A Roleplaying Podcast

Building Skyrend

Seasons of Skyrend is an actual play podcast within a custom 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons setting. We focus on the stories of our characters as they explore the world around them. The pace of the story is best described as a slow burn. We wanted to give the story elements time to breath and be explored because the characters, their relations, and the world as a whole are all new. The world of Skyrend was created as a framework, leaving many of the details to be fleshed out as we progress. On the other hand, we try to keep combat at an active pace. Although we do use maps for certain cities, the continents, and the planet, nearly all of our combat happens off-map. This theater-of-the-mind setting allows combat to flow more freely and encourages creativity.

One of the main driving forces behind the decision to create a custom world was to explore some of the basic ideas behind good and evil, right and wrong. The official D&D settings are fantastic, but they are also extremely structured and have an almost endless supply of history already built in. Frankly, I don't think we could tell our story in that world. It's hard to explore good and evil when entire races and even gods have "good" or "evil" as their official alignment. In order to work beyond that, none of the gods or races have an alignment on that scale. Individuals can certainly be good or evil or neutral, some groups may be as well, but locking whole races or gods, along with their followers, into a specific moral alignment limits choices and agency for players and NPCs alike.

Our story begins in the year 164 A.T. The fifth age has been marked by recovery and rebuilding efforts since a great global catastrophe commonly referred to as The Turn. Our characters start in the city of Karami, which lies on the central peninsula on the continent of Carricar. Karami fared better than most cities after The Turn. Like most of the continent, Karami lies in a state of perpetual autumn. Because of where it lies, the city also has much more night than day. The world of Skyrend is seasonally locked, meaning that seasons do not pass with time. Instead, they are physical regions of the planet, which will become more obvious as we explore more of the world. In general terms, the seasons are arranged from Summer, Spring, Autumn, and Winter from the north pole to the south pole, respectively. Our characters find themselves trying to get by in a world that may or may not have it out for them as the gods and rulers exercise their will.