Thursday, July 28, 2011

Birth of New Gods

Here is a setting idea I had a few years ago. I DMed about 2 sessions of the story in early 2008, right before 4e dropped. I never converted the setting (not that there is much to convert), and I don't think I'll use it again. The stories it has to tell are all longer than the games I have been playing lately.

Elevator Pitch: The world is in disarray because a new god has been born, who has yet to mature and find a way to control its desires and fit into the pantheon. The heroes must contend with a radically changing world as existing powers vie for control of the new deity and basic assumptions about the world are turned on their heads. Time passes oddly, plants and animals are relocated or combined, elemental forces are introduced into the mortal world, and anything is possible during a time of new beginnings.

Long Version: I envisioned the main villain of the story being a wizard (natch) who had imprisoned this infant god and was trying to steal its divine power before it matured. The PCs would begin their careers normally enough by investigating bandits and the like, but as time went on they would encounter more and more of these abnormal occurrences which would lead them to the infant god and a confrontation with the wizard.

I had read Beowulf around the time I was making this setting, and I wanted to play up a few elements from the book: bragging, treasure-giving as a method of creating loyalty (Beowulf, ring-giver), and family obligations. I'm not sure if that last one was actually present in Beowulf, but it was on my mind. I wanted players to get into their genealogy a little, know that their characters should respect such and such a person because he was so and so's cousin. I'm not sure how much fun that would be at the table, but I am intrigued by those relationships whenever they come up in fantasy stories.

There were no large kingdoms in this world. City-states control small areas of land, but there are vast swaths of unregulated territory. Even if someone claims it, unless the land is close to a large settlement the law enforcement is lax at best.


  1. Sounds cool! I was reading about the Song of Ice and Fire game recently, and apparently (and logically) it focuses a lot on family ties and politics sorts of things. I'm actually really intrigued by the idea of a game that would focus on players tracking that sort of thing - building real relationships with NPCs that have implications for gameplay, trying to see how different strands of things all fit together and make choices with consequences about picking priorities to pursue, that sort of thing.

    Anyway, yeah, this would be very different from the campaign gaming style, although I'm wondering if the Wrath of the Burning Sky adventure may get a bit closer to this - an adventure path rather than a dungeon crawl. Anyway, that scheduling model could be worth thinking about if you wanted to run an ongoing thing - rather than trying to play every two weeks, plan out a run of 4-5 sessions, then take a month off, then another set of sessions, etc. That could make it a bit easier to plan/schedule.

    Looking forward to playing with you soon!

  2. Ross, I just picked up the Neverwinter book, and I've gotten the itch to start a longer campaign again. Scheduling a few sessions in a row with a little time off in between might work out. I'll keep you posted.