Although I love running DnD campaigns that span over several years, giving my players the opportunity to really explore the characters they bring to the table, I do always feel like there are a lot of worldbuilding ideas I have to leave by the wayside because they don't fit my current narrative. Summarizing my biggest grievance as a DM like this makes it pretty obvious that there are loads of solutions to this issue, but it actually took me several years to finally arrive at it myself.
Enter Loreweaver and let's get ready to start realm hopping.
So yes, instead of just having my next campaign take place in a single setting, I've decided to, literally and figuratively, open the gates from the getgo and allow my players to hop from one world to the next. Allowing me to world-build to my heart's content as our campaign progresses and explore all the wacky ideas I've jotted down in my notebooks (or have sketched out, as you will come to see I spend a lot of time building my worlds in a back and forth between my drawings and my ideas). Loreweaver will be my online notebook for mapping out these worlds as I go along, starting out with my starter setting first: Perradax.
I invite you to come along in this journey, and maybe even entice you to use some of my world designs & mechanics for your own games. I will also be converting some of my games into more detailed modules that I plan on making available in print, so if you are a fan why not sign in for my mailing list which I'll use to notify anyone who would like to support this endeavor and make it possible for me to create loads more content. You'll also be able to support me on my Patreon in return for higher quality content, maps etc.
The Starter Setting for my Campaign will be split up into four different regions, each of which will feature unique character creation options that are based on four elemental cantrips: Gust, Create Bonfire, Mold Earth and Shape Water and explore their use in a low-level setting.
Although it might seem that this setting in design was inspired heavily by the amazing Avatar series, its foundation is actually set in a thought exercise of building a low-level world, where our players are already the cream of the crop. The highest level at level 1. It's basically the town a lot of fantasy adventures start from, expanded into a world. Where everyone knows everyone and most of the crime revolves around minor squabbles and disputes. A PG-13 world, about to be invaded by something much more cruel and the adventurers moving out to face it. It's not just the Southern Tribe, it's also the Shire, Emond's Field, etc.
For now I'm going to work out the design for this first setting on the front page of Loreweaver, but in due time I would like to have subs for the separate settings as I go along. I'm kicking things off with the first region in my first setting called "Avalon", inspired by the Gust Cantrip. I'm also going to mix up thought process and worldbuilding for now, I might split them up in a for players for DMs section (so I can have my own players visit this site as well)
Skycrest is the jewel of Avalon, a group of floating islands located right above the maelstrom at the center of the Swirling Sea. Hovering high above the clouds, Skycrest is the only inhabited island of the archipelago that is within throwing distance of the Holy Forest. A forest that covers most of the major island of Avalon, and is home to the colossal Suntree that towers above all of Perradax.
The city was built long ago in honor of Beleron, the Golden Dragon God who used to live inside the Suntree on the neighboring island. Once inhabited solely by his worshipers, Skycrest has grown considerably in size since the island was opened up to the public after the departure of the Golden God. Nowadays the city is split into two parts, one dedicated to places of worship and the other dedicated in service to the airships that serve as the only means of transportation for the inhabitants of Avalon.
- Air Docks
- House of Trade
- Shipwright Manor
- Suntree Temple
- Temple of Beleron
- (More coming)
The Avalon Airships are both low-magic and low-tech in nature, using a simplified interpretation of a zeppelin as their foundation. The most common ships you'll see floating around Avalon is a galleon that is used for both public and cargo transportation. Smaller, private, airships can also be seen sailing through the clouds from time to time, but they are used almost exclusively by the nobility and clergy of Skycrest.
Although airships don't come equipped with any weapons such as cannons or ballista, as aerial combat of that scale has never really come to mind (The people of Perradax are strangers to the concept of a large scale war), there is the occasional airborne skirmish from time to time. Most of the time these skirmishes involve a pirate faction known as the Skyrats, a band of scoundrels who hail from the regions below the clouds, looking for riches above.
Inhabitants of Avalon are known as the children of the wind, but most commonly referred to as the sun-kissed. A nickname that doesn't just refer to the effects of living under the sun and above the clouds, but also to their pious nature. You see, the people of Avalon follow a very simple creed that those born with a vibrancy to the color of their skin are blessed by the gods. An ideology that is most apparently reflected by their clergy which is almost exclusively made up of golden-skinned High Elves.
All children of the wind are also born with an innate arcane ability that allows them to manipulate the wind. This ability manifests itself in one of three ways and thus there are three subcategories of sun-kissed: Windwalkers, Windweavers, and Windspeakers. Windwalkers can use their gust ability to propel themselves forward. Windweavers have precise control over their manipulation of wind, granting them the ability to wield specialized tools like vortex blades. Windspeakers can whisper secrets to the wind, not just to have it transport their words but also to soothe the wind's temper.
Working from the foundation of building a low-level world, I wanted to create a design of each basic NPC type for each region in this setting. I'm not just doing a list of traits players can use to build a character from a certain region, but I'm also doing a revamp of each NPC stat represented here to make it fit the region they represent. In order for it to make sense in this setting, I'm using CR 1/8 as my baseline to make sure the player characters remain the most powerful individuals. This means turning down the CR on the scout character, but I wanted a double attack for my Skyrat NPC.
Some unique concepts I'll be introducing include the vortex blades and blast hilts, that are powered by the gust ability. The first design for the hilt can be seen on the guard sketch and the vortex blades are wielded by the "scout" / skyrat. The manifestation of the cloud arms, is basically my way to illustrate the wind weaver ability.