I recently noticed that Chgowiz created a player handout for his Dark Ages game that essentially outlined his backstory and rules. It’s an interesting way to present basic information, so I thought I’d hijack it in order to flesh out the idea I’ve been working on for Castles & Crusades.
The Great Purge
Several hundred years ago, Ifyria went through a period marked by racial and religious warfare. The result left almost no larger settlements, a lack of governing bodies, and effectively a resurgent “monster” population.
The Lost Pantheon
Ifyria used to have a robust and rich pantheon of deities. During the Great Purge, the chorus of ethereal voices were effectively silenced. The Five Sisters are all that remain of the old religions.
The standard races of C&C apply, to a point. During the Great Purge, several races — Elves, Halflings, and Gnomes — were effectively eradicated in Ifyria (now called the Lost Races). Dwarves are still rare in the West and South, less so in the East, and are actually common in the North. Half-elves and half-orcs are found mixed among human populations but are often subjected to prejudice and scorn. There are four types of humans — Ifyrian (Anglo-Saxon), Hythan (Asian), Nomarian (African), Vistani (Gypsy).
This isn’t Forgotten Realms. The Great Purge created a need for survival and societal reformation. The adventuring classes (as we know them) have only started to reappear in Ifyria over the last twenty or thirty years. Because of this, each player will start with a past occupation; a mundane career that they were initially trained in before moving into their respective character class.
The majority of C&C classes are available with the exception of Monk and Knight. The Monk is unknown in Ifyria and Knights are acceptable though they’ll be slightly modified due to the lack of authority to serve.
Magic was all but lost during the Great Purge. Druids were the only “character class” to remain active throughout the last two hundred years. With their ties to nature and their disconnection from the affairs of mankind, they’ve essentially remained untouched. In recent years, mages, clerics, and bards have been reappearing, though in extremely low numbers.
As you might be able to see, I’ve been attempting to engineer a setting that’s built on a fallen civilization, with a slightly diverse population. I plan on writing up more information on the setting in the coming weeks, and in the meantime, feel free to comment.