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  • Type: Serious, Grey versus Grey, little to no interdimensionality
  • Themes: Political Hard-Fantasy Dungeonpunk, Progressive Post-Fantasy, Tolkienpunk, magitech, ideology, factional conflict, civil war
  • Origin: My most prominent and best developed 'verse. The place where most of my characters are from, including Wesley, Angua, Agustin and Elisif. If they’re not from here, they’re likely from my other large ‘verse instead, which as of yet does not have a name.
  • Description: Avanterra is the progressive quasi-Fantasy world of what’s been my main project for a good while now. I’ve debated with myself and others at great length concerning what to call it in terms of genre, and I’ve recently settled on: Tolkienpunk. Essentially, it attempts to do for the classic and well-worn fantasy archetype what Cyberpunk does for the real world. Instead of exploring the implications of real-world technological advancement, it explores the implications of many of the foundational premises of the common Fantasy literature that followed in the wake of the Lord of the Rings, and it does this by taking a very Tolkien-derivative world and moving it forward in time to its equivalent of the modern era.
  • I approach this world with a very grounded and analytical perspective. Tolkien leaned fairly heavily in the Romanticist direction, so I thought I’d bring a cheerful dose of Enlightenment rigor to the premises of the Fantasy genre as they are made manifest in Avanterra. In my worldbuilding process, I treat its history essentially like real history, with many of the factors that define history’s progression- social struggle, economic and technological development, religion, ideology- explored so thoroughly that they generate their own unique political issues which in turn drive the events of the plot. These issues that are not simply mirrors of or parallels to contemporary political issues reflected back at us from a different angle through the lens of a Fantasy setting- as is the tendency with modern fantasy and speculative fiction of all kinds- but genuine and genuinely complicated social, political and economic problems that arise on their own from the milieu of circumstances that the Fantasy tropes that underpin it generate.
  • Avanterra, as a world, is deliberately unoriginal. It’s a world that has Elves and Dwarves and magic and named swords and all that. The originality comes in the degree of analysis I subject these otherwise common Fantasy tropes and the subsequent deconstruction and reconstruction that follows. My worldbuilding efforts have so far synthesized my broad, albeit not particularly deep, knowledge of a plethora of subjects including economics, political-economic theory, international relations, technological development, political philosophy, religion and ideology. At its best, I intend Avanterra to be a world that demands and rewards intellectual curiosity and scrutiny, and encourages the audience’s immersion in it. You’re meant to get the sense that the fact that Avanterra is a world with magic in it has informed the development of civilization and culture from its very beginning, as such a thing undoubtedly would.
  • I have two setting ideas within the broader ‘verse so I’m splitting this into two sections like Snowy did.


  • Themes: War, civil unrest, oppression, ideology, extremism, inequality
  • Description: The Freehold of Madrigal is the last remaining independent city on the continent. Its causeways are swollen with the displaced, refugees fleeing the chaos back West. Every other settlement of its kind has by now fallen to the relentless Commonwealth war machine as it pushes ever eastward, intent on snuffing out the last vestiges of the Old Empire remnant- an empire that it overthrew as its act of birth some forty years ago.
  • In an era of conflict Madrigal has come to serve as a hub for regional trade, and its location adjacent the Tremaris river gives it port access. As a consequence the city is reasonably wealthy, though most of this wealth is centralized around a handful of prominent merchant families. This wealth has also allowed the city’s council of rulers to raise a sizable force of mercenaries to act in its defense. The Madrigan Freecorps was raised by charter and is composed primarily of volunteers, though there is a minority of indentured soldiers among them. They are always recruiting, as the threat of the Commonwealth looms large to the West and it seems as if a violent confrontation is expected to occur any day now.
  • Madrigal’s prominent trade partners include the Newhaven Alliance (also collectively known as the Raldist Powers) and several Freeports including Freeport Angellis and Freeport Serpent’s Gate. This diversity is reflected quite heavily in its eclectic mix of old and new technologies. The Madrigan Freecorps’ standard of armament includes breech-loading rifled muskets, but the propellant used in the paper cartridges is an alchemical powder that burns faster and with less heat than conventional gun powder.
  • The culture of Madrigal is quite permissive, as one might expect from such a cosmopolitan city. However, that does not mean it is a particularly pleasant place to live. There are no legal prohibitions of any kind on any matter outside of basic contract enforcement, but neither is there any sort of institutional support system for the city’s unwashed masses. A city ruled by merchant families is essentially a collection of hereditary private cartels, and as a consequence there is essentially no conception of the public interest outside of the bare minimum of basic law and order required to facilitate smooth business.
  • The end result for those who live there is: if you have money it’s a fine place to live, but anyone who doesn’t will have it rough in every way. The refugees have it particularly bad as their destitution leaves them vulnerable to exploitation of all kinds, from being used as disposable unskilled labor in Madrigan factories to being press-ganged into the Merchant Militia (or, if you were particularly unlucky, Loansword Conscription) to pay off debts to the local trade barons. What police force exists is entirely private- the same mercenaries that compose the Madrigan Freecorps also serve as its City Watch, and corruption within the Watch is a common occurrence.


