[World of Swords] Knightfall's Asian-Themed Campaign Setting

Roll your own. Dice, that is...
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What should the planet be called?

Anveshan
1
14%
Chorth
0
No votes
Dìqiú (Earth [Chinese])
3
43%
Eviso
1
14%
Idagon
0
No votes
Jiàn shìjiè (Sword World [Chinese])
2
29%
Keocury
0
No votes
Lawei
0
No votes
Sōdowārudo (Sword World [Japanese])
0
No votes
Zido
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 7

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Knightfall
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[World of Swords] Knightfall's Asian-Themed Campaign Setting

Post by Knightfall »

Okay, so a while back I came up an idea of creating a 1E/2E mashup world based on the old Oriental Adventures hardcover from 1st Edition. Now, I've decided that the world is going to be revised to take into account a better racial diversity for and Asian setting. The old placehold name had been "Oriental World," which I recently changed to "Asian World."

Now the world is collectively known as the World of Swords, but I need an overall name for the planet. Thus, the poll. Other suggestions are welcome too.

While I'd still like for it to use the 1st edition/2nd edition rules, that might not be feasible now without significant changes. I could use the 3rd edition Oriental Adventures book as my starting point, or I could use a d20 system sourcebook I bought from DriveThruRPG. i have to try to find it in my PDF collection.

At this point, the world only has a few Fractal Terrains 3 maps and some basic ideas (see next post), which I've previously posted on my Otherworlds Facebook Group. I've linked the map from my Almagra and Otherworlds WordPress blog.

Image
Last edited by Knightfall on Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Original Background

Post by Knightfall »

What follows is the original concept of the world (copied over from Facebook), which will likely need some updating. Let me know what you think might need to be changed and what looks good.

WORLD OF SWORDS
Circumference: 25,000 miles
Highest Peak: 30,000 feet
Lowest Depth: -30,000 feet
Ruleset(s): AD&D 1E/2E (unlikely) and/or D&D 3rd Edition (likely) | FATE?

I was casually looking through the forums on The Piazza, and had a flash of insight when my eyes glanced at the old OA forum description... "A place where the monk class won't feel like an oddball. Kara-Tur can be discussed in the FR sub-forum. Rokugan and other oriental Asian worlds can be discussed here."

Hmm, I thought, other Asian worlds. I don't have one of those yet. Thus, a new Asian-style world unto itself. The western and southwestern islands will be full barbarians and evils incarnate (yeah, we'll see. -KF). The main continent will the Imperial Heart of this world; it will be inspired by all things of Asian Antiquity.

Of course, it's all just an idea, right now. I'll have to wait to see where the world takes me.

NOTE: This world will be a two ruleset campaign setting. Its design will take into account both the old AD&D 1E OA sourcebook (not likely now - KF) or the D&D 3E Oriental Adventures sourcebook. With the latter, I will likely refer to v.3.5, but the world will be just as usable as a v.3.0 world (if someone else wants to do that).

(Note that I edited some part of this old post. -KF)
Dragonhelm wrote:Will you incorporate Rokugan or Dragon Empires?
Kevin S. wrote:I believe Dragon Empire is on a different Moon/planet
look for Draco posts
It won't be Rokugan. And it won't be Kara-Tur. And it won't Paizo's Dragon Empires. I want to create something unique for the world. What it will probably end up being is a world inspired by whatever I can glean off Wikipedia about Asia during the medieval period.

And, just to be clear, the dragon-based empire set on the Dragonsword world isn't based on Paizo's Dragon Empires. It is based on FFG's Dragon Empire in the Dragonstar campaign setting. (Wow, I'd forgotten that idea. -KF)
Big Mac wrote:Have you looked at Dragon Fist?: link.
Hmm, I never got around to answering Big Mac's question, so I'll answer it now. I do know about Dragon Fist, but I've never delved deeply into it. I don't want World of Swords to become a carbon copy of something else that already exists.

In truth, the more I think about it, I might try to make the world more rules 'lite' and concentrate on creating a unique backstory. It's all up in the air right now.

Image

Main Campaign Area
This climate map show the main campaign region for this world. The eastern half of the region is the more civilized part of the Imperial Heart. The western half are former barbarian lands that have been conquered and converted to the Asian way of life.

