Khardthan Conundrum

So, it's 3:19am and I just woke up with a terrible feeling. I'm not even usually in bed by now, but my net's been being dumb lately and I wasn't able to get on, so I thought I would check it out. There's no way I can fall back to sleep immediately now, anyway.
Before I start in on anything dealing with the heading of this post, I just wanna say I'm sending out good vibes and hopes that everyone is ok right now. I'm a little shook up. Odd.

But yeah...Khardtha. My gaming "baby." The one thing I have designed fully on my own.

The one thing I have NO clue what to do with.

You see, Khardtha was my sandbox when I was DMing my high school pals on Monday nights so we had more to do than just watch wrestling on those nights. I was a new DM and they were new players and it always seemed like whatever we could think up was A-OK, and it was. The more fantastic and powerful, the better. The odder things seemed, the more they fit.
I've already addressed some things in the setting that I might fix or leave the same, but there is plenty more. Key among those things is that back then, I ran the world pretty crazily. Monsters could walk the streets of cities without drawing much more than a second look, magic was as commonplace as running water in our world, and high level characters were around ever corner.

These are problems I want to fix. I've matured and my games have, too. Monsters and "evil" humanoids, etc. shouldn't have a place in society, but I fully intend to have them just as populous in the world as they were before. Magic will now be a mysterious and powerful thing, as it should be...maybe even opening possible prejudices against spellcasters from time to time...and as I said in the earlier post, high level adventurers won't be as common.

I realize that it's my game world and my campaign, and I can do whatever the hell I want with it, but I have grown to want a grittier, more vivid feel to my games. It's like I decided to touch up and finish an old painting for a gallery display, and I've sat and looked at what I have, and on one hand, it's good work for the timeframe it was done in, and I can fully appreciate that, but I can't see what the final vision was either supposed to be or what I want it to be now, so I'm setting small goals and working toward them and seeing where that takes me. The only thing is, it's important enough to me to want outside critique, because, once complete, it will be the foundation of better gaming experiences on all sides of that hobby.

Something I have been debating is whether to start the campaign around a smaller village or the city of Dungan. Both have bennies and drawbacks, and I feel like I'm riding the fence too much. I bounced some of my concerns and thoughts about that off Josh D on Sunday, and I've still to come to any conclusions.

I just reread myself and realized I'm just rambling and not really addressing the problems, just going over some points, so I'll come back to this when I have a fresh mind. Dungan is something that I definitely will address in upcoming posts, as well as the core races and classes and where/how they fit into the game.

If anyone can put a spin on Warlocks (curse/hellfire hurlers) or Dragonborn (humanoid dragons) to help me find them a place in the world, I'd be glad to hear it.


Anonymous said...

As far as having monsters in cities, you could easily have a large city under control of a powerful orc tribe or some other monster, where "goodly" races might be considered outcasts. It would also serve as an antagonist state for your good-guy cities. Perhaps the conflicts between these nations have left dozens of smaller nations/communities caught in between devastated by war, and they are the ones who shun the use of magicks since it ruined their lands and peoples. These areas could be plagued by "living spells" and to borrow from Gamma World, you could have a magic version of mutation that the people suffer from, the "spellwracked" or something, and the locals would hunt arcane mages and creature. So, while high magick is everywhere, it's shunned in most places outside the large cities.

-Josh D

Anonymous said...

On Warlocks, if you like the idea of the nation of good vs the nation of evil, with the little communities caught in the middle, consider this.

The smaller nations caught between the big ones lack any true ability to defend themselves when the big boys march their armies across their lands and have epic battles. So, dark forces from beyond whisper to them, promising power and strength. The downtrodden, the helpless, those who seek vengeance on the powerful are those who answer the call of demons. Some, summon demons to do their bidding, others, the Warlocks, cover their bodies in arcane runes and bind demons to their bodies, like a willing possession, and use the demons power for their own ends. Internally, their is a constant struggle between the demon and it's master, and occasionally the demon takes over. Think it like a barbarian's rage or maybe lycanthropy, but with magical might behind it.

I'll ponder the Dragonborn and see what I can come up with. =)

-Josh D

Anonymous said...

In the movie Excalibur, Merlin referred to The Dragon as the personification of nature. The Dragonborn could reflect this concept. They could be the equivalent of druids and rangers. Natural protectors of the wild lands.

-Josh D