[Points of Light Setting] The Residuum Must Flow (updated 6/24)

clark411

First Post
The Residuum Must Flow (A points of light setting)

Concept
So I was thinking of the points of light concept, and I realized that one of the most influential novels of my childhood, Dune, was a perfect example of a points of light setting. As seemingly boundless as the Empire in this novel may be described, it centers around only a few planets: Caladan, Arrakis, Geidi Prime, Kaitain, and others which anyone familiar with the setting doesn’t need talking to about. Looking at Arrakis in particular, we see points of light with the sietches. Other aspects of the points of light setting work with Dune; military power is small, and very melee oriented (what with shielding), and cannot handle wilderness well, and there is an emphasis on the power of religious fervor, “magical” technology, and the intrigue that I feel is so vital to making players feel like movers and shakers at the table in ways that go beyond shaking dice, and moving minis.

So I decided that a fantasy setting borrowing from Dune’s schemes of thought would be interesting, but would require some explanation. Dune is about the balance of power, and vying for a precious resource, amongst other things, so I looked to one part of 4E that rubs a lot of people the wrong way, residuum, and thought about how I could embrace it.

In a vacuum, residuum is a transparently designed way for players to chunk hundreds of pounds of magical armor and swords into easily transported powder that, harsh winds not withstanding, is only a minor trouble to deal with. Personally, I find it takes some of the worst aspects of DnD- the monty haul fill-thine-encumbrance game focus, and combines it with some of the worst gamist, or perhaps simply modern consumer, notion of breaking a less useful object, potentially deeply-historied as it could be given some thought, into a brand new shiny more useful object that’s hot off the magical presses. It’s also a wonder substance that offers an alternative to questing for the Super Lotus of Darkbad Jungle as a spell component for a Nature spell- being a universal component for all rituals. Frankly, there’s a lot to take issue with when it comes to this silvery dust!

So I thought, “Why not make residuum an equivalent to the spice?” There’s a lot to take issue with with that substance too. And I did. Make it equivalent—not take issue with it.

The result of this, I hope, is an playable setting that, while not fully defined, is going to be the scaffolding for my future campaign, and also might just shed a little light on another way to approach points of light.

The product of this, being a short bit of speculative fiction (sci-fi and fantasy being such), this setting ultimately asks “What if?” questions…
“What if a culture found magic in lodestones deep beneath the earth?”
“What if this magic was so important to them, that they’d disperse their culture hundreds of miles, through wilderness and danger, in order to have it?”
“What if they came to depend upon this magical dust in order to hold their civilization together after this dispersal?”
“What would a civilization look like, and how would it function, if it hadn’t even filled in the maps of its own territory?”
“What if this magic dust was a possibly finite resource, and the harvesting of it could have a negative impact on someone or something (as with the spice and the worm)?”


Anyway, enough already. I hope you enjoy!


Residuum
Residuum is a magical dust that collects, or possibly is formed, in the vicinity of magical lodestones that form at the juncture of leylines that span the continent. Per the PHB, p. 225, “it’s a fine, silvery dust that some describe as concentrated magic, useful as a generic component for rituals.” A coin’s weight of residuum is worth 10,000 gold coins, while a pound of residuum is worth 500,000 gold coins.

In this setting, residuum is the most important resource that the civilized races have come to discover. Magical items are made using residuum, rituals are powered by residuum, eldritch machines (thanks Eberron) are fed residuum as a steam engine would be fed coal (purposeful anachronism: this setting has no steam engines). Noble families treat residuum as political power made physical, while the arcane colleges fuel their research with it, and the churches of the pantheon make divine power manifest before the masses with it. Residuum is bought with favors, earned with blood, and for a decigram, dreams can be bought.

The applications of residuum have altered the face of civilization; its discovery was a turning point that cannot be undone, for better or for worse. The magic of the silver dust has offered manna with one hand and a blade with the other. The construction of wonders rivaling those of fallen empires has begun, each noble house making monuments to its own glory, while at the same time scraping at the bones of the world itself, ignorant, or silent, about the consequences of its delving.

