Monthly Archives: August 2014

“Island in the Hidden Sea of Fire”

A week or so ago, I watched the 1960 version of “The Time Machine” for the first time in decades. So I got to thinking about some of my other fantastic influences that predated my exposure to D&D.

I spent A LOT of weekends at my grandparents place in the late 1970s & early 1980s. Usually there would be several movies on WPIX (Channel 11) and WWOR (Channel 9) on the weekend afternoons that filled my young brain with all sorts of stuff.

Old Westerns, WWII movies, Godzilla, biblical epics, Planet of the Apes, crime dramas, cheesy sci-fi… just about anything you could think of.

And of course “adventures.” Robin Hood, The 3 Musketeers, Tarzan, Zorro, Treasure Island, etc.

A subcategory of the adventures was the “lost world/ prehistoric/ dinosaurs” movies. Stuff like “The Lost World,” “The Land that Time Forgot,” “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” etc.

So I got an impulse to start making up a sort of RPG setting for adventures in the “lost world” style. I know it has been done several times by others, but I’ve never tried it myself.

Also, I’d like to mix in some more science-fantasy elements in the tone of “Yor The Hunter from the Future,” “Thundarr the Barbarian” and similar influences.

So first I needed a name to call it, so “Island in the Hidden Sea of Fire” – an island in a sea of lava in a vast underground cavern. I’ve started making up a list of things to include that are basically tropes of the genre. Will post again when I have something more concrete to show.

Categories: Gaming, movies, retro, RPG, TV show | Tags: , , , , ,

Reskinning Dragonborn as Aliens?

Now that the 5th Edition D&D Players Handbook is out, we can see that Dragonborn are included. Unlike Tieflings I am having a hard time figuring out how to allow them in my game world.

I’d like some way to have the possibility of having a Dragonborn PC in my world, because I don’t like just “saying no” to a player request, but a couple things would have to be addressed.

1) The stupid name. That is probably my biggest stumbling block at the moment. Surely these beings have some other name they call themselves, even if others might refer to them as “Dragonborn?” (Which itself would be unlikely in my opinion, as how many people would have any experience of Dragons except from legends and rumors?)

2) My game world goes back almost 30 years. Clearly, since Dragonborn did not exist back then, they were not included in the initial design of the world. There are no nations of Dragonborn, or cities, villages, or even families. They would have to be individuals that came from some other place and have no way back.

So my idea was to reskin Dragonborn as some type of extra-terrestrial species. (I did leave open the possibility of crashed alien spacecraft in the world, inspired by S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.)

Maybe a starship or spelljamming vessel broke up above my world, and a handful of survivors bailed out and were scattered to different places.

Now, another concern I’d have at this point would be, if “Dragonborn” have nothing to do with Dragons and are not even called “Dragonborn,” would potential players be able to adjust their conception & expectations away from what the “standard” idea of a Dragonborn is?

Any input or suggestions on alternate names for Dragonborn (must not include word “Dragon”) or how potential players might react to this reskinning would be welcomed.

Categories: campaign world, D&D, Gaming, Holothom, RPG | Tags: , , ,

Timeline of Holothom (part 4)

Here is the transcript of the fourth part of “The Timeline of Holothom” from page 7 of Holothom – The World Base.

Timeline of Holothom (part 4)

Year Events

108 Lycanthropes appear in Rosivna.
The Halflings unite to form the Four Valleys.
112 Humans and Elves of Gyol visit northern coast of Sothara.
119 King Maleer of Gyol crowned.
Explorers from Izonda reach Gyol.
123 Trolls sighted in the Northern Kingdoms.
Green Dragons discovered in southern Gyol.
125 The Wizards’ Society formed in Dunland.
The Holy Order builds first church in Banlon.
130 The present year.
The Druids begin healing Irldan of 37 years of rampaging monsters.
The Montish cause border skirmishes in northern Volund.
Red Dragons attack Dwarven caravans of gold and gems in Tlanthom.
Explorers from Svendel discover Bleakand to the far north.

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Timeline of Holothom (part 3)

Here is the transcript of the third part of “The Timeline of Holothom” from page 6 of Holothom – The World Base.

Timeline of Holothm (part 3)

Year Events

81 The Montish cland divide northern Volund.
Volund recognizes (under pressure) Hillond.
82 The Elves expand into northern Dunland.
Becoming paranoid, the Dwarves declare war.
85 The Elf / Dwarf War continues to rage.
The evil wizard Perulan builds Shadowkeep.
88 Perulan allies with the humanoids of Brokier.
The Elves, backed by Dunland, make advances.
89 A plague (caused by Perulan) strikes Rosivna.
Red Dragons discovered in the Iralu Mountains.
90 Perulan’s forces invade and conquer Rosivna.
The Elves and Dwarves break off hostilities.
93 Hideous monsters arise in Irldan
The magic-users of Gyol send aid.
94 King Aervil of Dunland crowned.
The King of Tlanthom dies and the jarls make war.
97 The King of Banlon dies and the thanes declare their indepenence.
101 A horrible beast appears in lake Ikelia.
Perulan builds fortresses along the Iralu Mountains.
106 The Holy Order of Jandara is founded.
Ghouls and other undead creatures appear.

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Timeline of Holothom (part 2)

Here is the transcript of the second part of “The Timeline of Holothom” from page 5 of Holothom – The World Base.

Timeline of Holothom (part 2)

Year Events
47 The clerics of Thor manifest spell-power.
Goblins and Halflings go to war in Dunland.
48 A combined force of Goblins and Gnolls battles Elves and Halflings in the Hylona Forest.
50 A combined force of humans, Elves, and Halflings drive the
humanoids back into Brokier.
53 The Hylona Gnomes reveal themselves and pledge peace with
55 The Elves of Gyol help the humans build better ships.
61 Rosivna expands its territory to the Baelter Sea.
Tlanthom declares war on Rosivna.
63 The Dwarves reveal themselves and threaten all if peace is not restored (it is).
69 The gods of the Elves are accepted by Gyol and Dunland.
74 Civil war erupts in Volund.
The rebels ally with Norven.
76 The Norven clans cross the Great Sea in their longships and invade northern Volund.

Categories: campaign world, D&D, Gaming, Holothom, retro, RPG | Tags: , , , , ,

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