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Overview

About This Game

The island-continent of Kathamon or Katmon or Kozomon is surely amongst the most remarkable realms of the kingdoms of Estral-Veliis. It's northern portion is a fearsome icy waste. Its southern portion is a verdant land of semi-tropical forests that contain the Eight Kingdoms. The lofty peaks of the intertwining ranges of the Rainshadow, Thundershadow, Stormshadow, Lightningshadow, and Hailshadow Mountains that form the stony spine of Kathamon divides these distinct biomes so decisively that each side of the mid continental divide might as well be a separate world. In the north, lapped by the chilly waters of the Inner Sea of Cadmusia, the Isle of Karmathag stands as an isolated outpost of civilization. It is home to the settlements of Minikog, an outpost of the barbarian Kadyrian tribes, and the town of Namir's Rest, a dependency of the Kingdom of Ceracal. Of late, the peace of the Isle of Karmathag has been threatened by the forces of Samagsmolyandolsomanodolonta, the Frostbite Tyrant, a vile white dragon from the far northern continent of Plegilon. The merciless wyrm directs his armies of frost orcs and trolls and yeren to locate the Hidden Well, a reported mana lake of immense size and nigh infinite power from which the Frostbite Tyrant intends to draw forth the necessary power to condemn all lands of the living to an eternal chill... The Frostbite Tyrant and a dark pantheon of several other 'great dragons' or 'true drakes' have attracted to themselves a veritable legion of crazed fanatics known as the Mysteries or the Grand Mysteries of the Wyvern or the Grand Mysteries of the (Five Tails of the) True Drakes. The initiates of the Mysteries have infiltrated the major civilized realms of the canceric and ante-canceric tropics. In the ancient Salar Region, once the epicenter of the fearsome slaving empire of the cryoraptor civilization, dark rumors have been cast abroad that the isolated township of Bluesleep has been conquered by the sinister agents of the Mysteries. However, fortune would have it that an enterprising collection of travelers making their way upon the uppermost tier of the White Road or sakbejsakbejo'ob will soon have an opportunity to investigate the fell rumors...

Game System

True20

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08/05/2024

Detailed Description

I'm checking interest for a homebrew that would use the 5e Tyranny of Dragons and the BX module Night's Dark Terror as an (extremely loose, basically just get some broad plot points and ideas for locations) base/primary inspiration, but be set in a homebrew setting and use the True20 system (bit of a blast from the past, here's a link if you've not heard of it: True20 - Wikipedia).

 

The deep history of this homebrew is that it appears to be a normal fantasy setting on first glance, but deep down it's probably more like Numenera or a similar 'sufficiently advanced' science kind of setting. The basic concept is that it is a planet in the very middle of the Boötes Void (Bootes Void (Wikipedia) that's essentially isolated from the rest of the galaxy. It was colonized and/or terraformed many millennia or millions of years ago by some kind of super-advanced human or post-human society.

But a large portion (the majority?) of this high technology has been forgotten and is currently confined to clearly artificial 'vaults' which lie deep underground, deep beneath a worldwide network of tunnels similar to the 'Hollow' from Gears of War. This 'vaultcraft' or 'vaultwear' is considered to be quasi magical to the degree it is understood at all. However, there are also ruins of what appear to be a high-tech society strewn throughout the planet -- large structures made of glass and steel stand in the middle of isolated wildernesses. Overhead, the great 'sky bridges', immense orbital rings similar to the Halo rings from the eponymous franchise, can clearly be observed by this planet's terrestrial inhabitants.

Several other unusual elements of this planet suggest it is either a heavily engineered natural object or a completely artificial construction:

Most of the continents rotate in an elaborate dance throughout the oceans, moving much faster than would be possible through natural plate tectonics. Several continents levitate or levitate during portions of their constant peregrinations.

The oceans are primarily shallower than earth in the broad shelves that surround the continents, but much deeper in the vast middle reaches of the seas. These wide and broad abysses descend into artificial vaults in many instances and appear to be the outlets of a worldwide energy creation and or transformation supernetwork.

