Author Topic: How are you / are you going to incorporate 'Points of Light' into your Campaign setting?  (Read 1717 times)

Xathan

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So, I'm browsing 4th edition stuff today (which has become almost a hobby of mine - I've never been this excited about a new rule system since Tome of Battle was released, and even then, that pales in comparison) and I was contemplating the 'Points of Light' theme 4e has. For those of you who haven't been following 4e, a major design point of the system is that the world is composed of points of light surrounded by darkness and wilderness, the ruins of dead civilizations, and the struggle to maintain these points amidst such horror.

I'm really liking this idea from a design standpoint. Besides allowing for PCs to have a more prominent place in the world, it also frees me from doing what I dislike most about design (nations) and frees me up to work on what I like most (overall world, monsters, races, ruins, planes.) Because of this, a number of my settings are going to incorporate this (see below.) However, I was wondering what you all think about this, and if you plan on either redesigning existing worlds to use it, or making new settings for it, or putting a new area in your setting apart from the rest of the world, or just ignoring it altogether.

Here's my settings, and how they'll use it.

Datrik: Already a points of light setting. I'll be posting more about it in the near future - my oldest setting returns!

Pirates: I'm going to focus less on continents and nations, and more on islands amidst the seas. Larger political entities will exist, but they're distant and removed: the Players will not be adventuring among them, and will in fact be outlaws there.

Western: Again, a setting made to fit points of light. The Civil war devastated the old nation, and the only major political entities is the railroad companies that connect the points of light that exist.

How about you?
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 11:31:53 AM by Kap'n Xeviat »
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Stargate525

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I won't be using it.

Dilandri is almost an entirely urban campaign setting; the few peices of wilderness there are are surrounded by civilization. If anything, it's a points of darkness setting.

I also think that that is a bit of a cop-out; nations as we know them exist for a reason, and to expect the entire world to be far-removed city-states is preposterous.
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Kindling

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The more I hear about 4e (not that I hear very much about it) the better it sounds. It's almost a shame I'm so maniacally determined not to buy any new rulebooks. Almost.

As for there "points of light" and my setting... well, Reth Jaleract basically doesn't have any. Oh, sure, there are locales which aren't overtly dangerous, and a few nice(ish) people scattered around, and even places of relative safety, but none of them are exactly... "light."
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Xathan

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I see your point, but, if my history memory serves me correctly, during the Dark Ages most of civilization existed in this manner (without, you know, roaming orcs and goblins and dragons and demons). Plus, Points of Light doesn't mean they have to be far removed city states: nothing says that there can't be Fiefdoms that cover a large city and some smaller towns and maybe one or two other cities. Proto-nations, if you will. It just removes full out nations and large, powerful political entities.
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Stargate525

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Quote from: Xathan, Last of the Fallen

I see your point, but, if my history memory serves me correctly, during the Dark Ages most of civilization existed in this manner.

Well not exactly. The rule of many of the lower lords was tyrannical in and of itself, and crime was high. I wouldn't call it points of light, but that could just be me.

Quote from: Xathan, Last of the Fallen
nothing says that there can't be Fiefdoms that cover a large city and some smaller towns and maybe one or two other cities. Proto-nations, if you will. It just removes full out nations and large, powerful political entities.

the problem with that is that what's stopping a good lord from turning his seven or eight points of light into one big blob?
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Xathan

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Quote from: Kindling

The more I hear about 4e (not that I hear very much about it) the better it sounds. It's almost a shame I'm so maniacally determined not to buy any new rulebooks. Almost.

As for there "points of light" and my setting... well, Reth Jaleract basically doesn't have any. Oh, sure, there are locales which aren't overtly dangerous, and a few nice(ish) people scattered around, and even places of relative safety, but none of them are exactly... "light."


