You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 09, 2016, 03:45:52 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Warring empires in custom DnD fantasy setting - need discussion, ideas&comments  (Read 462 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Zaer DarkwailTopic starter

Ok, I today digged through my DnD sourcebooks and I got then inspired on fantasy world which encompass most of the exotic materials of the DnD; psionics, tome of magic, tome of battle/book of nine swords, incarnum. While also having idea of strong powerful empire, at first idea of draconic empire and then I ran into block called 'why this empire is not ruling this world?'

Then answer was; another powerful empire opposes it. Then came idea of world filled with powerful themed empires where between them lays free nations which are build by minority groups or small cultures in themselves who struggle survive between clash of the titans (as naturally empires fight each other). I thinked main reason why empires fight is because they most seek world of domination (with one or two empires just fighting maintain what they have).

So, to get down to write the empires (basically world present structure) I need develop them and give them each unique niche and own magic/tech which can rival but not overwhelm the opposition. So careful balancing act. Not to mention themes and even different government systems.

So, here below are briefly my empire ideas for discussion opening and for others throw ideas into them.

Dragon Empire
  • Haves a worshipped god-emperor/empress who is half-dragon elan who is sorcerer/psion(telepath)/Cerebremancer
  • Worship dragons as divine entities (not direct Bahamuth/Tiamat worship)
  • Nobility breeds and aims to have natural draconic appearance; half-dragons considered especially blessed and close to their immortal emperor
  • Magocracy; natural born sorcery highly valued even if person does not have much physical draconic traits. Measures up directly political influence and importance of a person (most peasants know no magic, knowing cantrip big deal)
  • Dragon Shamans houseruled bit; are main priests and Dragon Totem and Dragon Totem rituals from Eberron are widely used by military elite

Human Empire
  • Worship of Zarus as main religion
  • Theocracy; Church governs and rules all aspects of government

Kingdom of Madness&Aliens
  • Daelkyr Half-Blood is main race, other races only slaves or material for experiments.
  • Psionics major part of everyday life (psionic culture)
  • Many psionic slave races been created in 'flesh warping vats' (half-giants example). Slaves revolted and became rebels or founders of own free nations. Moving to create pure beastly alien bugs as main military force (Zerg from StarCraft for inspiration)
  • Use aberrations (a.c.a 'Aliens') as main part of army. Constant development of new mutants/aliens.
  • Worship of alien evil madness deities (Daelkyrs = Cthulhu) and some more intelligent aberrations respected entities (Illithids example).

Demonic Kingdom
  • Tieflings and half-fiends part of nobility.
  • Heavy use of demonic forces in military and everyday life (fiendish lifestocks included).

Undead Empire
  • Ruled by powerful 'lich king/queen'.
  • Kingdom mostly consists of sentient undead and heavy use of undead and necromancy in armies. Few living are offspring of vampires (half-vampires). Anything living with blood serves mostly as slaves (or servants) for vampire nobles (few families).
  • Shadow magic (Tome of Magic) is taught and used in the kingdom.

Kingdom of Souls
  • Incarnum sourcebook is used some fashion (Incarnum is major everyday aspect)
  • Azurin, Skarn and Rilkan form three kingdoms of their own which are in conflict but can combine together when facing outside threats. Duskling are wandering nomads with no kingdom (blue furry nature loving halflings).

Elven Kingdom
  • All elves get fey subtype and elves are split to light and dark elves (one for seelie and other unseelie court). Both elven clans intermarry to keep harmony and peace despite differences in some policies (but personal conflicts and feuds do occur). Lolth does not exist.
  • Feys are major part of everyday life and in military. Both beautiful (nymph) and creepy (hags).
  • Lycantrophes are founders of animal barbarian sort kingdoms where shifters are their blood lineaged subjects (natural born lycantrophes lifespan long as elves). Kingdoms not under direct leadership of elves but old allies (even if kingdoms fight each other for territory).

