Alien Nation

Wiki Update: Meta-Setting

I’d never had anyone consider the Xeph before, in part because they look like little green men, but also because psionics, the D&D system for psychic powers, hadn’t played a large role in my game. Still when a player did, I didn’t say no. It was a legitimate choice, and a good one for their character, but they needed a home, and an explanation. That led not just to the creation of the Xeph homeland, but of the population of the entirety of sub-Saharan Africa with a panoply of nations and cultures bound together in Nafaanra, the “Gathering of Great Peoples”.

In other news, Thursday posts are going to become farther apart. I need to lighten my writing load to focus on my job hunt, now that I’ve finished my degree. Sadly, my dream of being a professional GM hasn’t been realized…Yet. In the meantime though, the Xeph! Read more

The Icewalkers

Wiki Update: Meta-Setting

I’ve written about a lot of nations and civilizations, but there are smaller things too. I find writing about tribes to be tricky, because there’s a tendency to make them sound primitive. They have different technologies and ways of life, but primitiveness implies a kind of value judgement about how they can interact with other people, one that anthropologists avoid in real life, and that I try to avoid in D&D. The People live in the icy north of what we know as Norway and Finland (remind me to talk about the map next week), and constantly battle the frost giants who live there. In the past century their way of life has been changed by an encounter with a dwarven colony, the fortress of Mattock, and the two cultures have banded together to make a better living in Stahlrim (sometimes I find words that I like and I played a lot of Elder Scrolls). Read more

Eire, Island in the Mists

Wiki Update

The thesis is taking its toll this week, and I’m nearing the end of my degree, so I haven’t had the time or focus to write a new Temir update. Instead, I have an update from the meta-setting. Since I use a real world map, Eire is located about where you’d expect it to be, and of course it’s full of fairies, in a manner of speaking. The Killoren are intriguing because they can take on a shift aspects (and thus abilities), and I wanted them to have a society which reflects that fluidity.  Read more

Harta, A Nation Within a Nation

Wiki Update

So there are certain weird fantasy tropes I love, and one of them is minotaurs. Maybe it was reading of the Legend of Huma at an impressionable age, or playing a Tauren foor so long in World of Warcraft, but I like the idea of minotaurs who are cunning and honourable warriors, filled with savagery and valour (which is a quote from my favourite minotaur). The problem is that in D&D, minotaurs are giant monsters and generally unsuitable for player characters. Enter the Dragonlance Campaign Setting, a wizards licensed book that gave me minotaurs as a playable race, and prompted me to write them into the islands of Indonesia, with a colony in Madagascar, which you’ll learn about today.  Read more

The Qulan, Seven Tribes, but One Family

Wiki Update

One of the things I love doing is having players create part of the setting. My setting is big and has a fair amount of fluid space for exactly that reason, so when a friend of mine came to me with an idea for a culture of halfling horse archers, we sat down and banged it out, I polished the edges, and there it was. It had always been there, of course. Using a real world map means I could actually put them in Mongolia, which is kind of neat. They have a few other classical references, like the halfling version of the rape of the Sabine women, which seemed like the sort of thing an early raiding culture would do.  Read more