Circumference: 50,000 miles | Highest Peak: 60,000 ft. | Lowest Depth: -65.6168 ft
ICESHARD Campaign Setting [Dungeons and Dragons v.3.5]
Here is the Altitude Map for the Iceshard Campaign Setting (world name: TBD). This world is damn cold and very inhospitable. There are smatterings of tropical shrublands near the equator surrounding the sea-lakes, but the rest of the world is desert, boreal or alpine forest, tundra or alpine, or ice.
Note that none of the sea-lakes get any deeper than 65.6 feet while the peaks reach as high as 60,000 feet. The world is large compared to a standard Earth-like world, but it doesn't reach the 'massivity' of Almagra.
The poles are dominated by the Frost Folk (from D&D Frostburn [will not be a PC race]) and all of the variant races from that sourcebook are the common demihuman races of the world. It is the D&D PHB v.3.5 races that are rarer, yet they are still considered standard PC races (see below).
D&D Sandstorm will also be important for this world; however, the variant races from that book won't be a part of Iceshard (except for the Scabland Half-Orc). However, I am including the two new races described in the book — Asherati and Bhuka — since the world does have tropical terrain. D&D Stormwrack won't be as useful for the outer world, but it will influence the Underhollows.
PC RACES FOR ICESHARD
Common: Centaur (RotW) *, Bhuka (SS), Bugbear (MM), Domovoi (FB), Glacier Dwarf (FB), Gnoll (RotW), Goliath (RoS), Half-Orc (PHB), Harssaf (MM3), Hobgoblin (MM), Human (PHB), Ice Gnome (FB), Neanderthal (FB), Snow Elf (FB), Snow Goblin (FB), Troll (MM), Tundra Halfling (FB), and Uldra (FB).
Uncommon: Armand (MM3), Catfolk (RotW), Duergar (MM) **, Dwarf (PHB), Feral Gargun (RoS), Flind (MM3), Goatfolk (MM3), Hadozee (SW), Half-Elf (PHB), Half-Ogre (RoD), Minotaur (MM), Mountain Dwarf (MM), Scablands Half-Orc (SS), Stonechild (RoS), Svirfneblin (MM) **, and Vazalkyon (MM3).
Rare: Asherati (SS), Chaos Gnome (RoS), Darfellan (SW), Deep Dwarf (MM) **, Deep Halfling (MM) **, Doppelganger (RoD), Draconic Creature [Template] (RotD), Drow (MM) **, Elf (PHB), Gargoyle (MM), Halfling (PHB), Half-Dragon [Template] (MM), Kobold (RotD) **, Mongrelfolk (RoD), Ogre (MM), Orc (MM), Sand Giant (MM3), and Underfolk (RoD) **.
Very Rare: Aasimar (RoD), Aquatic Elf (SW) **, Aventi (SW) **, Crystalline Troll (MM3), Dragonborn (of Bahamut) (RotD), Dream Dwarf (RoS) **, Gray Elf (MM) **, Gnome (PHB), Illumian (RoD), Kenku (MM3) **, Killoren (RotW) **, Raptoran (RotW) **, Sea Kin (RoD) **, Sharakim (RoD), Shoal Halfling (SW) **, Skulk (RoD) **, Skullcrusher Ogre (MM3), Spellscales (RotD), Tiefling (RoD), Troglodyte (MM) **, and Whisper Gnome (RoS) **.
FB = Frostburn; MM = Monster Manual v.3.5; MM3 = Monster Manual III; PHB = Player's Handbook v.3.5; RoD = Races of Destiny; RoS = Races of Stone; RotD = Races of the Dragon; RotW = Races of the Wild; SS = Sandstorm; and SW = Stormwrack.
* The bottom half of Iceshard centaurs are camel-like.
** An Underhollow race only.
• Cold- and Temperate-based creatures are dominant. However, creatures found in Warm environments will have their niche around the sea-lakes.
• NO d20 STUFF! Official D&D v.3.5 sourcebooks only. (Exceptions: monster books: MM2 and Fiend Folio [but not Monsters of Faerun].) Nothing from any of the D&D Worlds, not even monsters.
• D&D Frostburn and D&D Sandstorm will be key. The Warm-environment creatures from D&D Sandstorm would be in, but would be slightly modified for a cold world. (Add Cold Subtype when appropriate.)
