Monday, June 28, 2010

Worldbuilding: Aldanath


See this map?

This is a terrible map.

I drew this map of Aldanath in 2008 or so, and as I am ashamed of most things I wrote less than a year ago, this one annoys me. Look at it! That shit is way too square and those mountains make no sense. Plus it is clearly a terrible Photoshop job.

Aldanath is the setting of a game I am running right now, a "sequel" to an old campaign which started with my very first game. You can bet we're redrawing this business.

Here's a new, 2010 sketch. I kept the locations (except for Silmet, which I moved northward after vaguely recalling it used to be up there anyway) but gave everything a shape I felt was more realistic, and added some features:

That looks a bit better. We're not drawing masterpieces here, after all, just making a simple map. Now to give it some colour and pretty it up a bit:

I moved Kurazokl a little and shifted Paiia's Gate (twice, in fact, it was first moved to that second big bend in the river), then added the town of Hootclaw after a player made a joke while I was deciding what to do with Silmet.

And frankly I'm not sure that scale works. But whatever, let's describe this shit.

Aldanath
NG Monarchy

Aldanath is one of the oldest human countries and one of the few remaining human monarchies. It is predominantly human, but it has a decent population of other races - mostly gnomes and dwarves, though most of the other races (even drow) get representation.

Aldanath's main claim to fame is inventing the calendar system known as King's Reckoning, a popular method of tracking years for most humans. 0 KR is said to be the beginning of modern Aldanath, when the Placentus line of kings died out, but this is only partly true.

Aldanath was founded around -1000KR, and over the following centuries, royal families and rulers made a habit of altering official records and history to "improve" their own standing and "place in history", usually alongside resetting the calendar to make 0 KR the start of their rule. This, naturally, makes much of Aldaanian history a complete mess. (The Royal History Society's museum in Aldanath City still displays the very desk Calvin McLomb, the society's first Chief Wizard, made no less than seventy-five noticeable dents in, alongside the remains of the original chair he threw out of his third-story window.)

This practice ended with King Harolyne Placentus, who reset the calendar so 0 KR marked the start of his rule around 23 KR (23 KR after he reset it, that is, not the 23 KR that was there before). Placentus was assassinated in 24 KR (probably for unrelated reasons) and left no heir. The next King was Arthur Biraltaria, who banned the practice. The calendar hasn't changed since.

In the "present", it is around 950KR. Aldanath's recent history has been dominated by two wars with the lich Dominique (who is a man) in 935 and 945 KR. (The last one was covered in my first campaign.) Dominique has since been killed for good and the kingdom left to rebuild.

(Incidentally, Dominique was actually a split personality of the previous king, Richard the Kitten, created after a magical accident which left the King humorously crazy. Dominique was evicted from the King's body by the other personalities for being a jerk, at which point he possessed some corpse and tried to take the kingdom for himself. It is a long and silly story. Richard the Kitten abdicated fairly quickly on the advice of his family and the current ruler is his son, King Paul Biriani, who is extremely sane.)

Aldanath probably has a population of just under a million. Its main exports are weapons, armour, industry, ore, religion and people who really hate undead, and the main threats PCs face are undead, goblins, drow and demonic cults. Explored locations include:

  • Aldanath City: The capital of the kingdom. Population ~55,000. Site of the palace and the headquarters of many of the kingdom's guilds and churches. Relatively unaffected by the war, though the final stages where the lich advanced on the city in his floating mountain fortress armed with a giant magical laser did rattle them a bit. A lot of people in outlying villages and towns fled here, and the capital is suffering problems with poverty, crowding and crime.

  • Death Valley: This charmingly-named region in northwest Aldanath, enclosed by mountains, is full of "monstrous" humanoids. You can't throw a brick without hitting an orc or a goblin or something. Dominique's base was here, and the area is still considered highly dangerous. The area is still in turmoil after the events of the last war, if you care about orc/goblin/kobold politics.

  • Fortress of Light: The "mage capital" of the kingdom. Population ~30,000. The Fortress is the headquarters of the kingdom's mage guild, the Order of Light. It also sits by the pass to Death Valley, which is why the lich's goblin armies lay siege to the city before adventurers crippled its leadership. He probably should have picked a race more competent than freaking goblins.

  • Ironport: The main port of trade between Brellan and Aldanath, named for the walls of iron once erected around it courtesy of the Order of Light. Population ~20,000, after a population explosion caused by an influx of war refugees from the surrounding areas. The area beyond the walls is now a chaotic, crime-ridden sprawl of homes and slums which most of the kingdom's wanted criminals are probably hiding in by now.

