|“||There is nothing impossible to him who will try.||”|
|— Alexander the Great|
From my campaigns to yoursEdit
Phaeselis is the result of many different campaigns ran at three different times. It is a city where those with psychic gifts could feel safe and secure from Persecution by those who misunderstand them. Even from their own gods , who didn't know what to do with them. Here, people with psychic gifts can live and breathe without fear.
Most campaign supplements, like those long ago and those of today, are either those of the gazatteer type -- like the Inner Sea World Guide (which was detailed by many supplements before it's publication); or the highly detailed campaign setting where it was backed up by many supplements, like the Birthright Campaign Setting . Phaeselis is a wiki site, it can be like the Inner Sea World Guide as a Gazetteer of an entire city -- or it can be much more. In my campaigns, people have played both psionic and non-psionic characters and all of them were successful in testing the city. My hopes that you will find a place for Phaeselis in your campaigns.
Ten Important FactsEdit
So, what makes Phaeselis unique? Take a look at ten key pieces of information that should help you make up your mind.
- Phaeselis exists on an alternate historical world. Well, sort of. There are planets out there that copy Earth's geography. Alternate history, yes, but taking place on a different planet earth. A divergent history? Maybe. After all, Phaeselis has magic, psionics, and civilizations willing to take advantage of them.
- Phaeselis is set during the Hellenistic Empire of Alexander the Great. The Hellenistic Era is a time of Adventure and excitement. It's an Era overlooked by Roleplaying Games, as many try for the psuedo-medieval or quasi-medieval setting. I guess the quasi-medieval setting is natural, given all of our fairy tales and myths of our day. Grimms' Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen's stories, and King Arthur were big influences on the original Dungeons and Dragons game. However, going Medieval or even Quasi-medieval and you have some problems. William Manchester claims that Medieval Europe was characterized by:
|“||a mélange of incessant warfare, corruption, lawlessness, obsession with strange myths, and an almost impenetrable mindlessness.||”|
|— William Manchester, A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance|
- Furthermore, if you describe the period from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the dawn of the Renaissance, you have an interesting situation. Manchester further states:
|“||In all that time nothing of real consequence had either improved or declined. Except for the introduction of water wheels in the 800s and windmills in the 1100s, there has been no inventions of significance. No startling new ideas have appeared, no new territories outside Europe had been explored. Everything was as it had been for as long as the oldest European could remember. The center of the Ptolemaic Universe was the known world -- Europe with the Holy Land and North Africa on it's fringes. The sun moved around it every day. Heaven was above the immovable Earth, somewhere in the overarching sky; Hell seethed far beneath their feet. Kings ruled at the pleasure of the Almighty; all others did what they were told to do. . . The church was indivisible, the afterlife a certainty; and all knowledge was already known. And nothing would ever change.||”|
|— William Manchester, et. al. |
- You have to be some kind of nut, after understanding how stupid the Medieval period was, to set a game in a world that is quasi-medieval. Well, that's my thinking at any rate.
- The Hellenistic World stood on the cusp of Industrial Revolution. The Greeks were the first in History to build the crossbow (gastrophetes), the first to build a steam engine (Heron's Steam Engine), the first to work with an analog computer (the Antikythera Mechanism), the first to use advanced medicine, the first to build an odometer, the first to build a water screw (the Archimedian screw), the first to use a heat laser (Archimedes' Polished Solar Array), the first to invent Calculus, the first to realize the Water Cycle, the first to think of a Heliocentric solar system, and the first to have a working theory of atoms. The Greeks thought of all of this, and had so many ancient inventions that our Roleplaying Campaigns are still predominately quasi-medieval.
- A world that includes Psionics. Many people often say "your putting science fiction in my fantasy!" In a way, they are correct. In their minds, psionics stays in the realm of science fiction. Telepathy belongs in a setting of rivets, steel, and laser beams; and not a setting of forests, stone, and swords. However, to many, psionics is a kind of magic. Since magic breaks the laws of physics in Fantasy stories, they argue, so psionics breaks the laws of physics in a Science Fiction story.
- However, there is a place for psionics in a D&D or PATHFINDER game. As the idea of psionics itself seems magical and unreal to many. The problem, however, is that the DMs and players have no understanding of Psionics or how they worked in the Psionics Handbook or the Expanded Psionics Handbook. This setting isn't designed to help you understand these rules, it's designed to fit into your campaign and to let you understand those rules in detail so you can run the setting in your campaign as intended.
- A City on a waterfall. Phaeselis was founded by Alexander on the ruins of the city of Pheonicia, around the Phoenix River's waterfall. He built the city center on the center island, and built neighborhoods in four quarters, being quadsected by the river and the escarpment that the waterfall falls over. The Pheonix Falls is a wide cateract waterfall that splits in four places and spills into the Pheonix River basin below. On either side of the main falls are statues carved of the God Zeus and the other side the founder of Buddhism -- Buddha. At the central island is a small altar dedicated to Source. Phaeselis has become a city of trade and a city of learning, for all that are interested in learning about psionics.
- A world of magic. To make the world easier to accept, the majority of the world practices magic rather than psionics. More often than not, the setting supposes a world that developed through the advancement of science, and through the advancement of magic. There are a variety of Alchemists in the world. And advancements in Alchemy has led to biotechnology that includes mindchemistry, the exploration of altered consciousness, and magical spells that can destroy.
- The Hellenistic Empire and Magna Hellas. Hellenistic culture stretches from North Africa and the Iberian Pennisula to India and the most northern borders of modern day Afganistan. Campaigns can be set as far away as Alexandria Eschate, to Phaeselis, to Alexandria on the Nile, to Syracuse, to Emporium.
