Sunday, August 16, 2015

20 Questions for Elam: Part 1

The classic 20 questions for a custom campaign setting, 5 at a time. 

The setting is called Elam.  It's a gonzo collection of city-states built on the wreckage of the modern world.  It's largely a mash-up/combination of Arnold's Centerra and the Anomalous Subsurface Environment, plus Sumerian mythology and some remixed Byzantium culture.

       1. What is the deal with my cleric's religion?
This is the deal.
Elam is flush with gods. Each city has a god, and the people of that city are the god's chosen people.  Worship of a particular divinity and tribal pride in your city-state/people are closely intertwined. Every city, grove, and field has gods, of various levels of potency. All of them are real, as in they are wandering around the earth somewhere, and while some are very powerful, they are not omnipotent or omniscient. They can be tricked and they can be killed.  Think Princess Mononoke, with boar and wolf gods living alongside great forest spirits. Their dictates and prescriptions are based on their own desires, far divorced from mortal concerns or morality.  For example, Enki, a god of freshwater, mischief, and beermaking is a great carp-man who lives in the northern river.  He comes to the ziggurnaut temple built on the shore to whisper secret beer recipes to his faithful, and he capsizes boats whose captains cannot answer his riddles. Any who call on his power might have their faith rewarded with miracles, but he requires human sacrifice to feed his hungry fish-daughters. Most other gods are a similarly mixed bag. Worship of a god is not connected in the minds of the populace with moral behavior.  Instead, clerics and holy folk are widely regarded as terrifying lords with inscrutable motives.


        2. Where can we go to buy standard equipment?

Quoting from ASE
 "No adventurer’s visit to Denethix (your starting town -ed.) is complete without a visit to the Bazaar Incomparable. This plaza is filled with the tents and stalls of innumerable vendors, selling anything and anyone imaginable. For the modern tomb looter, there is no place easier to unload ill-gotten grave goods and dangerous antiquities."


 3.  Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?

The Street of Industrious Efforts has many foundries and workshops that could handle a custom order.  Individual proprietorship shops have been driven out of business by these large conglomerates, so there are no named smiths.  You might also try talking with the Feasters, the town's police force.  They employ a variety of horrid mutants and monsters, so you may be able to work something out.


 4.   Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?

Abine of the Crimson Eye is the mightiest wizard by far.  She is esteemed as an Apellomancer, and her great tome holds many of the True Names.  35 years ago she created the elves, dwarves and halfings, releasing each race out onto the world in successive waves. She cares nothing for her abandoned children, and ruthlessly searches and researches for something unknown.  She often raids ancient ruins for forgotten knowledge in her giant mechanized robot (made in her likeness). 

       5. Who is the greatest warrior in the land?

This guy.

Tales of martial might and valor abound regarding Rickard the Lion, a barbarian chieftan in the Worthless North.  Starting 5 years ago, Rickard has converted his tribe to the worship of a new god, and now the diplomats who make it back alive report a flaming angel that never leaves his side. Rickard has been too busy subjugating and converting the other tribes of the Worthless North to care much about the current campaign world.  

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