WorldBuilder – General Timeline

The history of the new world can be divided into two phases. There is the time of the great exploration. For thousands of years after the continent was discovered, travelers came across the sea from the other three continents, each settling lands according to their people. Smaller kingdoms come and go, but four great kingdoms prevail in the east, west, south and center of the continent.

The second phase comes after a great disaster that laid waste to the entire continent. Mountain ranges raised up around the center, cutting off access to the inner half of the continent. New islands raised up all around the outside. New kingdoms arose among the survivors that have stood to this day.

The Great Kingdoms of the Past

The southern kingdom was elven, the eastern kingdom was primarily human, the western kingdom was a mix of human, halfling and gnomish, and the central kingdom was primarily dwarven and orcish.

Wars came and went between the main kingdoms, and loyalties of the smaller kingdoms shifted over time as such things do. This was also a time when the pantheons of the gods were as full as typical for a fantasy world.

For thousands of years this was the status quo. Then things changed. It was the clerics who noticed it first, of course. One by one gods began to go suddenly silent, never to be heard from again. As each went silent, the power of their clerics faded over the next few years and their faith’s collapsed.

The War

It was perhaps 30 years after the gods started going silent that only a dozen or so of them remained. At that point the peoples of the world finally learned that a great civil war was raging across the heavens and the gods were dying in battle with each other. This was when the great kingdoms began to collapse.

In the decades that followed, distrust between the followers of each faith caused the borders of the kingdoms to slowly disintegrate. Over that time several more of the gods died. As each god died, the loyalties of their followers would shift among the the remaining gods.

When only 6 remained, they gathered all their remaining forces for one final battle in the heavens. The battle raged for years and the peoples of the world waiting with trepidation for the result and see what remains. Then came the moment that the new gods struck. 

The cause of the civil war was never revealed to the peoples of the world but there are those who believe that (usually quietly to themselves) that the new gods instigated it in order to seize control of this world. 

The New Land

An unfortunate side effect of the final battle was a cataclysm that laid waste and fractured the continent. The entire geography changed. All the remaining existing kingdoms ceased to exist. Almost all contact with the inner continent is now hidden behind nearly impassible mountain ranges. This cataclysm of the new world caused tidal waves that decimated the coastlines of the other three continents. With virtually every port and shipyard destroyed on all four continents, the new world was cut off the old for centuries.

As the survivors began to rebuild their lives, racial divides mostly ceased to exist as survival became the sole concern for all. A few survivors from the interior migrated to the coasts, bringing stories of destruction and hordes of strange creatures.

With this destruction, the people knew that their last few gods were gone. However, there soon came among the survivors new clerics, speaking of three new gods. 

Today

Over the 1000 years since the cataclysm, new civilizations have arisen. Three great kingdoms now occupy the eastern, western and southern lands. Contact and trade with the old world has been reestablished. From time to time, explorers and settlers venture into the interior of the continent, but no settlements ever survive more than a few years.

The culture is dominated by the three new gods. They tolerate no other faiths to any great extent. From time to time some try to revive worship of one of the older gods or some other god from another world. Whenever they gain any traction, however, the three call a “great purge” and the followers of these would be usurpers are killed or converted back to the true faiths.

These are days of high adventure. While great cities exist throughout the outer lands, much remains unexplored, even in the outer kingdoms. Those few who have survived venturing into the interior bring tales of ruins and strange creatures. Perhaps a few brave adventurers have what it takes to explore it.

Getting Started on the DMs Guild – World Builder Blog

Fantastic article on getting started creating content for the DMs Guild. Definitely going to refer to this as I go forward with the world I’m building and other content I have in mind.

Due to a recent (and now taken down) job posting for a Dungeons & Dragons designer job that required an applicant have three published products, I’ve had many folks ask me for advice about publishing content on the DMs Guild. Publishing a product is super rewarding, but it takes a lot of time and it…

Source: Getting Started on the DMs Guild – World Builder Blog

Worldbuilder – Geography

Continent Quick Sketch

As I mentioned initially, the focus of this campaign setting will be one of four main continents that occupy this world. This continent consists of coastal regions along the western, southern and eastern regions which are separated from the inner main continent by long mountain ranges that are mostly impassable.