• Standard Classes: D&D PHB v.3.5, PHB II, non-Oriental-based classes from the Complete Series. (D&D v.3.0 classes that did not officially get updated to v.3.5 are out.)
• Exactly. There is a race from Frostburn called the Frost Folk (monstrous humanoids with the cold subtype). The polar regions will be where their kingdoms are. I foresee them being this world's major villains.Kevin S. on Facebook wrote:Arid place for sure. | Not much snowfall unless near the few bodies of open water. | Arctic/polar regions will be downright Bitter cold.
• TAD, everything from D&D Frostburn will exist on this world, including the Uldra.Twin Agate Dragons wrote:Uldra?
• Homebrewing for this world will not include new rules: no new races, no new classes, no new monsters. Templated creatures (using official D&D v.3.5 templates) are the only exception.
Kevin S. on Facebook wrote:Typical seasons on this rock - Cold - REALLY Cold | It might actually get somewhat warm in the Equatorial region but with the vast amount of high Mountains that warmth will not get far.
I see much of this place being Chilean Desert type Dry with maybe 1" precip every decade. | Any real moisture will stay around the open water as they are pretty well hemmed in by Mountains. | Mot a hospitable place to live. | Vicious fighting will be common as water is so scarce it would be more valuable than Platinum. | Any source on the surface will be strongly defended.
• The world will be harsh, but its biosphere will be strangely diverse. I foresee magical variables that will break the natural laws of the world. As well, the world's underdark will be extensive... to the extreme.Kevin S. on Facebook wrote:Ignore anything over 80 Degrees as most of it is over open water. | That same open water will have a local impact on the surrounding land areas besides the available vegetation. | Temps will be held to a somewhat consistent range by means of the lake effect breezes.
There won't be much rain on this planet. | Not enough surface moisture and too many mountains surrounding those same lakes/oceans. | A significant portion of this place will not receive appreciable rainfall/snowfall
This place would make a better Moon than a planet.
Very harsh conditions here making any life present few and very well built.
• The bulk of surface life will be creatures that thrive in a frozen environment — any monster with the cold subtype. Meat eaters will rule the day and night. (Plant life will be scarce, I think.) Add to that any creature that doesn't need to eat and/or breathe — elementals and non-native come to mind.Kevin S. on Facebook wrote:Surface life will be few and largely centralized around those bodies of open water. | The Underdark can very well TEEM with life in vast numbers. | High levels of ambient Magical energy can make a difference especially if a knowledgeable caster taps into it creating a string of lush oasis cities along trade routes into the far harsher regions.
• As for the Underdark, Iceshard will be honeycombed with distinct Hollow World-like regions. It won't be one huge hollow world, and the upper regions won't be lost worlds. They will be the traditional homelands of the standard D&D v.3.5 races (although the races will have a presence on the surface, especially humans). I foresee Underdark trade routes between the various sea-lake regions. It's a safer way to travel, even with the underground dangers.
• Magical oases on the surface wouldn't be as common. A lone, powerful arcanist (or, more rarely, a druid) could easily create an oasis of life that defies the world's natural order. They would guard such a place to the death. Trusting strangers can get you killed on Iceshard.
• The Saguaro Sentinel from D&D Sandstorm would be the primary intelligent plant-creature on the surface. (They will have the Cold Subtype.)Kevin S. on Facebook wrote:Plant life would be mostly Cactus or other Desert types that are water efficient and temperature tolerant most will likely have some form of spiky or harmful defenses.
• The water on the surface will likely be salty in the extreme. Deep wells will be a must. And the Underdark will have a significant amount of water. Wars have been fought over the best Underhollows. Underhollows, I like that.Kevin S. on Facebook wrote:Abundant vegetation will be found around the few bodies of open water. | My guess is that much of this planet's water supply will be subterranean making this rock pretty desolate. | Irrigation or deep wells would be the only way to get any real quantity of water to remote sites such as mines or other strategic points not near open water.
• The surface-dwelling races will be experts in desalination techniques. And there will be water diviners who can purify salt water with a touch.
• So, the Iceshard name makes me think magical iceflows where special ice magic comes into play. The wild magic creates random Iceshards: constructs of power that the races of the world wish to possess. The catch: the iceshards only form on the surface.