Hehe, 4e may break your will yet. :P

I guess I'd maintain those points of light still count...they're just dim ones. (BTW, I need to look at Reth jaleract if that's true - sounds like my kind of setting.
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Appendix I: Open Game License Version 1.0a
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1. Definitions: (a)"Contributors" means the copyright and/or trademark owners who have contributed Open Game Content; (b)"Derivative Material" means copyrighted material including derivative works and translations (including into other computer languages), potation, modification, correction, addition, extension, upgrade, improvement, compilation, abridgment or other form in which an existing work may be recast, transformed or adapted; (c) "Distribute" means to reproduce, license, rent, lease, sell, broadcast, publicly display, transmit or otherwise distribute; (d)"Open Game Content" means the game mechanic and includes the methods, procedures, processes and routines to the extent such content does not embody the Product Identity and is an enhancement over the prior art and any additional content clearly identified as Open Game Content by the Contributor, and means any work covered by this License, including translations and derivative works under copyright law, but specifically excludes Product Identity. (e) "Product Identity" means product and product line names, logos and identifying marks including trade dress; artifacts; creatures characters; stories, storylines, plots, thematic elements, dialogue, incidents, language, artwork, symbols, designs, depictions, likenesses, formats, poses, concepts, themes and graphic, photographic and other visual or audio representations; names and descriptions of characters, spells, enchantments, personalities, teams, personas, likenesses and special abilities; places, locations, environments, creatures, equipment, magical or supernatural abilities or effects, logos, symbols, or graphic designs; and any other trademark or registered trademark clearly identified as Product identity by the owner of the Product Identity, and which specifically excludes the Open Game Content; (f) "Trademark" means the logos, names, mark, sign, motto, designs that are used by a Contributor to identify itself or its products or the associated products contributed to the Open Game License by the Contributor (g) "Use", "Used" or "Using" means to use, Distribute, copy, edit, format, modify, translate and otherwise create Derivative Material of Open Game Content. (h) "You" or "Your" means the licensee in terms of this agreement.
2. The License: This License applies to any Open Game Content that contains a notice indicating that the Open Game Content may only be Used under and in terms of this License. You must affix such a notice to any Open Game Content that you Use. No terms may be added to or subtracted from this License except as described by the License itself. No other terms or conditions may be applied to any Open Game Content distributed using this License.
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14 Reformation: If any provision of this License is held to be unenforceable, such provision shall be reformed only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable.
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Fudge 10th Anniversary Edition Copyright 2005, Grey Ghost Press, Inc.; Authors Steffan O'Sullivan and Ann Dupuis, with additional material by Jonathan Benn, Peter Bonney, Deird'Re Brooks, Reimer Behrends, Don Bisdorf, Carl Cravens, Shawn Garbett, Steven Hammond, Ed Heil, Bernard Hsiung, J.M. "Thijs" Krijger, Sedge Lewis, Shawn Lockard, Gordon McCormick, Kent Matthewson, Peter Mikelsons, Robb Neumann, Anthony Roberson, Andy Skinner, William Stoddard, Stephan Szabo, John Ughrin, Alex Weldon, Duke York, Dmitri Zagidulin
System Reference Document Copyright 2000-2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich Baker, Andy Collins, David Noonan, Rich Redman, Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Modern System Reference Doument Copyright 2002, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Bill Slavicsek, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Charles Ryan, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Richard Baker, Peter Adkison, Bruce R. Cordell, John Tynes, Andy Collins, and JD Walker.

Unearthed Arcana Copyright 2004, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Andy Collins, Jesse Decker, David Noonan, Rich Redman.

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Fate (Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment) Copyright 2003 by Evil Hat Productions, LLC. Authors Robert Donoghue and Fred Hicks.
Spirit of the Century Copyright 2006 by Evil Hat Productions, LLC. Authors Robert Donoghue, Fred Hicks, and Leonard Balsera
Xathan's forum posts at http://www.thecbg.org Copyright 2006-2011, J.A. Raizman.
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Poseptune

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In Adveria I had already been using this type of world building. Especially in the "New World" section (that hasn't made it here yet). In the "new world" section of Adveria there are only a few sparse colonies surrounded by vast yet unexplored wilderness. There are plenty of ruins from a civilization that died out and their slave races have now claimed the land (As noted in the Saurilk entry)

Even in the main continent places like Tirein are mostly wilderness with long travels from one city to the next during which you may run into bandits or even worse the military. With the wars, expansion, and wiping out of the area dwarves this leaves plenty of area for abandon and/or burnt towns (now home to other things) as well as various ruins (temple's to gods destroyed, dwarven homes buried).
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 Markas Dalton

Xathan

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Quote from: Stargate525

Well not exactly. The rule of many of the lower lords was tyrannical in and of itself, and crime was high. I wouldn't call it points of light, but that could just be me.

the problem with that is that what's stopping a good lord from turning his seven or eight points of light into one big blob?

[/quote]

Nothing. However, it'd be unlikely that he'd quickly be able to remove the monsters that roam between it - just make travel relatively safter, and seven or eigh points of light becoming a beacon would only be a larger point of light...and likely a more attractive target for more powerful monsters. In fact, being part of the unification and protection of such a beacon would be a great focus for a campaign.

