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Old 07-23-2022, 06:18 PM   #41
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Default Re: New Fantasy Setting Seeds.

The Citadel of the Doors

The short route through the desert isn't that old. The Citadel of the Doors has created a city where nameless rocks once were a mere landmark in a waterless waste.

The Wizards of the Esoteric Doors built the Citadel and the city walls in a week. Then they opened a sluice gate and water flowed out.

It took a while, but caravans, desperate to avoid the bandits and ghouls of the Western route and the high tolls and sudden unpredictable wars of the Eastern route, soon came to this new canvaserei. The city in name became a city in fact.

The Wizards of the Citadel built terraces to grow crops in. Watered by the cold waters flowing from their citadel. Farmers were soon hired and paid a reasonable portion of their crops. Some say portion claimed by the Wizards is unfairly high. But the farmers point to the rich soil, unfailing waters, and endless sunlit days. They do not want.

Rich in food, well protected by strong walls and rugged hills, rich from trade, the Wizards' city inspires deep jealousy and vast greed.

But how do you lay siege to a city that is the only source of water in a desert?


Basically, this is espionage in an Arabian Nights setting. The PCs are traveling with a caravan to a vital market city whose rich supplies of water, food and fodder make it the lynchpin of the desert caravan routes. The rivals of this short relatively safe route across the desert want the secrets of the ruling Wizards. Either to build their own oasis cities, or to close this route and force the traffic back to their lands.

Beware, spying on wizards on their home ground is notoriously dangerous.
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Old 07-27-2022, 04:55 PM   #42
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Default Re: New Fantasy Setting Seeds.

Fanrun: Elements of our fictional universes start emerging into a dystopian cyberpunk future. The corporate suits and Mr Johnson think media is for the weak, so they have no idea what any of this $#!+ can do. But you....you consumed it, and you know exactly what to do with a laser sword and an electric rat friend.......
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Old 07-27-2022, 05:58 PM   #43
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Default Re: New Fantasy Setting Seeds.

Your grandparents awoke in a world reclaimed by a thousand years of nature. Some nights, when the fire burns low and the stars shine bright, the surviving eldest tell you of the days before they awoke, when nothing was untouched by the hands of humanity, when they flew through the sky swifter than thunder and walked upon the face of the moon; when humanity numbered in the billions and the great fear was not of the wild but for the wild, that it might be destroyed by their vast greed and power.

Your parents tell you - teach you - of the spirits of wood and water, earth and beast that awoke your grandparents. Of how those spirits taught these few surviving humans of the forgotten ways of their ancestors, the skills to survive with stone and fire and wood, to forage and fish and hunt without bleeding the land dry. And especially they teach you of the monsters that live in the wild, who watch with hungry eyes for any human that might dare the ancient ruins.

But you are young and bold and curious, and there must be secrets in the fallen towers of stone and glass and steel; spirits that might teach, say, how to rival the thunder's speed or the fire's heat. And so you take up your weapons and your skill and your courage and set out on the ancient roads that cross the land, bound for the dreadful towers.

In a nutshell: very post-apocalyptic TL0, in which the world has been uninhabited by humans for a thousand years. The PCs are the young adults of a tribe of reawakened humans. The magic is Path/Book Magic and spirits are thick on the ground. What do you do? Explore what remains of New York, Beijing, Moscow; marvel at the still-standing wonders like Hoover Dam or the Pyramids; fight, trade, and romance with other tribes of different traditions, or with spirits of the wild and ruins. That kind of thing.
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Old 07-28-2022, 12:07 AM   #44
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Default Re: New Fantasy Setting Seeds.

Hidden in the mountains and swamps, the deserts, ragged coasts, and sweltering jungles, in the high hill country and the narrow, twisting river canyons, there are many tribes, and each has a secret: a ken passed down from the ancient times and jealously guarded. A sacred duty given over, passed down through the generations.

Tribes come together for ceremonies and rituals, sometimes sending representatives on months-long journeys. You joined in such a journey, and at the sacred meeting place, a great disaster was foretold. The only ones who could face this disaster -- not the only ones who could win, merely the only ones who could even stand against it at all -- would be marked with all of the kens. You have been chosen to be the unifying heroes.

The party's goal is simple: Visit all the tribes in the land, convince each one to share their ken with at least one member of the party. All while attempting to do so before the other potential heroes do. And then, you still have to defeat the true antagonist, though to start you know next to nothing about them.

Kens are a powerful magical ability and a limited resource. A tribe might only have a dozen who posses the ken, and it is passed on, not learned. In order for the PCs to gain it, another must lose it. Of course, not all kens are so rare; there are tribes who have thousands of wielders, where every member has access to the power. It is best to think of them as a noble title, a thing which cannot be duplicated or shared.

But what do they do? This varies widely. A good example is the Greatstep Ken, the power to teleport to any place in sight. Others are telepathy, flight, invisibility, powerful senses, supernatural strength, hexes and curses, spirit allies, talons, great resilience, sleeplessness, immunity to hunger or thirst, and many other boons. Firecasting and telekinesis are well-known-of kens. Less spoken of are the burdens each ken places on the wielder (generally a form of stigma or supernatural features, or some limitation on the advantage, or occasionally some more complicated related disadvantage. For example, Telepathy comes bound with Supersensitive (non-telepaths only).

