One of the first things you can tell a player is where his character originated. So we’ll start our setting by picking some broad cultures/locations.
Looking at our resources we get the following:
- Core Rules: No real setting info beyond some basic assumptions.
- Monsters of Myth and Legend: Presents monsters and gods from six cultures: American Indians, Aborigine, Chinese, Greek, Irish, Norse.
- Mystic China: I think this is obvious.
- Sword & Sorceress VIII: A variety from unnamed cities to Mercedes Lackey’s Velgarth
- City In The Glacier: While the entire series detailed several nations of the setting to varying degrees, this volume covers mostly a lost realm and some primitive tribes the two leads adventure through while reaching the eponymous city.
- Gloomcookie: Modern San Francisco through a horror movie/goth scene lens.
Looking at that list I’d say we’re leaning to six main cultures derived from the MoMaL list with an emphasis that the core culture is the one derived from Chinese culture. We should have a lost culture now buried in ice which we’ll make the ancestors of the Norse and Irish derived cultures. I also want one very creepy but somehow important city at the core of the initial setting area.
Some quick culture names and how they map (names created with Mythmere’s Gygax Your Name generator):
Maerr Idnn => American Indians (Amerind was the source word)
Yaborine => Aborigine
Chjinna => China (not a lot of change)
Grjeee => Greece (hey, that ‘j’ tells me they’re related…more about that below)
Rielant => Ireland (the ‘t’ is from change one letter)
Csantinavaire => Norse (Scandinavia was the source word…again, I got change one letter and again moved ‘d’ to ‘t’ to provide some commonality with the Rielant as they have the same source culture)
We’ve already decided the Rielant and Csantinavaire are descended from the City In The Glacier and they have the common ‘ant’ structure in the name (which is cool when you look at the monster on the novel’s cover) so the city’s name should have that as well.
I also noticed we got that third ‘j’ in both Chjinna and Grjee. We’d decided our core culture is Chjinna so let’s put Grjee as a colony of that culture on the same continent as the Rieland and Csantinavaire. Our City in the Glacier is now a Seven Cities of Gold type draw for Chjinnarie adventurers to the new world. Given we’re probably setting our initial campaign area in this colony our creepy city, Frjanci, will be the main port and capital of the colony.
Finally, where would we be without a random character origin table broken down by class (if we add new classes they’ll need their own table):
|1||Maerr Idnn||Maerr Idnn||Maerr Idnn||Maerr Idnn||Maerr Idnn||Maerr Idnn||2||Yaborine||Yaborine||Yaborine||Yaborine||Yaborine||Maerr Idnn|
If you want to select a human origin before the class just use the NPC chart.