  • Odessa: The largest town in the northwest region. Population 1,100. Got steamrolled by undead in a "side-campaign", though that campaign's PCs managed to hide most of the town underground and it is doing pretty okay.

  • Paiia's Gate A trade town and gateway to the east. Population 9,700. Paiia's Gate is named after the popular sun goddess and a pretty religious town. Many of its residents identify as citizens of other countries.

  • Silmet: A peaceful village near a lot of farmland, once the site of a dwarven mine. Its main exports so far have been NPCs.

  • Tanburgh: The "military capital" of the kingdom. Population ~25,000. Most of Aldanath's army (well, the high command) are here, roughly equidistant from every point the military considers important. Its inability to stop the undead/goblin/whatever armies rampaging through most of the north-west of the kingdom annoyed a lot of people, though. Former headquarters of the church of Iroth.

  • Foreshadow: New headquarters of the church of Iroth, goddess of knowledge. Foreshadow appeared in my latest campaign as a town ruined by the undead armies which the Irothians found and took over during their search for lost lore and magical secrets which could help the kingdom. To nobody's surprise, Foreshadow turned out to be built above some ancient ruins where the Irothians learned pact magic and began to train the modern age's first binders. (Well, the specifics were a surprise, but...)

  • Kurazokl: A large town of several thousand elves who live in a section of forest granted to them by Aldanath. They identify themselves as citizens of Czeras, despite moving far away from that forest kingdom for religious reasons. They tend to keep to themselves, but they have started to settle in other regions of Aldanath and influence its culture. Some sages speculate that they should be reclassified as "green elves". Other sages tell them to not be silly.

  • Mawb Duhr: A trade city of roughly 15,000 dwarves and outpost of the (or a?) dwarven kingdom, though its citizens have strong ties to Aldanath and sometimes identify as "Aldaanian dwarves". They lent a lot of support to the war effort, probably because they were threatened as well. Also known for its "Red Mesa" military research facility.

  • Eilistraee: An uncreatively-named town founded by the drow Zaraeviira da'Orzza, who escaped from the drow realms (currently in a state of heavy decline after too much time spent backstabbing each other) years ago and worked her way up to "rich new noble" status in the surface world. She is currently pursuing her dream of having a place in Aldanath "good" and refugee drow can call home by rebuilding the abandoned town of Hommet; the population is hilariously small, but growing. (My current PCs have land and a headquarters there after befriending Zarae and helping her via quests.)

  • Hootclaw: This village (town?) is named after the owlbear found in the region. Not much yet is known about this probably awesome town.

  • Leet Town: Leet Town is a port/fishing town, and it (and the adjacent Gumdrop Forest) were the setting of the first ever D&D game I ran started. I refuse to change the name ever.



So Yeah...

That's basically Aldanath as it stands.

I haven't named all the forests, rivers and lakes, because I am unsure what would be good names for them. I also haven't decided what lies on those new islands yet - new adventure hubs, perhaps? More towns? I know the west island probably has a lot of tunnels to Subterra (the Underdark), based on a few things that have come up in games, and there's a volcano around the south islands. (There used to be a particular city down there but it was a shamefully stupid idea and I have since removed it forever.)

Just in case, I will leave them open for now. I have a few ideas I could use in my current game.

Next time, I dunno, maybe a different country. Or deities!

Worldbuilding: Geogra-FFFFFFFFFF



Ugh, map time.

Maps are an important part of any setting to me. If things don't appear to make geographic or even meteorological sense, it can really get on my nerves. If you want, of course, you could just have every single area in your setting safely divided from each other via convenient and suspiciously box-like mountain ranges and cry "magic!", but that is a stupid way for dumb babies.

And it affects so much. Your location can affect everything - climate, exports, imports, trade, traffic, the kind of hats you get to wear, and most importantly, what kind of adventures you can have.

It's a little overwhelming to me, sometimes. I am never quite sure my extensive knowledge of geography and weather (obtained via Wikipedia, mostly) is good enough, and scale is always a problem for me. How big should this kingdom be in miles, and what sort of population would I be looking at? What the hell is a mile anyway? Damn Americans. What's a mile in English, huh?

But hey, I have a shiny degree and, more importantly, a stuffed bear named Professor Bearington to show that I at least have a modicum of intelligence, so let's go for it.

