Shadows of Bassidia

Well, since I realized the other day that it’s been weeks since I got off my butt and made a blog post, I decided that I should probably get back on it.

A while back, I decided that in order to properly write and create classes and powers for Chrono d20, I would need to finally run a 4th Edition game in order to try and get my head around some of the math. So, I decided that, at least this semester, possibly next, I would be running a 4th Edition game for a few hours each Tuesday or Wednesday. Despite that fact that this is going to be a test bed campaign, I really also wanted it to be interesting, so my mind began working to come up with an interesting campaign hook.

I finally settled on tweaking the idea of the “holy inquisition,’ which I think everyone is familiar with: a powerful Empire has a small, highly militaristic and oftentimes highly religious group in place in order to root out potential enemies to their power and keep the rest of the society in line. Emperor Palpatine of Star Wars had the Imperial Inquisitorious and the ISB in place in order to deal with Jedi that survived the Clone Wars as well as to keep the rest of the galaxy in line through fear tactics. Real world examples include groups as diverse as the Spanish Inquisition to the Brownshirts and Blackshirts from the facist regimes of the late thirties and early forties.

I decided to take that idea and twist it slightly. Instead of the inquisition being the bad guys working for the Empire, let’s make them the good guys working against an evil and corrupt Empire? Okay, there’s hook one. Now let’s decide just why this Empire is evil. I could go with the whole corrupt regime ruled by a mad man, but that just doesn’t strike me at this current point. Well, then I started thinking about famous villains in DND history, past or present. One of the major villains that most people (well, those that played back when Ravenloft was still big) is Count Strahd, a vampire lord. I started looking through the Monster Manual and at some of the products available to me, and noticed a good deal of love for the undead, especially with the Open Grave monster compendium in print. That got my brain working.

Interlligent undead ruling over an Empire they took over, using powerful undead beasts and ghosts as soldiers in an army that mortal men just can’t destroy. Living beings are decimated and fractious, living in small, mobile communities outside of the ever expanding area of rule of the ancient Empire of Bassidia that has now become a perversion of what it once was. This undead Empire also gives a likely enemy for an Inquisition, especially one religious nature, working to keep hope alive in the hearts of the remaining living races.

Anyway, that’s the general overview of the campaign setting. I’m looking to fill out some more things here in the next few days.


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