In a points of light setting, the whole world did not always exist this way, and likely will not stay this way forever. It is just that, in the here and now, this is how it is.
AnIndex of My Work

Quote from: Sparkletwist
It's llitul and the brain, llitul and the brain, one is a genius and the other's insane
Proud Receiver of a Golden Dorito
SRD AND OGC AND LEGAL JUNK
UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED IN THE POST, NONE OF THE ABOVE CONTENT IS CONSIDERED OGC, EXCEPT FOR MATERIALS ALREADY MADE OGC BY PRIOR PUBLISHERS
Appendix I: Open Game License Version 1.0a
The following text is the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and is Copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast, Inc ("Wizards"). All Rights Reserved.
1. Definitions: (a)"Contributors" means the copyright and/or trademark owners who have contributed Open Game Content; (b)"Derivative Material" means copyrighted material including derivative works and translations (including into other computer languages), potation, modification, correction, addition, extension, upgrade, improvement, compilation, abridgment or other form in which an existing work may be recast, transformed or adapted; (c) "Distribute" means to reproduce, license, rent, lease, sell, broadcast, publicly display, transmit or otherwise distribute; (d)"Open Game Content" means the game mechanic and includes the methods, procedures, processes and routines to the extent such content does not embody the Product Identity and is an enhancement over the prior art and any additional content clearly identified as Open Game Content by the Contributor, and means any work covered by this License, including translations and derivative works under copyright law, but specifically excludes Product Identity. (e) "Product Identity" means product and product line names, logos and identifying marks including trade dress; artifacts; creatures characters; stories, storylines, plots, thematic elements, dialogue, incidents, language, artwork, symbols, designs, depictions, likenesses, formats, poses, concepts, themes and graphic, photographic and other visual or audio representations; names and descriptions of characters, spells, enchantments, personalities, teams, personas, likenesses and special abilities; places, locations, environments, creatures, equipment, magical or supernatural abilities or effects, logos, symbols, or graphic designs; and any other trademark or registered trademark clearly identified as Product identity by the owner of the Product Identity, and which specifically excludes the Open Game Content; (f) "Trademark" means the logos, names, mark, sign, motto, designs that are used by a Contributor to identify itself or its products or the associated products contributed to the Open Game License by the Contributor (g) "Use", "Used" or "Using" means to use, Distribute, copy, edit, format, modify, translate and otherwise create Derivative Material of Open Game Content. (h) "You" or "Your" means the licensee in terms of this agreement.
2. The License: This License applies to any Open Game Content that contains a notice indicating that the Open Game Content may only be Used under and in terms of this License. You must affix such a notice to any Open Game Content that you Use. No terms may be added to or subtracted from this License except as described by the License itself. No other terms or conditions may be applied to any Open Game Content distributed using this License.
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System Reference Document Copyright 2000-2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich Baker, Andy Collins, David Noonan, Rich Redman, Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Modern System Reference Doument Copyright 2002, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Bill Slavicsek, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Charles Ryan, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Richard Baker, Peter Adkison, Bruce R. Cordell, John Tynes, Andy Collins, and JD Walker.

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Xathan

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Quote from: Poseidon

In Adveria I had already been using this type of world building. Especially in the "New World" section (that hasn't made it here yet). In the "new world" section of Adveria there are only a few sparse colonies surrounded by vast yet unexplored wilderness. There are plenty of ruins from a civilization that died out and their slave races have now claimed the land (As noted in the Saurilk entry)

Even in the main continent places like Tirein are mostly wilderness with long travels from one city to the next during which you may run into bandits or even worse the military. With the wars, expansion, and wiping out of the area dwarves this leaves plenty of area for abandon and/or burnt towns (now home to other things) as well as various ruins (temple's to gods destroyed, dwarven homes buried).


