(I couldn't say from where or how long ago I downloaded the original* of this ill-gotten map. It's not terribly detailed, but it should suit our needs for now.)
The Empire has an emperor (surprise, surprise). Let’s make it an Empress! Rumors from the far away capital, Lorn, are that she’s not terribly nice. But then again, that’s a common stereotype, so who in these northern parts really knows? As expected, the farther one finds oneself from Lorn proper, the more tenuous the Empress’ grip is on the area. Many border settlements are dissatisfied, given the lack of military and financial support that is so badly needed when other cultural and political entities sit just outside the proverbial gates.
If you’re a dwarf, you come from the mountains near Sarelin, even if you’ve been wandering around nearby human settlements for a while.
If you’re an elf, you come from the large forest that covers much of the area within an imagined triangle that has Sarelin, Veril, and Portius as the vertices; or you come from one of those towns.
If you’re a halfing, you come from either the foothills near Elwin or the Blue Hills, even if you’ve been wandering around nearby human settlements for a while.
If you’re a human, choose based on your culture:
· Band – Pretty much any place that doesn’t have a name. Feel free to name your group.
· Tribe – You’re from the Blue Hills, the foothills near Elwin, or the plains running from Portius to Kreb to Rember. Feel free to name your group.
· Chiefdom –
o The Florins run along the northern bank of the Floris Channel, occupying most of the land other than the imperial settlement of Morrin.
o The Tegolans control a large region due west of the Lake of Aldwin.
o The Aldars reside northwest of the lake, between the Blue Hills and Tegolans. They claim to be descendants of Aldic, whoever he (she?) is….
o The Gavarites are from the southeastern region, conquered long ago by the empire, but in this day and age left largely to their own devices once manifest destiny took the empire northward.
· State – Pick any named city except Lorn. Picking the capital as your home is off limits for now.
If you're a human and have a State culture, you speak Lornish, the language of the Empire, which is considered the common trade language of the entire region. If you're a non-human you speak your racial language, or if you're human but from a Band, Tribe, or Chiefdom culture, you speak your culture's language -- in both cases you are expected as a PC to use one of your skill choices for "Other Language: Lornish." Note that an elf who has chosen a State culture may determine that he or she was raised speaking Lornish; in such a case the PC has the choice to pick the "Other Language: Elvish" skill if he or she were also exposed to more elves.
Magic is about as prevalent in Amrodan as in any generic, AD&D-like fantasy RPG setting. It's not common, but not inherently freaky. If you start mysteriously gesturing in the middle of the town square, the guards will be on you quickly... not because it's magic and therefore scary, but because no one knows why you're doing it and would react as they would in the modern day if someone were to make what could -- or could not -- be an unidentified, hostile gesture in public (except that, unlike in the modern world, a good percentage of the population around you is armed).
Hmmm... religion. I think we'll leave that alone. I may add something in for flavor, but it shouldn't affect you during character creation. If including elements of religion is somehow important to you, let me know.
*O.K., that's no longer true. At the conclusion of our first session, a more resourceful player than I am found the source. The original map is by a gamer named Kevin Sullivan, who designed Lorn for GURPS. Details on the real setting are here: Lorn. (You should check it out sometime, as it's richer, deeper, and more interesting than what I have here. However, please note that nothing in his original applies to our game unless it also shows up here.)
This page last updated on 2/25/13.