Game System

This setting was designed for Dungeons and Dragons™ 5th Edition. Little of the setting is fixed to that system, however, so porting should be possible.

Cosmology

The Dawn of Hope setting uses a custom cosmology which is described in detail in Quick Planar Cosmology Guide. It is incompatible with the Great Wheel cosmology of the standard D&D settings.

Magic Levels

The Council Lands is a medium magic-availability setting with low magic permanence. As a result, 5th level spells are about as high as non-player mortal casters get with rare exceptions. The techniques required for creating permanent magical items have been lost after the Cataclysm Wars--they may be rediscovered through player action. All casting classes are available to players.

Race Availability

The following is a complete list of races and sub-races available as player characters. Adaptations of monster races is possible, but they would have large social penalties when interacting with the "civilized" peoples.

  • Human
    • Standard
    • Tiefling
    • Aasimar
  • Elf
    • High
    • Wood
  • Dwarf
    • Hill
    • Mountain
  • Halfling
    • Lightfoot
    • Stout
  • Half-elf
  • Dragonborn
  • Half-orc
  • Serpent-kin (using Yuan-ti Pureblood stat-blocks)
  • Hobgoblin
  • Soul-forged (homebrew living constructs)

Note the following: Gnomes are legendary. The last gnome sighting was before the cataclysm. Drow (dark elves) have never existed. There is no Underdark equivalent. Goliaths were known, but are thought to have been wiped out when their mountain homes turned volcanic in the Cataclysm Wars. Tieflings and Aasimar are sub-races of humans for social purposes. There are not enough of them to form separate societies.

Themes and Tone

A major theme of the setting is the conflict between security and freedom. Tradition vs change is another large theme. Exploring the consequences of player actions forms the third major theme. Culturally, the number four and its multiples shows up a lot.

Deity Involvement

The gods are generally active, but not directly. Cults devoted to the Outcast Gods are present. Direct deific intervention is vanishingly rare.

Alignment

No creatures--including planar beings and deities--have fixed alignment. Good and Evil describe the ends of actions; chaotic and lawful describe the means taken toward the ends. The sprite ability to sense alignment will tell how the person is motivated currently--are they out for their own good or for the good of others? How do they see society's traditions and rules? This is a point-in-time snapshot, not a fixed thing. Members of "evil" races such as devils can take any action that is consistent with their individual personality. Societies may have cultures that influence toward good, evil, law or chaos, but members of these societies are free to change however they desire.