Power Centers
The Imperial Throne

The Imperial Family has the power to give residuum mining rights to the Noble Houses. It receives a portion of all mined residuum within the Empire, and uses the vast amount of money gained for many purposes. The Imperial Family is the greatest patron of the arts that history has known; and the capital of Solanthis, that once was a temple city to Pelor, now shines with a different light: the development of music, art, drama, and literature. At the same time, the Imperial Family has committed to extensive public works, and research in architectural and logistical sciences that have the promise to considerably alter the quality of life of the citizen. For miles the streets are cobbled stone, the water is pure, and the public gardens and forums are gifts for the public.

This said, the Imperial Family also has invested large sums of money in funding a military force that could rival any potential threat from foreign kingdoms, monstrous hordes, or a coup by the Noble Houses. Each Noble House also has a highly trained Informant of seemingly unshakable loyalty to the Throne, who monitors all residuum production within their holdings.

The Noble Houses
The Noble Houses of the Empire are tasked with mining residuum and showing loyalty to the Emperor by offering a portion of their income to the Imperial Family each season. The Noble Houses compete with each other, typically indirectly, through production quotas and pulling the strings of other institutions, such as the churches, arcane orders, and the Forging Guild of Meridia, with donations and trade agreements which are all fueled with residuum.

The Noble Houses must carefully balance their mining operations, their military forces, their relationships with the Imperial Throne and the various Guilds, and the development of their holdings. The political machinations of the Houses are the stuff of legend, and more recently, the stuff of popular plays and songs. While any House may have a grievance with any other House, and there are no Houses that do not have at least one grievance, blood feud, or reason to hate one or more other Houses, these grievances are openly dealt with only very rarely. Intrigue, assassination, and sabotage are the weapons of the Noble Houses; to openly wage war with another Imperial House may come with serious consequences, perhaps the most important of these being the favor owed to the Imperial Throne, and the need for exoneration in the eyes of the other Houses (or at least those that matter to the offending House).

The Skyfleets of Barony

Barony’s Skyfleets are central to the existence of the Empire in its current form. Although magical residuum can be retrieved through the disenchanting of a magical item (in a crude manner quite dissimilar (in practice) from burning a painting to grasp the essence of “creative drive”, but not dissimilar in the degree of contempt such an act would receive), the most effective method is mining it directly from lodestones, which incidentally are often hundreds of leagues apart. The Empire spread, initially seeking these lodestones, through the construction of heavily defended portals (see the Linked Portal ritual for details). Although these portals still exist, and are used in emergencies or for instantaneous transit, the most efficient form of transportation is the skyship.

The free city of Barony exerts leverage that nearly matches, and some say exceeds, the power of the Emperor himself. Airships, fueled by residuum, traverse the expansive and dangerous wilderness that otherwise nearly completely disconnects the cities of the Empire. While overland travel is possible, no Noble House is willing to transport residuum or other valuable resources through regions infested by beasts and brigands, and the Noble Houses have seen how inefficient the logistics of military movement by land is. That and having one’s highly trained vanguard, replete with shining armor and bright waving banners decimated by Fell Trolls is quite the setback in any sphere, political or otherwise.

In Barony’s existence, a balance is formed. Without the political leverage of the Imperial Throne, the Houses would not be able to produce sufficient residuum for all the factions, the Skyfleets of Barony included. Without the Skyfleets of Barony, the cities would be cut off and the Empire would quite literally crumble as the holdings of the Noble Houses would become independent Kingdoms. Without residuum, the Skyfleets would not function, and Barony would lose both its political leverage and suffer from the cultural, fiscal, and some say literal addiction to residuum that it has acquired.

