[Setting] Varasha - The Thousand Cities

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Shub-Nullgurath
Joined: 2017-02-13 01:22
[Setting] Varasha - The Thousand Cities

To the east, past the Anemos Sea, past the ziggurats of Thatagush, past even the sands of the Gandaria, lies Varasha, the land of a Thousand Cities. She is a continent from where spice flows and where the silk trade flows through. She is a nation of many gods and many peoples. Her cities are decadent and glorious, overflowing with human life.

Rajahs rule her cities, claiming their descent from mythical and godlike creatures. Pujari conduct the people in the worship of their gods although there are other religions stirring in the corners of this land, ready to pounce at the first sign of weakness. On the outskirts of civilisation awaits those gods and spirits who reject their unity with the Absolute and betray the natural order.

And into this stride brave adventurers, ready to continue the cycle of the world and conquer a kingdom for themselves.


Classes

  • Kshatriya - Fighters with a divine bloodline who's powers they take on as they grow.
  • Pujari - Priests of diverse and unique gods.
  • Thuggee - Devotees of dark but lawful gods who specialise in murder.
  • Jina - Priestess reskin, bound by a large number of very strict oaths.
  • Maskari - 3.5e Occultist in ACKS (hopefully). Not very powerful but are able to put on Masks every morning to gain new abilities.

In case you hadn't guessed, this is an attempt at the construction of a setting and ACKS alteration based around a fantasy not!India. There's going to be a number of custom classes as well as custom races and creatures.

In this setting, Law is those who accept their unity with an Absolute being. This includes pretty much all deities in Varasha itself, although they differ on who they consider the Absolute. Chaos is those who reject it and into this flows wickedness and greed. There are six seasons, those of Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Dark and Magic.

What suggestions would you guys have to distinguish this setting or what changes to the base rules would you recommend?

GMJoe
Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2013-01-04 12:56

If I want a setting to feel "unfamiliar and exotic" instead of "vanilla ACKS, but the goblins all wear funny hats," I find that codifying some of the beliefs and philosophies that are ubiquitous in the setting helps a lot. You've already gone a step towards that by defining what Law is in your setting, but you should go futher - what are the religious beliefs on which standard greetings are based? When two holy men get into a fight in the street, what subtle but important point of theology did they disagree about? When a mob kills someone, how do they justify it to themselves afterwards? When two powerful men meet, how do they decide how much deference they should each show the other, and by what do they believe the right to recieving such deference is bestowed? When a beggar recieves a boon, to whom does the populce believe they owe their thanks?

Antiquities
Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

Not really suggestions for how to change things, but Dragon magazine had multiple articles on using India as a setting that might be usable for ideas: "Rhino's Armor, Tiger's Claws" (issue 189), "Caste of Characters" (225), "Monsoons and the Power of Om" (226), "Magic of India" (229).

Shub-Nullgurath
Joined: 2017-02-13 01:22

Not really suggestions for how to change things, but Dragon magazine had multiple articles on using India as a setting that might be usable for ideas: "Rhino's Armor, Tiger's Claws" (issue 189), "Caste of Characters" (225), "Monsoons and the Power of Om" (226), "Magic of India" (229).


-The Dark

I've checked 189 and 225 but not the other two. I think I'll have a look at those today, thanks!

Shub-Nullgurath
Joined: 2017-02-13 01:22

I've already got some of this stuff locked down because, religiously, I've based it heavily off Vedic traditions.

As an example, Pujari (standard priests of individual aspects of Godhead) are in conflict with Maskari (Occultist/priest-esque characters who claim to "take in" aspects from various gods, basically tantrika from modern India) who they feel are pilferers of cult knowledge and secrets, as well as stealing power from their gods. Then the Jina who are based off Jains who refuse to do violence of any sort and finally Enlightenists (which I may just use Mystic for) who don't care about gods in any particular way but believe in the ability for mankind to rise above it all.