If it's new setting info about Adveria, post it! I'd love to see the direction it's going. (That sounds like a perfect points of light setting, the type of 4e setting I've been dying to play in - I especially like the aspect of the slave races becoming roaming entities, and it provides a good reason for their hatred of the more "civilized" races.) Plus, I'd like to review something by my most dedicated reviewer. :)
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5. Representation of Authority to Contribute: If You are contributing original material as Open Game Content, You represent that Your Contributions are Your original creation and/or You have sufficient rights to grant the rights conveyed by this License.
6. Notice of License Copyright: You must update the COPYRIGHT NOTICE portion of this License to include the exact text of the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any Open Game Content You are copying, modifying or distributing, and You must add the title, the copyright date, and the copyright holder's name to the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any original Open Game Content you Distribute.
7. Use of Product Identity: You agree not to Use any Product Identity, including as an indication as to compatibility, except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of each element of that Product Identity. You agree not to indicate compatibility or co-adaptability with any Trademark or Registered Trademark in conjunction with a work containing Open Game Content except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of such Trademark or Registered Trademark. The use of any Product Identity in Open Game Content does not constitute a challenge to the ownership of that Product Identity. The owner of any Product Identity used in Open Game Content shall retain all rights, title and interest in and to that Product Identity.
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11. Use of Contributor Credits: You may not market or advertise the Open Game Content using the name of any Contributor unless You have written permission from the Contributor to do so.
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14 Reformation: If any provision of this License is held to be unenforceable, such provision shall be reformed only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable.
15 COPYRIGHT NOTICE
Open Game License v 1.0 Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
Fudge 10th Anniversary Edition Copyright 2005, Grey Ghost Press, Inc.; Authors Steffan O'Sullivan and Ann Dupuis, with additional material by Jonathan Benn, Peter Bonney, Deird'Re Brooks, Reimer Behrends, Don Bisdorf, Carl Cravens, Shawn Garbett, Steven Hammond, Ed Heil, Bernard Hsiung, J.M. "Thijs" Krijger, Sedge Lewis, Shawn Lockard, Gordon McCormick, Kent Matthewson, Peter Mikelsons, Robb Neumann, Anthony Roberson, Andy Skinner, William Stoddard, Stephan Szabo, John Ughrin, Alex Weldon, Duke York, Dmitri Zagidulin
System Reference Document Copyright 2000-2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich Baker, Andy Collins, David Noonan, Rich Redman, Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Modern System Reference Doument Copyright 2002, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Bill Slavicsek, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Charles Ryan, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Richard Baker, Peter Adkison, Bruce R. Cordell, John Tynes, Andy Collins, and JD Walker.

Unearthed Arcana Copyright 2004, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Andy Collins, Jesse Decker, David Noonan, Rich Redman.

Mutants and Masterminds Second Edition Copyright 2005, Green Ronin Publishing; Steve Kenson
Fate (Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment) Copyright 2003 by Evil Hat Productions, LLC. Authors Robert Donoghue and Fred Hicks.
Spirit of the Century Copyright 2006 by Evil Hat Productions, LLC. Authors Robert Donoghue, Fred Hicks, and Leonard Balsera
Xathan's forum posts at http://www.thecbg.org Copyright 2006-2011, J.A. Raizman.
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Jharviss

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Of course, I won't be using the Points of Light concept.  I'm much the opposite of Xathan here - nation-building in one of my favorite aspects.  I also run humanoid-centric games where monsters are rare, rare, and rare.  Points of light runs contrary to the themes of my setting.

That having been said, it makes a good deal of sense for a core D&D world to be based on the PoL theory.  I've long believed that if you have a lot of high level people walking around, they are going to form their own communes.  They'll become leaders of something.  Those will grow into cities.  Eventually every powerful anything is going to be leading their own city-state.  These city-states will be numerous and widespread.  Outside of the city state will be where the monsters have been pushed back to, because everyone is coming together and defending themselves.  The only major flaw in this theory is that it holds no room for widespread agriculture.  Shucks.

Poseptune

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Quote from: Xathan, Last of the Fallen

 Plus, I'd like to review something by my most dedicated reviewer. :)



Sigh..... I am officially now once again working on my setting.


Expect something soon. Even sooner than "Pirate Update soon", :P :P :P :P
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 Markas Dalton

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Quote from: Jharviss

Of course, I won't be using the Points of Light concept.  I'm much the opposite of Xathan here - nation-building in one of my favorite aspects.  I also run humanoid-centric games where monsters are rare, rare, and rare.  Points of light runs contrary to the themes of my setting.


I agree with Jharviss here. Much of my setting is based around political entities, and creating these entities is one of my favourite parts. On the other hand, you COULD say that the Archipelago is already kind-of 'Points of Light'... as much of what could be called the wilderness is full of racist, speciesist villagers who would be fine with lynching you simply because you weren't a Duer. Of course, there are also many of these in the cities, so...

Kindling

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This is a good point... My setting, whilst full of violence-infested wilderness areas, also contains political bodies... it's just that the two are, mostly, one and the same.
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I probably won't use it much.  I might consider it in some places though.  I mean, the idea is nice, and not too out of place for Avayevnon, but Avayevnon is just too built to be thought of as "Points of light."
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LordVreeg

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A polite answer here, as Xathan deserves at least that.

I do not use any form of D&D, though I acknowledge freely that I did at earlier points and owe it a great deal.

Much like some of the others, My nation-states aer pertty fully formed, and rather than any 'points of light surrounded by darkness', I prefer my sparsley settled world with large areas where tribal humanoids and nature's noble beasts struggle.  
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