The Tiki War
A setting submission by Random Goblin
Core Ethos Sentence: The Tiki War is an adventure setting that consists of a huge tropical archipelago called Wala-Ku, also known as the Arcadian Islands, where the forces of light clash against the forces of darkness under the shadow of the Empire of Sapar.
Who are the Heroes? The main character is an incredibly powerful witch doctor named Ap Manu, who, when he saw that he would soon die, enacted a mighty ritual that preserved his identity and life essence in two great carved wooden masks. One was the dark Pu mask, and one was the good Ki mask. The evil Pu mask immediately set out to conquer the islands and began amassing followers, while the Ki mask set out to stop it. Other heroes could be islanders, dwarven traders, elven pirates, lizardfolk tribesmen, locathah chieftains, or Saparian soldiers or missionaries.
What do they do? The allies of Manu Ki and Manu Pu clash in epic fashion, of course, but over them hangs the threat of Sapar one day extending its control. Dwarven traders ply the waters in Gnomish ships trying to make a profit and defend themselves against elven and hobgoblin pirates. Aquatic elves and locathah try to maintain their unsteady alliance against the sahuagin.
Threats, Conflicts, Villains: The main conflict is between the allies of Manu Ki and the allies of Manu Pu. In addition, the Empire of Sapar directly controls the western end of the archipelago and lays claim to the rest of it. Native to the islands are halfling, orc, and lizardfolk tribes, all fairly primitive., but the shallow ocean waters between the islands teem with merfolk, aquatic elves, and locathah, all threatened by the Sahuagin who live in the great coral reef that protects the islands from the harsh weather to the south.
Nature of Magic: Magic works much like it does in the core rulebook and the setting and cosmology associated with it. Divine magic would be slightly different, with a new pantheon of tribal gods including minor spirits and the gods of Sapar in competition with each other. Prestige classes would give druids and clerics access to powerful animal abilities granted by spirits.
What’s new? What’s different? This setting would be quite different from usual D&D settings because of its greater focus than usual on the shallow seas around and among the islands, making underwater adventures and aquatic PC’s a viable option. Also, there is very little in the way of traditional dungeons other than the occasional small cave complex or dead volcano, and underwater caves abound, especially in the coral reef that is infested with sahuagin and other monsters. This means that emphasis would generally be on event-based rather than site-based adventures. There is a clash of cultures, as the Empire of Sapar interacts with the islander natives. Sapar, a more traditionally high medieval-based culture like that which is standard in other settings, provides PC’s so inclined with the option of a more familiar atmosphere.