brushwolf: Icon created by ScaperDeage on DeviantArt (Default)
Games I'd like to run. May have posted this one before.

Standard D&Dish fantasy assumes a pretty standard set of human-ish player character races, there are usually older anachronisms, occasionally people posit all-non-human games, and true to both medieval Europe and a lot of fiction, our heros can look back at a much more technically advanced past.

Rolling these all together, a setting I think would be cool would be in the implied mythical age. The world would be dominated by elves and dwarves, the groups who'd pieced together the best magic and metallurgy, and they'd have fairly advanced Iron Age civilizations with innovations like veterinary medicine, indoor heating, and lateen sails, while everyone else chugged along at Bronze Age levels. The elves are plying the seas in graceful ships and riding bent-legged with stirrups, and the dwarves are perfecting the Bessemer process while humans have just figured out things like multi-tiered galleys, crop rotation, and riding. Part of this, dumb as it sounds, is about shields; in D&D a shield is a nice little extra boost to armor class, in real life plenty of people never had anything more than a shield, because shields are that useful.

Initially when I thought this up as a background I figured it'd have a Peloponnesian War like setup. Elves and dwarves wouldn't go after each other directly, but would support human or other client states which would come into conflict, and the tie-breaker would be gnomes, a group which isn't obviously elves or dwarves. All it would take to push the whole thing over would be a gnome client state deciding they wanted to side with the dwarves instead. But I can see how the setting would have other possible sources of chaos - for instance, a renegade dwarf circulating more iron weapons on the sly, or a conspiracy of half-elves trying to split off as their own kingdom. I think the political, investigative aspect of this would make this be an more suitable background for BRP games than D&D.

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October 2016

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