjday View Post
THE CREATOR

[...]

It is said that the true name of the Creator is Crovos and if a true believer invokes his name in true dire need, hope and help sometimes indeed comes.

[...]

The Mother

[...]

Her true name is said to be Gaius, and Druids of the old faith say that calling out her true name in the need of nature will always elicit and kind and needed response.
Are these beliefs true in universe? If so, Thaumatology: Divine Favor is a good magic system for modeling divine magic.
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Old 02-10-2021, 07:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: The World of Solem

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanjday View Post
I only know at the moment I want them to be religious bigot, zealous bad guys who burn people at the steak if they show a hint of magical potential (maybe the religion has been corrupted by the big bad traitor god).
How often is the Church of the Silver Flame going to pose a threat to the mage PCs? If PC mages are going to be constantly under threat from the Church of the Silver Flame, you will need to clearly communicate that to the players. Otherwise, your players will feel frustrated when they are constantly under attack. If they don't buy into the masquerade, they may still be frustrated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanjday
The reference to Darkfriends is directly stolen from the wheel of time and will be used heavily as i introduce many secret cults with Lovecraftian and Warhammer influences corrupting the Men of the world.
Is this a setting where magic is always inherently corrupting? Or is corruption a route to power for fools without the diligence to learn proper magic?

I'd recommend reading Mailanka's Psi-Wars project. In it, Mailanka demonstrates how to build a setting from scratch, in this case a Star Wars inspired sci-fi setting. His Communion magic system for the force (in his 4th iteration of the project) is a good worked example for magic that has corrupting effects, while still being usable by PCs.
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Old 02-11-2021, 01:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: The World of Solem

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Originally Posted by Emerald Cat View Post
How often is the Church of the Silver Flame going to pose a threat to the mage PCs? If PC mages are going to be constantly under threat from the Church of the Silver Flame, you will need to clearly communicate that to the players. Otherwise, your players will feel frustrated when they are constantly under attack. If they don't buy into the masquerade, they may still be frustrated.

Magic, is going to be quite powerful I think in the setting, but with major social downsides, one being the Church of the Silver Flame. I do see them as being quite regional though, in some cities having great influence and in some they themselves would be feared and hated.
In other cities magical organisations may hold sway instead.



Is this a setting where magic is always inherently corrupting? Or is corruption a route to power for fools without the diligence to learn proper magic?

I'd recommend reading Mailanka's Psi-Wars project. In it, Mailanka demonstrates how to build a setting from scratch, in this case a Star Wars inspired sci-fi setting. His Communion magic system for the force (in his 4th iteration of the project) is a good worked example for magic that has corrupting effects, while still being usable by PCs.
Yes, magic will have an inherent danger to it (think warhammer, wheel of time, Cthulhu). But that danger will be able to be controlled if PC magicians are careful and don't try to cast spells unless they know them really well.

Also when I set up the magic systems some magical schools will be more dangerous than others ie Necromancy vs Healing magic.
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Old 02-11-2021, 01:39 AM   #7
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Default Re: The World of Solem

Azor

The dark one, who has been locked away since the war of shadows in the shadow prison deep in the Blighted Waste. The source of all evil in the world and the antithesis of the Creator and the Mother.
An attempt to free him from that dimensional prison at the very end of the war of shadows bought about the tainting of magic, and the shattering of the world. and the end of the age of legends.

He is ever trying to escape his shadow prison in the World Wound and once again enter Solem. He is secretly served by many, especially the teeming masses of Men.

It is said even saying his true name brings evil and misfortune to the speaker.

Behind the curtain
So Azor is the big bad of the setting, very much classically in the mold of evil gods in many settings, but with a twist that he actually came from somewhere else and that not even the Creator truly understands what or who Azor is.
I am taking a lot of inspiration from both wheel of time and Cthulhu and Runequest here in that he is actually physically buried in the World Wound and is actively trying to escape, with many of his servants in a race to free their master and gain great rewards.
This will be a major reason for PC heroes to adventure in the setting, ever on the look out to prevent this from ever happening.

Last edited by deanjday; 02-17-2021 at 04:40 AM.
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Old 02-11-2021, 04:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: The World of Solem

Church of the Silver Flame

Hugely influential religion of the Creator that has spread across Solem and is a huge part of it's followers lives. The church has strict beliefs and is dedicated to the defeat of the dark one and the destruction of all darkfriends and shadowspawn.
Founded during the 113 years war to preach against the growing number of darkfriends, they evolved during the war to a semi military religion with its own order of knights, called the Knights of the Silver Flame.
Extremely rigid in their beliefs their clergy called fathers despise magic in all its forms and their detractors say that this is because the Creator himself seems indifferent to the religion and none of the religions clergy have ever shown any evidence that he has granted them miracles.
Extremely rigid in their beliefs and certain that only they know the truth and the will of the creator in all matters, they hate the Arcana
, considering them any any that support them darkfriends. The order of the Investigators within the church take these beliefs to even further extremes with their practice of putting any suspected mage, trained or not to the silver flame whenever they can.
They are known in many places that don't readily support their dogma as Silvercloaks, a name they despise.

Behind the Curtain
Fans of the Wheel of Time will see the links to the Whitecloaks here, I want to make them more complex though, with many of the father priesthood actually trying to do good. It is ironic also that the most widespread religion in the setting will have no access to spells or miracles.
The Investigators will be a constant menace to any magic using pc even those from other established religions.
The Knights again have many goodly members but their arrogance has got the better of much of the order and they have not been above performing atrocities, particularly against the more rare and strange peoples of the world.
And their is always the possibility that the whole church may have many darkfriends hidden deep within its ranks, pulling the strings?

Last edited by deanjday; 02-17-2021 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 02-11-2021, 06:46 AM   #9
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Default Re: The World of Solem

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanjday View Post
Yes, magic will have an inherent danger to it (think warhammer, wheel of time, Cthulhu). But that danger will be able to be controlled if PC magicians are careful and don't try to cast spells unless they know them really well.

Also when I set up the magic systems some magical schools will be more dangerous than others ie Necromancy vs Healing magic.
deanjday, it looks like you stuck part of your reply that magic has major social downsides inside of my quote.

I'd recommend using a separate Control Rating (CR) for magic in each region to give the players a heads-up about how severe the social downsides are going to be in that region.

I would consider requiring mages to take one or more of the Enemy, Secret, and Social Stigma disadvantages. That way, they are both forewarned and somewhat compensated for the trouble their mages may get into. I would still count this towards the disadvantage limit, if you are using one, because unlike Illiteracy it isn't reasonable to assume that all members of society have this disadvantage.
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Old 02-11-2021, 10:05 AM   #10
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deanjday, it looks like you stuck part of your reply that magic has major social downsides inside of my quote.

I'd recommend using a separate Control Rating (CR) for magic in each region to give the players a heads-up about how severe the social downsides are going to be in that region.

I would consider requiring mages to take one or more of the Enemy, Secret, and Social Stigma disadvantages. That way, they are both forewarned and somewhat compensated for the trouble their mages may get into. I would still count this towards the disadvantage limit, if you are using one, because unlike Illiteracy it isn't reasonable to assume that all members of society have this disadvantage.
Yes very good idea with the disadvantages as this gives them at least the points back for what will be reinforced in the campaign.
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