The Churches of the Imperial Pantheon
The gods are real. Their exarchs proclaim their edicts, and the churches obey. The citizen presents offerings to the gods and to the church, and while the flesh of a bird may smolder upon the altar, the coins of noble and commoner alike make the same clinking sound which, when heard with a wider scope, would make a nearly deafening cacophony which still would insufficiently evidence how rich the churches truly are. The churches own land, pay no taxes to the Noble Houses, and hold an almost unassailable right to the divine sphere.

They are political and cultural juggernauts, but they have their chain: residuum. Although divine rituals can be performed using Sanctified Incense, few temples within civilized areas do, accepting gifts of residuum from the Noble Houses and any others who wish to donate the precious dust. In exchange for donations, the Church provides services for the Noble Houses, Barony, and the Imperial Throne, and promotes sermons that maintain order within both the community and between these groups.

Additionally, every Noble House has a Speaker of the Faith that acts in an advisor’s role, providing spiritual guidance, often in a very literal sense through the use of oracular rituals. Although this is considered by some to be a throwback to times prior to the discovery of the lodestones, few Noble Houses are willing to part with their Speakers, regardless of how often these Speakers may act in the interests of their churches above all else. That, or no Noble wishes to encounter an Angel of Vengeance.

The Arcane Colleges and Orders
While apprentices still search the wild for alchemical reagents, the Arcane Colleges and Orders have come to depend upon residuum for their experiments, which have become more advanced and convoluted as the Empire has grown wider reaching. Prior to the development of residuum mining in its most current incarnation, a wizard would have to consider various ethical, moral, and fiscal quandaries that, regardless of the solution, would slow magical study or halt it entirely. “Should I send a third apprentice to find rare earths that only collect upon the bases of ropers in the underdark?” “Is this experiment truly worth the death of a young red dragon, and how plausible is such an objective?” “Do I really wish to disenchant this flying carpet for a possibly fruitless endeavor?” Such questions are largely forgotten now, or answered with the alternative: paying a considerable sum to a Noble House in exchange for a considerable sum’s worth of residuum.

Although the Arcane Colleges may seem to spend the much of their wealth on research into new rituals, they also use residuum to create potions and magical items which go to the Imperial Family, the Noble Houses, and a number of external, supernatural threats that a mortal Empire, cannot effectively resist in any manner save appeasement through bribery. While the Colleges do outfit the nobility and their elite guard with impressive suits of magical armor that now can rival ancient finds found in the ruins of the fallen empires, more often secret deals are brokered with agents representing the powers of the Planes that have taken an interest in the lodestones of the Empire. Although most citizens are entirely ignorant of dealings with the drow, the githyanki, the neogi, and worse beings still, the Arcane Colleges act with the mandate of the Emperor, and keep him aware of threats that extend beyond the physical boundries of holdings of the Great Houses.

The Forging Guild of Meridia
Residuum is also given to Meridia’s Forging Guild, expert crafters who deal in the construction of eldritch machines and the warforged automatons. Different from the Arcane Colleges in their entirely pragmatic approach to the applications of residuum, and different from the Skyfleets of Barony in their willingness to release their proprietary technology into the hands of others, the Forging Guild empowers otherwise seemingly mundane objects with magical capabilities through the consumption of residuum. A single fleck of residuum will make a Meridian rushlight glow for a month, and an average automaton will awaken from its rejuvenation cycle by “feeding” on a single gold’s piece worth of residuum.

