Monday, January 11, 2010

Hammersong's Legacy: The Vaults of Celebrus...

Good Evening, All:

As I started to ask myself about something to post here in the early part of the week, I realized that I have mentioned my future setting book in passing, but I really haven't spent much time talking about it in any depth.

Hammersong's Legacy is a basic fantasy post-apocalyptic setting of sorts, inspired in part by Greek mythology and depicting a world roughly a century after a great war between different divine factions. I've also drawn some inspirations from Malhavoc's Requiem for a God, as well as some thoughts from Sword & Sorcery's Scarred Lands. Although the inspirations are many and varied, the setting is my own creation, a synthesis of these disparate sources and my own previous campaign experiences.

I have yet to decide what rules system to publish this setting for. I've thought about using it as an example setting for MyD20 Lite, as well as a setting for Fantasy Traveller, if anyone ever publishes rules for that. I've considered crafting it as a Swords & Wizardry setting. I've even considered writing it as a systemless setting, but truth be told, that's just not my favorite idea. However, I am writing it in such a manner that the fluff is separate (for the most part) from the crunch, making it easy to translate to your personal system of choice. I am doing that for two reasons: 1. Because I think it increases the ability of the buyer to utilize only the parts of it he or she desires, assuming that they decide not to use it as a total package; and 2. because I haven't decided on what system to use.

I have already detailed a number of cities and townships within the primary campaign area, and listed over a dozen sites of ruins that can be developed by the Referee as they see fit. (Yes, it is being developed as a sandbox-style campaign, inspired by both Judges' Guild's Wilderlands setting and by Robert Conley's Majestic Wilderlands.) I've come up with a basic history, and am working on lairs and adventure notes for the setting, as well as maps. Ugh! Maps shall be my downfall; I just know it.

One of the elements I've done with Hammersong's Legacy is removed humans as the primary race of the setting. Yes, they are still present, and are on the ascendancy, but the stocky Duar (dwarves) are the predominate race of the region. Indeed, the Duar Protectorate serves as the bastion of all that is good and right with the world. Sadly, the King of the Duar has passed, and his heir is missing. None know what lies ahead for Hammersong's Legacy, but there are many forces that would see it fall, if heroes do not rise against the growing tides of darkness.

Finally, I wanted to share with you a brief glimpse at my personal favorite of the ruins I've developed for the setting:

The Vaults of Celebrus
The Vaults of Celebrus were originally created as a prison for the most vile creatures and a warehouse for the most powerful magic relics of an ancient era. The Archmagus Celebrus, in pursuit of protecting his domain during the last century of the War of All Gods, captured numerous powerful beings, ranging from dragons and demon lords to great warlords and enemy archmagi. He created an extensive prison for each one, linking them together both physically and via teleportation portals. Also within his Vaults, the archmagus stored powerful magic items, lest ordinary men become corrupted by their presence and follow a dark path to evil ways. Over the years, Celebrus fell into insanity, and his Vaults become more elaborate as his definition of evil expanded to include more mundane scourges to his lands. By the time that Celebrus had begun to imprison those that simply disagreed with him into his oubliette, the common people of his domain had determined something must be done to stop Celebrus the Mad. Finally, Celebrus met his match at the hands of a band of adventurers, who imprisoned him in the depths of his own Vaults, and left him there to die. The Vaults of Celebrus are said to hold at least ten powerful abominations imprisoned within five or more levels. Most sages and scholars agree that this entrance is most likely not the only one, given the heavy use of teleportation portals within the Vaults themselves, but simply the only one that has been identified.

Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts on the concepts discussed above, or the example of one of the ruins I've detailed for the setting.

With Warm Regards,


James said...

Hi Flynn.

I think you should produce this setting for Swords & Wizardry - it seems to be seeing a surge in popularity at the moment. If you were to stat it for Myd20Lite, I think fewer people would look at or purchase it.

I like the idea of your setting and am intrigued by the dwarves being the dominant race.

The adventure site you mention seems quite "high powered" (deadly?), although I like it! I assume there are other more mundane sites too.

I look forward to hearing more about this project. What kind of page count do you think it will come to?

What kind of maps do you think you'll need?

Flynn said...

I have a good number of more mundane locations as well, to allow for a range of adventures, from low level to high level play.

In terms of page count, I'm not sure. It depends on what size I publish it, and on how much detail I put together for it. I'm aiming for between 64 and 128 pages in a standard-sized softcover, or twice that if I go with a digest version.

At the moment, I know I need a general map of the primary continent of Cameria, a hex map of the region in which this is set (the Shattered Territories), and five city maps for reference. In addition, I'd also like to create a village map to provide a base of operations, and perhaps a small dungeon map for a mini-module to help introduce the setting.

Like I said, it's the maps that are the most daunting to me. The rest is simply finding the time to complete the text, and that's just a matter of determination.

This will not likely be ready for a few months, at the earliest, but I think Hammersong's Legacy will make a fun world to play in. If nothing else, it'll be a great source for stealing material for your own games. :)

If I go with the Swords & Wizardry approach, I'll need to figure out how to present all of the races as classes. Hmmm....

More Later,