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D&D General List the 3 Coolest Parts of Your Homebrew World


5e Freelancer
The thread's title basically says it all, but I just want to clarify the purpose of this thread.

Awhile back, Wizards of the Coast did a survey to see which worlds D&D 5e players primarily played in, and it showed that a lot of D&D campaigns take place in homebrew worlds (I may be remembering incorrectly, but I believe that it showed that Homebrew settings are the most popular single group of campaign settings played in). This isn't really surprising, as the DM's job is to direct the table to tell a collaborative story, and it's often easier to tell the story you want in your own homebrew world, as it was hand-crafted to serve your tables' specific needs. I personally buy every official campaign setting book that WotC produces for 5e, even though I will likely never have a campaign in that setting, just because I want to see if there's anything in these settings that I could borrow for my own campaign settings or for my campaigns in the official worlds.

So this got me thinking. If so many people play in their homebrew worlds, there must be thousands (possibly even millions) of pieces of cool lore that could be used to inspire parts of other campaign settings and world, if only we could share them with each other. And that lead me to create this thread, where we DMs (because almost all of us are DMs, apparently) can share the pieces of our own worlds' lore that we think are the coolest/best that we've developed.

Now to the rules of the thread. It's quite simple, but I do have to lay some ground-rules:
  1. Firstly, you can only share 3 pieces of lore from your world. This is to avoid having huge blocks of text filling up this thread. However, you can choose a fairly broad part of your world, and go into a few of the nitty-gritty details in a spoiler below a summary of that part of your world. For example, if one of the parts of your world that you chose was "The War between Gods and Primordials is ongoing", put that as one of your "Lore Slots", and in a spoiler below detail the parts of that lore that you think makes it cool. (I'm not going to put a hard-limit on how long the descriptions in the lore should be, but if you're pushing 600 words, you're probably going too in-depth.)
  2. Don't debate with others whether or not their/your parts of lore are cool/good. This is simply to keep the thread respectful and constructive. It's not going to serve its purpose if people are attacking each other's lore and being rude to each other.
  3. However, if you do think some other part of someone else's lore is cool, feel free to let them know and explain how you may take inspiration from it.
  4. Keep in mind that this thread is to share cool ideas to inspire other people. If someone says that they're going to tweak a part of the lore that you share, that's the whole point of the thread. Don't feel entitled to have your lore be done "correctly", or feel any measure of ownership after sharing your idea. However, to make it so no one is exploited, let's move onto the last rule . . .
  5. If you take inspiration from someone else's lore, don't steal it. Don't try to make money off of someone else's lore. This is just simply a means to make sure that people can share cool ideas without worrying that someone else is going to make a DMs Guild product or publish some other book with the work that they did. If you really do want to include something you were inspired by in a product, ask them.
Also, keep in mind that this thread is an experiment. This isn't a hard rule, but just something to mind as you participate in this thread. I have no idea whether or not this is a thing that people will be interested in participating in on this site or any others. It may be that everyone is super happy to find a place to share the parts of their world that they and their players think are cool (because our players almost never listen to/care about our lore), or it could be that this is the last post in this thread, because people don't want to spend their time telling randos on the internet about their world's lore.

For an example, here's the parts of my world that I, personally, think are cool.

First, the hostile (and sometimes violent) relationship between my world's magocratic societies and those that depend on psionics (the conflict between the Yikkan Goblinoids and Sheioh Foulen/Felshen settlements).
Long story short, the Felshen are a psionic race that were biologically engineered by some artificers that wanted to see if they could play God and create a fully-reproducing sentient, biological race (as they'd created a constructed Golem-kin race before). The Felshen ventured across the world to try to find a homeland, discovered their psionic powers from their alchemically and quasi-magically enhanced brain chemistry, and decided to not found a nation, but instead create a worldwide chain of settlements filled with psionic people, connected together through psionic "telephone poles" that let them extend the range of their telepathy across links of poles containing psionic gemstones, thus letting them to have the same culture across long distances. This string of settlements filled with psionic people became known as the "Sheiohn Foulen" (the "One-Mind Foundation" when translated into Common), and though their primary members are the Felshen, they also have decent populations of Gem Dragonborn (and even some gem dragons), psionic gemstone-Golemkin (Jemlin Golmeng), Ghostwise Halflings, Gnome Ceremorphs, and basically anyone that has telepathic/psionic powers.

