My original world is Daen-Ral (well, that's the name of the main continent, anyway). I was thinking, rules-wise, a couple things that make Daen-Ral unique.
First, of course, is geography and politics (not rules-based, but unique). More on that later.
Second: Cosmology. There are hundreds of gods in Daen-Ral (nothing new there) and they all exist either on the Prime Material Plane or on some other plane - but they are not really gods. They're the equivalent of very powerful demons and devils. And there really aren't very many planes. There is the prime, of course, and then there are the five elemental planes (air, earth, fire, water, void/darkness) and the abyss & hell, the grey plane (kind of the astral/ethereal/purgatory), paradaise. I think that's about it. I'll have to unpack that more, of course, but that's really the cosmology.
The reasons for this adjusted cosmology is that I'm taking a more monotheistic approach to worldbuilding. There is one creator God. The story is that there was a rebellion in heaven when the Creator fashioned human beings and gave them the choice to serve God or serve their own desires. The fallen angels wreaked havoc on creation and a spiritual war has been going on ever since.
The fallen are called to repent. Immediately some did. The Creator gave those angels the task to be guardians of creation (Daen-Ral) and gave them human-like forms (elves and dwarves - the Exiles and the Dwarvanna, respectively) and charged them with guardianship of the world. They were settled on the continent opposite that populated by human beings (Baroth). They acted as secret guardians of the world. Slowly, humanity began exploring the world at large and discovered the continent on which the Exiles and Dwarvanna dwelt (Daen-Ral). The guardians of the world had, over the centuries, forgotten their purpose and even forgotten much of their worship of the Creator God. Some re-allied themselves with the Firstfallen angels - major demonic and diabolic creatures who became as gods to the world.
There's more to the history of the world, of course, but that is a taste of the difference in cosmology.
Third, Ecology. On Daen-Ral, there are creatures, there are monsters and there are supernatural beings.
Creatures are natural animals, people, etc (generally, human beings and many creatures with animal intelligence).
Monsters are fabricated of magic, elements and evil - goblins, orcs, shambling mounds, beholders, etc. fall in this category. Pretty much any creature can appear in Daen-Ral, without "ecology" considerations, since monsters don't have to eat, sleep, procreate, etc. They are raw elemental evil monstrosities. And, while they don't have to eat or procreate, they sometimes choose to (for any of a variety of twisted reasons). Thus, there are some half human- half monstrous beings in the world. Consequently, there are no baby orcs, no female goblins, no Beholder young that could be considered "innocent". Every monster encountered was fabricated by magic to spread chaos and violence.
Supernatural beings are elves, dwarves, faerie, dragons, and a number of other "monsters" that have gained a certain amount of...mortality. For example, the first of the elves are completely immortal - yet they began to breed with human beings (thus the Firstborn) and then intebreed among the firstborn...each generation following living shorter lives (though the Firstborn are nearly immortal, living tens of thousands of years) - thus, many elves & dwarves have actually become creatures (with special abilities) and all have some human "taint"though most don't know it. Dragons, too, are among the Firstfallen, the Exiles. All supernatural beings have a preferred shape, though all can shapechange.
I will at some point try to codify all the creatures/monsters/beings of Daen-Ral in some kind of a tome (I'm trying to find a free pdf editor - good luck, I know - so I can put together the various monster pdfs that I have into a Daen-Ral book - I know foxit is only a hundred bucks, but it's about 90 more than I have to spend on rpg stuff.
RIP Stephen Lee Lortz 1949-2017 - I just learned via Jennell Jaquays that Stephen Lortz (September 7, 1949 - April 23, 2017) passed away yesterday. Stephen Lortz was another of Dave Arnes...
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