In creating my setting I wanted to use advice from both the core books and GURPS lite. I decided to start with GURPS lite as many new players will have access to just this file.
GURPS lite has the following categories listed at the end of the pdf file under the Game Worlds header:
Laws and Customs
Society and Government
Other Planes of Existence (if any)
Skills, Jobs, and Professions
Weapons and Combat
Below, I will be providing some campaign information on each header in the order above.
The Kingdom of Alexander – king’s English. Because the goal of the game is to keep things rather simple, this is the most broadly spoken language. The only other named languages would be Jedahian and ancient Alexanderian. If you want to add languages such as dwarven- ask the group if they want more complexity here.
Laws and customs –
nothing out of the ordinary here for general laws. No killing, no stealing, etc. Those of higher social class (see below) often are granted the benefit of the doubt over accusations. Depending on circumstances this can allow nobility to get away with a lot.
In general people are actually free to worship whatever however there are exceptions. Those that worship the Witch mother are often accused of crimes or held prisoner for days until they can be proven innocent. This is due to the up rise of crimes by cultists that twisted the book of the divine dead’s meanings to suit their own agenda – causing peoples of that faith to be feared. It is half justified in that these teachings also ended up leading to the rise of the Sorcerer kings, now, Wraith Lords. Do not dare mention belonging to Jedah or risk being run out of town. More on faiths below.
Society and government –
The system of government the game takes place in is a monarchy. It is a kingdom is ruled by King Edward Alexander 11th. The royal family and capital region is north of the region this game take place in. The kingdom is split into 4 separate Earldoms. The Earldom the game takes place in is the Earldom of Davis Marshall.
Game takes place in the Northlands. For the interest of keeping things simple the general direction decides where people can come from with regards to ethnicity and ethnicity does not hold any bearing on whom can belong to the game. Southlanders can be anyone from Egyptian to African descent for example. The world map is fantasy but in general the same kinds of peoples that are from this world are in this fantasy world.In addition, if your PC wants to play a fantasy race, let them – but this kingdom is a human dominated one. The PC can inform how their character’s peoples interact in general with humans – let them shoulder that burden.
The Kingdom of Alexander social hierarchy (in order)
Royalty – The King, Queen, Princess, Prince
High class- Nobility such as an Earl or Duke, patrician, Politician, The High Clergy of Dawn
Citizen – standard citizen, soldier, crafting guild member, Clergy of the noon day sun
Free Peoples – merchant, traveler (technically do not have citizenship but make a name for themselves), , non humans are often considered free peoples until they own land – then they are citizens
Low Class – Destitute (poor or non land owners), slaves, refugee, laborer
This is based on ‘Desdichado”s post from http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?327175-Social-ranks-and-pseudo-medieval-fantasy-worlds
Tech Level –
In general the technology level in the world as I envision it would be mostly 4 with some amenities from tech level 5. In general weapons and armor are from tech level 4 (see below) however if a player wants to do something a bit different, hear them out.
The currency of the Alexander Kingdom is the Sovern dollar. Other places trade with the kingdom but in general, to keep things simple, I will only list the most pertinent currency for the realm.
Other planes of existence – The Plane of woe (a plane of shadows), The land of Dawn where the sun resides, The tomb of elements, the dread oblivion.
Character points- according to GURPS lite, 100 – 200 points would define heroic or very capable characters. I decided to go with 150 character points though I was gonna actually aim lower, like 100 or 125 but i figure 150 will be a nice starting point.
Disadvantage limit – 50 points (still debating on lowering this. I really want characters to be manageable and even with magic be more down to earth in power level. The rule of thumb states it would be a good idea to limit the disadvantages to 50% of the starting character points but 75 felt like a lot.
Magic as per gurps Basic Set or GURPS Magic.
Explicit- things to do with time travel such as Jumper are not allowed. Just to keep things simple.
Race – As mentioned above, this region is a human centric one however one can add in fantasy races if desired. My wife for example expressed interest in playing a dwarf. Therefore I will be adding the Dwarf racial template from GURPS per page B261. If your players express interest, feel free to work their ideas into the setting.
Skills Jobs and professions-
Everyone in this campaign belongs to a secretive order that was formed by the King himself. It is an order that fights beings of chaos and death in shadow wars across the globe. As of late, the order has suffered great losses in battling the wraith lords. The order conscripts those they find valuable into the order, teaching them its customs and secrets with the expectation that they be loyal to the order – which can sometimes put them at odds with the local laws.
Skills- it is expected that people be trained in the basics of martial combat as often times one will have to defend themselves against the forces of darkness.
It is expected one should know how to travel good distances and keep good time in doing so. Along with learning how to climb, swim and traverse difficult terrain.
Someone should know how to keep good company in case the order is expected to interact with nobility. New allies are often found this way so at least someone should have good interpersonal skills.
All new recruits will be trained in the basic knowledge of the occult. Not everyone needs to be a sage but everyone should be alert on what to look out for.
Roles that would be beneficial to the group- mercenaries, magical adepts, thieves (useful to obtain documents that sometimes arent given freely), clergy of the noonday sun, merchants as they often have interesting connections…, Scholars can be helpful, wilderness rangers can help as often there are times where threats take place outside the watchful eyes of the knights.
I will be posting both GURPS lite and basic set allowed skills, advantages and disadvantages in a separate page to keep this post from ballooning even more.
Weapons and Combat –
Weapons- Tech level appropriate gear is permitted. GURPS low tech can be a great option for this game. Note that fire arms can be a thing but often they are not mass produced meaning ammunition can be problematic.
In general, the game will try to stick to rules lite combat but some subsystems from the basic rules may be appended on.
There will be various creatures of the night the order will be tasked to face. Sometimes it requires gear that will affect insubstantial creatures. Other times, silver may be necessary. Be warned not to waste precious materials such as these as they can be hard to acquire.
The common faith of the land follows the teachings of the Sun lord. A being that teaches that mortal beings can transcend their bodies and follow him into the land of Dawn – a world where they will be at peace for all eternity. There are many books made by scribes from the past, with volumes named things such as “Reunification of the Black Obelisk”.
The book of the Divine Dead – follows the path of the witch mother. Her teachings deal with grief and loss and the bleakness of reality. It also has many teachings on the dead and the nature of the husk (the body) and the soul. It is said that parts of the teachings of the witch mother ended up causing the Jedah’s rise.
The Sphinx of the Black Quartz – one of the many southlander faiths. There are often enigmas surrounding the great tragedy of life and it is said the Sphinx grants power to those that can answer its questions.
The bearers of the elements – this is a faith that prays to beings that reside in the tomb of elements. In return, they are sometimes granted insight into various aspects of things. Sometimes a person is selected and granted power based on the element in which they prayed to.
The teachings of Jedah – otherwise known in this land as the Heretical bible of Jedah. Jedah was a dark knight of the land of Cargous and the first to become what is known as a Sorcerer king. It was he, his children- Abagail, Fabien, Tristian and possibly his most trusted – that delved into the world of woe and founded a new faith. A ‘faith’ that teaches submission to void and wishes to bring the world of balance into oblivion. Those that served were to be granted high positions and those that proved especially useful were granted some measure of dark power. Some of this was foretold in the books of twilight by the sun lord himself as it warned that those may find power in the dark but those that do will challenge all forces of the light for dominance- even coming back from death for vengeance.