The Corrupted World

Overview

This is currently just a lot of rough notes - it still needs to be worked out and eventually playtested.

People and Monsters

Wizards marginally common - spell points? Maybe 1 in 10,000 people or so.
Clerics very rare, tend to gravitate toward the major cathedral-fortifications on both continents (though less so on smaller continent). 2 cathedrals on smaller continent and 5 on larger. Clerics rarer than wizards (maybe 2,000-3,000 in world), and druids rarer still (maybe 800-1,000 in world).
Sorcerers always evil (only source of power are the same forces causing the Corruption (need a better name than that)). This doesn't preclude the possibility of a good sorcerer, but they should be essentially a unique occurence and should be very carefully allowed in game (like, as setup for an epic quest; must deal with corrupting influence of power).
These numbers assume a global population of roughly 250,000,000 people.

  • 25,000 wizards
  • 2,500 clerics
  • 1,000 druids
  • 5,000 paladins
  • 2,000 rangers

Corruption often wills bad creatures into being out of "nothing" (particularly at certain "haunted areas", which are sort of "spawn points" for baddies). Weaker further from the front. These spawn points may remain at a location for years and can be purged by deliberate and forceful action, but they also sometimes jump to a new location. Most cities have carefully-constructed shrine artifacts that provide a safe zone of various radius, but this requires annual maintenance and is very expensive due to the materials involved in keeping up the warding symbols, etc. Most smaller villages don't have shrines as a result; many are semi-mobile because of this.

Corruption can very rarely cause a newborn (animal or sentient being) to be born with the spark of corruption. Handled much like goblinization in Shadowrun and _doesn't_ mean that the creature/person will become evil. Maybe 1 in 100,000 animal births and 1 in 1,000,000 sentient births.

TODO: Need to determine what humanoid monsters are fair game for a conversion birth and what the EL bump is in different areas of the world. The closer to the corruption, the higher the acceptible bump (and larger chance of goblinization).

Orcs aren't chaotic evil. They are highly-respected warriors, though they aren't always well-loved in cities due to their slightly-offset morality. Orcs do not as a rule raid cities; they're just a little disruptive and destructive.

Undead can't be controlled - immediately freed by the corruption and begin rampaging. Clerics can only turn or destroy.

Magic

All magical artifacts made by ritual magic involving rare and expensive material components; part of why villages don't often have shrines. Villages have trained militia instead, usually with simple weapons.

To be a magic user, you must be born with an ability to sense the flow of magic (a "sixth" natural sense). Detect magic will need to be reworked - will be mostly perception rolls, not a spell. Magic can be masked, but it's harder to enchant.

All enchantment requires ritual spellcasting using expensive material components, but rarely mineral - almost always animal or vegetable.

No evidence of gods other than the clerics who believe (but have no proof) that their magic comes from a divine benefactor.

World

Large continent: LARGECONT
Small continent: SMALLCONT
Western archipelago: The Stormwall Islands

Larger continent is to the east; smaller is northwest of the larger with large sea separating. The Western Storms prevent reliable ship travel further than the archipelagos a few hundred miles to the south and west of the smaller continent. This archipelago, the Stormwall Islands, occasionally hit by these hurricanes.

Storm Wall storms have winds of up to 500 mph and last for weeks to months. No ship has ever made it through and returned to tell the tale. Storms will churn up seabed many miles below and sometimes wash things (including occasionally broken or partially-functioning artifacts) onto the Stormwall Islands or, more rarely, SMALLCONT.

Name ideas:

  1. For the world:
    1. The Known Lands
    2. Par'undi (roughly from Latin for Small World)
  2. For LARGECONT:
    1. Turris
    2. Thraexis
    3. Samnis
    4. Aegis
    5. none of these really sound right
  3. For SMALLCONT:
    1. Aquilia

Need some other, smaller land masses as well as overview world map

Open Questions

Some of these decisions, when made, probably need to go to a "private area" so that players don't have all the answers as to what is going on in the world

  1. What is the corruption?
    1. Remnant-effect on magisphere of the world
    2. Extradimensional "evil" influence - Abyss or something like that?
    3. Lingering effect of death of an evil god (I know there was some kind of cataclysm in the past, so this might be good)
  2. What normally-evil races aren't?
    1. Definitely orcs
    2. Kobolds? - what role do they serve in society?
    3. need to look at Monster Manuals to remind self of other ideas
  3. Past cataclysm of some sort?
    1. Like the idea - gives reason for limited supply of city-protecting artifacts
    2. What was the cause?
    3. What was the nature of the cataclysm?
    4. How long ago?
      1. Could even have been 10,000-100,000+ years ago
      2. Could have triggered creation of the non-human races, for example (i.e., even elves and dwarves are goblinized humans)
  4. What can humans goblinize into and where?
    1. Need "CR bands" where goblinization becomes more common and stronger (i.e., can create higher-level monster races) closer to The Corruption
  5. Need to work out political interrelationships
    1. Kingdoms?
    2. Cities, city-states
    3. Cathedral-fortifications - call these Citadels or something else?
    4. Military cooperation, military structures
    5. Western vs. Eastern politics
    6. Cooperation between continents

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