Monday, October 22, 2012

Fun and Games In the Aftermath of Societal Collapse

The group that plays at my house is three sessions into a new Swords and Wizardry Complete campaign.  I have been compiling and tinkering with materials for the setting for some time.  Here are some of the ideas that have been built into the setting.

- The "world" is a lot of islands.  Most are no bigger than Crete or Sardinia, though a few are the size of New Zealand.

- The characters come into the world about 150 years after a major societal collapse 

-The societal collapse is caused by a number of factors including: crop failures bring about famine, violent internal societal strife between important politically connected people, pestilence and barbarians dealing the coups de gras.  Behind it all are the demons of Chaos using guile to corrupt the rulers over a period of centuries which weakens the rule of Law.

- The barbarians stomp the rulers weakened by internal strife, famine and disease.  They kill anyone that stands in their way, enslave women and children, carry off any thing of worth that will fit on their boats and sail off to their home lands.  This goes on, with the barbarians making repeat trips, until all that is left is a smoking pile of rubble and a few survivors.

- There were no civilizations preceding this one.  This culture invented civilization though they did a bang up job of it...right up until the Chaos demons started teaching the rulers how to party in a proper sword and sorcery style.  Once the purple lotus powder and pleasure slaves displaced that dour discipline of the lords of Law things slowly went down hill. 

- Prior to the collapse, political and financial power was concentrated into a small number of hands.  Nearly everyone was either a ruler or little more than a slave.  The only people falling in between were merchants, mercenaries, criminals and the lowest in the religious hierarchy.

- When the collapse happened, the ruling class was completely wiped out along with a very small number of religious authorities... leaving merchants, mercenaries and criminals to exploit everyone and everything around them expanding the collective misery of everyone.

-The population contracts down to less than 10% of what it was before.

- The weak figure out they are on their own and band together into small communities for mutual protection.  Everyone fights everyone for the bits of whats left and what can be salvaged together.

- 150 years go by and while life sucks it seems to be stabilizing.  Scavengers (adventurers) are starting to explore the ruins that were abandoned only a century ago to bring back anything that might be useful to the small cluster of civilization that has survived.

1 comment:

Neil said...

The year is 2162 AD ;)