Vote Up A Campaign Setting is a project started on the Giant in the Playground forums to build a campaign setting designed by audience vote. Originating in November of 2008, the project was released beginning on November 24th, 2010, two years to the day that the voting concluded. The second iteration of the project launched on June 17th, 2011 under new old leadership, and can be found here.
Though originally interesting just for the premise of the project, the discussion threads took on a life of their own as details of the setting took form and information began to leak out. It also helps that the threads are presided over by a pleasant, even-tempered PR representative who releases and discusses setting information.
The first completed VUACS setting is posted.
Vote Up A Campaign Setting 2 is now in progress.
The setting contains the following tropes:
- "Arabian Nights" Days: The chosen theme for the setting, as voted by the audience.
- Belief Makes You Stupid: Since all the gods don't exist and are really represented by Zihaja,
- Big Bad: They posted the outlines of several possible ones with the names blanked, so far nothing else has been released on them.
- Bilingual Bonus: So far, the setting uses Arabic, Farsi and Sanskrit. Whether that will be true on release remains to be seen, but one poster recently picked up on the meanings of Siraaj, Najmah and Kamala.
- Dark World: Najmah, where it's always night. The map they released shows that it has a different color scheme from Siraaj, too.
- Devil, but No God: The religions presented so far for PCs and most of civilization are all essentially fake. We've already got confirmation that the demons and demon lords are very very real.
- The Don: New NPC crime lord Fazul.
- Five Races: Not all that clear-cut, since they ditched the Player's Handbook races.
- Genie in a Bottle: It's Arabian Nights, so probably. We know there are genies.
- "What do you mean, junk? We've been looking for Father for the past five years!"
- God's Hands Are Tied: Supposedly the reason for things such as Johoum's continued existence. What exactly constrains the only god in the setting hasn't been explained yet.
- Lizard Folk: One of the races voted in to replace the core D&D races.
- Masquerade: Half-genies living as ordinary people, and Zihaja operating ten false gods.
- Mysterious Past: So far, most details on the distant past are still under wraps. Zihaja's original identity is also being kept secret... for now, we hope.
- Our Ghouls Are Different: "Ghuls" rather than ghouls, and based on Zeta's picture they're far scarier. See Demonic Ghouls on the trope page.
- Our Gods Are Different: The overgod, Zihaja, who masquerades as ten different aspects and is the only real god in the setting.
- There are a few gods that aren't actually aspects of Zihaja, but they're either: a) directly subordinate to Zihaja, or b) racial gods of races which will never show up in most games (the dwarves living on the south pole have their own pantheon, for example). They were deliberately let in by Big Z, though.
- Schedule Slip: The original estimated release period was over a year ago.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The real Johoum.
- Shifting Sand Land: It's a desert setting, what did you expect?
- Title Drop: Averted, afroakuma has stated loudly and repeatedly that there is no such thing as the Hourglass of Zihaja in the setting.
- The X of Y: The setting's formal title is Hourglass of Zihaja.