Chronicles of Salbazan

One of my projects that fell to the wayside during the pandemic was Chronicles of Salbazan, a new setting sourcebook. When I started, I was designing this for 3/5/OGL fantasy game mechanics, but I’ve started to readapt it for Pathfinder 1E. Don’t shoot me, not completely on board with 2E. Feels too much like D&D 5E to me, which I find extremely limiting for experienced gamers.

Chronicles of Salbazan is set on the planet Lurra, a world that was almost destroyed thousands of years ago when the gods physically came to the material plane to fight for control. The event destroyed everything except the continent of Lurrak.

But players aren’t dealing with a post-apocalyptical fantasy. The campaign is set 5,000 years after the Divine Cataclysm. The world is pretty “safe” at this point. Or at least, so everyone believes.

But a much more mundane threat now threatens the continent: overpopulation. And now after 5,000 years, eyes are starting to look beyond Lurrak in hopes of finding new resources.

The premise of the campaign is that the players are condemned prisoners who are sent to a recently discovered landmass in secret. The goal is that they will establish a foothold there and, eventually, the landmass can be surveyed and claimed for the people of Lurrak. But the landmass isn’t exactly uninhabited, and the players find themselves confronted by things that were believed to have been extinct or merely the stuff of legends.

The final draft is complete…finally!….and now playtesting begins. I had done some early playtesting when the 3.5/OGL rules were being used (even running a short demo at PhilCon just before the pandemic). But we needed to make a lot of adaptations to the Pathfinder rules to make it work with the concept. Mundane rules like crafting, for example, go out the window because there are no stores to buy raw materials from. Figuring out how spellcasters will manage to get spell components is another issue. Divine magic needed to be revamped because this is a world where the gods all died.

I am very excited about this setting, however, because I think it breaks a lot of the stereotypical roleplaying tropes in an organic way. Players aren’t just exploring a new world; they will be shaping it. As they come across previously unknown species, they will be naming them. They will be building settlements and establishing laws. Trial and error to find substitutes and workarounds for crafting and spellcasting will be needed.

If you are the type of player that spends more time in video games decorating your player housing than you do questing, you will absolutely love the opportunity to build a stronghold and prepare to receive future NPCs to expand it. 😉 If you are the type of player that spends a lot of time developing their character’s back story and motivations, this will definitely be the setting for you. If you are a player that has shied away from crafting skills and feats because they seemed to cumbersome and nonsensical, I think you will find the changes we’ve made to locating, harvesting, and using resources for crafting easy-to-follow without becoming unbalancing.

The setting probably won’t appeal to the hack-slash-kill gaming style or players that just want to dungeon crawl, gather loot, sell loot, and buy better loot. There will be dungeons and monster fights and “boss battles” to be sure, but not every challenge can just be beaten down, and not every “monster” is what they may seem.

The Character creation rules will focus a great deal on the Five Kingdoms of Lurrak, even though the main campaign takes place on Salbazan. Players need to understand the world they are coming from in order to to design their characters for maximum survivability. As we get closer to publication, I will release more information about the continent and the kingdoms found on it to help players understand the world their characters come from and better prepare for the one they will be going to.