Continent Quick Sketch
Continent Quick Sketch

The inner continent inside the mountain ranges is 3500-4500 feet above the coastal regions. There are a number of passages through the mountains, though most of them are typically snowed in or otherwise impassable most of the year.

There are several river valleys that pass through the mountain ranges from the inner plains to the coastal regions. Most of these, however, are not easily traversed. They have numerous narrow passages and high waterfalls. There are few who brave these routes, even in the dry seasons. 

Along many of those rivers are quite a few lakes. There are also 4 inland seas. Three of them are in the inner plains. The fourth is in the center of the southern coastal region.

Little is known about the inner region of the continent. There are vast regions of rolling plains and flat lands. Not much is known about the inner regions now. While it was once inhabited, a great catastrophe befell the continent and most of the inner continent was decimated. Few who venture into the inner region now ever return. Those who do bring wild tales of strange beings, nomadic tribes and ruined cities. A few have told of a massive mountain that sits near the center somewhere, but none who speak of it have gone anywhere near it.

The northern edges of the continent are tundra wasteland and the temperature remains below freezing all year round. They are sparsely populated by strange nomadic tribes who have little interaction with anyone else. 

There are a number of large islands off the eastern and western coasts. Once part of the main continent itself, they were separated out during the great catastrophe. Some are a part of a mainland nation while others are their own kingdoms. Many of the islands are inhabited, though a few have been left wild or allowed to return to a wild state.

The eastern and western coastal regions are mostly temperate in nature, though each has a minor desert/arid area. Forests are common and vast between the regions of farmland surrounding the cities. Animal life is plentiful and both hunting and farming are common ways of life.

The southern coastal region is more jungle and tropical in nature. Farming is much less common. The inhabitants rely mostly on hunting, fishing, or trade with the other nations. 

Due to the great catastrophe, there are still quite a few ruins to be found in the coastal regions and the islands. These will be more likely to be lower challenge rating in nature. This is due to being located in easier to reach areas that have been patrolled by government authorities. Inner region ruins and locales are much higher in challenge rating, having been long abandoned and unexplored by anyone. The southern coastal region is host to ruins and dungeons of all levels due to much of it still being wild jungle areas.

 

WorldBuilder – Start

Earth

I’ve had something brewing in my mind for a couple years now and I’ve decided to go ahead with it. I want to create my own RPG world. And I’m going to document the process on here as I go, sharing my thoughts and the reasons why I made certain decisions. So, here a few of my initial thoughts.

  1. It will be a world of high fantasy and magic. In many ways will follow in the footsteps of many worlds before it: Faerun, Krynn, Greyhawk, Golarion, Ravenloft, and so forth.
  2. It will be generic enough to easily be adapted to any of the common rule-sets, especially d20 based sets.
  3. I want to do something a little different with divine magic. I’ll elaborate a bit more on that as I go, but while the standard 9-square alignment grid will apply, the deities won’t quite follow that exactly.
  4. Races will interact quite a bit differently than the norm. While most settings seem to emphasize racial divisions, in the modern times in this world interaction and even intermarriage will be quite common. While the standard races will exist (human, elf, dwarf, etc), societies will be extremely diverse. Characters (and NPCs) will often have mixed heritage and be able to draw from racial abilities from any of their family tree. I’m not sure how the rules for that will work just yet, but I’ve got a few ideas. There will be one or two exceptions in their society to the mixed heritage which I’ll detail as things go.
  5. The geography of the world will consist of 4 major continents. The setting, at least initially, will focus on the “New World”. It’s a continent that was discovered by explorers from the other three continents thousands of years ago. While the original continents were, and still are, very divided racially, over time the New World has grown into it’s own societies, breaking from the old worlds and intermingling.

Much more to come. We’ll see how it grows.