Or so my wife tells me, bless her, when I don’t deal with her requests quickly enough. I’m feeling really lazy this year, so I shall start using a published setting and adventures. Setting first.
I like Beasts & Barbarians so much I’m going to shift my SW fantasy PCs into the Dread Sea Dominions; so, a few equivalences will be needed. Based on existing PCs and backstory, I need a couple of races, some languages, a couple of religions, and a map scale.
For races, I have one warforged among the regular players, and one half-orc, one evil hobbit, one dark elf, one vanilla wood elf, and one gnome among the intermittents.
Reading through the B&B book, it looks like good matches for orcs and "boggies" are Nandals and Pygmies respectively. Gnomes can also be reskinned as pygmies. The lady elf ranger can become an Amazon. The dark elf can come from a lost underground city.
The warforged is most easily explained as a construct from the Keronian Empire, who wandered across the Keronian Range into the Independent Cities. ("The animated statue is clearly Keronian work. How much will you take for it?")
These are just backstory changes, I won’t mess with the characters as generated. Future characters will probably need to be human, though, or I need to retcon the B&B setting to include other races, which is a lot more work.
Languages. Between them, the PCs speak…
- Common, Noble, and Elven, which all collapse into Imperial Syranthian.
- Scholar’s Tongue and Draconic, which both become Ancient Keronian.
- Black Speech, which becomes Nandal. B&B Nandals are less intelligent than normal SW orcs, mind.
- Tidecult, which I will replace with Valk.
- The boggie and gnome PCs also get Pygmy.
Religions. B&B notes that there are many minor religions in the Dominions which it doesn’t name or describe, so it’s easy to drop the Norse Pantheon and the cult of Athena in as minor religions worshipped only in a couple of Independent Cities; but even less work to call them the worship of the Lord of Thunder and Hulian, respectively.
For map scale, I’ll take a leaf from WHAA‘s book and just ignore it. Each month the PCs can move between the heartland and the countryside, the countryside and the border, or from the border of one state to the border of another.
I can switch the PCs into one of the Independent Cities, and put the dungeon and more D&D style monsters (e.g. goblins) in the Fallen Reign of Keron, which would explain why NPC expeditions to that blighted land never return. Why don’t the monsters emerge from Keron and spread across the world? I don’t know, I’ll see what the players come up with. However, I think probably only those with human blood can leave the Fallen Realm, which would explain why orcs and elves acquire humans in various ways to help them produce half-orcs and half-elves when they can – the children of these unlikely couplings scout out the world for their non-human parents, seeking a means of escape.
See how easy this is? It’s not just characters who have archetypes; monsters and settings do, too.