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D&D Campaign Idea: Neolithic / Stone Age World

Looking for a new campaign idea for your D&D? Tired of Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Eberron, Ravenloft and other campaign worlds?

How about a Neolithic / Stone Age World...


I ran something similar to what you see below for 5 years. It was a very successful campaign too.

All the weapons / armor are made of wood, flint, obsidian, leather, stone age materials. The elves know how to make leaf/wood armor. The dwarves make stone armor.

Society is mostly tribal and nomadic. Agriculture exists, but is subsistence. Architecture is Mud Huts or Neolithic structures and wooden forts. Dungeons are usually caves.

One's Tribe is an important part of character design. Similar to Background in 5th Edition. Each tribe is unique and has specific skills. The Tribe indicates starting equipment for individual classes.

Tribal leaders play an important role in each tribe and indicate level and power. PCs who reach specific levels and rewarded with leadership roles (opportunity for roleplaying) and followers.

Each tribe has their own branch of magic. Conjuration, Illusion, Evocation, etc and users of such magic are called Mystics and specialize in one branch of magic. They have no spellbooks and instead store their knowledge of magic inside a mystical object (staff, wand, gem, bone, etc) which they commune with to recharge their mystical energies. Learning new spells mean they find a mystical object and transfer the knowledge from one object to another, which is time consuming. Some tribes (eg. Dwarves and halflings) also avoid magic entirely, and instead have magical resistance.

Magical items are imbued with mystical energies but have a set duration. Even swords and armor have their energies depleted over time. Nothing magical is permanent.

Currency does not exist. Players must trade items via barter (roleplaying). Prices for items are not listed so value is subjective.

There are signs of ancient architecture and strange artifacts from a past era - suggesting this world is post apocalyptic. But it is so far removed that so little of the past still exists and even the oldest of dragons say anything from the past is just fanciful nonsense. The ancient artifacts are important because unlike magical items which lose their power over time, artifacts never lose their power.

A secret cabal collects and studies the ancient artifacts, and uses their strange powers to gain control over others to do their bidding - in an effort to mine for more artifacts. Even dragons fear the cabal, as they hoard and hide such items and the cabal sends dragonslayers to seek out their hoards and hidden artifacts. Often the artifacts found are mostly useless. A music box. An object made of strange hard material. But othertimes they are a weapon or a device with potent magical powers. (The cabal has discovered that artifacts recharge their powers in moonlight.)

Badlands dot the landscape. Places which make people sick or even mutate. Some believe the sickness can make people strong. Others believe those lands are just cursed. Staying in the Badlands too long has many strange effects.

Food and water are important resources. Each PC has Food Points (FD) and Water Points (WD). In addition to rest to prevent exhaustion, they need to eat and drink or else they suffer effects of starvation and dehydration. If food and drink are plentiful these are not tracked, but if traveling through Badlands then they are tracked. Rival tribes, humanoids and monsters may steal food and water when passing through the badlands. This should be a common occurence. Different tribes have their own methods for protecting their food and water. Raiders from the Badlands will also invade more fertile territory, sometimes just to steal food and water - but othertimes to encroach on that territory and claim it for their own.

The gods of this world are things people can see. The moons, sun, the 4 elements, and totem animals are the gods people choose to worship. In my world the silver moon and the red moon were the most important of the two gods. Fire and sun was combined into a singular elemental god.

...

I ran a very successful 5 year campaign that started in the stone age of my world and later became the bronze age cusp. My current Friday campaign is later in the timeline so it is now the iron age / dark ages.

My campaign world is called Korovia and centers on one kingdom within that world. I have been running it since September 1999, with each campaign being part of a different period in the timeline. See Korovia.com to learn more about the world.

If WotC wanted to buy the license for my world however I would have a caveat however. They must make it free-license so that authors can write and self-publish stories set in the world. That would be my condition.

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