The 7 Most Important Things about Charred
This is a list of the ten things that make Charred special, that give it its unique character. These things are the big traits, basics that players can use to familiarize themselves with the world, and that they should be familiar with. The seven items are sorted from most to least prevalent. So without further ado, here’s the list:
1. Postapocalyptic. Charred combines low fantasy with a big dash of a postapocalyptic world. Twelve years before the current date, a magical cataclysm eradicated a large part of the main continent. It created a large wasteland in the center of this continent. Even though kingdoms at the edges of this wasteland escaped relatively unscathed, they have still felt the effects – refugees, an entire empire that was destroyed overnight, and the aftermath of the magical cataclysm, as well as vanished gods. Nobody knows for sure why this event occurred, only that the answer must lie somewhere within the wasteland.
2. Temporal anomalies. After the cataclysm, time itself has become unstable. It’s most severe in the wasteland – pieces of the past and future appear out of nowhere, only to disappear again shortly after. Time storms, time bubbles, areas of slowed down or sped up time – these and more phenomena have plagued the lands ever since, and sometimes extend to places outside the wasteland.
In addition, creatures have been warped by their contact with chaotic time, or have appeared in this world – and time – out of the time stream.
3. A world permeated by wild magic. Magic is ubiquitous in the world of Charred, but it is mostly in a natural, unbound state. In creates many wondrous things: floating land masses, areas with magical energies, rifts between the planes, and powerful artifacts in sunken temples and fortresses, waiting to be found. This magic is uncontrolled, unpredictable, and sometimes extremely dangerous, and perhaps unlike the magic that spellcasters control.
4. Disappeared gods. During the cataclysm the pantheon fell into turmoil. Most of the gods have stopped responding to prayers, but nobody really knows if this is because the gods have lost their power, if their connection to their worshippers has somehow been severed, or because the gods ceased to exist. The only fact that remains is that nobody can rely on divine intervention to further their cause or aid in their needs anymore.
5. The wasteland. A gigantic, gray wasteland covers much of the continent, and is a scar that reminds everyone of the cataclysm. Mortals avoid it due to it being extremely hostile: a dry place without shelter, with completely chaotic time, where something could emerge out of the time stream at any moment – or the unlucky traveller himself gets carried away. Several brave explorers vanished because they got stuck in a time bubble without ever having actually died.
The only thing that gets people to enter the wasteland at all is the wish to obtain long buried treasures, lost knowledge, or power (or all three). After all, large parts of the wasteland used to be the most powerful and wealthiest empire in the world.
6. Shades of gray. Good and evil are muddled, and things are never fully black and white. Nobody is only good or only evil, and indeed such radical behaviour – in either direction – would be met with suspicion. Most nonhuman races are also not classifiable as good or evil races; they are simply different.
7. Mood. The world is trying to live on after the cataclysm, to rebuild civilization, and to fend off old and new dangers. The player characters, who have all still witnessed the old world in one way or another, are the pioneers of this endeavour; create safe zones, unearth old lore, and perhaps discover what happened twelve years ago.
For this, the mood can reach from grim survival to exploration to heroic battles.