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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A New Campaign Setting

I have been working on a new campaign setting, on and off, for much of the last year. I intended that it should be used for my Swords & Wizardry campaign that never quite got off the ground, before I moved across the state in July. I call it "Shattered Empire", and it's a setting that could easily be used for "Lamentations of the Flame Princess", due to it's human-centric nature and it's semi-Lovecraftian feel. I almost went with LotFP when we started play, but jumped back to S&W because that was my starting point when I began the design. I also made fairly extensive use of Delving Deeper in the design, especially with regard to the monster list. Some bits of Carcosa were an inspiration too. I guess this works pretty well with any iteration of (A)D&D, with an emphasis on the original edition; or any retroclone, with a minimum of refitting. Anyway, here's a bit from the gazetteer for the primary campaign area- the most fleshed out part.

The Empire-

Official Name: The Manifest Empire of Divine Providence

The Empire was, at one time, a vast continent spanning entity; at the time of the Apocalypse the Empire was essentially destroyed and devolved into numerous small successor states. The heir to the old Empire that is considered the most legitimate is the one that still bears it’s name and it’s original title; even the other"mini-empires" that make up the bulk of the continental land-mass will grudgingly admit that “The Empire” is the one with it’s capitol at Whitehall and controls the great city of Neopolis. The Empire, for it’s part, still puts on airs like it is an immense entity, but in it’s darkest moments will admit that it is a shabby version of it’s ancestral self, unable to exert real control any further than the reach of it’s armies.
Despite having once been a republic, most positions within the empire have become hereditary – at both ends of the socio-economic spectrum. The powerful have become Dukes, Counts and Imperial Electors, the peasantry are attempting, without much success, to stave off the steady encroachment of hereditary serfdom.
The society of the empire has evolved to have a distinct split between it’s urban and rural components, with power largely residing in the rural and prestige with the urban. The urban citizens of the empire consider their rural brethren to be uncultured, uneducated, rude hicks. The rural folk consider the urbanites to be effete, lazy, corrupt fools. They are both essentially right.

Think of it like a cross between the late Roman empire and any decadent bit of Hyboria, only with extra-dimensional and cross-time pockets leaking in and the elder gods starting to sleep less deeply. I also had recently supported the Kickstarter for Silent Legions just prior to starting on this and my wife was diagnosed with cancer, so it is a bit dark.

I have a lot more, I just thought I'd float this tiny bit to see if it was of any interest.

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