Psion's Ice Age kitbash world - need input!


Okay, everyone. I have a little world building project that I could use a few ideas for.

My first DMing experience used the Blackmoor map in the back of the OD&D expert set. As you might imagine, we found this map woefully incomplete at the time, so I mapped off the edges of that map and made lots of new stuff. I eventually became concerned with my own creations and pretty much moved away from the blackmoor stuff, and called the world "Aphrodomis."

Eventually I became disgruntled with this world and decided to start from scratch. Well, almost from scratch. I wanted a new world, but liked the religions and characters background. So what I did is arrange an apocolyptic magical war called the Chaos wars. The central nation in the setting fled through gates to another world before they got consumed by the warfare. They fled to Trinalia, which would become my campaign setting of choice.

That said, I am at a point in my campaign that will require the characters to revisit Aphrodomis; Drakar, the oppressive villainous empire of Trinalia, has found a way back to Aphrodomis and has been unearthing weapons of the chaos wars. To find a way to stop or defeat these weapons, I want to run a game that will take them back to this world.

So the question would be: what would this world be like? It is 1000 years after the Aborians left Aphrodomis for Trinalia, and probably a similar amount of time after the Chaos Wars reduced all remaining civilizations to rubble. I pictured something like a world recovering from an ice age, similar to the Magic the Gathering Ice Age setting. I picture most of the land to the north as eternally glaciated, but there has been enough of a thaw that some kingdoms are forming around some relatively Ice-free ports to the south. But I need a few more ideas to throw in as flavor and interesting encounter points. Any ideas?

To give myself a fresh start, I broke out the old World Builders Guide and started in on some basic world details. Someone on another forum came up with the thought that perhaps dwarves, largely living underground, would have an advantage weathering such a disaster, so I decided to make dwarves the dominant race.

I also came up with the notion to make vermin a more everpresent threat in this setting. Thri-kreen are one of the races listed below, but I am trying to conceive some insectiod race that can serve in their stead, in addition to any non-intelligent vermin threats.

World Hooks:
The first two world hooks are Arctic climate and post-apocolyptic history. I rolled for a third one to see what I came up with and the result was psionics. Perhaps the dwarves and other races honed psionic talents to deal with the increasingly harsh environment.

For races and cultures I rolled and/or decided (these are not set in stone, just a starting point):

Dominant Race:
Dwarf (3 cultures)

Major Races:
Giant (3 cultures)
Centaur (2 cultures)
Thri-kreen (3 cultures)
Goblin (2 cultures)
Ogre (3 cultures)

Minor Races
Taer (a 2e race) (2 cultures)
Giant (2 cultures)
Kobold (1 culture)
Hobgoblin (1 culture)
Halfling (2 culture)
Elf (2 cultures)
Doppleganger (2 cultures)
Troll* (2 cultures)
Orog (1 culture)
Human* (1 culture)

I decided to make the second human race the Talaire, who have an outpost here... and it fits with the psionic theme.

I think one of the troll races will be ice trolls, from the 1e days (and updated in the creature catalog). The orogs will be remnants of the chaos wars. I am planning on various other remnants of the chaos wars remaining behind and being threats.

Any thoughts? I just need a few ideas on how to work this into an original world. I don't need lots of details... there will only be a few adventures spent here (perhaps more in the future), but ideas revolving around a few of these races, possible hazards, or the prevailing situation would be nice.

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First Post
I have a few thoughts on psionics as an upsurgance seems like it could likely result from some sort of mutation as a result of apocalyptic residue - kind of like nuclear radiation after the nuclear holocaust. How common are psionics on Trinalia?

Here are a couple of possible ideas if you want something extreme:

1. The fabric of magic has been unravelled as a result of the holocaust, both in terms of divine influence and arcane magic. Psionics has replaced it as the dominant form of Craft. Perhaps only 1st and 2nd level arcane/divine spells work, perhaps all caster levels are cut in half, or perhaps magic doesn't even work at all.

2. The fabric of objective reality itself has been damaged and subjective reality has filled in the gaps. Psionics are the ability to take advantage of this weakness in the fabric of reality. In an existential fashion, one can force the world into one's image through pure force of will alone. The characters will find that the world around them is subtly shifting and twisting to reflect both their own will, but more significantly, the will of people around them (who are more used to controlling it, being natives). People find that stepping into a person's home turf can result in suddenly experience slightly altered laws of physics, which are of course designed very specifically to the advantage and/or amusement of the residents therein. Very powerful people have very significant control over their environment and the perceptions of others.

Probably much too extreme for what you have in mind, but I just thought I'd throw something out.


Sage of the Scarred Lands
Well from an adept/shaman side, I'd make sure there were LOTS of fire and ice spells, so limit the amount of lighting spells and/or acid spells. Also toss out 90% of the summoning spells, save nature's ally and planar ally. Also block ANY spell that summons a fire subtype.

Finally, have a legend about a great and powerful creature whose breath suck life from all and enjoys torturing many. (Great Wyrm Shadow dragon that was caught in the rift tides of this vast war.)


