Monday, June 10, 2013

Dungeon Master's Log - Blackstone Campaign background Part I


  My 2e campaign world is relatively new, only 4 years old. I use the Skills and Powers, Combat & Tactics, and the Spells & Magic rules in this campaign.  In this post I am going to review the steps I went through to provide in-universe reasons for certain racial traits.
  I began with a world map created with AutoRealm. I created a world with 2x the diameter of Earth because I wanted to introduce certain ideas into the campaign about elemental forces. Plus, big maps!
  There are three major continents - one in 'the North', one in 'the South', one the crosses the equator. The north pole is covered with a massive plateau of 6,000 square miles and the south pole is a flat plain.
  Then I went into a history that stretched from before the use of metal tools until the year before play started. Key historical events are;
 -in the the late Paleolithic all the demi-human races were concentrated in the tropical southern continent. Humanity was enslaved by Elves. The long-lived elves and their natural magic allowed them to dominate the other races. Dwarves hid in the mountains, working on weapons, Gnomes hid in the forests, Halflings skulked about, and Humans were slave labor. Humanoids lived on the northern and eastern continents.
  -a human, furious about the inability of Humans to use magic, had a breakthrough and began to understand preparing spells. He and his descendants developed the magic-user abilities over three generations eventually culminating in the magic-user class.
  -Humanity began developing magic-users in secret until they staged a mass uprising. This began generations of warfare between Humans and Elves and a civil war between the Elves. The pro-Human branch of Elves lost the civil war were driven underground by the winning Elf factions.
  -Surface Elves gained a limited ability to use prepared magic at the expense of much of their innate magical ability.
 -The subterranean Elves used magic to darken their skin to aid in underground stealth.

Note: This is used to explain in-universe a few points:
  1) Humans have unlimited potential as magic-users because they invented the use of prepared spells.
  2) The limit on maximum level as magic-user for Elves and Half-elves is because the use of prepared magic is alien to them - it is literally against their nature.
  3) Gnomes are good at Illusion because they had to hide from Elven slavers
  4) Dwarves are resistant to magic because of their long war against the naturally-magical Elves.
  5) A real reason why Drow are black-skinned as an underground race and their hatred of other elves.
  6) The plot twist that the Grey Elves are the ancient villains of the Elven civil war that drove the Drow underground.

  Next will be how I built a histroy