1. Core Ethos Sentence.
Driven is a world where the heroes explore uncharted lands, interact with unknown, alien cultures around them, and attempt to shape their society for the benefit of their own and future generations.
2. Who are the heroes?
The heroes in Driven are the descendants of exiles cast into this alien land as a punishment for various crimes, ranging from murder to sedition. They come primarily from the middle and lower classes, as the upper classes are too busy arguing about the their new government. Ultimately, the characters work to build their new society into one of which all men can be proud.
3. What do they do?
The heroes are to explore the lands around them, finding room for their new society to expand, and to seek allies for future prospects (colonization, trade). Of course, since this new world is often hostile, they have to be prepared to face all manner of threats, and must be willing to use force where diplomacy fails.
4. Threats, Conflicts, Villains
The greatest threats faced by the heroes are the unknown creatures and cultures that they will encounter. This new land is home to many beings, and not all of them are willing to open friendly relations with the new denizens. Possibly the greatest threat the characters will face comes from Naeden, a land ruled by a select few who maintain power through the hidden use of black arts. In addition to the external threats, the Driven also face an internal threat, the Theots -- a small group of worshippers of a lost god who seek to take complete power.
5. Nature of magic
Unknown to most of the inhabitants, arcane magical energy and power comes from the corpse of a dead god buried far beneath the earth in a treacherous part of the land. Among the Driven, sorcerous magic is uncommon, while wizardly magic is very rare, though there are those who work continuously to restore such lost knowledge. For the natives, magic ranges from almost unknown to uncommon. Divine magic comes from the gods and the elements, but the Driven are cut off from their gods, receiving only a trickle of divine power.
6. What’s new? What’s different?
What makes Driven most different is that it is a mostly unexplored setting. Unlike other settings, where known civilization stretches far across the lands, the Driven have only scratched the surface of their new world. This quantity of the unknown provides equal opportunities for both the standard dungeon crawl, and role-playing, as the characters explore their vast new world and attempt to overcome its challenges. The lack of exploration also opens the door to the creation “mini-settings”, as the lands become more detailed. In addition to the explorative qualities, the characters’ society is a relatively new one, founded by convicts and radicals, fractured in its goals, so they may have the opportunity to make the hard decisions, possibly shaping the lives of generations to come.
I'm slowly building on this setting (races, classes, maps, etc), and will release material as it comes.