Hordelands
  • A mercenary kingdom where monstrous humanoids wage constant warfare upon each other (orcs, gnolls, goblins, ogres and trolls are top five majority groups).
  • Rent forces to other empires for wealth. If mercenary companies and tribes would combine together they have x3 times bigger military than biggest numbered empire troops and decently geared thanks wealth brought from mercenary work.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 03:42:17 AM by Zaer Darkwail »

Offline alextaylor

I love history just because of all that clash of empires stuff.  :-)

For the most part, a lot of empires avoided direct clashes because war was a hell lot of work. Most of them would play out a kind of cold war, where they influenced smaller nations, or attacked each other non-conventionally.

There have been plenty of empires which did a good job of almost ruling the world. I liked how many of them had tribes which eventually decided to stop attacking each other and focus their military might on external forces (e.g. Mongolia and Arabia), then later collapsed on itself when it ran out of things to conquer and had to change focus to internal affairs. Any group with strong warring tribal culture, like orcs and gnolls, even goblins, can follow that pattern.

Check out games like Dominions or Fall From Heaven II (Civ4 mod) if you want to test out some of those concepts in a game. The illithid/cthulhu-ish empire is a common theme and has been interpreted in a lot of interesting ways. They have a lot of variety and even build it well into the gameplay. Conquest of Elysium is a lighter game that can also play out in a clash of empires form.

Offline Zaer DarkwailTopic starter

Thanks from comments alextaylor, I thinked one nation/kingdom is called Hordelands, basically a land filled with tribal societies where they fight each other but also sell their services to outside kingdoms warfares (so orc warband could act in behalf of dragon kingdom in some scenario). Any single tribe; goblin, orc, gnoll or ogres could not win alone warfare against any kingdom but together (as singular horde) they would be scary force.

Offline steelsmiter

  • Special Constable Wossname Ferret
  • Lord
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2013
  • Location: At the Glorious Revolution with the People's Republic of Treacle Mine Road
  • Gender: Male
  • you don't need a reason to help people
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 2
Pathfinder Ultimate Campaign (which I got for my birthday a few days ago) is a truly amazing book which features both kingdom building (you can literally build cities one building at a time) and mass combat. Amazing book, I hope the strong advice that you should look into it are not unwelcome. I'm looking to use their Downtime system to expand my rules on building brothels. for nefarious purposes.

Offline Zaer DarkwailTopic starter

Not really much money to use my end atm, but are some rules published in SDR?

Offline steelsmiter

  • Special Constable Wossname Ferret
  • Lord
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2013
  • Location: At the Glorious Revolution with the People's Republic of Treacle Mine Road
  • Gender: Male
  • you don't need a reason to help people
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 2
Not really much money to use my end atm, but are some rules published in SDR?
Possibly, the chapters in the book are called Downtime and Kingdoms and War. Maybe you could try those terms in the pfsrd.

Also the following terms might be of help
For small scale stuff the Downtime involves these keywords
Capital
Rooms, Teams, and Organizations

and the world/kingdom building stuff involves these keywords
Kingdom Building
Build Points
Mass Combat
Army Statistics

Just kind of search some of the words and you will find out if the pfsrd has them yet.


Aah here we are!
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 01:18:43 AM by steelsmiter »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

  • Lord
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2012
  • Location: The Occidental Wilds of the Realm of Canadia.
  • Gender: Male
  • "Do what thou wilt" shall be the whole of the law.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Is it worth maybe thinking about the different levels these different kinds of power are operating at, or whether it's necessary to have them all in the same setting?

I only ask because Yon Typicalle D&D Settynge tends to insist on having a kitchen-sink throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach to different grades of Power -- thereby putting them all on relatively equal footing -- whereas another type of setting can make use of one or two types of "empire" as the prime movers in the setting and have others subordinate or ancillary to them (which, FWIW, is probably more "realistic" for whatever value you're willing to assign that term?).

