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Friday, April 17, 2015

Evolution of my Pathfinder campaign

I recently binge-watched Game of Thrones from first episode to last of the 4th season in order to prepare for the recent premiere of season 5, and I have come to the decision that I really want to add some flavor to my campaign setting.

Though I'm intending on using the old Dungeons & Dragons setting maps for Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance and the like, I've never been one to read much of the history of the settings. Though I would gladly utilize signature characters such as Elminster, Raistlin Majere or Lord Soth, I never really used much of their back story or the surrounding stories that exemplified the novels of Ed Greenwood, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. I always gave them my own personal spin, and everything worked out well.

While watching GoT, I thought of a few things I want to add to my setting:

  • Families with notable histories and various duties.

  • Firm religious orders with hierarchy setups and ideas on how to possibly progress a religious movement.

  • Working off the religious orders, I want to create 1 or 2 that are counter to the norm. (i.e. cults)

  • Not that I feel that it would actually come-up in the campaign I have designed, but military orders at various levels for each family and royalty. (i.e. Kingsguard, Night's Watch, The Unsullied.)

  • I had already planned on having some special swords for a specific part of my overall storyline, but I never really thought of naming them until watching GoT.

  • Secret societies like Skull & Bones.

As I'm writing this over the course of several days, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2nd trailer was just released, and I would also love to incorporate some of what I'm seeing from that as well:

  • Going back to the religious orders I mentioned above, that would include something similar to the Jedi and Sith. Could also be considered a military order as well.

  • Ruins from epic battles that will make my players take notice. (i.e. The ruins of a fallen Star Destroyer from the SW trailer, the Titan of Braavos.)

  • Military orders with notable differences in rank and file. (i.e. The different Stormtrooper uniforms/armors.)

This means a lot of work ahead of me before I am ready to get this game actually going. This is taking me a lot longer than I had originally anticipated.

My biggest roadblock is that I have never been good with coming-up with names... especially for a fantasy setting. I love the family names George R.R. Martin came-up with, and I'd like to try and create names that give a similar feel when you hear them. You can't deny that (at least from those who have either read the books or simply watch the TV series) you have some sort of feeling when you hear the name Lannister, Stark or Targaryen. I want to be able to instill similar feelings into my players when they come across NPC's from my noble families.

If you happen to have a good resource for fantasy names, please leave a comment.

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