- A world of danger, a world of opportunity.Monsters abound in the land. People are conspiring to break up Anaxamandras, the city states of Magna Hellas trade all over the Great Sea, and -- on the Italian Pennisula -- there is an insignificant, minor, little republic. Rome.
- A world of High Adventure. From Magna Hellas, to the Empire of Carthage. From Rome and it's Republic, to the Hellenistic Kingdoms and beyond (almost). There is a world of barbarians, intrigue, monsters, magic, aborigines (Celts), and exploration, all waiting for your fingertips.
- The Creative Commons License and the Open Gaming License. Finally, and I can't stress this enough, all text can be published under either the open gaming license or the creative commons license. Copyright is a subsidization of the printing and distribution of books and other materials, this has all been made obsolete when Arc.net began between the military and the University of Utah. The Internet is how people do business, it's how people communicate and talk about politics and religion, the Internet is the world's most perfect copying machine ever devised. And it's the biggest platform for speech and communication that Man has ever devised. Thousands of men and women participate on forums every year, and use it for business and politics.
- I hardly have a prayer to have this published under copyright and this work to be successful under Copyright Restrictions. And I can't submit it to Wizards of the Coast or Paizo, and have it be bought one hundred percent of the time. Only by selling it to Roleplaying Game Publishing Companies through their own distribution methods on the web does it have a chance to be published by Paizo, inc. for Pathfinder, or Wizards of the Coast for Dungeons and Dragons.
A Hellenistic WorldEdit
The campaign is set in a Hellenistic world, meaning a world of Greek ways, Greek art, and Greek science. It's also a time period where the Greek states were deeply concerned with the past and its past glory. In the Hellenistic period, however, Athens did retain it's pre-eminent place in higher education, but was soon surpassed by Alexandria (on the Nile). In the domains of rhetoric and philsophy, Athens had no equal. However, Alexandria became the second most important place of learning, with it's library full of at least seven hundred thousand volumes. The city of Pergamon became a major center of book production, possessing a library of some 200,000 volumes, second only to Alexandria's. The island of Rhodes boasted a famous finishing school for politics and diplomacy. Cicero was educated in Athens and Mark Antony in Rhodes. Antioch was founded as a metropolis and center of Greek learning which retained its status into the era of Christianity. Seleucia then replaced Babylon as the metropolis of the lower Tigris.
The spread of Greek culture throughout the Near East and Asia owed much to the development of cities. Settlements such asAi-Khanoum, situated on trade routes, allowed cultures to mix and spread. The identification of local gods with similar Greek deities facilitated the building of Greek-style temples, and the Greek culture in the cities also meant that buildings such asgymnasia became common. Many cities maintained their autonomy while under the nominal rule of the local king or satrap, and often had Greek-style institutions. Greek dedications, statues, architecture and inscriptions have all been found. However, local cultures were not replaced, and often mixed to create a new culture.
Greek language and literature spread throughout the former Persian Empire. The development of the Alexander Romance (mainly in Egypt) owes much to Greek theater as well as other styles of story. The Library at Alexandria, set up by Ptolemy I Soter, became a center for learning and was copied by various other monarchs. An example that shows the spread of Greek theater is Plutarch's story of the death of Crassus, in which his head was taken to the Parthian court and used as a prop in a performance of The Bacchae. Theaters have also been found: for example, in Ai-Khanoum on the edge of Bactria, the theater has 35 rows - larger than the theater in Babylon.
The spread of Greek influence and language is also shown through Ancient Greek coinage. Portraits became more realistic, and the obverse of the coin was often used to display a propaganda image, commemorating an event or displaying the image of a favored god. The use of Greek-style portraits and Greek language continued into the Parthian period, even as the use of Greek was in decline.
The concept of Hellenization, meaning the spread of Greek culture, has long been controversial. Undoubtedly Greek influence did spread through the Hellenistic realms, but to what extent, and whether this was a deliberate policy or mere cultural diffusion, have been hotly debated.
It seems likely that Alexander himself pursued deliberate 'Hellenization' policies. Whilst it may have been a deliberate attempt to spread Greek culture, it is more likely that it was a series of pragmatic measures designed to aid in the rule of his enormous empire.These policies can also be interpreted as the result of Alexander's possible megalomania during his later years.
How to Use this WikiEdit
This wiki is designed to show you a new world for the PATHFINDER roleplaying game, and soon, the fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons (in the Conversions to Other Systems section, of course). A world of adventure in a time period most Roleplaying Game designers forgot. This Wiki uses the Core Rules of Pathfinder to present a beautiful world. A world of high innovation and invention, a world of adventure, and a world of intrigue and danger. And no one, not one -- well except for Steve Jackson -- thought it was a great world to adventure in.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 William Manchester (June 1, 1993). A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0316545562.
- ↑ gastrophetes (military technology) (article). Encyclopdia Britannica. Retrieved on 2014-08-13.
- ↑ Heron's Steam Engine (article). Smith College Museum of Ancient Inventions. Retrieved on 2014-08-13.
- ↑ What is the Antikythera Mechanism? (web page). The Antikythera Mechanism. Retrieved on 2014-08-13.
- ↑ Top 15 Interesting Facts about Archimedes (web page). Point 2. Retrieved on 2014-08-13.
- ↑ Top 15 Interesting Facts about Archimedes (web page). Point 15. Retrieved on 2014-08-13.
- ↑ Top 15 Interesting Facts about Archimedes (web page). Point 13. Retrieved on 2014-08-13.
- ↑ Top 15 Interesting Facts about Archimedes (web page). Point 7. Retrieved on 2014-08-13.
- ↑ Aristarchus of Samos (web page). Archive. Retrieved on 2014-08-13.