So, after that last post, I bet some of my readers (hah! like I have readers) are brimming with ideas. Here are some that I have:

  • The ruling council has decided that new groups will be formed from the Chosen (I think this is what I’ll call most PCs or PC-equivalents) of each of the four Aspects. The PCs are one of, if not the first, of these groups. This can be combined with almost any of the others I think.
  • The priesthood of one of the Aspects (or just one, upper-echelon priest) is attempting to create a schism between the Aspects, claiming that the All-Father is a lie. It’s up to the PCs to stop him or prove him right.
  • The PCs are a group of chosen from a single Aspect preparing for the latest Aspect tournament. They also have to deal with defending and advancing their Aspect’s domain.
  • The PCs’ Chosen are the chosen (through the tournaments perhaps) defenders of Onmiddan, defending it from the assault of the wilds and navigating the politic waters of the ruling council.
  • Across the sea, another religion grows. Is this religion based on an Aspect of the All-Father? If it is, the PCs need to bring them into the fold. (This would be a great way to bring in new power sources that Wizards introduces).

I think that taking #3 and folding in some of #4 afterwards would be a pretty good idea – that’s why I’ll use it as the basis of my campaign. You could even add in politicking at the tournament level – maybe the High Priest of the PCs’ Aspect doesn’t like their team, and they have to fight to get in. The one major issue with the Aspect Tournaments is the construction of opponents. It feels a bit to me like you’re cheating the players if you don’t give their opponents full character sheets, but you run the extreme risk of pummeling the PCs too hardly if you do.

Oh well, we have the beginnings of a campaign!

Naming a Kingdom

July 24, 2009

Let’s give our kingdom a name. This is actually a rather difficult process, mostly because the possibilties are endless and it can be difficult to get it right.

For this we want something easy to remember. We don’t want a situation where the players can’t remember the name. However, for flavor purposes, I’m going to throw in some “hard” names. I don’t expect the players to actually use them regularly, though if they did that would be amazing.

First, let’s name our Aspects. I’ll give the names first and then go into the layers behind it.

  • Alaea, Lady of Light
  • Macha, Mistress of Battle
  • Cernunnos, Lord of Beasts
  • Weles, Master of Magic

For the purely Divine, we have the Aspect Alaea. Nothing particularly historical behind this name – it’s a kind of Hawaiian Sea Salt, but mostly it’s a name that someone I care for dearly uses frequently. Macha, Aspect of War, is named after a goddess from ancient Ireland. Cernunnos, Aspect of the Primal, shares a similar background with Macha, having been a Celtic God. Weles, Aspect of Magic, takes his name from the Polish form of the name Veles, who was a god of magic (and also music, which is appropriate given that bards are Arcane Leaders). If, after reading this paragraph, Fionavar is on your mind, I wouldn’t blame you. I just got through re-reading it. If it isn’t, I think you have your work cut out for you.

From there we get the names of the lands. Forgive any mangling of languages. They are, respectively:

  • Cwéna Scire
  • Talamh Codagh
  • Talamh Ainmhí
  • Kraj Magia

The first is in Old English, the next two in a form of Gaelic, and the last in Polish. They all are basically a combination of “Land” and some variation on the Aspect’s domain.

For our central capital, and the entire kingdom, I’ve settled on using All-Father and Dagda interchangeably. That leads to me naming the land Dagdaeard and the capitol Onmiddan. Though it doesn’t translate as such, I think the capitol will also go by the name “The God’s Heart” or “The God’s Core”.

Again, we have even more detail now. I think some readers may even have enough to build a full adventure path from!

Let’s start from our basic setup. Four guilds/organizations (they might even be religions) with different methods that originate from 4 different regions.

These are all united in a central city, and ruled over by a some form of governing body.

I’m going to take the idea that these are all religions and run with it: each power source represents a single aspect of the god who’s worshipped in the kingdom.

1000 years ago, maybe more, the people of this continent worshipped 4 separate gods, each one prevailing over a given area. Then a single being who was: man, woman, soldier, priest, wizard, and protector of nature emerged. He spread the word (and was believed, in large part due to the miracle of his personal existence) that each of these deities was but an aspect of the all-father, and that they should join together. Prior to that there had been varying periods of bloodshed and hard peace between what would become the states of a much greater nation.

Now they were to be govern by a ruling council: one councilor for each aspect of the god (generally, high priest of that aspect). A fifth would be elevated from one of the aspect’s priesthoods, to be high priest(ess) of the god himself.

Voilà! We have the beginnings of a past and a government!

Edit: This published about 5 hours early. It’s intended to be tomorrow’s (July 23) post. Enjoy the earliness, but you won’t get an extra post out of it.

The purpose of this blog is to chronicle the design and hopefully play of a D&D 4E setting and campaign I’m referring to as “Defenders of the Core”.

I basically want to take the concept of differing class power sources and turn that into the basis for a “rival factions” style of campaign. I’m thinking that all of the power sources have a “guild” that trains and fields groups of it members for the purposes of defending the kingdom or town – in particular a core of some type. I haven’t decided if the core will be literal (a crystal of some sort) or a figurative thing. The concept of it being both at the same time is very interesting to me.

Of course, the guilds will likely have been friendly rivals through most of history – hosting non-lethal tournaments (single combats and group melees), working together to combat the foes of the region while jockeying for primacy and favor among the people.