First Sketch: The Basics

The above "map" is an extremely rough sketch I did of my setting as it stands - it mostly concerns itself with regions that have actually been explored in games, and the rest are blank. To summarise:

The north-western continent is Lerioth, where most humans come from. The lower third or so is wedged between a mountain range and the coast, and this area is the cradle of human civilisation so far.

From left to right on Lerioth you have Brellan (a swampy gnome land, separated from Lerioth by a narrow sea), Aldanath (fairly standard fantasy kingdom), some other stuff (has been stated at various times to include a nation of druids and a Hollywood Ancient Greek-ish land called Epinoza, but nothing concrete), Genera (a generic (GET IT?) high-magic magocracy which also happens to be a floating island), Rayaleigh (very mountainous country, never decided exactly which part of Eastern Europe it was working off), dwarf land (a dwarven kingdom of unspecified size that covers above and below ground) and Czeras (forest land of the vanilla elves).

Northern Lerioth hasn't been touched on, though after I wrote "UMM" all over it in a previous map my players all decided there was a horde of Um Barbarians sweeping across it.

To the east, linked via the Iriscian Islands (islands, pirates, blah blah) sits Nhaudan, which is a stupid name now that I have grown out of my teens and removed the apostrophe. It is a little more exotic and has jungles and elves and whatnot.

The western edge is mostly inhabited by human settlers from Lerioth while the elves get dibs on the rest. There's Cabelaba (horribly generic standard fantasy kingdom I never did much with), Paladinia (lawful good theocracy with a silly name. Paladinia is actually the capital, someone suggested naming the region Aclerica), Merchant City (trade city run by people who like money), Jhaka (a peninsula of evil wizards) and, er, "elfland".

Taishiria is the usual Oriental Adventures-esque adventure area and the other one is a mysterious land of wastelands and dangerous creatures nobody has been to yet.

Second Sketch: Where To Start Over

I have to keep reminding myself that it's okay to dramatically change stuff. I fear retconning will annoy my players. Of course, I still have the old exercise book I originally sketched Lerioth in and it was a wildly different shape that included deserts, so it's not like I haven't changed it already.

I like the rough shape of the upper two continents, but the details of them keep bugging me.

  • How is mountainous Rayaleigh just kind of sitting there on the coast with some plains and forests on either side?

  • If the city-state of Jai-Kaldor is a trade city, shouldn't it have easy access to trade from Nhaudan as well?

  • Is there just one dwarven kingdom? How far does it go? What else is there in the mountains?

  • Why are there no deserts for easily-accessible desert adventures?

  • If southern Lerioth is a temperate climate, how far north can you get before it starts to get cold?

  • Can the Iriscian Islands really be a tropical island chain that far north, come to think of it? Wouldn't it have to be south of Lerioth?

  • Can Nhaudan's jungle environments exist "level" with Lerioth's temperate forests?

  • If Merchant City is just a city, Paladina and Jhaka's borders would be touching at most points. Given their outlooks, are they at war?

  • Why did I draw the continents as random blobs which have a vague relation to their actual shapes at best?

BECAUSE I'M LAZY, THAT'S WHY.

One problem that leaps out at me is that of environments - I'm not exactly certain what environments can exist where, and how I need to move things around to compensate.

My main problem, though, is just campaign prospects.

"Explored" Lerioth is mostly samey temperate environments. You have to go a damn long way to see a jungle, and there are no deserts to explore either. Also, there's not much "sideways" movement; mountain ranges mean that in both upper continents you are more or less moving along a "chain" of countries sitting there in a line, which strikes me as a little silly.

Well, it's time to move things around. I went ahead and scribbled on the sketch, marking places I can remove entirely with no consequence in red, things I can change drastically but would rather keep in yellow, and just left the ones I feel are fine as they are.

Aldanath has been used a lot - it was the setting of my first ever D&D game, in fact - so it stays. Jai-Kaldor is also fine, once I find somewhere to place it, and Jhaka, Merchant City and the Iriscian Islands are all fine as they are... well, now that I write this, maybe the Islands will get changed a lot, but screw re-opening that image.

Shifting Things Around

I will probably have to come back to this once I do more research to decide whether the environments I've described work in their locations, but for now...

First, Taishiria can go away. I'll move it elsewhere; Pathfinder apparently has it on the other side of the world, accessible via the north pole or something, but I mightn't move it that far. For now, though, I want to move the other continent down there - the mysterious one. That puts more terrain - mostly deserts - for me to play with near the major locations to start a campaign. I feel like the whole "mysterious continent of desert and jungles" thing has been done a million times before with people copying Africa, but I'll burn that bridge later.

