von_das
 member, 158 posts
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 22:08
IC: 13th Age Custom Setting(Think Dragon Age But More Roman)
The Imperium is the greatest nation in the world. For most of its Citizens, Human or Fae, this goes without saying. It has survived civil wars, barbarian invasions, mad emperors, religious manias and the horrors of magic run amok, and emerged on the other side of that age of tumult, diminished in some ways but strengthened in others. Today, the Imperator rules wisely from the new capital in the north, ably assisted by the Senate, the Great Families and other notables. By tradition, but also by merit, those Families also rule outlying Provinces, which have become their centres of power. Legions under their command man the fortifications, aided by Fae and barbarian auxiliaries; in this wise, the Imperium's borders are kept safe. Beyond them, the northern barbarians are savage, but primitive and easily awed, most of their tribal kingdoms existing as the Imperium's vassals. Across the sea, the southern barbarians are more proud and sophisticated, but they are also decadent and distant, of little immediate consequence.

The Imperium is strong and in the midst of a new golden age. This is what many of its Citizens believe. Alas, the powers that be see less cause for optimism. New forces are at play among the barbarians, and the tranquility of the frontiers and of the sea may not hold for much longer. The races of the Fae likewise grow restive in their frustratingly enigmatic soul-searching. More critically, no society is without its malcontents. Tensions simmer in the cities and the countryside, as they always do, but they are finding new and more dangerous expressions. Some turn to new, exotic cults; that is bad enough; but others are desperate, reckless or ambitious enough to turn to the Rebel, the one god whose worship is forbidden. Purposefully violating social and moral laws alike, those anarchists undermine the very fabric of reality to let in Orcs, demonic beings of pure rage, as well as other, even more strange and dire "gifts" from their faceless god. Their final goal is nothing less than the end of the Imperium as we know it. Last but not least, the forces of Order that oppose them are themselves divided. Old rivalries and disagreements are overlaid with a newer paranoia, as some in the Imperial hierarchy may be using this rising tide of Disorder in their own interests. In those dire circumstances, those who wish to save the Imperium are forced to turn to unlikely champions...




This is a very preliminary and very literal interest check, as I have no idea if there are enough who are familiar with or interested in the 13th Age system (if you've never heard of it before, it's been described as D&D meets Fate, though owing more to the former as it's still a d20 game), or if the setting described in the blurb above would appeal to anyone here.

Fair warning #1: I'm new to it myself. I only read the books recently and was struck by a setting idea. So this would be a newbie game, or a newbie-friendly one, in any case; I'd only appreciate any hypothetical helpful veterans, though. For this reason I'd also prefer to mostly stick to the core book material at the start, though including things from other books or fan materials may be negotiable.

Fair warning #2: It may take me some time to set up if it turns out there is interest. Still, if there is, then I would know to finish fleshing out the details and start setting things up.

I thought of calling the setting "dark fantasy", but that can mean a lot of things. There have been other inspirations but Dragon Age seems to capture the tone I'm going for best: a society that is flawed without being relentlessly grimdark, magic that is powerful and important without being omnipresent or omnipotent, a monstrous metaphysical threat existing side by side with mundane political intrigue, the theme of world-shaking events drawing near and the PCs being caught up in the middle of it - perhaps rising to the challenge and changing the course of history. Investigation and intrigue would form a part of the campaign, though how big a part would depend on the players and the PCs. In any case it would not be to the exclusion of everything else: there should still be plenty of room for exploration, combat and lighter sorts of social interaction. The intention is to start small and local and gradually get into bigger, more dramatic and complex plotlines if interest holds.

As for the setting, I have a pretty developed "skeleton" (which I would happily detail during the set up of the game itself) but of course 13th Age thrives on improvisation. The players' backstories, icon relationships and especially their OUTs will help me determine many of the details, and many others will be worked out during play. The basic premise is that a fantasy Not-Roman Empire survived into the local equivalent of the Middle Ages, forming a sort of hybrid society (with early and late Roman and feudal medieval elements) that is outwardly stable and strong, but increasingly menaced by threats within, without and beyond. Patrons (Icons, but largely quite different and mostly more grounded) in and near the Imperial hierarchy start to assemble and dispatch ragtag bands of Questers (PCs), whose unconventional and heroic talents would aid them in defending civilisation and advancing their agendas, possibly in that order.

This message was last edited by the user at 22:19, Wed 05 Apr.

MrBojab
 member, 55 posts
 Not (totally) useless
 Australian
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 11:04
IC: 13th Age Custom Setting(Think Dragon Age But More Roman)
I'd definitely be interested. I do like Roman inspired settings (I am currently writing one myself for 5e) so I'll play if you get it off the ground.
Surgere
 member, 2 posts
 Rise
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 18:18
IC: 13th Age Custom Setting(Think Dragon Age But More Roman)
I'd be interested!
White Cat
 member, 30 posts
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 18:37
IC: 13th Age Custom Setting(Think Dragon Age But More Roman)
Interested here, and I'm a 13th Age veteran.
von_das
 member, 159 posts
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 22:16
IC: 13th Age Custom Setting(Think Dragon Age But More Roman)
I'm very glad to hear there's interest! I'm hoping for at least two more people - I don't mind running a game for three but I want to be sure I have reserves in case anything happens. But in the meantime I'll start filling in the blanks in my notes...

This message was last edited by the user at 22:26, Fri 07 Apr.

Gaffer
 member, 1449 posts
 Ocoee FL
 40 yrs of RPGs
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 04:45
IC: 13th Age Custom Setting(Think Dragon Age But More Roman)
I have a (very) cursory knowledge of 13th Age and would be interested in trying it out. The Imperium setting suits me. It sounds analogous to the middle Byzantine Empire.

What materials would I need to have to play in the game?

This message was last edited by the user at 04:49, Sat 08 Apr.

von_das
 member, 160 posts
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 07:28
IC: 13th Age Custom Setting(Think Dragon Age But More Roman)
Byzantine elements are certainly in the mix as well. I'll write up a setting outline in the hopefully not too distant future.

13th Age Core should be enough, if anything else becomes necessary for players I'll just quote it as needed.
White Cat
 member, 31 posts
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 10:49
IC: 13th Age Custom Setting(Think Dragon Age But More Roman)
There's a 13th Age SRD that covers both the core rules and 13 True Ways, if anyone is curious about the rules. If you've played any d20 System-based game, it's not very hard to pick up.