I am in the process of designing a new world for my upcoming games to be set in. I’ve decided to call it the Last Era setting.
I’m in a unique position as a designer, where I can build an entire world specifically for a mixed media experience. I own an escape room in Fresno California and already have the first game from this setting made. It’s a fun opportunity to expand on that world and explore it in different medias like games and short stories. Ultimately this is my justification for wanting to create entirely new IP instead of adapting other works.
For fans of the setting, there would be something unique about being able to play an RPG from a setting, followed with a board game and escape room combo from the same setting, paired with short stories and fanmade content. Players that want to get engrossed in the setting can do so, and can get engaged at the level that suites them best.
I used to play a ton of 40k, and I’ve been fascinated with the business models that Games Workshop engages with. From their wargame line, spinoff board games, Black Library publishing, and White Dwarf magazine, there are plenty of ways for GW to engage with their fans. While I don’t think there will be need for a GG magazine, I’m excited to expand how I interact with fans by growing into medias that build on top of each other. Creating a setting that can facilitate all these different methods of connecting with fans is super appealing.
I’ve always been fascinated by fantasy settings, always wondering what happens next in the setting. In the real world, innovation and technology are always iterated on, but it seems in fantasy worlds they get developed to a point and just kind of stop without clear explanation.
Certainly there is steampunk settings and others that mix fantasy elements with technology, but I am mostly wondering what happens in middle earth say 1,000 years later. Do they have electricity? Does Bluetooth get invented? Why don’t they? The wiki claims it has copper/bronze, certainly they could make a rudimentary circuit.
I wanted to explore an ancient setting where there was a clearcut explanation why there are no great advancements in technology. There’s no grand progress because all precious metals and minerals have already been used up.
Certain magicks augment properties of metal, to an unrecoverable extent. Others are hoarded away in huge vaults, treasured zealously by fanatics of greed. With enough time, magick convocations, and hoarding in the world it stands to reason that eventual the nonrenewable resources would not be renewable.
The apocalyptic events that would follow resource shortages would lead to several periods of decay across the globe, intercut by brief eras of light and rejuvenation. The world has been turning and burning for thousands of years. This setting is old.
THE LAST ERA OF MAN
Some take it as an omen, either the end is eventual, or Man’s strife is never-ending.
With this being an entire setting, I figured that it would be much better to place the focus on one area of the world, instead of making it truly planetary. That’s a lot, and an eventual goal.
Focussing on a single region gives me the freedom to put quality ahead of quantity.
The land is currently called Ashenreach. After the cleansing fires of the Beastcrusades ravaged most of the region, Bastionhalls were established in the remaining strongholds of the colonization efforts nearly 1,000 years ago.
Men, halfing, dwarves, and elves live in the bastions. Not always together, and there are sometimes disputes between the various factions.
For example, the High Elven Council had once tricked the denizens of the land that will be called Ashenreach into supplies the elves with the precious materials needed to construct Eldoria, the prophesied mystic city of elven legend.
(After hearing El-DORK-ia the name will be changed.)
The humans and halflings that aided in supplies were under the guise that they would be permitted entrance and residence in the holy city were betrayed once the last shipment was received outside the gates. Since then, the main gates to the city have remained barred, eventually fusing itself with the cities walls. Side entrances and secret passageways allow for the movement of High Elf troops troughout the land, protecting their holy city with extreme prejudice.
The grudges cut deep, and High Elf have been poorly regarded since.
I think that wraps it up for this one, I wanted to leave behind an incredibly rough draft of the world. It will most definitely change and grow, but it serves as a starting point to proper worldbuilding!