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D&D 3E
Okay, I'm just going to hope my players don't think to read this.… 
10th-Oct-2005 06:46 pm
Okay, I'm just going to hope my players don't think to read this.

Please help me by commenting. What makes sense, what doesn't make sense, and more importantly How much destruction can I imagine would have happened in the last 20 years?

Crossposted to dnd3e

For the layout of the old kingdom consider france.  There are 22 large cities each controlled by a high ranking knight.  In each "provnice" there is exactly 1 large city, so 22 large cities, 22 provinces. The area is walled in on the east and west by impassible mountains.  To the north it degrades into tundra just north of the northern provinces.  To the south it degrades into desert making this kingdom the entire known world.  At the northwest corner there is a place where the mountains end where the party will be "coming from".  To the east, there is a pass through the mountains that is unexplored.  The entire kingdom is forests  and plains.

The problems started 25 years ago when the mines in the southeast corner ran dry.Within' five years there was no new mines from which to get iron ore.  This left a fuedal kingdom starving for iron. At this humanoid invaders began to spill in from the pass to the east through the mountains.  The province that "guarded" the pass fell quickly allowing the humanoid army to strike at the surrounding provinces. The old king died during this time, replaced by his not as battle hardened son. There was an increase in scheming and infighting. The citizens of the three mining provinces to the southeast began to move outwards and upwards (since the mines were gone, there were no jobs. With no money from ore export, they could not import goods).  This caused TREMEDOUS overcrowding in the surrounding provinces. While this was happening a plague sprang up in the southwestern provinces.  Citizens who learned of the plague began to flee to the surrounding provinces (the ones already being overcrowded with job seekers from the southeast). Some of these fleeing citizens brought the plague with them. At this same time in the northwest, a strange warparty of questionable origen sacked the cities in the northwest. These were the lumber provinces, so the supply of lumber was cut off.Without ore and lumber, the central kingdoms had little left over to fight with, and almost no way to prevent the plague from spreading that way. Already overburdened with civil unrest, a faction sprang up to try and create a coup d'etat. The capital Province was caught between the rebels and the invading army. Eventually it collapsed, leaving the rebels and the humanoids to destroy the middle country with war while the plague reduced the number on both sides. Eventually the humanoids would back off to the original provinces they conquered, leaving the wartorn, plagued central area to waste away to almost nothing.

Now, one important thing to keep in mind is that this is a very low magic world.  Wizards of more than level 10 are almost never seen.

There is no contact with the outer planes, so summoning spells, many transport spells, etc. do not work.Also, most clerics are limited to spells of level 3 or lower.Even higher level clerics are banned from raise dead and ressurect.

Finally, Dwarves are fully and completely integrated into human society (there are many half dwarves). Elves are in another place where the pc's come from and do not have any impact on this kingdom. Finally, gnomes and halflings do not exist. The only two races in this kingdom are Humans and Dwarves (and their crossbreeds).

So with that in mind, what would the situation after 20 years be?

10th-Oct-2005 11:03 pm (UTC) - This is your 3rd post on this today...
After 20 years, lets see.

You can expect any overcrowding situation to have been corrected (either by death for those in areas without enough food to support a population boom, or by city growth in those areas capable).

The plague would be over, while they can last a long time they don't last 20 years. This could have helped solve the population issue.

Because of war, a lot of the buildings 20 years ago won't be there today. However, 20 years is ample time for a civilization of this size to be rebuilt (by who, DM knows, your call. Invading army win? Rebelling people win? Roll some dice.).

There will of course be people around who are very much aware that this all happened, and were involved in it in some capacity. Any new adventurers to the area would expect to be met with restraint by the older generations but less so with the younger generations (who weren't around yet for the wars). Any old adventurers that went through it would probably be met with either excitement, or disapproval, depending on what side the PC was on and what side the person they're encountering was on.
10th-Oct-2005 11:54 pm (UTC)
Depending on if the king is deposed yet, there will be a number of probably factions. If there is still a king, someone will either have delusions of luxury and usurp for greed, or someone will rise up and usurp in order to restore the prostrate country:; the latter would likely be either a good-hearted but simple patriot, or an intelligent patriot. If the king has already been deposed in the war, a small period of anarchy and brigandry will follow, then someone will attempt to take power; in this case it will default to the options above. The two factions might even make war against each other and the country torn in two.

