Author Topic: How much time should I leave between current time and major events?  (Read 2115 times)

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Offline The-Somberlain

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OK, first of all hello!

I've been lurking in these forums for quite some time now and have always found great information and inspiration. So, now I have really stuck at the development of my campaign setting and I could use some help.

My players are going to visit a very dark place in the world, where in the past several important event unfolded. The history of the place is crucial to the past of some PCs and also to the adventure (and I also like this place a lot) so I want the history to be based on a solid base.

Some time in the past, the Princess of the region was called by the Shadow and travelled far away. And when she came back she came claim the world for the Shadow. War ensued, etc, etc. At one point she completed a ritual and all the stars from the sky vanished. Note, that star in the sky=soul of a dead. The dead were awake and for ? years the spirits of the dead could not be put to rest. More war, more chaos, until some heroes with an artifact managed to defeat her (actually her brother!).

After that, a special paladin order was created which built castles/temples around this dark realm to keep the evil inside. This is where my players are going! ;)

So, I was thinking these events were dramatic and affected most part of the known world. Two questions: how long could the age of starless sky last? 5? 10? 20 years? I was thinking around 5-10 years. I mean I want it to be dramatic but I don't want it to leave the world in total ruin. Then how long since that time are the players coming in? 200? 300? 500? years? I was thinking about 250-300 years. Long enough to recover, but not that long in order to stop being a threat.

I know all these might sound like a complete crap. But I really like the story and I'd like to figure out the numbers to make it work and seem plausible.

Thanks for your time guys!

Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: How much time should I leave between current time and major events?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2010, 03:43:12 PM »
I think your time estimates sound alright. The nazi occupation of europe lasted for six years, but everyone remembers those six years with dread.

250-300 years will have put everyone's minds to rest and everyone will have forgotten the danger. Napoleonic France was once the scourge of europe, 200 years ago, but no one thinks about France in that way anymore. Fact is that people easily forget.

But 250-300 years sound more dramatic. I agree with you in that.

A possible solution could be that 250-300 years ago the Princess of Shadow invaded and the stars disappeared. Then hero X defeated her and the stars come back, but every time there is a lunar eclipse the danger lurks and the Shadow creeps back into this world. Thus the heroes (of light?) hold vigil, and people do not forget those terrible days 250-300 years ago.

Nothing like eclipse based danger to keep those border fortresses vigilant.

For added fun the last four eclipses could have been eventless, and as a result the King and has not sent any reinforcements to his border barons. Now another eclipse draw close and soothsayers have begun dark readings and <insert famous prophet's name> has forseen the coming of shadow. But the king is young and foolish and it is up to the PCs to SAVE THE WORLD!
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Offline Strolen

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Re: How much time should I leave between current time and major events?
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2010, 05:54:54 PM »
Also depends on how much knowledge you want available. As said, 250+ years is a long time and easy to move on with life  to forget most things. Do you want a livid legend and people talking about the time in dread or discuss as a fireside story where the sting of the events is long gone?

Eclipse is priceless, love that idea. If fear is kept up through this then the time limit won't matter as much since the fear is kept alive by the eclipse. They may not remember the scale of it but with "something" still happening the stories and past will remain more pertinent.

The paladin order would play a part too I would guess. Are they still there or just the remnants of their protection? Are they very guarded of the secrets or do they allow the fool hardy to enter?

Nutshell, timing sounds good. If you want it more immediate then less than a couple hundred years when the story might only be twice removed. Some that were children when it happened were able to tell their tale to one that might still live. Much would be rebuilt but you can still have some cities that have yet to recover or were abandoned. Their also might be certain families that carry the story with them with pride or as a warning to future generations so how long isn't as important.

Neat idea!

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Offline The-Somberlain

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Re: How much time should I leave between current time and major events?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2010, 10:51:34 AM »
Thanks for the input guys! Well, the eclipse is something I should definitely include in the story. The 'evil' in the area is still alive but fairly contained by a very active paladin order, so people are constantly on the edge. What I want is the story to be somewhat faded, so I'll stick to the 250-300 years.

I'll work some more on this and get back to you!