Lerioth and Nhaudan can be moved closer together; the Iriscian Islands aren't that big. That makes the space between them more of a sea than an ocean. Apart from that, there's nothing I need to do right now.

Saving Things For Later

You might have noticed that large chunks of the map are blank. That is totally okay. It gives me a lot of room in case I have some ideas that don't fit into current locations, and this isn't a published setting anyway. (Not that it matters too much.)

Speaking of, I've heard that some settings took years to work into shape, anyway. I have no reason to pull a giant setting with as many detailed locations as established settings out of my ass just yet, and anyway most of those just get a page or two in some setting book and are then ignored in favour of writing adventures in the setting's handful of set-piece locations.

What I should be doing right now is focusing on the areas I've already come up with (and the areas I've decided I want to flesh out now, to a lesser extent), and adding more details. I want to get the most out of every space I've already filled, after all, and it might help me decide what to fill in the blank spots.

Zooming In

With that in mind, the prime campaign grounds are the south/east coasts of Lerioth and the western half of Nhaudan, and beyond those I should be fleshing out the dwarf and elf lands. If I sketch a slightly more accurate map of that region I get:

All right.

Rayaleigh makes more sense if I shift it upward into the mountain range, so it's getting shunted up in there. (It was never super important, anyway.) That leaves more room on Lerioth's south coast, and I think I should move Jai-Kaldor eastward so it has an easy route to Czeras and the shipping lines to Nhaudan. J-K actually has a satellite city, the town of Dragonport downriver which acts as a trade hub (and which I stole from DMG2, at least in name), so I can move Dragonport closer to the Islands and make it that connection J-K needs.

As for the rest, if I leave it as-is, that makes the map:

Rough locations for everything are circled in red. I noted that I've made room on the eastern tip, though frankly I'm not sure if that's not just more Czeras and I forgot to circle it. Hell, I could probably delete it.

I am getting a sneaking suspicion that it's going to become more inaccurate as time goes on, though. Those circles seem quite big, and I feel I can fit quite a lot of things between, say, Cabelaba and Paladinia or Paladinia and Jhaka. Maybe even whole countries. Also, Aldanath is definitely not that big compared to the rest of the continent. Besides, I might shift the Islands now, and that would change things a lot.

So, the space given to each particular country is shrinking, and I'm planning to add more detail to each of them too. Is it me, or is the outcome of this post that I gave myself more work?

Well, shit.

Oh, well. For now, I will detail the lands which my PCs are adventuring in right now, or have extensively travelled in the past, and then move on to the Deities and Demigods of this setting. The rest I'll fill in as time goes on, which by the looks of things might be months from now. Or more.

Next post will be on Aldanath. I am writing it as soon as I post this, in fact. Two posts in one day? Holy moly!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Worldbuilding: Races, Part 2



Sweet Turbo Christ it's cold down here right now. Damn you Northern Hemispherers and your mid-year summers.

I am back, anyway. One of these days I'll make a few posts in the space of a week and you guys will be like "woah! How did he do that?".

So anyway, races.

Standard Races?

We covered this last time. I said that I was going to use a few of the "standard" races and make them The Same But Different (TM) for now, and throw in some homebrew stuff. There's nothing wrong with familiarity, after all.

Subraces

Uuuuuuugh.

I mentioned briefly like two years ago that I really don't like subraces. So let me get this straight: humans are "renowned for their diversity and ambition", which means they get to swank around with their bonus feats and tool-making skills and survive anywhere, but when elves or dwarves or orcs or whatever give it a try they split off into a new taxonomic subdivision? What the hell? The only scientific explanation I can think of is that Lamarck was right, and that is causing Charles Darwin to spin in his grave and emit mutating radiation.

I don't hate subraces, it's just... why do we need so many? In a lot of cases the original race would do just fine in whereever they are without physically mutating. I guess they would after a long time, but still.

On a similar note, though, I should start introducing ethnicities. I've seen a few settings do this - keep the races simple but describe the different physical characteristics and cultures they develop in certain regions, usually by nation. For some reason it's mostly humans I see doing this.

Also, I could use some black people in my setting. JUST SAYING.

Homebrew

I kind of mentioned this last time, but I am not averse to just making up a bunch of stuff and throwing it in there when I feel like it, or even on request. If someone really likes, say, warforged, then what the hell, right? As long as it's not something messed up, like triple-breasted hermaphrodite elephant-men or kender or something.