With these circumstances, strangers from abroad might be forcibly conscripted into one of the armies, and from there their adventure might begin.

I wouldn't forget to say that the church might intervene and attempt to grab hold of some temporal power. They might chalk up the whole tragedy to the wrongdoings of the people and draw up a following to take part in some kind of return to innocence (no Enigma pun intended). If the church does take some physical assets like land and an army, then a third faction will have formed.

The possibilities are pretty endless, but I think unrest follows a pattern. Try reading The Prince and Discourses by Machiavelli (I think you can find the texts on Sparknotes). He's pretty good at describing the workings of countries in the old world, and in general.
11th-Oct-2005 04:22 pm (UTC)
As far as physical destruction goes-- the areas largely affected by plague or by economic downturn will be largely intact as far as things like roads, buildings, etc. go. The more wartorn areas will have a lot of destruction even 20 years later. In part because rebuilding large structures takes a long time given medieval tech, and in part because of the chaos from all the people moving through-- although plague would have likely thinned them out some, a lot of building materials would have been used for the influx of people. Quarries may be springing up all over, and there could be a fair amount of deforestation.

I would imagine that after 20 years, the areas that were largely abandoned due to economic struggles would have been repopulated a fair bit-- people from the overcrowded areas may move back to that area to escape the crowding and the war-torn region. The plague-stricken areas will likely still be fairly sparsely settled-- while the plague is likely to be over at this point, you'd still have a fair number of superstitious folks who would not want to return to the area.

One other thing to consider-- plagues and wars lead to one common result-- famine. 20 years later, the fields will be growing again, and food will be more or less plentiful, but there will be a lot of people who remember the lean times, and food will likely be hoarded, and some goods may be hard to acquire. Think of Depression-era people living in our day who still hoard things that might be useful at some point. A lot of homes will be cluttered with all sorts of odds and ends, although the younger generation will likely be less inclined to collect and hoard.
11th-Oct-2005 04:28 pm (UTC)
Without a capital and no form of central government, the land would have been torn between the rebels and the invading armies. That being said, the rebels have essentially completed what they set out to do and would likely therefore make an attempt to establish their own government. The only problem with that is all of the various factions that would spring up in opposition to their rule: nobody EVER goes quietly.

If the invading armies pulled back after having destroyed the capital and were left to their own devices in the eastern provinces (which I find slightly odd, but we'll go with it) they might try to establish their own foothold in those provinces, which will likely piss off pretty much everybody else. Their struggle for their own independant nation in those provinces could still be taking place 20 years later (especially in a low-magic realm) but they have the advantage of import/export back from where they came (if that's an option).

Civil war, an alien force establishing a new nation at the eastern mountain pass, and a plague that would inevitably wipe out a large number of people and dwindle down after 20 years. I love it. =)

These things can all still be taking place 20 years later, it all depends on how you want to look at it. Certainly there would be some factions that were swallowed up by others, so you would have to build a balance of power in the begining, list the advantages each power has, and then determine the course that it would take. Example:

Power A has a more battlehardened military.
Power B has more man-power.

Does Power A defeat Power B through military might and strategy, or do they succumb to the sheer numbers of Power B? Take into account the plague, position of the province, and logistics (armies need to be fed, paid, and taken care of, after all).

Honestly, there are a million different ways to take that, and you would know better than anyone else. I hope I gave you at least something to work with.
11th-Oct-2005 06:18 pm (UTC)
No that's very helpful. I thought about setting it all up as a giant risk game, with the black peices as the plague. I still might do that. I haven't decided yet.

It's going to be great either way!

There is so much to be discovered and explored. My Pc's have a general idea of what is here, but do not really know what it's all about, so each and everything they find will be something new.
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