Ive been thinking (an unfortunate habit) and have decided to begin a new world ENTIRELY for ad&d IRC games. The very basic concept is below, as well as info. on what is expected of the players with regards to character creation. This will likely be a series of adventures, often loosely connected, that lead to a series of goals.
The world: Setting
The world: Nations
The world: Races
The characters start off this game at level 0 and as neutrals in a small village where they are all friends (or at least tolerate each other fairly well). The first few sessions will allow them to pick both their class and alignment and receive some basic training to reach level one. Obviously, no kits are allowed in the beginning and the characters, if they wish to expand to a kit, must find someone to teach them during the game.
Each player is responsible for making the background of their own character, subject to approval/suggestions by the DM. You must have family, pets etc. listed as well as your relations to them and possibly a hint of whatever class you might become. Unless the DM agrees otherwise, all parents and siblings and other assorted relatives are from the village also.
Also, every character must have one special advantage and one special disadvantage unique to the character. If you have a strong advantage, you must balance it with a strong disadvantage. Both are subject to DM approval.
The starting point:
The village is in a small forest with a large river to the north and plains to the west (south, east and further west lead to the desert and north leads to the northern ices eventually). In effect, this village is a small haven between the ice and the desert, one the villages know is dying -- mainly because the cold season is getting longer and longer every year.
The beginning of the game is set in a northern climate, basically a far-north (lots of snow etc.) where trees are beginning to thin, the area is rocky and often barren and two months of summer is a treat. This ice is expanding (likely an ice age) towards a very large desert in the south that no one has ever crossed in five generations. On the other side of the desert lies a large body of water (possibly an ocean) leading to other lands etc. A small forest and plains exist where the north and desert meet.
In the middle of this ice age, the world is changing rapidly. People south of the desert are unaware of the ice and are in the middle of this worlds renaissance of sorts. Industrialisation is coming at a rapid pace in most nations, with the old ways of magic and religion being pushed aside in favour of expansion and new ways to make peoples lives easier.
Obviously, in a more rough northern climate, magic is holding on for a longer time than in the south. However, religion is feeling the anti-faith opinions in the south, (It was never extreme in the north as it is it is hard to pray to a god of love when your child froze to death in a freak snowstorm).
As this setting is in the north, there are few nations. Most villages and cities run on a clan/tribal level with a ruling council. A few monarchies from old nations (before the ice came this far) still exist, though their grandeur has diminished with time. Many large empires exist in the south, though none of them fine the north of any special note. Many dwarves, gnomes and humans make the north their home. Fewer elves are found in this climate.
The south, across the Ocean Strait, has man great nations and kingdoms that date back hundreds of years. All races can be found here as well as a wide variety of classes, cultures and the accompanying dangers of civilised life (slavery, politics, bribery, prostitution, politics, separation from nature and being too elitist, for starters).
An important note is that there are no monster races in this world (at least, not in the northern hemisphere). The world has humans, dwarves, elves (the largest race), trolls, orcs, gnomes, and a few other races of my devising.
Population wise, the elves compromise about 23% of the world, dwarves 20%, humans 15%, trolls 5%, orcs 5%, gnomes 4% and gerrisau 3%. (This is roughly 75% of the worlds races, meaning that quite a few others can be incorporated by players. Vampires exist but are not an actual race in their own right, which also applies to were-beings.
BASIC RACIAL CONCEPTS:
Dwarf - The northern-most race. Sober, literal, kind and quick to judge, dwarves often live in the high mountains and deep under the hills, forsaking the surface for the wonders they can make in their homes. Dwarves are artistic and reluctant to do battle, though their ferocity in defending their homes and companions is legendary.
Elfs - Elves prefer to dwell on the plains and by water. They are a sea-faring race and have brought industry to many corners of the world in the past few hundred years (which has earned them the enmity of some).
Gerrisau (Gary-sew) - The oldest race of the world, the gerrisau are not available as PCs as they are living fog and said to have many powers no other race has access to.
Gnome - Gnomes are a solitary race, preferring to dwell in out of the way locations far removed from other races. They thrive in deserts and wasteland and have an uncanny knack to find food and water, as well as stomachs strong enough to digest what they find.
Human - Humans are found all over the world and have an astonishing ability to adapt to different climates. However, most humans minds are not quite as adaptable and some have the bizarre notion that they should be the superior race of the world. Many of the worlds greatest kings and queens have been human, as have many of the more depraved despots. A few isolated groups of humans still have access to old powers know as inginear that allow many magical effects to be dome without magic. However, inginearing is a lost art and the knowledge of how to fix this items has past from the world, along with whatever slim chance the humans had of ruling it.
Orc - Orcs are a forest dwelling race, known for their aggression almost as much as their stunning artistic skills. Woodcuts, stained glass, and carvings are among the many different crafts orcs display.
Troll - Trolls are tall, strong, and very deadly in combat, much of that due to their regenerative ability. Trolls tend to dwell in swamps and have never formed a nation, preferring to freelance for those who require either their healers or warriors for pay. Legend has it that the trolls were the first race to invent the bartering system and the idea of money just to give them something to do.
Clerical magic is faith-based, much like in our world. Basically, a cleric is a mage who is very good at healing and only needs to think of his or her spells to cast them. (Prayer can be internal.)
However, the spell must be a prayer so the player must have a basic prayer to say before being able to cast spells. Complicated spells may require their own prayer also. The fact that many clerical prayers often mimic magic does little for their reputation.
Magic is passed from trainer to student entirely. Each character decides how magic was taught to them. (Obviously, being an ad&d setting, you are limited to variations on the ad&d spells, unless you have another system that works for you). Material needs for spells are almost non existent and the few mages who taught those kinds of spells have perished (along with knowledge of any spell above level 6).
Psychic abilities are untaught and most people think them mere fancies and a version of clerical faith. A person in this world with mental powers cannot have magic also. As a result, the psychic is unaware of what they are doing when they read minds etc.. with their abilities. They may feel a little tired etc. but the character is unaware of how many psps they have nor what they are. Basically, these powers are mostly hit and miss since no one has learned them well enough to train others yet. (The only people who are trained in them are vampires, and they often choose to just train their own pupils). Also, each race uses psychics slightly differently (Cultural mind set) which means that what works for a dwarf will not work, or at least not work as well, for a human.
There is also old magic, the abilities so ancient they arent even called magic any longer. These are often innate talents of specific blood lines and other things. Controlling people by means of bodily parts, voodoo-style magic and other things fall into this category.