The Goblinoids of my world are similar to the Sheiohn Foulen, in that they have their own worldwide network of settlements with the same culture (called the Yikkan Contingent), but they're more of a religious network than the settlements of the Sheiohn Foulen are. The Yikkan Contingent worships the world's god of magic (called "the Yikare"), gains divine and magical power from this worship (are often Arcana Clerics, Divine Soul Sorcerers, Celestial-Patron Warlocks, and Paladins devoted to arcane orders), and absolutely hate aberrations and anyone with psionic power. They also believe that artificial creatures cannot have souls, are abominations to nature, and seek to cleanse the world by destroying creatures and individuals that they feel desecrate the world and prevent it from achieving its true potential. Thus, they've always despised the existence of the Felshen, believe that they don't have souls, actively harm the fabric of the multiverse, and have waged a "holy war of eradication", where they've tried to drive the Felshen extinct and shatter the Sheiohn Foulen.

The Felshen understandably don't think too kindly of the society of religious extremists that have always discriminated against them and have attempted to kill every single member of their race on more than one occasion, and the Felshen have always fought in self-defense, but in the centuries of war between the Sheiohn Foulen and Yikkan Contingent, neither of the two sides have clean hands. The most extreme members of the Sheiohn Foulen wish to do to the Goblinoids and Yikkan Contingent what they attempted to do to their own people, while most of them simply want to stop being oppressed and accepted as valid citizens of the world. The most extreme members of the Yikkan Contingent wish to finally wipe out the Felshen and Sheiohn Foulen once and for all, while the average goblinoid would be okay if they could find a way for the two cultures could co-exist and stop seeking revenge for past misdeeds.

I like this part of my world because of how it can create a moral dilemma for goblinoid or psionic players, because of how it plays on the relationship of magic and psionics (taking a bit of inspiration from Dark Sun and Eberron) and how it handles racial and religious tension in my world in a more realistic and nuanced manner than D&D has done historically, and because it is a conflict that the players can get involved in and have possible influences on how it plays out. It also has a bit of social commentary with how it parallels the real world and certain cultural relationships similar to this one.

Second, my race's undead-touched races. I have two; the Vezyi and Fehntüm, and they both worship Vecna.
Simply put, the Vezyi and Fehntüm are my world's play on the traditional trope of "Always Evil" race. The Vezyi and Fehntüm live in the Underdark of the Shadowfell (called the Underfell), have an endless war with the servants of the Raven Queen (as Vecna wants to kill the Raven Queen and take her place as the God of the Afterlife so he can become even more powerful and knowledgeable), and have very evil cultures. They worship Vecna, raid the other planes of my world's cosmology, and want to bring every other race under their will. Hands down, the societies and cultures of the Vezyi and Fehntüm are evil. However, these two races aren't inherently evil, they just have extreme societal pressures and even magical incentives towards being evil.

For example, the Vezyi are the undead-touched race that are connected to corporeal undead (more specifically, Zombies, Revenants, Death Knights, and Liches, the types that are connected to avoiding death at all costs). They have advantage on death saving throws (like the Reborn from Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft), can go several days without food or drink, don't need to breathe, can live for up to 250 years, and if they die, resurrection spells work on them 10 times the normal length that they should work (Revivify works on a Vezyi that has been dead for 10 minutes or less, Raise Dead works on a Vezyi that has been dead for 100 days or less, and Resurrection works on a Vezyi that has been dead for a whole millennium years or less). Simply put, Vecna has magically engineered Vezyi biology to allow them to be much more resilient than most other races, and even if they die, they're much easier to bring back than other races. Additionally, the Death and Arcana Clerics that live in Vezyi settlements in the Underfell (who are called "Iremongers") give out free resurrections/revivifications to any Vezyi that remains in their society and serves Vecna (these free resurrections are called "Death Pardons"). A Vezyi is born with a small, circular, black dot on the tip of their left hand's thumb, and every time they die and are revived by a Vezyi Iremonger, another small, black dot appears on the finger directly to the right of the previous one (giving them a total of 10 lives). Once all fingers have this mark on them, the Iremongers know to not revive them anymore, and instead their bodies are reanimated as undead and they're sent to join Vecna's hordes of undead.

(And, yes, sometimes mistakes are made, and a Vezyi that has lost a hand or a few fingers is revived, which magically creates a black circumpunct on the palm of both of their hands and their forehead (called the "Eyes of Vecna"), causing them to be outcast from Vezyi society and eventually hunted down by bounty hunters called "Palmbearers" that bring back the severed hands and forehead-skin of caught Vuleks to the Vezyi Iremonger that created them. The Iremonger then reanimates the hands as Crawling Claws and creates either a cape/cloak/robe or purse out of the forehead-skin).