Truly, the warforged automaton is the greatest accomplishment of Meridia—an accomplishment that gives it military strength and political power equal to any individual Noble House. The Forging Guild consists primarily of the Orders Production, Education, Sale, and Recollection. The Order of Production manages the forges, and produces automatons of many types, though warforged are the most popular brand. The Order of Education provides the assurance to the buyer that warforged do not go rogue, and that their sentience is a commodity and not a liability. Although worth far more to purchase than any slave, warforged are effectively indentured servants or serfs (the Imperial Throne long ago issued an edict banning slavery of any sort that has less than four degrees of separation from the Throne… and no citizen can claim to have less than a single degree of separation from the Throne. “I am a citizen of the Throne.”) with no rights or room for social advancement. The Order of Education releases every automaton, warforged or otherwise, with absolute loyalty to Meridia, and whichever House or person it is purchased by. Of course, most local governments have substantial lists of laws centered around automatons. Some taverns forbid automatons from entering, and many sheriffs enforce very simplistic, but effective, safeguards for the public that lay the blame of any automaton’s actions solely upon its owner. That said, only the richest merchants use warforged, often as symbols of status, while the noble houses supplement their guard with warforged only in times of advanced production. The fate of the crafts of Meridia is often to sit silently, for months at a time, in torpor.

Social Groups
Villagers and Farmers

The rural peasant gains no benefit from the achievements made through the development of residuum mining and its myriad applications. Life is still slow, based upon the harvest cycles, and if the chicken is not the currency of trade, the cow or the copper piece is. The only clearly evident consequence of the initial drive to discover lodestones is that most villages are on the borderlands of a Noble House’s holding, and as such, even the a sparsely populated farming community will have some central gathering area with a stone or wooden wall and supplies.

Townsfolk and City Dwellers
In the cities and towns, noble and merchant residences often bear some evidence of the marvels of residuum. A landed noble who may have no direct blood connection one of the Noble Houses of the empire may still generate enough income to have automaton servants, a preferred magical trinket, or a set of magical armor and weapons. Although residuum may be the keystone of civilization, the lesser hailed “wood barons” or “iron lords” still fill a vital role in the Empire. While a ritual might repair an ancient oak door, that oak still came from a forest, and was fashioned by a craftsman. The holdings thrive on residuum, but still require raw materials and manufactured goods that towns and cities provide.

Holding Citizens
Located atop lodestones buried deep within the earth, holdings are densely populated, heavily fortified cities. These are the cities of the Noble Houses, and although their primary purpose may be the mining of residuum, the populace of these strongholds does not act with a singular purpose. Musicians and artisans ply their trade here, scholars can build their universities, and there is always the promise of coin—which also makes holdings capable of great, dark underbellies engorged with criminal organizations, dark cabals, forbidden magic, and pleasure for a price parlors.

The citizen of a holding typically associates himself with a Noble House first, and the Emperor second. Many residents share the political enmities of their House, often without reason, for the simple reason that often enemy Houses do questionable, or outright unacceptable, things to their leadership and populace. Despite these occasions, holding citizens also believe that they are the in the safest place they could be, and when comparing the five-fold curtain walls of Esty with the wooden palisades of Harwood-by-Water, it is a belief of merit.

The Citizens of Solanthis
Long ago, Solanthis was a theocracy that maintained a legend that Pelor himself had shone a radiant beam of light upon the hill where Solanthis was to be founded, and gave to a human of much merit, a crown with a single golden point upon it. The legend also stated that seven other points of light shone from Pelor that day, and it is believed that seven other kings were granted the Divine right to lead. Although the Empire has left behind its theocratic bent, it did maintain a portion of the legend as an excuse to seek out the lodestones. Also, there is a considerable degree of sun iconography inherent in even the new architecture of the capital.

The townsfolk look down upon the villagers, and the city folk look down upon the townsfolk, and the holding citizens look down upon the city folk. The Citizens of Solanthis are too busy advancing culture to look down. In many ways, the culture of Solanthis mirrors the merit-based assignment of Noble Houses to holdings. While the Noble Houses are selected from the most fiscally capable, and openly loyal lesser houses, so too are the Citizens of Solanthis selected from the most capable elements of the evenly populated, former Kingdom of Solanthis. A shining jewel surrounded by verdant fields and old towns, Solanthis is a city-state unto itself. The people who live there, varied as their experiences and motives may be, all see themselves as active participants in the development of Imperial Culture. Here, students of knowledge set out to bring truth to the holdings. Philosophers debate in open forums, even as gardeners plant new hedges and saplings in great public arboretums. Composers can, on occasion, be seen running down the streets flailing sheet music; and within the month, any of a number of Imperial Orchestras are boarding a Skyfleet airship for a concert tour of the Empire.
 
