The Setting

I’ve put a lot of thought into creating a setting that is truly easy to pick up, requires almost no knowledge ahead of playing, and can still provide a rich and coherent atmosphere. 

There is no central government or empire.  It fell a dozen generations ago.  People of all races have gathered into settlements, towns, and small fiefdoms.  Customs vary a lot from place to place, which gives great flexibility in creating your character’s backstory. It also means that you don’t have to learn any complex history; your characters know where they came from.

The spaces between towns and castles can be dangerous. There are wandering tribes of goblinkind, bandits, and other dangers both humanoid and monstrous out there in the wild.  Some have a grudge against any remnants of the Empire. Perhaps they have a reason to.

It is a “low magic” setting, where magic-users are unusual.  Think of The Lord of the Rings, The Witcher, or The Kingkiller Chronicles. There used to be more magic, when the elves were still around, but they and the magic largely left when the Empire fell. No-one is certain if those things are connected or not, but that doesn’t stop folks from guessing.

Obviously magical races — aasimar, genasi, dragonkin — are merely myths and legends, much like the elves.  Races such as halflings, dwarves, half-orcs, gnomes, intermingle with “regular” humans rather freely in most places and get along fairly well due to the necessity of survival, though that may change from settlement to settlement. (“Nobody picks on our half-orc but us!”)

The broken, half-ruined old roads of the Empire, traveled by caravans of traders are the main “glue” holding society together. Various lords have tried to unify regions of the old Empire; they are often the butt of scandalous songs sung in taverns due to their failures.

The characters all work as freelancers for the Black Talon Society, a private security agency which controls “the clacks”, a magical telegraph system. (RIP Terry Pratchett) The Talons do whatever job they’re paid to do — guard a rich caravan, enforce a law, dispatch a dangerous monster. They’ll even get cats out of trees, if you pay well enough.

That’s it! You know everything you need to know about the setting!

There is additional, optional information about Songtooth and its surroundings on this page.