Most of the planet has a temperature and clime that is arctic to subarctic -- similar to the climactic bands between the upper Midwest to the Arctic Circle. A small ring of the planet at the poles -- known as the canceric and anti or ante canceric tropics, are tropical or subtropical, similar to the Florida everglades, Mississippi Delta, and/or the Amazonian basin. These zones appear to be correlated with the massive 'fire seas' at the summit and bottom of the planet which may be the ocean-sized outlets of the planetary factory/energy core.

The planet is surrounded by dozens of moon-sized orbital objects that are hollow and are clearly the product of intelligent manufacture to those with the ability to observe them closely through a telescope or similar artificial device.

Though, upon first glance, this might appear to be a fantasy setting, there is probably an at least plausible science fiction explanation for most apparent 'fantasy' peoples, places, things and phenomena. For instance, the 'dragons' might be dinosaurs subjected to genesplicing and injected with alien DNA a long time ago -- your character(s) would probably have no idea about that except for vague traditions about ancient alchemists twisting reptiles borne in arks of steel and fire that descended from the seventy seven heavens -- i.e., it's just background. The current state of affairs appears, on the surface, to be a magical arctic setting, except the 'deep explanation' for most of the phenomena is some kind of 'sufficiently advanced' technology = magic similar to Numenera. Most of the 'monsters' are genesplicing experiments of various sorts and the 'magic' is nanotech or something like biotics in Mass Effect (the magic system would still be the standard pathfinder magic system, it's just that the fluff would be that it's based on nanotech or some kind of paracausal powers like in Destiny, Mass Effect, Star Wars, or Coriolis). The 'dragons' are probably dinosaurs or other megafauna genespliced with alien DNA by ancient 'genemathematicians'/'genehermeticists'.

The initial campaign premise is that you're going to start out in a town (Frostfang/Chorachost) that's built around two fangs of a city-sized dead dragon (or dragon-statue, no one is really sure). The town has two trade partners -- a barbarian hunting camp on an island and another, larger, fortified town that's a colony of one of the Eight Baronies of the south. The feel/ambience is similar to Skyrim and and Ralph Bakshi's 'fire and ice'. There's an ancient tomb on a mountain overlooking the starting town -- similar to Bleakfalls Barrows in Skyrim. This starting zone is on the edge of one of the aforementioned tropical zones at the roof and base of the planet. The ancient town of Bluesleep was once the center of the bloodice-tea ceremonies of the Cryoraptorian Slavering Realm.

The continent north of the starting zone is much more ice age/primeval in aesthetic and technology level and primarily consists of the disparate 'thouman/kurulthaag' of the warlike maalisan (wild men), white orc, and yeren peoples-- their semi nomadic empires, established on the bones of a more ancient elven civilization, are the dominions of the Snowflake Tyrant. The starting area (on the northern shore of the starting continent) has a number of other factions/areas/events going on -- the yeren (yeti) empire of the northern continent of Phlegilon/Plegilon is one of the main servitors of the Frostbite Tyrant -- a mysterious creature that's similar to King Ghidorah in Godzilla. He was awoken from a deep ice tomb miles beneath the earth by crazed archeologists who became his first cultists. He seems to have abilities similar to the Legion of Everblight from Iron Kingdoms in that he has a despoiling aura that can be used to extend his conscious presence into servitors, including the yeren priest-king Azkoog the Indomitable. The forces of the yeren and the white orcs (bolgazog/bulazuur), and the 'wild men' (mallisan) have set up several forward camps in the starting zone and are pushing inwards looking for the purported location of the mana-well sought by their draconic god-which is probably actually a island-sized hyper drive reactor of some kind.

There's also another dragon lord known as Kamabuzda that lives in the depths of the oceans between Kathomon and Pheligon/Plegilon/Phelgilon that's also looking for the mana-well and possesses its own legions of deformed servitors.