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Nether Mage Ash

First Post
Very very interesting. Very cool and very nice, I like. Its a great setting idea chocked full of possibilities and campaign goodness.

But more than that it shows how others might take the assumptions buried in 4e and make their own, usable by themselves and fitting all that they need. So that is good too.

I love the feel of the setting you created. The mix of fantasy and Dune is awesome, and very well done.
 

Cryptos

First Post
Very nice.

I've been working on a campaign setting of my own where there all of the fallen empires of the past had their own empire-enhancing devices, or doomsday devices to take out rivals. They were each powered in turn by captured mystical energies from the devices of the first empire. These rediscovered devices (stationary artifacts, mostly) can also be repowered by appropriate amounts of residuum, but not many factions realize that.

There's an organization that fronts itself as a cult, but their real goal is to use the power of past empires to make it possible to build a new empire in the present day. There's also a radical organization that is trying to get rid of all the magical items and artifacts left over from the fallen empires. They might seem like the good guys, initially, but at the highest levels they are actually a cult trying to pave way for the awakening of their god. So they wind up being mirror images of each other.

As this applies to you, perhaps this might give you some additional ideas of what they could be doing with the residuum, as with your Barony's Skyfleets:

Star Shrines: The most ancient empire of the land worshiped primordial beings from the Far Realms. Sort of Cthulhu-style. They captured mystical energies to commune with these beings. The purposes of the shrines are not widely understood today, it is only widely understood that the positions of the shrines across the land correspond roughly to the positions of the stars in the night sky overhead at certain times of convergence. This is where the modern name for them comes from. There are all manner of theories as to their purpose, but modern man can only use them at best as a land navigation aid.

But if they are repowered, it is possible to contact one of these "Celestials." For a price (they'll make you do things that advance their own unfathomable goals) they can provide accurate prophesy, provide the location of items of power, and so forth. Knowledge is the benefit, but it's always twisted somehow despite being accurate and useful. Most Star Shrines are dormant today, the energies that powered them looted by successive empires for their own tools. The average person has no idea what the odd statues were for. (As a side note, the lost civilization that used these were the ancestors of present day Dopplegangers, giving me an opportunity to add a shapeshifter conspiracy plot some day, if desired.)

Warforged: I never thought I'd use them, but I got this idea after thinking of the legions terracotta soliders found in Chinese tombs and ruins. One of the fallen empires had legions of these things that served the emperor directly, and when that emperor died the warforged legions were deactivated and buried with the emperor. The warforged were "given life" by transferring power from the ancient Star Shrines to the constructs, and they are deactivated by taking that power back. The vessels for that power were stored in the emperor's tombs, but have since been robbed by various individuals and successive empires. Depending on what happens over the course of a campaign, this also makes a potential PC race "unlockable" for PCs that follow.

Dragonfonts: The biggie, which is a large part of the cause for the "Points of Light" setting, for the world I'm working on: The mystical energies are used to create a summoning pit, from which monsters from other dimensions and worlds spring forth. Monsters brought into this world were under the control of the individuals that maintain power to the Dragonfont, as long as they maintained power to it. The Arkhosian Empire used it in their campaigns against the Bael Turath, and as the Bael Turath were getting hammered, in order to survive they then made their fateful pacts with devils that transformed their race and caused both empires to crumble. The devils tainted the Dragonfonts so that their masters would lose control of the monsters they brought forth over time. Unbeknowst to many, the devils' taint also made the 'target realm' (the realm where the creatures are drawn from) of the fonts gradually shift... they will eventually allow the legions of the Nine Hells to enter the world freely.