Simply put, Vezyi are incentivized to remain a part of their cruel, Vecna-worshipping society due to receiving "free" extra lives if they do so, and also due to the sheer-cruelty and brutality that the Vezyi society treats the outcasts of their society with.

Fehntüm, on the other hand, are incentivized to remain members of their society due to the fact that Vecna will hand-pick the Fehntüm that have best-served him during life and grant them both immortality as Phantoms and allow for them to bond with living Fehntüm to get a sort of "second life" where they're the leaders of Fehntüm settlements and have extreme ghostly-necromancy powers (either as a Phantom Rogue, Echo Knight, or Undead Warlock). And, if/when those bodies that they're bound to during this second-life ends, they and the soul that they were bound to will be reincarnated again into another Fehntüm's body, now with 3 minds in one body, with even more extreme powers. And this happens over, and over, and over, to the point that the most devout servants of Vecna within the Fehntüm society will be practically immortal, have tremendous power, and have multiple minds in the same form to basically have a ghost-council of extremely intelligent, extremely experienced previous generations of Fehntüm that are always with them basically wherever they go. (The Fehntüm that aren't the "top 1% of servants" just become Phantom Warriors in Vecna's ranks of incorporeal-undead soldiers.)

Vezyi and Fehntüm aren't inherently/naturally evil, they're just severely pressured by their society and their god to be evil, and the good ones are actively hunted down by the evil culture. In my world, there's no "inherently evil" or "always evil" races, instead, there are races that have individuals that can be any morality/alignment, but some have to do more work than others. (And, no, it isn't fair, but that's kind of the point; to show that life isn't fair to people of different races/backgrounds, and some people have to do more work than others because of how they were born.)

And finally, my third choice. This one is much simpler than the others, but I think it's equally inspiring; my world's war between Dragons and Giants.
I'm not going to go too in-depth here, because I already broke my own rules on spoiler-length in the first two examples, and also because this one is fairly self-explanatory and simple.

Giants and Dragons traditionally have a huge rivalry. I'm not sure why this is in previous editions, but it's still really cool to have a war between two nigh-immortal, colossal, nearly-godlike typically "monstrous" races, so I included and expanded upon it in my world.

You don't need to know much about the backstory, but the Aboleths tricked my world's Giants and Dragons into a huge war (as a diversion to further their own purposes), and pretty quickly, both sides were trying to exterminate the other. Metallic Dragons would infiltrate the Giant society through their Change Shape feature, Chromatic Dragons would unleash their destructive breath weapons and attacks on the Giant Warlords, and when the typically neutral-Gem Dragons got involved, they could secretly mind-control the leaders of the Giant Kingdoms into sabotaging their own side. Both sides were extremely powerful and united to their cause, and their war was incredibly destructive the the world around them (as their battlefields tended to take up such a huge area). At first, it appeared that the Dragons were going to win by just being more destructive and versatile on the battlefield (wings, breath weapons)The Giants figured that the only way to survive the war was to . . . be as incredibly, horrifically brutal as possible.

Guess what their currency was? Dragon scales. The older the dragon they were taken from, the higher their worth (Wyrmling-Scales were equivalent to Copper Pieces, Young-Scales were equivalent to Silver Pieces, Adult-Scales were equivalent to Gold Pieces, and Ancient-Scales were equivalent to Platinum Pieces). Their weapons, armor, and shields were made of dragon bones (think Skyrim's Dragonbone Weapons and Armor, but the weapons are Giant-sized, and often turned into Dragon Slayer weapons). Guess their equivalent of cavalry were? Giants that rode Adult (and sometimes Ancient) Dragons that they had ripped the wings off of, muzzled to prevent the use of their breath weapons, and tortured into submission so that they would allow their masters to ride them into combat against their own relatives. Giants would often raid Dragon Nests to steal Dragon Eggs for the sole purpose of raising dragons for being their war-mounts. Nothing makes dragons more bloodthirsty and reckless than seeing a warrior clad in the bones of their ancestors, wielding a shield that has your brother's face on its front, stabbing your friends and allies with the sharpened-femur of your kin, while they're riding atop a child of yours that they kidnapped from you and was so horribly mutilated, enslaved, and tormented that it reached its breaking point and submitted to their brutal masters. It's one thing to fight against someone that wants to take away your land and wealth, or even to enslave/exterminate your people, but it's a whole other thing for them to go to war with you while wearing/wielding the bones of your ancestors, using your body parts as currency, and riding atop your mutilated relatives as war-mounts.

This understandably enraged the dragons and made them more desperate to win the war, which was the whole point. The giants were able to make the dragons so angry that their war-tactics were often tainted by so much hatred and distress that they didn't perform as intelligently as they would have otherwise. This prolonged the war and gave the giants a fighting chance (this won them enough time to train War-Mages and Dragon Slayers, which allowed them to have a fighting-chance against the catastrophic armies of the dragons).

