Monday, March 19, 2012

Ailoria: A New Map

This is a hand drawn sketch (obviously) of a new setting/world. I was waiting for my wife at an appointment she had Saturday morning, and it just came to me. It's going to be a gritty, S&S themed thing. I feel awkward over what to call it. I hate calling it setting because that, to me, connotates something designed as a backdrop for a specific purpose. I don't feel comfortable with world either, because obviously, it isn't. Besides, I know me, if I start calling it world, then I'll feel compelled to venture beyond the confines of this map. I want to keep my efforts focused here.

Anyway, I'm going to develop it along the lines of the small-kingdom concept I discussed in this thread. I'll also be trying out the Welsh Piper's Hex-based Campaign Design.

Speaking of it being gritty S&S, I've come to realize something. I don't want pure, true-to-the-sources S&S. I want an S&S style, but I don't want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. I still want some classic D&D tropes. Some. For example:
  • I don't want the chief adversaries to be limited to humans. I want monsters.
  • I don't want to have to make up some horror lost to time, in order for the adventure to truly have a monster
  • At the same time, I don't want to have to consider the implications of orcs having their own nations. Monsters exist, but mainly as antithesis to civilization and the forces of Law. They are the Bad Guys, and are not to be trusted.
  • Lastly, I want to allow for good, old-fashioned dungeon crawls. I don't want every adventure to be a case of sneak-in-without-getting-caught, grab the loot, and run-out-before-we get-killed.
So, there it is. This will be my design log, which I'm sharing in hopes of getting feedback that will help me do this the best I can. This map is the starting point. I'm going to port it into GIMP and try to pretty it up. That will be submitted for comment, as well.

PS> The name is pronounced EYE-loria.


  1. Just call it a campaign or the Ailorean Campaign if setting or world doesn't sit right with you. What about demons for the monsters. Instead of Horrors lost to time the gap between there world and Ailorea could be easy to breach by sorcerers or even some demons themselves. You could have reskinned orcs and other standard D&D humanoids as weak, but plentiful servitor demons that any fledging mage can summon by the dozen, but perhaps can't so easily control. Thus tribes of demons in lairs and tombs under the ground.

    Anyway, enough of my waffle. Have you read Ron Edward's Sorcerer & Sword? Even if you're not into Forge stuff and story games it's great inspiration for any S&S game.

  2. I've heard of it, but not read it. What you're saying feathers into one of my concepts rather neatly, that one branch of sorcery deals with casters who basically know two spells, one to summon demons, the other to compel them to service. Of course, it is an enterprise fraught with peril. I have some preliminary notes on converting ZeFRS Summoners to Alternity. They look good on paper, at least to me. I should have them posted by tomorrow.