There are still a few places in the West that haven't been Easternized (that's not a good way to put it - KF), but they still fall within the control of the Lords of the East. The Knightly Orders of the Old West try to keep to their own codes of conduct in the face of spreading Eastern traditions such as Bushidō and Shintoism.
Princess Strega wrote:I love the backstory. In a way, it is like the opposite of Earth history; Far Eastern lands conquering America instead of the other way around. Very neat! Can't wait to learn more of this worlds history.
For me, the thought was conquering Europe. And the Old Kings of the West (and their subjects) that weren't subjugated fled across the seas to the West and the Southwest. A few went north, but that territory is more like Asia's far north.
Princess Strega wrote:That thought dawned on me like 10 seconds ago. I should really put more thought into things before typing a response.
No worries. It gave me the idea that the smaller, western continents will be like a limited 'America.' The Old Kings fled to the west in their ships and had to fight for footholds against the aboriginals of the island continents. :)

FYI... the southern peninsula that stretches down the eastern side of the continent is equivalent to India. The forested land bridge to the west leads to a more African-like region.
Princess Strega wrote:Are you going to use Nyambe (or just pieces of it) with that region?
I don't own a copy of Nyambe. (Hmm, I might have it now, but I'm not sure. :?: -KF)
Last edited by Knightfall on Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Knightfall »

I definitely be watching these YouTube videos when thinking about the design for World of Swords. -KF
Dragonhelm wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:30 am
What I do recommend is the Re:Kara-Tur – Reimagining D&D's China playlist on YouTube. CJ does an excellent job of building Kara-Tur up using real-world history.
Thanks for sharing this Dragonhelm.
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Re: [World of Swords] Knightfall's Asian-Themed Campaign Setting

Post by Knightfall »

Here's another projection of the world, which has less distortion.

6-way Interrupted Sinusoidal Map Projection (Textured Climate)
Image
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Possible References

Post by Knightfall »

I found the name of the PDF I was trying to remember: Ronin: OA in Tokugawa Japan by Highmoon Games. It doesn't seem to be on DriveThruRPG anymore.

EDIT:
Hmm, I did find this book by Different Worlds Publication: Gamers Guide to Feudal Japan: Daimyo of 1867

That reminds me, I have a PDF copy of A Magical Society: Silk Road from Expeditious Retreat Press. That will be a useful book for this setting, I think.
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Redefining the Races/Peoples of D&D for World of Swords

Post by Knightfall »

Regarding races (or peoples, if you prefer) for this setting, my first thought is that all humanoids, regardless of the history of the D&D game, have a default alignment of "Usually Neutral" in the context of the D&D v.3.5 rules. (This would be the same for an AD&D 2E game set on the world, although the nomenclature would be slightly different.)

So, from the 3E PHB and MM, that would include the following: Bugbear, Drow (*), Duergar, Dwarf, Elf, Githyanki (**), Githzerai (**), Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Halfling, Hobgoblin, Human, Kobold, Lizardfolk, Locathah, Merfolk, Orc, Svirfneblin, and Troglodyte.

Monstrous Humanoids don't follow the same rule but each of those races' alignment moves one step closer to law/chaos and/or neutrality. Here is the breakdown for the monstrous humanoids from the 3E MM: Centaur (N), Derro (NE), Doppelganger (no change), Gargoyle (CN), Grimlock (N), Hag (NE), Harpy (CN), Kuo-Toa (N), Medusa (LN), Minotaur (CN), Sahuagin (LN), Yuan-Ti (NE).

Fey will move one step closer to chaos: Dryad (CN), Grig (CG), Nixie (CN), Nymph (CN), Pixie (CG), Satyr (no change).

Of course, not all of the monstrous humanoids and/or fey will exist on this world. The idea is that they once did in the ancient past. Some of these creatures went extinct and some left the world. The drow might be the one exception and simply not exist in world's history. (I've always had an issue with the drow as a race.)

All the non-human races/peoples will be reinvented in some way for this setting, although some of the core ideas will remain. For example, dwarves are mountaineers, elves love nature, gnomes are pranksters, goblins make good rogues, halflings are pastoral people, hobgoblins are tough warriors, kobolds are trapmakers, etc.

And, I have this vision of orcs being akin to either Vikings or Teutonic Knights, but it's not written in stone. Since this setting is dominated primarily by medieval Asian ideals, orcs in the Imperial Heart might follow the Bushidō code.

In any case, I'm going to look to the Ronin PDF for other standard races/peoples for the Imperial Heart, which includes the following: Hengeyokai, Hanyo (half-hengeyokai), Spirit Folk, and Demon-Blooded.

Of course, those are only the races/peoples as defined for a fantasy Japan setting and the Imperial Heart is more about Chinese society. But, it's a place to start. The PDF does also have monster stats for Bakemono as humanoids with an alignment of "Always CE" and the goblinoid subtype. I might just leave that race as is for this setting. The race won't be a PC race, for now. (Hmm, perhaps they should be fey instead with a CN alignment. :?: )

More research to be done.

* Drow may not be used for the world. I haven't decided yet.
** The gith races might be the exception to the rule. They might not be connected to the world at all or be defined as normal for a planar adventure.
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