Gaining the trust of the tribes will demand long travel, finding them on their own turf, and proving your value even as rival glory seekers make their own claims. And along the way, you must uncover the true foe you will face.

TL is 3 but focused highly on a nomadic lifestyle. The landscape is hostile, even in the most lush locations, with dark spirits and monsters a constant threat. It is very much not our own world, taking place on a small, rocky, and irregular continent with a vast unknown world beyond.
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Old 07-28-2022, 04:00 PM   #45
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Default Re: New Fantasy Setting Seeds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
Kens are a powerful magical ability and a limited resource. A tribe might only have a dozen who posses the ken, and it is passed on, not learned. In order for the PCs to gain it, another must lose it.
I think this is the gem in this seed - it can be ported almost any magic system to radically change its feel, or to any setting to add an interesting additional social/power dynamic.
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Old 07-28-2022, 04:21 PM   #46
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Default Re: New Fantasy Setting Seeds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
Kens are a powerful magical ability and a limited resource. A tribe might only have a dozen who posses the ken, and it is passed on, not learned. In order for the PCs to gain it, another must lose it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
I think this is the gem in this seed - it can be ported almost any magic system to radically change its feel, or to any setting to add an interesting additional social/power dynamic.
Yeah, there is a lot you can do with that.

What happens if the possessor of the ken dies? Is it lost? Can their murder take it from them?
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Old 07-28-2022, 11:59 PM   #47
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Default Re: New Fantasy Setting Seeds.

The inheritance is part of the ken itself. Many are passed down to the eldest child, or to the first child born in a particular season, or to the most recent or even next-born child in the entire clan or tribe. Other kens are tied very closely to possession of an item -- generally a very durable object! And some are indeed passed on to whoever is closest at death. For obvious reasons, anyone who possesses those types of kens will seldom be left alone with outsiders.

All that said, kens are generally _also_ transferable at the will of the holder. Those that don't have that option are usually odd in other ways, such as being transferred automatically if the holder loses a board game despite their best efforts.

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Old 07-29-2022, 07:37 PM   #48
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Default Re: New Fantasy Setting Seeds.

One time a magic being (fairy, mermaid, etc) had a love affair with a chief or elder of your tribe. The match was tragic but the magic being left behind a relic to call for magical assistance in the event of peril to one's tribe. The wrinkle is that it has to be brought to a certain place to summon the assistance.

And yes that was inspired by the fairy flag of Macleod.
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Old 07-30-2022, 08:17 PM   #49
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Default Re: New Fantasy Setting Seeds.

I'm starting a fantasy campaign.

I started the players with an errand through a wilderness of collapsed caves (based on hyper rough real world terrain). I gave them some minor problems. Yellow and black striped flowers that are a cross between poison ivy and stringing nettles with the dials turned to one hundred and eleven. I also threatened them with a creature out of Irish folklore, Water Dogs, think giant otters the size of Nile crocodiles and just as deadly.

I also tossed clues at them. Walls craved and enameled with red thistles and blue oak leaves, but the oak leaves are often painted over or scratched out. Miles of elaborate cravings and architectural finishings in wildernesses and caves. All of which are hundreds of years older than the town founded by the people who came from another reality and found the world they live in deserted.

I left them climbing up a tower. They entered through the kitchens. They're finding clues. Many are pointing to a Mary Celeste type mystery. Others should let them know something about the symbols used around these ruins.

I thought the doors marked with butterflies and orchids would have been obvious. But they missed the jewels in the courtesan's rooms.

You would think that miles of decorated floors in a cavern/wilderness would excite more curiousity.

The PCs are part of the crew of a flying ship sent out to map the world the people of the town the PCs came to. (I encouraged them to be towns folk, but they all ignored that). The Captain is based on William Hartnell's take on the Doctor. The ship's surgeon is based on Gates McFadden (but as a half elf). The half orc security chief is basically Worf. (Yes I am having fun).
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Old 08-03-2022, 06:54 PM   #50
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Default Re: New Fantasy Setting Seeds.

The Walls of Mist

Long ago the Mists came. They were never like natural mists. They're always bitter cold and raining within. The sun's light is weak within the Mists and does not banish ghosts or the undead. No one can follow a path or find their way in the Mist once they are out of sight of the border.

It's lucky that only limited areas were enshrouded by the Mist. There are lands only twenty miles from each other that might as well be on the far side of Cathay as far as traveling from one to the other.

Your job is a simple but dangerous one. As the entrance to the mine which is the lifeblood of our town is fifty yards within the Mist, you must guard the miners going to and from the mine and guard the shipments of ore as well. The Baron, who was fifty years dead before the Mist came, still demands control of the mine and the town.
The Baron was a tyrant in life and dead has not improved his character.


Basically, it's a classic mythic trope. The life's blood of a community is threatened by the unquiet dead. The PCs guard the path to the mines which is rich in copper, silver, and iron. The mines are vital to the survival not only of the town but of the kingdom.

The Baron is greed incarnate. He's a vampire who seeks to enslave the living and the dead. The very type of King Holdfast who will not allow anyone else any say in their own life. He has many slaves living and dead, within the Mist and without.
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