Sunday, January 4, 2015

Central Asia-influenced Campaign Setting

  • Imagine if the Plague of Justinian (541-542) wiped out 75% of the population of the Roman Empire, sending the Mediterranean and Europe back to the Neolithic Era. (think Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Years of Rice and Salt)
  • The starting town could be in a Kashmir/Hindu Kush/Torugart Pass-type crossroads where there is something interesting in all directions
    • East: The western frontier of China
    • Northeast: Smaller warring kingdoms
    • North: the endless steppes, nomadic tribes
    • Northwest: more steppes
    • West: desert, scattered city-states
    • Southwest: the Sasanian Empire
    • South: Hindu Kush Mountains (Dwarves?)
    • Further South: Greco-Indian Kingdoms of Punjab: remnants of Alexander the Great’s empire—this is where you have statues of the Buddha done in Greek style. Descendants of an ancient elven empire?
    • Southeast: Tibet
    • Silk Road: Desert oases, caravanserai, cave monasteries.  Nomads settled into cities built by older civilizations. 
Wizard, hireling, fighter, cleric

·         Cleric:  I can see the cleric’s role in society being the disposal of corpses in towers of silence (give them a spell to summon scavenger birds?) in addition to their traditional function as fighters of the undead. Fire and Water are agents of purification. Corpses are a host for druj, which reanimates impure corpses.
·         Fighter: Cataphracts, nomadic mounted archers, guardians of caravans, bandits.
·         Magic-User: The Greeks and Romans claimed Zoroaster invented magic and astrology.  Ostanes introduced it to the West by accompanying Xerxes in his war against Greece. 
·         Thief: Explorers, merchants, highwaymen, among other things.
·         Elf: The Xian, celestial beings said to live in the Tian Shan mountain range
·         Dwarf: The Yaksha of Hindu mythology (caretakers of treasure buried below the earth)

·         Law: Asha, created in the world through good deeds, etc.
·         Chaos: Druj, the opposing force that seeks to destroy the world (Although I personally don’t like the use of “law” and “chaos” as synonyms for “good” and “evil”: Maybe instead of the Law/Neutrality/Chaos system, a simple Good/Evil system to reflect the dualism of the religion?)

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