Anway, I just thought I'd share these, as you can do a lot with a culture that values residuum or quantifiable mystical energy. Or if you like, you could even have some of these turn up at some point in your campaign, perhaps adding a new layer to things by suggesting that the Barony wasn't the first civilization to use residuum in big ways.
 
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Saishu_Heiki

First Post
clark411 said:
The Residuum Must Flow (A points of light setting)
Very cool. Do you mind if I take this and work with it a bit? I am starting to GM a 4e game on Sunday and I would like to present this to them and see if they are interested.

Again, a very impressive work.
 

VannATLC

First Post
I'm doing a similiar thing, in that Residium is the corner stone of the economy for my setting.

Its a low-temperature, crop-unfriendly place, and much food production, general mining, etc, is dependant on rituals. Residium can be refined from natural sources, and is the key component in keeping civilisation running. Additionally, the whole setting is unders constant, unceasing threat from invasion.

Anyway, I like what you've done here. Good work.
 

Baron Opal

First Post
Marvellous. My 3e / AE setting is a combo of Dune and Nine Princes in Amber. I love what you have done with your ideas and will probably steal a bunch of things. My players are interested in 4e and I'm going to advance my timeline a bit. This will be a great springboard.
 


Frostmarrow

First Post
I've not even read half yet but I love it! I'll finish and come back.

...

Yup, very nice indeed. Great writing too.
 
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clark411

First Post
Saishu_Heiki said:
Very cool. Do you mind if I take this and work with it a bit? I am starting to GM a 4e game on Sunday and I would like to present this to them and see if they are interested.

Again, a very impressive work.

Feel free- thanks for the positive feedback all =D
 

Safari

First Post
If it will be anything like Dune, there will be a lot of political intrigue and espionage going on. Plans within plans within plans :p

Put in some active feuds between families. Ooh, and offcourse some factions need hidden alterior motives, such as the church having a breeding program to make their own god or demi god :)
 

clark411

First Post
Safari said:
If it will be anything like Dune, there will be a lot of political intrigue and espionage going on. Plans within plans within plans :p

Put in some active feuds between families. Ooh, and offcourse some factions need hidden alterior motives, such as the church having a breeding program to make their own god or demi god :)

Hm... I thought I had done so.

"The Noble Houses
The Noble Houses of the Empire are tasked with mining residuum and showing loyalty to the Emperor by offering a portion of their income to the Imperial Family each season. The Noble Houses compete with each other, typically indirectly, through production quotas and pulling the strings of other institutions, such as the churches, arcane orders, and the Forging Guild of Meridia, with donations and trade agreements which are all fueled with residuum.

The Noble Houses must carefully balance their mining operations, their military forces, their relationships with the Imperial Throne and the various Guilds, and the development of their holdings. The political machinations of the Houses are the stuff of legend, and more recently, the stuff of popular plays and songs. While any House may have a grievance with any other House, and there are no Houses that do not have at least one grievance, blood feud, or reason to hate one or more other Houses, these grievances are openly dealt with only very rarely. Intrigue, assassination, and sabotage are the weapons of the Noble Houses; to openly wage war with another Imperial House may come with serious consequences, perhaps the most important of these being the favor owed to the Imperial Throne, and the need for exoneration in the eyes of the other Houses (or at least those that matter to the offending House).
"

Are you asking more for the development of the actual Houses with names and a more clearly defined list of bloodfeuds? I can do that.
 


I liked what I read.

But anyway, a nitpick: It doesn't feel entirely like a "Points of Light" setting. There seems to be a lot of light with those Noble Houses and a working Empire. Even if peasants don't benefit directly, it seems as the amounts of money and military might available can still keep them safe.

Of course, that's immaterial to the quality of the setting. I would just not describe it as "Points of Light". ;)
 

Safari

First Post
Hm... I thought I had done so.