With that in mind, I think I will leave the roster of races open to a little tinkering later. I don't even have a whole setting mapped out, so there's no reason not to include STAR GOBLINS or something if I feel like it.


Now...

I went and dug through the "old" notes for my setting which, admittedly, is easy because most of them are in my head. Actually it's just a list of what I remember settling on over the years, and a lot of it (thanks to my penchant for retconning) is at best a year old. Whatever, let's do this.

Human

Ah, humans. Always ambitious and flexible and blah de blah. This was always a little hard for me to jive with, though I can see it.

They are pretty much as they are in most other settings. I tend to give them a bit of a focus on religion - humans tend to be more influenced by their gods, and sustain larger pantheons compared to other races. They also have more clerics and paladins. That's fine with me, though I am thinking of de-emphasising that slightly, or at least playing it up a little in the other races so they don't all look like terrible atheists or something.

Dwarf

Two things that can fuck right off:

  1. Mining

  2. Alcohol

Well, okay, they are kind of still there. So far the dwarves (for reasons which change every time I mention this because the reasons I come up with are universally forgettable) tend to see the world in terms of a "harmony of opposites": fire water, air and earth, light and dark, etc. all balancing each other out to create a nice neutral place for people to live in.

This has been a little awkward for me to explain, though, since a lot of people assume that means the dwarves are all True Neutral, completely obsessed with that philosophy and have to go kick a puppy to "balance it out" every time they fight evil. This isn't the case for the same reason that being French doesn't make you prance around in a weird beret and eat baguettes while watching extremely weird high-class pornography.

They do tend to do things like try and see both sides of an argument, though. They also make lairs deep underground and high up on the slopes of mountains because they enjoy the asymmetry, though. Having a philosophical outlook based on duality and opposing extremes doesn't mean you have to tend toward the middle ground.

Other than that... dwarves are honest, hard-working, direct, fond of the outdoors (indoors counts if it's natural) and the art of creation, and a deep love of brewing and drink which many outsiders might mistake for rampant alcoholism, possibly because that is mostly true and who doesn't like bearded men getting hammered? It is a silly thing to niggle over. As long as they drop those goddamn accents I am fine with it.

Speaking of, since most of the dwarves I see are bearded dwarven men and I don't feel like doing the "derp women have beards" thing, so far I have written them as having a low number of females compared to males for whatever reason, and so dwarf women are allowed multiple husbands. Also, they are more inclined towards the arcane arts (so favoured class: wizard for the ladies) and style their hair like crazy since they do not have beards. I am not sure if putting a bunch of unusually influential wizard-hairdressers in there makes dwarves more interesting or if it seems that way, but I am fine with it for now.

Elf

While I am confident enough in my sexuality to use the hippy tree-hugging version of elves (I really should make a new post and explain my thoughts on this more clearly, but I may just have a penchant for hating anything I wrote more than a year ago and I think I covered the salient points anyway), I tweaked them a little until I liked them.

Most of the change was relocating elves, really. I dropped them on a different continent to the east, in the middle of a jungle, and also there were dinosaurs because I like dinosaurs. That naturally made them a little tougher.

Their past is a little all over the place, because I never got around to solidifying the different things I've said into a cohesive whole that actually makes sense. So far they have been stated to be immortal or at least live an extremely long time (but tend to get bored and either go exploring/planeswalking and never come back or undergo an elaborate, magical suicide ritual after thousands of years), to have had at least one advanced civilisation in the past (which was either decimated when the elves took a side in a war between dragons and archomentals or relied on being very high-magic and fell apart when the moon decided to cast Antimagic Cone at everyone, depending on what game you heard it in - maybe two civilisations?), and to have started aping human culture a little after being impressed by how well their allies are doing, though so far that has only seemed to happen in large elf cities in contact with humans or near human lands. Elf otaku?

I should probably bash those together and work out something that makes good sense. My main issue is that I am not exactly sure how to keep their history sensible while explaining why they are currently roughly equal with humans technologically. I don't want to do the whole "dying race whose time has passed" bit, though.

Oh, and just because some players wanted to play the usual elf, I picked up some elves again and dropped them back near human lands, in a relatively tranquil forest called Linde'taure (which is a stupid name I came up in my teens and intend to replace with something that doesn't have a turtlefucking apostrophe in it), where some elves split off to make their own country and do more "standard" elfy stuff. Also they live in giant mushrooms. They don't get to be their own subrace, though.

Gnome

You will never guess which way I went with this one.

