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OOC Wilderlands - Tales of the Golden Idol

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One Horse Town:
Welcome! This thread is going to initially be used to introduce the setting for those who don't know it, explain any differences or rules that i am using instead of those in the official wilderlands setting and eventually to start with character creation. Once we get the campaign going, then this thread will be used for rules questions, out of character discussion and general chin-wagging.

First up, a brief primer on the setting and the fledgling states that make it up. Later, i 'll detail races and Tech levels. :)

For those interested, this is going to be run in the Valon area, but not close-by the city of the Ice-mages. More details once i have posted all the stuff i mentioned above.

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A Brief Primer

The Wilderlands is a diverse setting in a world built on the ruins of ancient civilisations, from the otherworldly Great Race and the draconic First Men to the evil and mysterious Markrabs and the ancient Kelnorian Empire. The feel of the world is one of decline or new birth, filled with ruins and ancient mystery. In many places civilisation is but beginning to return after the ancient wars that caused the ruin of the early races.

There are very few powerful NPCs to drive the actions of the PCs. The player characters are not pawns in a game, they are the game; able to carve out strongholds, lead armies, head churches or even become Kings. (Note: Leaders of communities tend to be in the 2-7th level range, with only a few exceptions. This is somewhere where the PCs are meant to matter at a relatively lower power level than other settings)

The Wilderlands are largely unexplored and overland travel (and sea voyages) is both crucial and dangerous. Much of the land is unsettled and unknown, riddled with ruins and relics of past empires. Civilisation is but a candle in the dark. Exploration is a key of the setting.

In the Wilderlands you may find the ice wizards of Valon, the red-skinned barbarians of Altanis, the pirates of Tarantis and fierce Amazonian warriors, escorted by their sabre-toothed tigers. Orcs, and other monsters lurk everywhere, waiting to trip the unwary up. But beware, looks can be deceiving; not every tusked warrior is evil, not every Elf ranger can be trusted.

The whole of the Wilderlands setting fills an area roughly the size of the Mediterranean Sea and its surrounding lands from Gibraltar to the sole of Italy’s ‘boot’. (Note: I have made it bigger to better reflect the feel of isolated communities and vast wilds, so it is likely half that size again).

Travel is dangerous in the Wilderlands. There are next to no roads and any that there are, are little better than trails. Only Viridistan and parts of the City State have paved roads that allow swift travel. Where there are no trails, the land is trackless for vast distances, containing only adventure, ruins and the occasional traveller braving the wilds as you do. Yet, the spirit of the explorer is strong and many seek to discover new wonders and marvels in the wild, or even to begin new communities away from competition or war. The world really is your oyster…if you can swallow it!

Civilisation

A few bastions remain from older days or have arisen from the ashes of ancient wars. With only a couple of exceptions, these areas of burgeoning civilisation are little more than candles against the dark. There is very little centralised authority because of the distances involved and the dangers of travel. So even in a well-settled area like Viridistan, there are still vast tracts of land that may as well not be a part of that great city-state.

Viridistan: known as the City of Spices and the City State of the World Emperor, this is home to the sorcerous and otherworldly Green Emperor and his wife, believed to be the last of the green-skinned race of Viridians. He has ruled much of the northern Wilderlands for some time, but his influence had lessened of late. Its provinces contain cities that are nearly city-states in themselves.

City State of the Invincible Overlord: Known as the ‘City-State’, this area is growing in power and due to proximity, tension has been arising between this state and Viridistan. Several wars have been fought.

Valon: A major sea power of the north and home of the tall Avalonian ice-wizards. It normally lives in peace with its neighbours, but has attacked Tarsh on occasion. Valon sits on a great glacier.

Tarantis: Ruled by Atar the Lion, this is a major sea power and has been linked to pirate activity. Merchants here bring rare goods from the far off Kingdom of Karak.

Tula: The legendary city of mages where marvels are seen at every street corner.

Rallu: City State of the Sea Kings. Long kept secret from the outside world, its location has recently been discovered. It is at war with Tula.


Other areas of fledgling civilisation include: The Holy Cities, Warwik, Tarsh, Thunderhold, Lenap, Tlan and Chim.

This may seem like a great deal of the land is peacefully settled, but even the great powers only hold a tenuous grip on power beyond their heartlands. Their influence is felt, but action is much harder to achieve. Between the lands discussed above are large areas settled only very sparsely by hardy farmers and protected by walled keeps. Days or weeks can pass when travelling between two villages and only when it comes into view can you see the trappings of a primitive civilisation.

Werekoala:
Intersting. I like the isolated city-states with vast swaths of uncontrolled territory between them.

What races predominate in what regions? Since Ian is a Halfling, would it serve better if we were as well, maybe a group of friends from the same village or somesuch striking out to make our fortune? Or are we going to hand-wave or roleplay the "meet in a tavern" group introduction and just assume we know each other somehow?

One Horse Town:

--- Quote from: Werekoala ---Intersting. I like the isolated city-states with vast swaths of uncontrolled territory between them.