"The Noble Houses
The Noble Houses of the Empire are tasked with mining residuum and showing loyalty to the Emperor by offering a portion of their income to the Imperial Family each season. The Noble Houses compete with each other, typically indirectly, through production quotas and pulling the strings of other institutions, such as the churches, arcane orders, and the Forging Guild of Meridia, with donations and trade agreements which are all fueled with residuum.

The Noble Houses must carefully balance their mining operations, their military forces, their relationships with the Imperial Throne and the various Guilds, and the development of their holdings. The political machinations of the Houses are the stuff of legend, and more recently, the stuff of popular plays and songs. While any House may have a grievance with any other House, and there are no Houses that do not have at least one grievance, blood feud, or reason to hate one or more other Houses, these grievances are openly dealt with only very rarely. Intrigue, assassination, and sabotage are the weapons of the Noble Houses; to openly wage war with another Imperial House may come with serious consequences, perhaps the most important of these being the favor owed to the Imperial Throne, and the need for exoneration in the eyes of the other Houses (or at least those that matter to the offending House)."

Aah, you're absolutely right. I'll read more carefully next time. I would also stress the danger of mining and transporting this residuum. Maybe it attracts the attention of Dragon's or burrowing monster's. And if it's of such great worth, there will offcourse be organized raids on the Skyship's.
 

clark411

First Post
Mustrum_Ridcully said:
I liked what I read.

But anyway, a nitpick: It doesn't feel entirely like a "Points of Light" setting. There seems to be a lot of light with those Noble Houses and a working Empire. Even if peasants don't benefit directly, it seems as the amounts of money and military might available can still keep them safe.

Of course, that's immaterial to the quality of the setting. I would just not describe it as "Points of Light". ;)


Aww. What if I said the holdings are hundreds of leagues apart from each other? What if I said that villages were dozens of miles from the holdings, and that they're completely on their own in the wilderness? That a Noble House would not spare a military force to save a town if it meant taking those men off of protecting House assets? What if I said the Empire isn't as bright as it seems, because its forces don't handle wilderness at all?

This was as much an attempt on my part to not let "points of light" translate to "dark ages after the fall of Rom- Nerath" so I have to work to make it come across as "pol."
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Supporter
I like it! Great minds must think alike, as this is somewhat similar to my 3e setting (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=221815), which was also inspired, in part, by Dune. The major thematic difference is that my setting is specifically the opposite of points of light -- I was trying to build a very urban, political-intrigue oriented setting instead.

I very much like your idea that the Empire is so large that its own internal territory isn't fully explored, yet they still have overland transport in the form of airships. It produces a legitimate reason to include airships in the setting, and also provides a very nice contrast between the city-states and the surrounding monster-filed wilderness. I would imagine the villagers in such a situation view the wilderness with much superstition ("If the goblins don't get you, the fey will!").

I also like how you worked Warforged into the setting, although I'm not sure where the other PHB races fit in. Maybe they exist in the wilderness -- points of light forming their own sovereign realm intertwined with the human Empire, but not powerful enough to contend with it, or wealthy enough to be worth conquering. This could help give non-human races a more exotic, otherworldly feel, less like humans-in-funny-suits. Maybe the setting has no Feywild -- instead, the remotest parts of the wilderness are the most magical. Maybe, the lodestones draw residuum from the surrounding area, so fantastic beasts and bizarre terrain are much more likely deeper in the wild. Anyway, these are just some random thoughts I just had.

-- 77IM
 


ThunderYak

First Post
Good stuff. Great stuff! I love this.

I'm going to present this idea to some friends and see what they think. Great write-up. I appreciate the amount of work you put into your presentation as well.

You get four Groovy points! :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:
 

clark411

First Post
ThunderYak said:
Good stuff. Great stuff! I love this.

I'm going to present this idea to some friends and see what they think. Great write-up. I appreciate the amount of work you put into your presentation as well.

You get four Groovy points! :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

Awesome- and welcome to the boards =D
 


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