Thanks for the feedback, guys.

Psionics are actually fairly common in Trinalia... but not more common than magic, because they dated from the people's days on Aphrodomis. The thing that I might have emphasized was the major races using psionics. Psionic dwarves are unusul.


Sage of the Scarred Lands
Well if you had said that earlier, I might have suggested a Slacerian Dragon with a couple levels in Psionic Warrior. That or some Slacerian type of monster, as they have (at least an apperance of) psionic ability.


Nightfall said:
Well if you had said that earlier, I might have suggested a Slacerian Dragon with a couple levels in Psionic Warrior. That or some Slacerian type of monster, as they have (at least an apperance of) psionic ability.

Slacerian Dragon? :eek:

That said, you did give me some ideas for artifacts from a magical war... the Slacerian section of the appropriate books.


Sage of the Scarred Lands
What? :) I was thinking like young adult to balance it out. They aren't THAT powerful compared to say...a red of the same age catagory.

Yeah well that's kind of the reason I threw it out there. The Slarecians are kind of an ancient race that didn't make it through a catacylsm...or at least not ALL of them.


The civilizations around the thawed areas may be fairly normal or typical civilizations - 1000 years is a lot of time to recover - but the ruins of the old civilizations and the chaos weapons will likely be a significant factor. Looking at what you have, it could be that the orogs (or another race) thrived in the ruined cities covered by miles of ice. As the ice melts, it slowly exposes new groups of these humanoids who have had a thousand years to master whatever magics were left behind. These civilizations could be so powerful that when a new one appears from beneath the glaciers, it poses a significant threat to the other races and necessitates alliances and intrigues that may not otherwise form.

Also, perhaps the chaos wars decimated magic (arcane) in general. With magic all but gone, the civilizations developed psionics in their place. One of the reasons that the emerging societies pose such a large threat is because of their mastery of magic.

Giants, with their hearty constitution, would likely have survived the apocalypse fairly well and may have had an advantage in choosing where to settle after the wars. They might hold the choicest areas of land, with the other civilizations struggling to seize the land from them.

Ogres and goblins could form subservient relationships with the giants in order to benefit from the advantages of the territory.

Kobolds most likely would be warring with dwarves for control of the underground caverns.

Centaurs, with their hooved feet, would have either been forced to adapt to snow and ice or would have been forced to move to more temperate areas. If you follow the idea of giants holding the choicest territories, this puts them into direct conflict.

Thri-kreen work well as vermin enemies, as long as you give them an aesthetic facelift. Just change their coloration to white, add patches of white fur for a more exotic feel, and give them physical adaptations to move quickly on snow and ice. They could easily be the "barbarians of the north" that appear from the blowing snow to cause fear and death. Play up their communal intelligence and their "alien" outlook for the creep factor.

Don't know if that helps or not, but hopefully it gives you some ideas.


Schmoe said:
The civilizations around the thawed areas may be fairly normal or typical civilizations - 1000 years is a lot of time to recover

Actually, it really isn't. First off, 1000 years ago was the timeline that the one nation LEFT; ensuing conflicts could have lasted centuries.

Second, many hazards were introduced in the aftermath that made it difficult for civilization to re-establish itself. There are vestiges of civilization, but they will be dark-ages norm vice renasciance norm that pevades most D&D fantasy.

Anyways, I've given some thoughts to the dwarves and what their society might be like and how to use them. I am thinking that since psionics is a major factor, perhaps duregar and other dwarven clans united forces during the wars to survive. Eventually, they adopted the duregar's propensity for psionics.

Needing to craft out new domiciles quickly underground, and given the dwarves' racial craftsmanship, the dwarves primarily develop talents that let them create... i.e., mainly shapers and savants.

The players might be motivated to seek the dwarves out due to the fact that they are one of the few remaining civilizations that have intact records that could help them seek what they need to find in the ruis of the ancient wars. They might have to gain the dwarves trust to get the answers they need. The dwarves may have used their newfound powers to craft HUGE, elaborate dwellings underground.


I live and work in Lexington Park. If I take the Solomons bridge and rt. 4 up through Calvert county, it takes about an hour and a half to get to the Annapolis environs.

Another aspect of Ice Age life you may want to represent was the seasonal migration. Of course, the glaciers were completely inhospitable, but the tundra zone migrated way south, and during the summer, animals (and hunters) migrated into these tundra zones. This gives you two possibilities:

1) Some cultures still migrate even though the ice age is ending. Maybe the giants (or whomever) are still migratory, and cause all kinds of wars and conflicts as they move through the territory of other races that are trying to settle down.

2) A lot of that tundra area is now flooded: in order to have huge glacial ice caps, the sea level had to be much lower (the North Sea has turned out literally thousands and thousands of mammoth bones, for instance.) Some drastically important artifact, city, culture, etc. could have had a sort of Atlantis-like problem as the sea levels rose and wiped out their lands. Perhaps the PCs need to recover something from the bottom of the sea.

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