Using analogies to actual history can be useful here. It might be interesting to see what the Persian Wars look like if one casts a Draconic Empire in the role of the Persians (whose subordinate nations could be varying varieties of Demonic or Undead or what-have-you) and perhaps one's Goblinish Mercenaries in the role of the Hellenic City-States (which basically lived off the mercenary role for some time in Terran history), and putting the "Human Empire" in the role of a restive subject-people of the Draconians, and the Elves in the role of an equally restive subject-people of that same Empire across the water (a sort of para-Egypt). Just for example.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 01:34:59 AM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Zaer DarkwailTopic starter

Aah here we are!

Thank you a lot! Even if I use 3.5 edition rules (as said main goal is to use most exotic materials like tome of magic and incarnum to build empires/world), those rules can be used in 3.5 edition just fine (or minor adjustments if need be).

Is it worth maybe thinking about the different levels these different kinds of power are operating at, or whether it's necessary to have them all in the same setting?

I only ask because Yon Typicalle D&D Settynge tends to insist on having a kitchen-sink throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach to different grades of Power -- thereby putting them all on relatively equal footing -- whereas another type of setting can make use of one or two types of "empire" as the prime movers in the setting and have others subordinate or ancillary to them (which, FWIW, is probably more "realistic" for whatever value you're willing to assign that term?).

Well, idea is that most kingdoms/empires seek world domination with one reason or another. Where as fewer empires just fight to preserve what they already have.

So overall I meant there are major big shakers (let's call them titans) who fight each other or plot against each other to get upper hand. Idea is that there is constant rolling conflict and warfare between the titans.

Where as free nations/kingdoms is term describe nations who are smaller and can be subservient or independent (or if big chain of alliances; even oppose them) towards the titan empires. Now to clarify what each kingdom is about and why;

Dragon Empire = World domination in name of emperor/empress. The ruler desires rule whole world as it's god emperor/empress out of sense of personal greed and ego (god complex). We are speaking of elan red half-dragon who embraces his red dragon heritage and top of that haves ego and sense of superiority of himself as he/she has lived over +3,000 years and ruled most of that time as emperor.

Human Empire = World domination because it's human destiny to rule the world like Zarus (their deity) did as mortal as humans are superior race (think middle age crusader nazis).

Kingdom of Madness&Aliens = They seek corrupt and assimilate whole world in name of alien demigods who influence their half-daelkyr offspring through psionic whispers. All in name of becoming greater and more powerful organism as part of evolution perfection. To them they see world as imperfect, sick and crippled and they seek 'cure' it by infesting it with chaotic bio-organic mass.

Demonic Kingdom = Seek establish themselves top of the food chain and so being rulers of the world comes naturally to them thanks hefty demonic influence and sense of self-superiority. But most of all they view other kingdoms weak and they despise weakness and so they seek it as natural behavior to challenge other kingdoms and test their might; if weak they are subjugated. If strong; focus grow stronger to empower them later. Might makes right is name of their game.

Undead Empire = They were originally hunted outcastes from all other kingdoms who banded together form own kingdom and now seek establish power and strength to continue existing as they wish. Some undead may be driven to purge all life from the world but central governance cares little at all is world alive or dead (vampires care to extend to get fresh good quality blood to keep small number of living humanoid as lifestock/servants very least).

Kingdom of Souls = They mostly seek to preserve themselves and their way of life and independence. A council runs the country and council members are voted from general population (democracy without president). So they mostly defend themselves but Rilkan may be most aggressive towards exploring and expansion (and that causes conflict with two other races factions).

Elven Kingdom = Pretty much same deal as Kingdom of Souls; preserve themselves they need remain strong or else swallowed whole by other empire and none of them appear appealing.

Hordelands = The mercenary kingdom run by monstrous humanoids (gnolls, orcs, goblins, ogres, trolls etc) is mostly bloody tribal warfare filled land where mercenaries to other kingdoms come in name of coin (or bloody glory). But if tribals would combine they have military size of three titan empires and it's potent thanks constant conflict and wealth brought by mercenary activity. But thankfully tribals love very much hating each other and fight to their last breaths (and continue breed like rabbits). Some tribes work together or have cease fire treaties but these usually do not last long (and some work only during mercenary work while home they continue their fights).