I'm in the process of building a world for a D&D 5th ed campaign which is due to kick off in the new year and I'm looking for some feedback on a time line, political climate, etc. for the world history. This is a fantasy setting. Magic is a big part but not hand wavy.

800 Years before the story starts on a large land mass similar to the map of the Mediterranean used in the Total War games series. There were 8 major cities each which housed a major school of magic. Gunpowder had just started to be used. Steam and electricity were experimental but not yet viable.

A portal to another dimension opens at each College destroying the surrounding city. Rulers, Garrison, libraries, industry and citizenry all wiped out. Massive fire, explosions, daemons running through the streets destroying and slaughtering.

200 Years of war. Other worldly entities driven back or slain. As a final act the other world invaders detonate the portals and wipe out the forces fighting them —armies, generals, kings, lords, etc all dead. Country side is ravaged.

Next we have about 500 years of power grabs, small wars, disease, death, more destruction of history, libraries, colleges, industry etc.

Followed by a 200 year period which sees the rise of city states and the formation of a loose arrangement of alliances. Some city states are run by Kings, Emperors, elected councils, elders, religious organisations, trade guilds, Knightly Orders, criminal groups, militias, warlords, scholarly groups etc.

Apart from a few minor conflicts between factions that flare up from time to time the land has settled into an uneasy peace. Rebuilding is well underway.

Adventure starts in small trading port with an adventurers guild run by a council made up of representative of the major organisations in the town the merchants guild, the ship builders guild, Militia chief, explorers guild, etc.

When the infighting between the various factions breaks out into all out war our band of adventures get swept up in it completing missions for various factions and changing the course of the war.

Does this sound plausible. Suggestions to make it more so appreciated.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It's your story, it's plausible as long as you want it. We find plausible worlds where laser bullets do "pew pew" in space dogfight, worlds where a ring can control minds and wills, worlds where a pornostar wrestler can become president of the USA. That apart, we prefer to have a well defined problem to answer. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Aug 20, 2019 at 4:34
  • $\begingroup$ Renaissance Italy, particularly the northern part. Though Venice & Genoa were hardly small trading ports. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Aug 20, 2019 at 5:16
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    $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch It may be plausible for him and not for some of his players, though. $\endgroup$
    – Rekesoft
    Aug 20, 2019 at 9:47

2 Answers 2


Very plausible. This has happened numerous times in asian history, great empires fracturing after a great defeat or civil strife. look at china and middle east most of it will be there. While knowledge wasnt wiped out, talented people got killed, people who knew how to administrate,lead and execute orders. You could say that leaders are easier to replace than those people.


Well besides that 500+200+200 are at least 900 years it sounds more or less plausible.

I’d suspect that within 500 years of wars and technology recession...a lot knowledge might be lost. That’s what you are indicating here. However what kind of technology would that be. I have a hard time believing that this would be technology concerning war but rather things like astronomy, music, certain productional knowledge as material science. People might know still how to do certain stuff but not so much why. Some of which might be studied in those 200 years again.

Also there is a possibility of demons still existing and maybe even add adapting in those 700 years unknown to humans.

  • $\begingroup$ Great. Thanks for the feedback. I was thinking that the timeline was a little stretched. My intent was, in a world where being can live for hundreds of years (dwarf 450, elves over 700) I wanted survivors and even the childeren of survivors from the war to be rare. I guess this coud be explained away with the death, war and disease following the major conflict. Demonic, etherial and necromonic elements will definitely play a part in the story. The technological recesion is to explain the rarity of firearms and the lack of knowledge of the world beyond the main setting. $\endgroup$ Aug 20, 2019 at 7:02
  • $\begingroup$ If survivors are rare you have to take into account depending on the overall situation your civilization is in that knowledge and population might not easily grow back in the following generations.This would make books and such invaluable before destruction. For long living beings it might not be so much a problem when it comes to knowledge if enough elders survived the war. But what will be dangerous is the low reproduction rate such species might have. Recuperating the population is at higher risk due to illness or accidents that might befall the individual further decimating you population. $\endgroup$ Aug 20, 2019 at 7:40

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