14 February 2011

Fractured Ways: Treatment

This was an exercise in writing a story-line treatment that eventually led to the a whole campaign setting for my next B/X game. I wrote down random questions about the world and tried to answer them creatively.

This was the first draft. Many of the details of my campaign have changed since this draft, but this is where and how it all started.


Characters are started in dungeons, mazes, and caverns at levels 1-3 and don't
get into "wilderness" adventures until later levels.


Don't most people live above ground and travel in the wilds more often than
they delve underground?

Q: Why would this be?
A: Characters are part of a group of former slaves trapped underground.
Not just a small band. If they're going to have equipment and training,
they'll need a whole support structure. A whole communities were enslaved

Q: Why are they free to adventure, learn, grow food and study?
A: The creature/entity that enslaved them is gone.

Q: Did he leave on his own?
A: No, he's dead. He was killed by another creature/entity of similar power.
Maybe an enemy...maybe a war in another plane.

Q: Who was he?
A: Doesn't matter. He's dead and no one else knows these lost slaves are here.

Q: Do they know their slave lord is gone?
A: Yes, it's been at least two generations since anything or anyone has come
around to oppress them. Kobolds, Gnolls, and Gnomes were used as goons.
They still come around but are very disorganized and can now driven off if
a defense is mounted.

Q: Why were they enslaved? For labor? Food? Experiments?
A: They were labor and entertainment. Maybe tortured. It's made them dour
yet practical and focused on escape or rescue one day.

Q: Were they taken all at once? Were they one community before this?
A: No, they were taken from all over. Thusly there are peoples of various skins
tones and dialects. They all speak a common tongue now but accents
still exist. Because of several generations of cross-breeding, no racism
or culturalism exists. They are "one" people despite variation.

Q: How did the "fracturing" happen?
A: There were three base camps for mining in different but local areas. When
the Clerics had to split, they each took one of the three original books of
their holy works known as The Scriptures. By the time the slave lord left
and they came back together, a distinct dogma had developed around
each book.

Q: What happened when they re-united?
A: There was conflict and confusion. But due to a scarcity of resources, and not
wanting a full on war, the three High Clerics got together, figured out what
happened, and decided the best they could do was to decide that all were
equally valid parts of the same religion, distinct but each part of a
greater whole. The religeon now consisted of three Orders within one
religion that worshiped the same god.

Q: How do they grow food with no sunlight?

A: There is an abundance of fish is a near-by cave-lake. They grow
mostly mushrooms and water cress. A small crop of corn and
wheat is grown is a special cavern by the high priest Sky
Knights, since they can summon light that includes ultra-
violate light to grow these crops, as well as turn
Mycanoids. Five Knights much spend at least 8 hours making
this light in these special chambers each day.

Q: What about other classes?

A: Old ("pre-fractured") Fighters are allowed. Since thievery is
just isn't feasible in such a small community, and because
of the underground locale, any Rogues must be Delvers, even
tho that campaign hasn't been played yet, just allow rules
for that class only. Summoners (Circle Mages) are the
only Wizards allowed. Presumably, one or more of those
specialists were taken and managed to keep or hide books
containing instructions on circle magic. Only Teleport
circles are known, allowing remote areas, once explored, to
be accessed quickly. All other aspects of Circle inscriptions
has been lost and the Wizards can only be NPCs.

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