There are two predominant 'genealogies' or 'species' of races based on what exotic sci-fi fuel polluted their area in the past -- one set are 'were kint' that have mischwesen (mixed animal, like neo-assyrian sheddim/griffins or centaurs) or similar beastial forms. The other are 'mana kint' -- possessing elemental forms. The basic concept would be that with certain triggers characters can assume there manamorph or weremorph. These are represented by races such as undine or other genasi stand-ins, or appropriate class choices (druid, alchemist, shifter, hunter) with shifting powers.

Humans/Sapients

  • Varidan/Varidoran: The main primary ethnic group of the Varadian Republic that used to rule the Eight Baronies of southern Kathomon. An industrious, mercantile people that are also highly militaristic. Their cultures is a mix of medieval Iberia, Venice, as well as ancient Rome and Macedon. Their capital of Thal-amun-Varidoth is similar to Lankhmar.

  • Cheirsulari: The druidic and hunter-gatherer peoples who form the original population of the Barony of Gaulsir, of which the township of Frostfang (Chorachost) is a colonial dependency. Their culture has a Finnish/Celtic aesthetic.

  • Osalavdun: Pale-skinned, bald -- believed to have 'elder blood' from the prehistoric civilization of the enigmatic Glassspinners. Live in isolated clans in the mountains of the Shalar Region.

  • Malisan/Maalisan: The so-called 'wild men' of the northern continent of Plegilon. They are similar to historical neanderthals and are believed to have interbred with yeren and orcs. They are renowned for their great strength and skill at hunting. At least some clans are rumored to be matriarchal theocracies ruled by half-breeds known as Lammia or Lammazu which combine the genus of a sabre-toothed tigre or similar predator with that of a Malisan amazon.

Other Races:

  • Cryoraptors: Blue-scaled dinosauroids who once ruled an empire centered on the present-day Shalar/Salar Region. They ruled in the name of Slaaniatar the Maiden of Pain and Pleasure. A civil war with their dragon-angels and the followers of Asaelen, mistress of light, destroyed their empire. Many undead inculabulsan -- the pain priests of Slaaniatar -- remain entombed in the ancient barrows of the Cryoraptorian civilization, including the edifice that grimly overlooks the isolated settlement of Frostfang (Chorachost). Any player characters of this race will probably be descendants of the upstart adherents of Asaelen. These would be represented by kobolds with trait choices that express blue, black, and white draconic heritage.

  • Xollital/Xoxolitol: Blue and purple ice salamanders. The previous 'chosen people' of Slaaniatar that were replaced when their dragon-angel fell from the favor of the goddess known as the Hungry One. They currently live in subterranean caverns. A small number are explorers. Many have abandoned their worship of Slaaniatar and now venerate a pantheon of eight hero deities, most of whom are tricksters.

  • Mimkin: White mink bipeds. Tricksters, traders, caravan folk. They are scavengers that live in clans on the edge of the northern townships. They acknowledge no absolute law except their own, including the 'civilized' notion of private property.

  • Ice gnomes/Ukkanaq: Ram-horned peoples who live on the highest peaks of mountains. They are renowned as mystics and seers, as well as masters of gemnomancy. They were previously slaves of the Xollital and Cryoraptors.

  • Snowflake Elves: Mysterious adherents of the snow dragon goddess Tzamakaga and her council of 'white women'. Extremely white--blindingly white, skin with blue, pink, and purple veins and blood and hair. They are famed for their knowledge of snow magic, which combines elements of illusion and cryomancy, as well as their three-headed arctic fox-hunting steeds. Tzamakaga is considered to be a trickster and inter-dimensional traveler. She is currently believed to have departed on a tour of the nearby stars for an unknown purpose. She has been gone for roughly a decade.


    r/pathfinder_lfg - The Continent of Gwal-Thur (Gwathuria)

    r/pathfinder_lfg - The Continent of Tal-Setira/Seraspin

    r/pathfinder_lfg - The Continent of Slaav-Ituur (Slaviatar)

    r/pathfinder_lfg - Shalar Region (Salar Region) and Pheglis Minor

    r/pathfinder_lfg - An Icegem Drake hunts on the Ashkiangar Tundra

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