Design Blog

2014.05.07 | 09:05

Dwarves, elves, gnomes, halflings, and humans are all known to exist as described by the D&D Next Playtest material.

Elves and gnomes are much rarer to human eyes than in most other D&D settings. Most believe they exist, and most in trade cities have seen the exports of rock gnomes especially, but few have encountered them personally. They live in much more isolation than the other races.

Dwarves are quite common, having once effectively ruled the world, but they are more nomadic than humans, who now dominate most established settlements, where dwarves may often arrive for trade or shelter but rarely reside for long.

Halflings are about the only other race seen in or around these settlements; and the smaller a settlement is, the more common halflings are likely to be, without any pun intended.

Neither half-elves nor half-orcs are known to be a thing.

I will have drow and tieflings, but they’re by far the rarest and I will probably tackle those plans much later.

2014.05.07 | 08:32

There’ve been at least five, but my first custom setting was initially called Amar, but later Advent. I developed it as a Neverwinter Nights campaign setting. I often say that Advent was a Shadowbane knock-off, but it didn’t start that way. In the beginning, it was an EverQuest and Shannara knock-off, more than anything. This was in the days well before the Shadowbane lore was a glint in Meridian’s eye, after all, some time in 1999, and it remained that way at least until late 2001.

It was, until then, quite simple: three races, three continents, three ethereal planes; everything was organized into threes and nested threes. Threes all the way down. It was all about distilled essences and strict organization.

Nowadays, I find that sort of mythocosmological thinking contrived and annoying. Forced and insulting. Think in causal chains and niches. Think evolutionarily.

Design Blog

Mirrormyth Saerain