  • Themes: Racial conflict, the rule of law, political-economy, equality, progress
  • Description: Newhaven is the capitol city of the Newhaven Alliance, and the city after which the confederation is named. Formed as a response to the Commonwealth’s land grab, the Alliance is a voluntary regional coalition of various nascent national powers that rose to prominence following the Old Empire’s collapse. Determining and regulating these states’ interactions with one-another is Raldism, the Alliance’s official guiding ideology. Raldism’s central tenets prescribe that the various sentient races that inhabit Avanterra- and that in turn make up their Alliance- are to be kept separate from one-another in all matters cultural, economic and political.
  • The Alliance as a whole takes the Raldist ideology very seriously, and for a fairly good reason. Its sovereignty-affirming nature is thought by many to be one of the primary reasons the various parties involved were willing to sign the Newhaven Compact to begin with. Each race within the Alliance is given its own land based on where the majority of their population lives, and the Alliance is in most cases obliged to provide transportation for people living in the wrong territory to the newly designated lands of their people. Newhaven, as the capitol, reflects this belief system very prominently in its layout.
  • The organization of the city within the walls is very strict. It is split into four major sections, each of them devoted to one of the four major races that populate the Alliance: Humans, Elves, Dwarves and Kasuar. Each of these districts is sort of like a self-contained embassy the size of a small town, with walls erected to separate these designated sections from one-another and from the various interstitial common areas that exist between them. Guards belonging to that race’s diplomatic entourage are posted at every entrance and exit, and- unless they are recognized dignitaries or Alliance officials- people of other races must have proof of legitimate business within the district to be permitted to enter.
  • As a city, Newhaven is pretty much wholly given over to the Alliance and its politics. It serves as the political nerve center of the Alliance and houses the facilities and quarters used by the various political representatives of the member races to the Alliance’s main deliberative body, the House of Arbiters. Located at the heart of the city and in the innermost common area, the House of Arbiters is a congress where councilpersons and other recognized speakers, special interests, etc. can bring forward topics for discussion and eventual determination. This forum is most commonly used to decide on matters of common policy. As one might imagine, the practical challenges of governing a confederation as deliberately diverse as the Alliance are manifold.
  • A large old-style stone defensive wall surrounds the city, with refurbished metal battlements and weapon emplacements peeking out over the top of it. These defenses are manned by the Alliance’s elite guard, an all-Human contingent of veteran soldiers and colorguard, whose duties also include general policing within the public areas and thoroughfares of Newhaven, as well as the Trade Ring. Surrounding the city on all sides is a large and sprawling arrangement of ad-hoc structures and settlements called the Trade Ring. As trading- exchanging goods for money- is the only form of economic activity that the Alliance sanctions to be acceptable between two different races, Newhaven’s importance and centrality has lent to the creation of a thriving marketplace just outside the city walls.

Snowy Foxes

There is no special name for this place

  • Type: Normal (no inter-dimensional elements)
  • Themes: Overall, it's a Gaslamp Fantasy (with a heavier lean on thermodynamics and science in general).
  • Origin: Nearly all of the characters I have used are from this world, but some may be from different time frames. For example, Wilhelm, Jonathan, and Bianca weren't even born while the Friedrich and Violet in Archipelago were having their adventures.
  • Description: Splitting this into two categories.

