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Fantasy World Design - Pt. 1

Posted by Djaii Pepper-Martens On 2013-03-11 0 comments

I recently decided that I would formalize my d20 FRPG setting with an eye toward using the up and coming D&D Next (5th edition) rule set. I had always thought that the first steps would involve codification of the races, classes or organization of skills and feats. Instead I found myself interested in reviewing what I had written for cultural notes, languages and race histories.

My setting currently consists of a main continent area with some interesting areas to the west and an Australia like continent to the south. There is a dominant Human strain on the main continent and two smaller sub-groups. One of those sub-groups, a culture in the north east has a separate faction that split away from them centuries ago, and relocated to the mountainous island chain along the west edge of my Australia-like land mass.

This created some great opportunities to have similar languages that had evolved separately with different pressures and influences. As I sprinkled ruins throughout both land masses, I also realized what ancient languages would exist and as I developed the arcane back story it became obvious what mystic languages would have to exist. From here, I was able to extrapolate what supernatural creatures and alternative (aka "demi" human) races might exist in the world using bits from the source books I had selected during the campaigns nascent stages for inspiration.

About those sources of inspiration; an interesting problem has emerged... As I said, I'm committed to making an attempt to formalize the setting, maybe in preparation for presentation to a game shop or an independent publishing run. Unfortunately I've used some tropes, races, magic styles and other articles of interest from many different source books: Iron Heroes, Arcana Unearthed, d20 Call of Cthulhu, the Conan Role-Playing Game, Oriental Adventures and of course the d20 3.5 SRD which is freely available online. All of this has been mixed, stirred and kneaded into something of my own, but the inspirations are plainly visible.

How to approach getting permission to use the ideas and frankly, the names of those things that I added to my world? I guess the first step is to finish the outline and then fire off a few emails to the right people at Malhavoc Press ;) So, I'll keep poking away at my campaign setting, called "Anthemios" and it's main city-state: Akkadar.

Stay tuned.