D&D 5E Archetypal Nations for a Modern Fantasy Traditional D&D like Setting

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Legend
Supporter
I was wondering what the archetypal nations and countries of a Traditional Fantasy D&D like Setting focused on adventure would be. And how newer races/species in the modern traditions would fit in and create their own nations

  1. Dwarf
    1. Dwarven Kingdom in the Mountains #1
    2. Dwarven Kingdom in the Mountains #2
    3. Dwarven kingdom in the Mountains #3 which went evil
    4. Dwarven kingdom on the Hills
  2. Elf
    • Magic Elf Kingdom
    • Woodland Elf Kingdom
    • (Under/Shadow)dark Elf Kingdom
    • (Under/Shadow)dark Elf Kingdom but Evil
    • Light Elf Kingdom
    • Feywild Elf Kingdom
  3. Halfling
    1. Halfling Town that lives near the Dwarves
    2. Halfling Town that lives near the Elves
    3. Halfling Town that lives near the Humans
    4. Halfling Town that lives on the River
  4. Human
    1. Human Feudal Kingdom #1
    2. Human Feudal Kingdom #2 of a different culture
    3. Human Feudal Kingdom #2 of a third culture
    4. Human Feudal Kingdom #4 that mimics a Fallen Empire
    5. Human Empire
    6. Human City-State
    7. Human City-State but run by Thieves or Pirates
    8. Human City-State but a Theocracy
    9. Human City-State but a Druidic Theocracy
    10. Human City-State but a Merchant Oligarchy
    11. Barbaric Human Tribe
    12. Barbaric Evil Human Tribe
    13. Barbaric Primal Human Tribe
    14. Barbaric AntiMagic Human Tribe
  5. Dragonborn
    1. Draconic Fallen Empire
    2. ???
    3. ???
  6. Gnome
    1. Rock Gnome Village
    2. Forest Gnome Village
    3. Feywild Gnome City
    4. Tinker Gnome neighborhood within Human city
  7. Tiefling
    1. Fiendish Fallen Empire
    2. ???
    3. ???
  8. Orc
    1. Barbaric Orcs
    2. Evil Barbaric Orcs
    3. Primal Barbaric Orcs

Italics is uncommon fantasy nations found in Fantasy RPGs and settings
Bold are rare fantasy nations found in Fantasy RPGs and settings or logical conclusions made by these peoples existing in the setting.

So What is Missing?
 

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Legend
Supporter
I am unclear about the point of this exercise.

What's missing is how any of this matters for play at the table.
The point is to categorize the typical nations of a modern fantasy setting of basic setting creation in order to link allies, enemies, equipment and background to it.

For example if the group needs a ship to sail to a island across the dangerous sea, would they go to the City of Pirates or the Sea Elf Kingdom? Which one would more likely exist? If one, the other, or both, how would that impact the world, what equipment would be available, and the enemies and encounters they might face going to, leaving from, and staying at the location the party chooses?
 

The point is to categorize the typical nations of a modern fantasy setting of basic setting creation in order to link allies, enemies, equipment and background to it.

For example if the group needs a ship to sail to a island across the dangerous sea, would they go to the City of Pirates or the Sea Elf Kingdom? Which one would more likely exist? If one, the other, or both, how would that impact the world, what equipment would be available, and the enemies and encounters they might face going to, leaving from, and staying at the location the party chooses?
I both like what you're doing in terms of identifying tropes and don't see it as actually useful the sense of want to positively engage with it by using archetypical nations intentionally.

But I do think if you identify all the tropes, identify all the cliches, identify what's archetypical, then it's much easier to design something that plays with those in an interesting way, and doesn't just replicate them.

In terms of what's missing:

1) Misunderstood tribal-but-not-barbaric orcs

2) Steppe Barbarians (you've sort of covered them but I feel like they're a classic to themselves)

3) Weirdo Human Survivalists In An Extreme Environment (who will undoubtedly be Honorable and Religious) - like the Fremen in Dune or the Glasswalkers in Taladas.

4) Tinker Gnomes who live in a mechanical fortress situation

5) Human Nation who mess with the Undead a ton (often but not always evil)

6) Hobgoblin Roman Empire

I can probably add more later.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I both like what you're doing in terms of identifying tropes and don't see it as actually useful the sense of want to positively engage with it by using archetypical nations intentionally.

But I do think if you identify all the tropes, identify all the cliches, identify what's archetypical, then it's much easier to design something that plays with those in an interesting way, and doesn't just replicate them.
That's mostly my point. Identify the tropes to use them in interesting, logical and/or unexpected ways.
 


BookTenTiger

He / Him
It might be more useful to make lists that are not reliant on race? You could have two categories: structure and size.

For structure, you could have things like Tribe, Nomadic, Fortified, Travel Hub, etc.

And for size you could have Settlement, Village, Town, etc. You could go all the way up to Empire if you want.

Then you would have lots of easily created possibilities when you want to create settings. Why not have a Dwarf Tribal Village in the mountains and an Elf Travel Hub city on the coast?
 


Clint_L

Hero
I too want to help but also am a little confused by the ask. You are looking for suggestions of different types of fantasy cultures and locales? You have both "modern" and "traditional" in the header.
 

I've only ever set up one state as a player, which would be:

Dwarven walled city on a river, with two different human ethnicities that each outnumber the dwarves.
 


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