Okay, those are my three examples: a "holy war" of mages trying to eradicate psionic races, two Vecna-worshipping undead-touched races heavily incentivized towards evil, while not actually being inherently evil, and a war of vengeance between Giants and Dragons where the Giants used the body-parts of fallen dragons for their currency, weaponry/armory, and used tortured, mutilated, and enslaved dragons as war-mounts. Let's see if this is an idea people will participate in. If so, I can't wait to read your cool bits of lore. If not, thanks for reading, at least.
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bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
The Ferments
This area of rough lands of bubbling mud pits, hot springs, geysers, lava rivers and more is where the elemental planes interact with the real world. It is a raw land of homesteads and rough individualism. The thinking peoples that settled in this land did so to escape the rule of law of the nearby kingdoms. They also invented certain alcohols to deal with the fact that their homes are constantly under threat of invasion from mephits and other elementals.

Fort Ooshar
A trading town between Sheljar and Mira Ooshar was constantly pulled between the two cities. The bridge over North Fork offered a third trading point as the rafts drifted down from Telse. Eventually that bridge became a large town, multi-storied as lifts and cranes reached to the waters. Now it is run by the world's largest Thievs Guild, the Fox & Crow.

Every Human/Halfling/Goliath(and Firbolgs which are just alt-Goliaths starts with an Animal Companion
As magic was gone from the world for millennia of millennia until 27 years ago the People of Love turned to partnership as a way to keep their standard of living as high as legend had it. Goliaths and Firbolgs would partner with a flock of birds to handle the fine motor skills. Halflings and dogs worked together to be stronger than they were on their own. A river trader might have an otter who helped them scout their way through the shifting sandbars. Need to move a large stone, your massive moose can help.


Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
"Ritual Magic". Separate from spellcasting, even Ritual casting, Ritual magic can -only- be cast as the culmination of a long and involved ritual in classic sword and sorcery style. With a series of adventure-defining rituals provided to build campaigns around, either in performing them or trying to stop others from casting them. Anyone can perform and be involved in Rituals, but those who have no spellcasting levels provide less power to the ritual. Creation of a Lich is an example of this tier of magic.

"Nonstandard Race and Character Design". No elves. No dwarves. No Gnome-Analogue with a new name. Add in culture as a core character trait to create greater variety of baseline concepts and narrative connections between player characters. A group of characters born and raised in Achelb, of any race combination, will be different from a group of Ellenic characters of similar classes because of the specific, and explicit, cultural traditions of the region.

"LevelUp Defined". Constructed for use with LevelUp, specifically, the setting has Journey and other systems built in from the ground up. Martial Combat styles also have an explicit place within the setting, helping to provide narrative support for martial characters of every stripe.


5e Freelancer
The Ferments
That's cool! Are there different regions of the Ferments for the different natural phenomena, or are they all kind of mixed together (like Geysers right next to a mud pit and lava river)?
"Ritual Magic". Separate from spellcasting, even Ritual casting, Ritual magic can -only- be cast as the culmination of a long and involved ritual in classic sword and sorcery style. With a series of adventure-defining rituals provided to build campaigns around, either in performing them or trying to stop others from casting them. Anyone can perform and be involved in Rituals, but those who have no spellcasting levels provide less power to the ritual. Creation of a Lich is an example of this tier of magic.
I actually have this in my campaigns, too, but your version is more like Elven High Magic than mine is. The creation of Legendary Magic Items and artifacts in my games requires a ritual.


Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
I actually have this in my campaigns, too, but your version is more like Elven High Magic than mine is. The creation of Legendary Magic Items and artifacts in my games requires a ritual.
Ew... no... Less "Elven High Magic" more "Sacrificial animals and/or people being used to power magical effects". More Bavmorda from Willow and Skeletor from Masters of the Universe. Less druids chanting pretty words in a big circle around menhirs.

Think "Unleashing C'thulhu" rather than "Raising a powerful magic barrier to make the weather nice."

Creating Legendary Items is just something that -happens- in this setting. You do something cool, and one of your items gets imbued by the legend-birthing moment to become something special.

