Drafting a Sundered World

Like a lot of DMs I keep a document of ideas for settings, adventures, NPCs, characters, monsters, etc handy "just in case". It is something I learned in my Writing 121 class: keep a notepad handy to write shit down when you think of it, partly because you never know if you will come back to it later, but more than likely because you will probably just forget. Of all of them there was one that was such an out of there concept, that I never thought would begin to see anything remotely approaching fruition until yesterday (as of this writing, anyway, more than likely when I get around to publishing this it will have been last week).

Some of my weekend group wants to try getting together on Fridays to get some more game on. Of course yours truly will be DMing because fuck me. I rattled off a few ideas I had kicking around in my head; a Dark Sun sandbox (no pun intended), playing Firefly in Eberron (including an airship at 1st-level), running Gamma World using the theme of Star Wars, Knights of Cydonia, or Prince of Mars, trying to stop Khyber from waking up, and a bunch of others. They have always wanted to play in a pirate-themed campaign, which is probably why they settled on what could easily be described as Mass Effect meets Spelljammer. 

A Sundered World
In the implied setting the primordials made the world, the gods wanted it, and so in human fashion they waged a huge war for the rights to it and ended up on top. In this setting the Dawn War resulted in mutual destruction: the gods, primordials, and world were destroyed (though a few gods might be hiding, I haven't decided yet). For purposes of having an actually playable setting they thankfully had created life before everything went to shit, and the mortal races have largely managed to make do on the remnants of creation that drift through the Astral Sea, along with the occasional corpse of an aberrant star, god, or primordial.

While I have not sat down to map out the world--such as it is--I am envisioning it roughly in the shape of a galaxy that blatantly ignores the laws of physics (so I guess how a lot of sci-fi operates). In the center is the Abyss, created on accident when Tharizdun tried to destroy the Elemental Chaos using a shard of evil, which now surrounds it. From there countless fragments of creation's remains spiral off into the endless Astral Sea. The moon is one of the more powerful surviving spirits that is responsible for creating changlings and lycanthropes, and I am waffling on making it the physical manifestation of the Feywild (including having eladrin cities built on it). The Far Realm exists deep in the outer reaches of Astral "space".

Various races, mostly Player's Handbook stock, have managed to form their own kingdoms, baronies, and what have you on collections of landmasses. Initally things were survival of the fittest, so the tieflings ended up draining the shattered vestige of Asmodeus to give themselves an edge. Other humans build a city around what is left of Pelor, which is kind of like a star (he exploded on death, so think something like a small-scale Dyson sphere). Dragonborn might live on the corpse of Bahamut, if for no other reason than to protect it from desecration because their bodies contain admantite and other astral stuff useful for divine-type things. I'll probably end up making the Red Hand into a league of evil-aligned dragonborn that followed Tiamat. Even better the locale makes it easier to work in extraplanar races like gith and bladelings, and in my opinion shardminds make more sense as well.

Currently I am fleshing this out using personal wiki software and plan on running it next Friday (possibly the week after), but if following the creative progress is something that is of interest let me know in the comments.


  1. I'm certainly interested in the construction process. I'm always looking for new techniques and tools to work with.

    Also, I don't know if you are aware of the RPG Blog Carnival (http://nevermetpress.com/the-rpg-blog-carnival-archive) I'm hosting this month on Fantastic Locations (http://www.kjd-imc.org/2012/01/01/rpg-blog-carnival-fantastic-locations/), but this series fits remarkably well, and I've penciled it into my weekly roundup for January 26th.

  2. I had heard of it and would randomly follow it, though never tried to deliberately write content for it, so it is awesome to happen to have written stuff suited for it. :-)

    Hopefully next month has something to do with monsters. :-P


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