What races predominate in what regions? Since Ian is a Halfling, would it serve better if we were as well, maybe a group of friends from the same village or somesuch striking out to make our fortune? Or are we going to hand-wave or roleplay the "meet in a tavern" group introduction and just assume we know each other somehow?
--- End quote ---


The setting is very free and easy with the demi-human races. There are a few *race X* only communities around, but many have a pretty mixed population. I don't think it will be a problem.

I'm going to cover human 'races' next and then a few relevant bits & bobs. Once i've done that, i'll detail our starting point. That will assume that you are a party already, so just a quick line or two on how you met is all i'll need from you. I'll detail the rest (by the rest, i mean locale, 'rumours' etc). My random method of deciding where you start has actually placed you in a really interesting area, so i'll give you a few details and we'll work from there.

It'll be a day or so before i get that far, as i'm copying out bits of book to post, but we should be in a position to fully create sensible characters for the region tomorrow evening or at worst, the day after. :)

I plan to get the human races bit up later tonight.

One Horse Town:
Races

As I don’t have the players guide to the Wilderlands, the unique races of the setting will be diluted in impact and have no mechanical relevance. However, a brief outline of the mainly human races and subcultures are presented here. I have left some out entirely.

Alryan: Found in the north of the Wilderlands. Can be found in Valon.

Common Avalonian: Live in Valon and are a dilution of True Avalonians

Common Viridian: The main population of Viridistan. Diluted many times from the True Viridians.

Ghinorian: Descendants of the populace of the empire of Kelnore. Found in enclaves around the Wilderlands in the Ghinorian successor states.

Gishmesh: The people of Tarantis and surrounding lands. Can be found in Valon.

Karakhan: Known as Horse Lords, these are people from the far off land of Karak.

Skandik: Well-muscled sea-loving race, known as Sea Wolves. Use longships.

Tharbrian: Nomads of the central Wilderlands. Settled in some places.  

Unusual 'human' Races that have no in-game pluses or minuses. I would prefer that these were not used for player characters as really they should have some mechanical effect and I’m not willing to make these up at this time. Sorry.

Altanian: Red skinned barbarians from Altanis.

Amazon; Female warriors

Avalonian: Blue skinned ice-wizards and shipwrights from Valon.

Bardik: Voice can hit any pitch and tone or mimic anything. They say they were created by a diety of mirth and merriment.

Cavemen/Confed/Elphan: Primitive human tribesmen

Dorin: Desert dwellers. Have an extra membrane that covers the eyes.

First Men: Unknown amount left and whereabouts not known. Said to resemble a cross between an ape, a human and a lizard.

Ghul: Strange, very rare beings with translucent flesh.

Orichalan: The Dragon Lords of old and dragon blooded. They are quite rare having been hunted to near extinction by the descendants of their ancient servitor races.

Languages

There is a common tongue, but each of the races and unusual races have their own tongue also. Some unusual race tongues may not be available for learning. At least not to start with. Monstrous tongues and the demi-human languages are as standard.

Religion

Again, due to a lack of the players’ guide, I’ll be using the standard d&d pantheon as found in the players’ handbook/SRD. I’ll alter anything of note in the setting to reflect this, although there may be cults named differently to the name of the diety in the SRD. Due to the isolation involved, many communities may only know a God by the local name (my get out to use some of the names in the Wilderlands book!)

Tech Level

Because of the uncertain grip that civilisation has on the land and the distances between communities, the Wilderlands setting gives each village/town/city/castle a Tech Level. This determines what types of materials and equipment that this community can produce itself. Thus, due to isolation, a decent sized town with few raw materials close by, but with good arable land may only be able to produce a low level of technological devices. Complex weapons or even ones of iron may be beyond it. However, a small village in a good location with natural resources may be able to produce steel weapons and sundials.

This doesn’t mean that all items cannot be bought in a low-tech village, but the prices are likely to be high, as brave merchants have brought them in from far off places. I will let you know of any relevant limits to equipment available in a settlement. This is in addition to the GP limit of the settlement.

I’ve decided that as starting PCs you can equip yourselves as you wish, however. This is due to your adventuring and travelling ways. On the road though, it’ll be a different matter!

Ian Absentia:

--- Quote from: Werekoala ---Since Ian is a Halfling, would it serve better if we were as well, maybe a group of friends from the same village or somesuch striking out to make our fortune? Or are we going to hand-wave or roleplay the "meet in a tavern" group introduction and just assume we know each other somehow?
--- End quote ---
Since I decided to be all difficult and play a Halfling monk, I don't expect anyone else to conform to my character concept.  My rough concept, as I was idling in traffic today, was something like this...

My character has suffered shame and injustice in the community that she calls home.  Though she remains devoted to her people, she half-voluntarily removed herself, joining a woodland ascetic commune to find peace with herself before returning home.  Having attained her basic training, she must travel the world at large, returning to the commune periodically for further training and contemplation.

So, basically, my character could turn up just about anywhere and seek the company of just about anyone.  Think of her as like a Mormon on a youth mission.  A Mormon who kicks ass and takes names. :haw:

!i!

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