Sunday, 3 February 2013

Making Things Up

Just bringing together some thoughts on where the setting for Somewhere North is coming from...

It all started with wanting to run something using Lamentations of the Flame Princess. And since it was nearly Christmas, I offered to do a one-shot. I made up an "evil Santa's house" and saw what happened when noisms and Patrick went there. After that they seemed to be enjoying things, so we kept playing. A campaign was born.

I used noisms random village generator as inspiration for the villages in the region. I used Vornheim for some thoughts on designing the larger town of Rovaniemi (and I'm going to be reading it again for more inspiration and flavour of the even-bigger city of Zelman in the north). I like the idea of having districts within a town or city, probably because I live in/near a city which has clear quarters.

Oddli's Tomb was adapted from The Tomb of Oddli Stone-squarer, with different monsters and this is where things started to pepper the backstory of the world: the Dwarves are presumed extinct. They didn't do magic as such, but did work with ores and metals with strange powers, and were able to craft them into items of great power. They had the power to bind the dead.

Dwarven relics are here and there, in their abandoned and lost places - if you know where to look. Oddli had a relative called Strangeli (actually, there were other Dwarven Lords too, Baddli, Maddli, Gladdli, to name a few...). The Dwarves created a servant race of metal sentience, non-men that were colloquially referred to as Shiners.

The Shiners rebelled for their freedom. The Elves attacked both the Dwarves and the Shiners, the former for creating abominations, the latter for being abominations. Shiners persist in the world, and act according to their own agenda. Dwarves are probably all gone now... But if that's true, where did the Players' former retainer Eerik come from? He was clearly a Dwarf... Hmm.

Pugs are goblins by another name. Got to have goblins.

Zelman is still a mystery; I have clear ideas about some parts of it, how it has thrived so far north despite the near year-round winter. These ideas have been influenced after reading The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks, which I finished a few days ago. I like the ideas in that of a civilisation moving on, and leaving things for younger less-advanced civs to take over. I think that there will be lots of evidence of that in Zelman. I shouldn't say any more about that though - Zelman is still in the distance...


  1. Isn't it fun seeing a campaign taking shape during play? It's one of the great pleasures of the hobby for me.

    1. It's really cool. It's great to just prepare stuff and then see it go in a completely different direction too. It's great to be feel free to try stuff as well (as DM and player) in terms of mechanics or setting; if the weather mechanic I created didn't work, well, next session try something else.