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Month: January 2020

Monsterous Ecologist: The History of the Tarrasque.

I have done intermittent segments for The Tome Show, a long-running D&D podcast. The segments are called the Monsterous Ecologist. I took on the persona of the titled ecologist and I would give a history of the monsters from D&D. I would explore the history of the real world legendary monsters and fiction that inspired the monsters in D&D. I also would track the changes the monsters went through in D&D through the editions.

I had a computer failure which has complicated my further recordings, but I do intend to return to this. If you want to help that project I won’t turn down any contributions.

That said, I did have a friend (C. J. Hunter aka Commander Pulsar) make a suggestion that made a lot of sense. Turn the research I did for these podcasts into blog content as well. I will do that. It gives me a chance to revisit these creatures I like so much.

With that in mind, I present..

Setting Project: Redefining Humanity for Ballad.

This is my second article exploring the world Ballad. I am going to dig into the thing that started me thinking about the setting in the first place. I started with the notion of a setting where humans were rare and treated with distrust. This would not be unlike how Drow or Tieflings were treated in other settings. What would that kind of setting look like? A thread started by my friend Rabbit over on Twitter certainly contributed to that line of thought. 

Before I dig too far in, let me address the history here. 

Setting Project: The world of Ballad

So, I have had a stressful life of late. I distracted myself by coming up with a new campaign world. Some people drink, I apparently come up with fictional worlds. 

Ballad is a high fantasy setting. It is leaning into a lot of mysterious magic rather than the notion of magic like technology that you find in Eberron or Ravnica for instance. I also started with the premise that humans were rare. The assumption in most settings is that humans are the “us” stand-in and not innately magical. They are the neutral default and all other races are alterations on the human base. This is problematic and should be discussed, but I will save that for a different post.

I started thinking about a world where that was not the case. Where all the sentient races were actually magical and the humans were the distrusted rare species. Sort of like how Tieflings and Drow are presented in several other settings.

Once I had that decided, I chose to go ahead and write some world rules. This would help me come up with a vision of what the world would look like. I had a vague notion but I need to define the edges of it.