The Sky Islands

  • Themes: Balance between magic and science, leaning towards magic, somewhat muted Belle Epoque aesthetics (faint Asiatic influence in Rona)
  • Origin: Bianca, her family, Violet, Angelus, Cyrus
  • Description: Rona, Pallone, Fenrir, and Kartal are the four city-states still in existence. Each has claimed one main island, the smaller islands surrounding their respective main islands, and some land on the continents. Rona and Fenrir are currently allied in a war against Pallone, and Kartal is too busy collapsing a la pre-revolutionary France to care. Geier, the abandoned fifth city-state, was partially destroyed by a mysterious magical experiment two hundred years ago. The residents were forced to move to one of the continents, and the Republic was founded. The Vespers tend to be snotty about how the humans lost magic because they were arrogant enough to test its limits. While Vespers continue to push their limits in science, they have a near-superstitious aversion to probing into the nature of magic, and those brave enough to do so proceed with caution. The social and political climate is fairly liberal, with equal rights for all and a concern for income equality as well. However, strong faith in the aristocracy remains, and methods for dealing with criminals are near draconian.

The Republic

  • Themes: Dystopian elements, heavy emphasis on science with poor integration of magic, resembles Edwardian England with German/ Scandinavian aesthetics and references in culture
  • Origin: Wilhelm, Friedrich, Jonathan
  • Description: It seems that another side effect of the disaster that took away their magic and destroyed Geier also took away the humans' memories of their origins. The fact that about a quarter of their population can still use magic made no sense to them, and the Republic's law code is designed to control that quarter and make them work for the rest. Rigidly defined social classes, gender roles, and other strictly enforced socially conservative conventions reflect a desire for conformity and control and fear of what's different. Nowhere can this be more clear than in the city of Himmelburg, the capital of the Republic. An inner gate surrounds the wealthy residential district in the center of the city, symbolizing the theoretical mobility of the middle class. The outer part of the city, where the factories are located and the undesirables live, is separated from the rest by an enormous wall. The iron-fisted government is not kind to those who think too much about those pesky human rights. For the most part, however, if you mind your own business and trust the government enough, you can be content with your lot in life. Or you could just move to a small country town and keep up with your taxes.


Hoshimira University

  • Type: Semi-interdimensional, Semi-casual (other interdimensional characters and influences are present, and power limitations are in place under certain circumstances)
  • Themes: Slice-of-life, Reality-bending, Comedy, Interdimensional
  • Origin: This is the story where Tokanae, Shiko, Riho, Koiina, Kurako, Maroko, and Nanami are from. They made a decent appearance in the Cantina, and a short one in the Resort.
  • Description: Hoshimira University is a rather ordinary university in the mountainside not too far from Tokyo, Japan. It just so happens to be a junction point for multiple universes, and consequently hosts a variety of aliens, youkai, and interdimensional travelers as visitors and students. So again, just a rather ordinary university in Japan. The time your characters would be visiting is during the traditional open-house week where students present their accomplishments over the last semester, and host visitors who may be interested in attending. This is held in early November (fall).
  • This setting is the most stable and similar to the traditional CDTs, as it is mostly casual and safe with standard interactions. However, there are plenty of other regions to explore, and lots of crazy antics to get involved in, such as magical martial arts classes, interactive genetic engineering, and laws-of-physics-free recreation rooms.

Wu Xing

  • Type: Minimally-interdimensional, Serious (your characters entering here would be the only interdimensional travelers at the moment)
  • Themes: Action, Strategy, Society, Magitek
  • Origin: This is the setting from my ill-fated attempt at running an RPG in the RPG forum. It failed due to a variety of reasons, mostly due to posting speed differential, trying to make the thread too many things for too many people at once, and having too structured of a plot forced on the players. This time there is no plot except what the guest characters make, in true Wide-Open Sandbox form. None of the characters from this setting have appeared in any CDTs.
  • Description: The world of Domatu is a world enveloped in mysticism, created by the ancient five gods. Existing from before time itself, they each created an element of their nature and breathed form into a formless world. The world... has a long and boring history we won't go into here, but at the current moment, the Eight Free Kingdoms have been overthrown by a merciless and powerful overlord, the Elemental King. Your characters will arrive in the capital city of the Elemental Kingdom: the city of Bavat in the province of Thuringia, the city on the lake. You can try to free the kingdoms, ally with the Elemental King, or just go off and do something fun. Some out-of-date additional information is available Roleplay/[[{{Wu Xing Interdimensional Fantasy Adventure here]], but be warned that most of the information on that page is inaccurate! (The plot, NPCs, etc. don't apply, but most of the tropes, the world map, and the elemental system are still mostly valid.)
  • This setting is the most like an RPG setting, and is designed to be destroyed or thrown off the rails. Anything is allowed with no in-setting limitations, except maybe destroying the world or something like that, because it would end the thread. tongue


