Core Ethos Sentence: Gondwanaland is a savage, primitive world where heroes forge their destinies amidst the ruins of a fallen primordial civilization.
Who are the heroes? The main heroes of Gondwanaland are the humans of the western coast who are in the process of rising from savage tribalism and forging a new civilization. They are led by Coyopa, a golden-haired, bronze-skinned demigod who is part of a newly born pantheon of gods. However, there is plenty of room for heroes of other races and backgrounds as well, even the odd savage humanoid like Arag Gol, the half-orc seeking to unite the jungle tribes, or Ahuatla, the legendary exiled lizardfolk swordsman.
What do they do? One major goal common to everyone is simply to survive in such a savage world. The humans of the western coast seek to build their new empire, gaining allies and fighting against their enemies. Really though, Gondwanaland is a rich enough setting to allow a multitude of heroes to pursue a multitude of goals, just as in any other great setting for a role-playing game.
Threats, Conflicts, Villains: Fierce predators roam the jungles and forests while savage tribes of orcs and men wage war for food and territory. The remaining lizardfolk led by the mad sorceror-king Ixhactl dream hallucinogenic dreams of their ancient glory, and plot for their fallen empire to rise again. The catacombs and tombs of the lizardfolk are full of forgotten terrors that sometimes rise to the surface.
Nature of Magic: Magic in Gondwanaland will function much the same as it is laid out in the Core Rulebooks. Druids and adepts will be common, but clerics will be common enough as well. There are at least three separate pantheons of gods: the lizardfolk’s pantheon, the alien gods of the elves, and the new human pantheon.
What’s new? What’s different? Gondwanaland is a huge supercontinent stretching from the teeming, lush jungles of the south through the endless savannah to the boreal forest and the jagged, icy, glacier-covered mountains in the north. It is a prehistoric “lost continent” setting where savage human and humanoid tribes fight dinosaurs in the south and huge ice-age mammals in the north. The ruins of the once-mighty lizardfolk empire are everywhere, but new civilizations with a Mesoamerican flavor are on the rise. The elves are stranded visitors from another star, with citadels in the northern mountains built from the wreckage of their great star galleons. Many of the elves, however, live nomadic lives in the northern boreal forest, having left the mountain citadels and forgotten much of their past. Dwarves were bred to be a slave-race, but their rebellion against their lizardfolk overlords was one factor in bringing about the latter empire’s downfall. The prevalence of dinosaurs and prehistoric beasts makes for a quite unique set of mounts and beasts of burden, and a set of new prestige classes like the Raptor Knight, the Fossil Mage, and the Mammoth Rider is one of the results.
Climate: Gondwanaland is a land of extremes. Near the coasts, it is a lush, humid jungle, and there are a few inland seas that help extend the wet climate further inland than would otherwise be possible. However, as a supercontinent, the entire center is an unelievably huge arid desert plateau. The plateau has craggy mountain ranges that conceal ancient secrets, ruined lost temples, and some say in the center, in a mountain range of staggering unmatched proportions that no explorer has ever reached or even seen. In this range is some ancient and terrible secret. Rumors call it the place of dead gods.