So, gnomes like creativity. They don't care where it's directed. Studying arcana or divine magic is cool. Natural philosophy is also great, so there's your tinker gnomes if you want them. Art and music are also great, though, so you see a lot of bards.

The more noticeable things are the seemingly crazy ones, though, like the few floating cities they have hovering in their homeland. To be fair, their homeland is a swamp and smells like one.

There are a couple of bad things about the gnomes, though: One, they are secretive and see no reason not to be, especially about dangerous knowledge (if it's dangerous, hide it. If it's safe, use it!). Most of them just see things like a free press reckless and silly, but some take it further and actively hoard knowledge and inventions for themselves, and the primary gnome nation of Brellan tends to send out spies more often than necessary, worried what others - even their allies - are keeping from them. Two, the more intellectual (especially older) gnomes tend to go a little funny in the head sometimes, which is where most of their "wacky tinkers" come from. They are usually treated with pity. Sometimes they turn into mad scientists. Sucks to be them.

Oh yeah, and a game I ran once may or may not have implied that gnomes were actually refugees from another world in the same solar system, where they had an advanced civilisation before magically nuking most of it during a war and either retreating to Otherworld via portals or to other systems via spelljammers. If that is true, though, the gnomes aren't aware of their own past and their historians have failed to uncover the truth from the murky swamps of their homeland.

Also, by implied I mean the PCs found a portal back there, and it was filled with grues and beholders.

Halfling

I have barely used halflings, actually. I'm just not a fan. Why do I need a second (or third, if you count the dwarves) race of midgets? I have no idea what to do with them and have left them out almost entirely, though I have been considering just making them gnome gypsies or something.

Ruvoka

These are the first major homebrew race I threw in... Kind of. They are humanoids from the elemental planes, and have had wings. Kind of like elemental fey; their first name was actually the Faeri before I decided to stop using a shitty placeholder name and stole one from Planescape instead. Their history is tied to the archomentals in this setting and they haven't had much of a presence yet, possibly because their homelands are extraplanar.

They suit me find as background characters, though.

Other

I am running out of things to say about them all, so I'm just going through them all quickly as they come to me.

Drow still live in Subterra (the Underdark, more or less) and stay pretty faithful to usual depictions, though after reading a Forgotten Realms book which suggested that the favourite hobby of most drow is backstabbing other drow, I put their civilisation in decline due to all the backstabbing going on. Some drow in outlying communities have either turned to demonic patrons other than Lolth or turned away from the path of evil - mostly PCs, though there's a small subsection of surface drow in one of the human kingdoms and another group resides in a chaotic good mountain city called Drizzimatizz which is guarded by dual-wielding rangers.

Naga are an evil humanoid race here, which a few elements nicked from Warcraft (3, not World of, thank you very much). Watery, snake tails, may have been spawned by a marilith lord from some elves, generally hate people. Oh, and they can produce...

Sthein, which I stole from the Green Ronin book Bastards & Bloodlines. Basically, they are elf/naga crossbreeds which look like elves with snake tails and probably have a lot more daddy issues than half-orcs.

Half-elves are just kind of there I guess. Do these need much changing?

Goblins have shown up, as a bunch of green-skinned flat-headed little bastards who usually worship demons and serve as cannon fodder. They could use some expanding.

Orcs tend to run a little closer to the, er, "Blizzard" version described here, but apart from a pretty strong showing in one part of my setting which is mostly tropical islands and pirates they tend to serve as cannon fodder like the goblins. Could use some tweaking, but I'd like to do something that hasn't been done before. Or at least, not done in the exact same way.

Half-orcs might change a little depending on how the orcs are portrayed, though I never quite imagined them as being integral to a setting. Can probably leave as-is.

Kobolds are even more over the place than goblins, but they also have a powerful nation of their own. And by that I mean one particular magocracy in the setting lets the kobolds claim a small part of their territory as their own in exchange for cheap labor. Also, by nation, I mean town.

Gnolls are basically Yeenoghu-worshipping tribal cannon fodder for the lands closer to elf territory, though they have also been seen far away from it serving as backup cannon fodder for orcs, goblins and kobolds for some reason. Demon worship is starting to become a pattern for these Generically Evil Humanoids, but


There might be more, but frankly it's not coming to me right now. I am going to leave the "lesser", or at least less important, races for now so I can work them as needed later.

Next up I am not sure what to do. I was thinking of diving into pantheons, but I could also work out some geography stuff and insert nations and ethnicities. The latter seems more complicated, so why don't I skim the basics like a lazy asshole and post about that next?

See you soon, I hope!