Friday, July 8, 2016

"Welcome to Sublanarya! Welcome to the Tytanyan Age!"

"Welcome to Sublanarya. Welcome to the Tytanyan Age."

Hello, would-be adventurers. If you are reading this, most likely, you have been invited to read, share, and contribute to the creation of my most ambitious and fully realized setting that I have ever developed for personal use in Dungeons and Dragons. I am deeply invested in developing this setting to the point where other GMs can confidently run campaigns in their own version of the setting using the various tools and fluff I've come up with.

If you haven't been formally invited, you're still welcome to read and comment. And, if you're new here, you might be wondering who I am, yes?

My name is Sean W. Barnes, I am a writer with a BA in Creative Writing and History, and I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons for over a half a decade. I have played and/or GMed just about every version of D & D and have mucked about in games like Pathfinder, Call of Cthulu, Shadowrun, Ironclaw, Vampire the Masquerade, Star Wars: Force and Destiny, and more.

To get a little bit more personal: I am 26. My hobbies include video games, film, genre television, and all manner of animation. I live near Memphis, TN, where I currently and begrudgingly work in retail (for the time being), rather than acting or writing professionally, and, especially while driving to and from work, I spend a lot of time building fantasy worlds in my head. Fantasy and fiction is the realm that I venture to escape the drudgery of reality, building it with blocks from non-fiction, and now? Now, I want to share my imagination with you! That's really what we're here to talk about, huh? No more stalling? Okay. Let's talk about Sublanarya.


So way back in 2014, I decided I wanted to build a new D & D setting for 5th Edition. One that wasn't silly like the Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll world of Sixx or built upon riffing upon someone else's work like Discworld inspired Beniro. So, I started brainstorming for a new world that would become Sublanarya (formerly called Nyumeneera). I wanted this to not just be a fantasy setting but a D & D setting, so I had the building blocks that most D & D settings have in common: magic, gods and religion, classes, fantastic races, the alignment system, monsters, etc. Looking at the toolbox and wanting to create something that deviated from most of my experiences, I asked myself a question:

What if the elves are the bad guys?

I'll go into further detail on that subject in the next article. For now? Here is my summary of this setting:

Sublanarya takes place in a world and time where feudalistic and tribal societies are under threat of being dominated by a militarily, culturally, magically and technologically advanced authoritarian empire of high elves. Meanwhile, older empires volley for a place in a shifting landscape, extraterrestrial and/or extra-dimensional threats rear their ugly heads, and mysteries lie in all directions over the borders of the known world and across the oceans. Heroes of Sublanarya have a choice: do they stand up against the tyranny of colonization, do they advance the empire themselves, or do they just try to avoid politics altogether and pursue the unknown threats to the world?

If the elves are the "bad guys", then who are the "good guys"?

If that sounds like an intriguing setting, stick around. I intend to go into detail about the history of the Sublanaryan people, each classic dungeons and dragons race's place in Sublanarya and how they interact with the unique races to this setting, the various threats facing citizens from monsters to poverty and so much more. I even, eventually, plan on detailing the other continents on Sublanarya's world (called "Narya").

I am a little out of practice with writing and a little bit nervous, but I hope that I can create breath life back into a world that needs to be experienced. This is where I start.

Thank you.

P.S. The next two articles will be about elves and dragons.

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