  • Type: Normal, Serious (no interdimensional influences at all)
  • Themes: Realistic, Society, Mystery, Urban
  • Origin: This is the story where Sakuko (and Megan) are from - they appeared for a while in the Cantina, and Sakuko appeared significantly in the Resort as well.
  • Description: This is a world split in two. The ordinary world we know and love(?) above, while below the ground lie a civilization forgotten to time. They are over a billion strong, ghosts snatched from the jaws of the afterlife at their moment of death. They exist on in a parallel life, unseen by the living above for over two millennia. A decade ago they revolted from their dictator, and made contact with the upworld again. Chaos and confusion has mostly settled into a fog of uncertainty and mistrust. Will the ghosts ever find true freedom, or will they seek to turn back the clock on the world above? Between these mighty forces stand a brave few, from both sides, who wish to reunite in harmony. Their crown jewel is the New York Link, where many organizations and groups, such as the Afterlife Tech Support agency Sakuko, Megan, and Nick work at, fight to keep the peace. Your characters will enter in New York, either in the normal world or the Downworld at your decision. Feel free to investigate, try to shift the balance of power, or just sample the local flavor - but whatever you do, don't drink any of the Downworld spirits, unless you want to become one too!
  • This setting is the most like a normal story, is the most 'realistic', and has no limitations, but changing or destroying too much in the world may cause strange things to start happening. It is pretty resilient, though.


Project CAS setting (unnamed)

  • Type: Serious, Black-and-Grey Morality, no inter-dimensionality besides unnamed Eldritch Abomination which "exist" outside the universe.
  • Themes: Dystopia, Political fiction, Social sci-fi, Urban Fantasy with Post-Modern Magik with hints of Dark Fantasy and some small elements of Muggles Do It Better, Cyberpunk but with a very Neo-Victorian aesthetic.
  • Description: "Welcome to the New Age, motherfucker."
  • It is the year 2093. Winter has come early, ruining harvests in Breadbaskets, driving up food prices. You haven't seen fuel prices go down for three years. It's difficult to hang onto your jobs—all of them part-time, all of them give you minimum wage, and it's barely enough to pay all of your bills: rent, food, water, eletricity, heating, fuel, student loans, medical bills...World population is at 9-11 billion, a huge, empty gap between the low-income and the high income All the power is concentrated in the 1%, a corrupt bureaucracy that means well but is ultimately blind, but you can't blame them when they and their parents and their parents before them were raised in wealth and security. There are eyes everywhere, security cameras, monitoring almost every single public place you can imagine. An electronic police state. To be a mage is to be considered a potential domestic terrorist. Although they provide many services, and many of them end up in the military, mages still struggle for their own rights and emancipation, as they are tangled fraught with red tape, restricting them in how they can use their own innate abilities, sometimes, in more conservative and reactionary governments, outright banning magic. However, deep in the tunnels of the underground subway system, both used and unused tunnels harbor a thriving underground, hosting illegal Deepnets, black market activities, clandestine messaging services and the spark of revolution as people get more and more angry at the complacent and apathetic government, and more willing to act, for what is a land of the free and the brave, when nobody is free and nobody is brave?.

Tera Chimera


  • Type: Normal, serious; no interdimensionality
  • Themes: Action, semi-urban-fantasy, semi-semi-sci-fi
  • Origin: Characters from this setting haven't featured particularly much in the CDTs, but some of you may remember Jonathan, Tamara, and Shaurei. They're from this world.
  • Description: High fantasy as directed by John Woo in the not-too-distant future. After an attempted summoning goes wrong, the mythical empire of Carthia finds itself under the control of a demon. Although some have given their souls to it for wealth and/or positions of power, there exists an underground rebel group dedicated to banishing it back to where it came, no matter how unlikely that prospect may seem. They have won some significant victories, but the war is far from over. However, if you have desires, the demon can give you whatever you want — for the right price, of course.

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