What makes your world unique? It was probably the initial idea that came to your mind when you first thought of starting a campaign based on a home-brewed world. World builders, as some GMs enjoy being referred as, seldom wish to create something static and typical. The world must be rich and dynamic, full of wonder and mystery that few have ever heard about before. Secrets await the players as they begin exploring every corner, discovering new innovations that wow and draw them in deeper.
Your world does not need to have one large unique aspect to it. Consider instead the idea of having multiple smaller, “mini-features” that set it apart. One particular part of the world may have high energy levels of magic that grant anyone in the area to suddenly possess spell-like abilities. Another region could be riddled with random portals that suddenly appear that either sends your party to another part of the world or even to another dimension.
Try to keep in mind how your idea or ideas are going to truly affect the players both on a short term and long term basis. There seems to be always one player who is capable of finding loopholes in everything, so be prepared to face a curveball from them at some point that might take advantage of your idea.
I have seen some GMs run test games with his players using pre-gen characters similar to a convention. These games are one or two sessions long tops, but they are based on specific circumstances within your world. If you are worried that someone may take advantage of a region that grants wild magic, run one-session game involving the players randomly crossing over the boundary and see how they react.
In my continuing work of the campaign bible of Zatra, I included a more GM-friendly than Player-friendly section on my overarching twist of my world and what somewhat sets it apart. Granted, we are all truly inspired by previous experiences to which our original content has reflections of the past, but we make it our own and enjoy it. In the world of Zatra, it was created and observed by a single god, but a second chaotic god came into existence and wishes to rival him.
World Altering Events & The Five Powers
The Five Powers is a generalized term used to describe the omnipotent power that God possesses. In a literal sense, the Five Powers are an unknown force of god-builders. The god is capable to do everything, know everything, and see everything. It represents the ultimate sheer control that God contains. Through these powers, the god can handle their world as they see fit. Zatra’s God grants life and death and allows the living to determine their own fate and course of action.
However, from time to time, the Five Powers creates multiple deities for a single world. They are commonly polar opposites in order to form balance, but on rare occasions these deities clash. One of such phenomenon occurred in Zatra in its year of 920.
About 150 years ago, Koz reached a level of power and influence in the world that he was able to manipulate the very existence of all things throughout. His powers, however, could only be filtered through the use of mortal pawns and avatars though he would be able to harness the powers himself once he acquired the fifth one. Through the use of mind manipulation and brainwashing, Koz was able to convince his followers to do exactly as he commanded in using these powers. His motivations (other than transforming all living beings into victims of the Touch) are unknown. The potential of Koz acquiring the Five Powers is a tremendous threat as four of them have already been developed and utilized.
The first power he acquired was in 1051 and allowed him to change the planet’s rotation speed, thereby causing extended periods of darkness. Although incapable of stopping the world altogether, his powers could create daylight to appear for only a few hours before slowing the motion for darkness to last for days. When nightfall occurs, the intensity increases to a pinnacle of nearly total darkness with visibility only a few feet away, even with a magical light source. Some creatures were further granted the ability to see great distances during this period, including members of Nub Sumat.
As the Touch and the awareness of another god’s presence spread, his powers grew in number. The Touch had a direct link to that power, and either more joined the cause of Nub Sumat or they fell to the Touch. Soon Koz gained another powerful ability which was to alter weather patterns. He allowed Nub Sumat to unleash a fury of torrential storms from hurricanes to massive tornadoes and earthquakes that devastated the lands and destroyed many of the cities. Floods washed farmlands and building debris away, leaving ruins in their wake. In some portions of the world, blizzards would last for days during the long periods of nightfall, leaving dozens of feet of snow, tunneled out by creatures and travelers still living above ground.
His third power came in 1154, just 100 years after his first power acquisition. This proved to be more lethal due to the lack of evidence of its existence. Throughout the world, pockets would form at random that either contained a low amount of gravity or lacked it entirely. The latter was particularly hazardous from those without proper magic as victims entering the pocket would rise up to a point in the atmosphere incapable of sustaining life. Those who managed to manipulate their ascension to move out of the pocket before that point would retain gravity but usually fall to their deaths unless they had a means to slow their descent. Telltale signs are difficult to spot from an area of a complete lack of grass to holes where young trees were uprooted to floating objects in midair. Some of the more potentially dangerous anti-gravity pockets have been marked by past travelers as a warning beacon, but these signs are soon destroyed by members of Nub Sumat.
Some forty years after Koz acquired the 4th Power, the snowball effect of the world falling into darkness from the Touch’s spread allowed him to begin minor manipulations of time itself. These brief spurts could cause time to reverse several seconds, speed forward a couple of hours, or momentarily stop. These occurrences would not be worldwide but sized similarly to the areas of his gravity manipulation areas. These moments are completely random and can happen at advantageous and disadvantageous times. For example, moments after someone falls into a sinkhole, time shifts backwards, bringing them from falling. Memory and awareness of the time shift seems to remain with the victim, too.
With the final Power utilized with Koz, he will reach the level to rival God. All Powers will be capable by Koz directly, and he will progress into the next existence as a deity, which is the omnipotent being that which is God.
Until next time, lie about your dice roll as much as you can get away with. Thanks for stopping by.