Casimir Liber

Just wanted to say that this is a brilliant thread - still working on stuff. My homebrew has an area like the Ferments, called the Delta:

A vast fertile delta of rivers, low hills, swamps and swamp-forests. It is often misty for extended periods with cool nights and warm days. Small villages and towns dot the Delta - inhabitants are humans, hobbits (both subraces), gnomes, and a smattering of elves and hill dwarves. Also there are the crumbling towers and forts that had been established (and abandoned) centuries before.
The ancient swamps were home to a lizardfolk civilization, now long since decayed and gone. The huge fertile and fecund delta has attracted tendrils from the ethereal plane and portals to elemental planes and feywild have appeared and disappeared over the centuries

The Delta has a ‘closeness’ to the ethereal and inner planes - particularly those of Earth, Water and Air - and positive and negative energy planes. At times of a Conjunction, the borders become even looser and thinner. Large gatherings of sentient beings may trigger attacks by ethereal creatures, which has been a main reason organised armies have had little success in conquering the Delta.

There is a diffuse affinity with the feywild, resulting in much fertility and life - much of the landscape is highly fertile and thriving with plants and animals. The more dead areas (linked with the shadowfell) are rarer, more concentrated and generally avoided.

Above, dense fog and mist often covers the Delta, particularly in the early mornings and clearing by mid-morning. Sometimes fogs are dense and last for days. Locals know during these times to be careful and avoid travelling as malign creatures from the ethereal plane wander - they are a main reason why aerial armies have not assailed the land. As these creatures cannot pass through living things, it is the main reason that houses are often covered with vines and climbing plants (so they can’t pass through the walls)

Working on other two features....

You can ride the equivalent of the Orient Express and have intrigue across four countries, plus an opportunity to have a safari shooting mutant monsters from the roof of the train.

Telegraph wires connect cities, but in one country they're possessed by demons, and in another a thieves' guild controls them and regularly spoofs messages to trick people.

Also, I published a thirteen-adventure campaign in the setting, where at one point you get to solve a murder mystery for the fey court, which is rather maddening, like having Sherlock Holmes use deductive reasoning to deal with the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland.


Heretic of The Seventh Circle
1. Nine Worlds - There are 9 “worlds”, connected by Crossroads, which are places where the borders meet and crossing is possible. The Ninth World, Chevar, is an impossible planet orbiting a rogue star, with 9 moons. Orbiting where? Depends on where you approach from. Our world, Midgard, you’d have to move through space to find a rogue star system in a middle point between many galaxies. From The Deep, or Nidavellir, you would have to travel through mines and caverns and the tunnels made by various burrowing creatures into The Hollow Deep at the center of the world. As you enter the Hollow Deep, you are blinded by the light of Chevar’s star, and see a planet orbiting it, with 9 moons orbiting the planet, in an unimaginably immense natural cavern. In Yggdrasil, Chevar’s sun is the sun, and which orbits the Tree, and Chevar and it’s moons orbit the sun.

wife needs me, I’ll try to post the other two tomorrow.

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
That's cool! Are there different regions of the Ferments for the different natural phenomena, or are they all kind of mixed together (like Geysers right next to a mud pit and lava river)?
The advantage of none of the PCs visiting there (they tried once, got attacked by mephits, put on a Crown of Forgetfulness and couldn't remember what they were doing) and none are from there I have yet to map out The Ferments with specificity. These are my favorite types of places because they inform the world and I don't have to worry about inconsistencies.


No rule is inviolate
Pretty sure we borrow everything, including Paizo's Golarian world, but it adds up to kewl for us:
  1. Celtic Pantheon. The primary gods cooperate like a tribe (everyone kicks in their bit to make the village work, so no holy feuds), with demon cults to fill in the minor threats, and finally a vague reference to the "old gawds" by some random folk in a time when the gawds demanded blood sacrifice to make things work better than they do today (e.g. suggestion of more potent magic). It's just familiar enough to trigger "I know that" ideas when we use real-world rituals and lore.
  2. European fey folklore. The Likho, Rusalka, Misbegotten Troll (kingmaker), and other legendary myths come to life in our world, but generally not as monsters that can be overcome with combat. In a prior session, the PCs made a deal that opened the door to a fey merchant bazaar with legendary creatures like the Nightmare Rook, the Wriggling Man, and the original leprechaun. Finding the "undeal" to fey deals (think Rumplestiltskin) has become an art as the PCs find their fledgling barony has been bound by "deals" made by barons in the past. Gnomes are previous tenants of the First World who left to find the "next great thing," became a part of the 2nd World, and are always trying to find their way home even if instinctually.
  3. Techno Crash. It's a bit Barrier Peaks, but there's a nearby city-state that thrives because it got its hands on technology from an alien crash. Of course, it's only doing this because it's the one way they can keep the First World fey from interfering with their land. The idea is so interesting that one of our players (the Baron) has put out a call for anyone who works with this technology to join him.

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