[b]Overpopulation is a bad thing everywhere. In a recently (as in only a few 1oo years ago) settled continent where medicine and magic caused the masses to live healthier and longer but birth control was unheard of until recently, the few cities have become a nightmare to live in. [/b]
When humans, gnomes, halflings, dwarfs, orcs, gnolls, kobolds, goblinoids, lizardmen, and a few elves arrived on the continent they called New Light, they thought they had escaped overpopulation for a few 1000 years. They hoped to spread all over the continent, deal with the dangers, adapt to the environment and, eventually, adapt the environment to them as their people had done on other continents. But they had not counted on the ingenious population.
The fey folk, feline Mrrengar tribes, the musteloid Nehgie clans and the rat-like Nezumi nations were prepared for the new arrivals. As they could not make them turn back nor had the desire to kill them, they allowed each of the 10 races their own small area to settle, plus 3 areas where those who preferred to mix with other races could go. The native races, governed by a druid circle, wrongly thought that the new settlers would use their resources well and govern their own numbers. But nothing of the sort happened. Not only did they multiply as they used to, those settlements reachable by ship received more settlers from their home continent over time.
The settlements developed into giant cities barely controllable by their governments and full of intrigues and crime. against the wishes of the druid circle, some large roads were build to allow for better trade. A few smaller villages and strongholds, illegal outposts in the eyes of the druids, appeared as well. The first skirmishes between the New Nations, as they now called themselves, and the Old Nations happened, and eventually, it came to wars, and the New Nations also started squabbling among each other again.
A few decades ago, the Nezumi vanished almost over night. While the other native races were in uproar over it, the New Nations took it as a sign of their gods to claim the whole land. The exploration of the continent has thus started in all seriousness, and capable adventurers to do the task and root out the ever present ancient evil in the process are always welcome.
Campaign specific changes and restrictions:
Playable races are all the new settler races except the goblinoids. Drow and Duergar exist only as elves and dwarfs warped by evil and are thus not an option in this campaign.
Halflings in this campaign are more like Hobbits except that they do have a lot of people wanting to adventure at least once in their lives.
Clerics do not use bladed weapons other than knives and daggers, a habit they adapted from the local priests of various nature deities.
Elves are usually rather removed from their nature loving roots, although there is a "back to nature" movement.