Here is the third batch of questions about Conquest of the Sphere from the folks at A Deadman’s Guide to Dragongrin.
How are taxes collected in your world?
It totally depends on where someone is. For example, communities may have set up checkpoints along the Great Roads, collecting fees from those who travel through the area. Cities often have systems of tribute. Of course, religions have their ways of extracting money from even the poorest. Daan, being a fairly repressive place, has a complicated system of tax collection that keeps even its powerful elite constantly looking over their shoulders. Like in the real world, taxes often unfairly hamstring the poor and least able, while enriching those who are lucky enough to be born into wealth. Yet, in some places, more fair and just systems exist.
Are there evil races in your realm, such as Drow?
As mentioned on day 17, race isn’t really a thing. In my setting, Evil (with a capital ‘e’) is not really a thing, either. And there are definitely no peoples who are by nature evil. My go-to villainous culture is Daan, and while their society is based on some evil concepts (slavery, suppression, & general tyranny) the people of Daan, even those who do evil, are not inherently evil. A man or woman of Daan might save a drowning person because in the moment it is the right thing to do, even if by action or inaction they allow an unjust society to continue. People are complicated things.
Are there many underground locations beneath your world?
I assume this is referencing ‘dungeons’ of Dungeons & Dragons fame. If so, no, not really. However, yes, there are many caves, ruins, etc. Civilizations are built one upon another, so there are likely remnants of previous locations beneath current ones. There are, like in our own world, cave systems and even underground echosystems, complete with their own adapted forms of life. However, you will find an ancient ruin, where behind each door there is another weird encounter. You will not open a boobytrapped door that hasn’t been open in 100 years to find D8 orcs in full armor waiting to fight you. None of that. You’d be much more likely to slip on some wet moss, tumble down a fissure, break a leg, and accidentally trigger a rock fall, or put your hand in a puddle of slime mold, receiving nasty burns from a toxin it contains.
What prominent, fantastical bodies of water are there?
They’re not ‘fantastical,’ but there are oceans to the west and east of the land I’m focusing on. Go far enough north or south and you’ll hit more. Beyond those oceans, more lands. Legend says if you travel far enough into the Western Ocean, you will reach a wall of rock that reaches to the sky, where strange people dwell in cliff-side, vertical cities. But that’s just legend, right?
There are rivers, lakes, inland seas, etc. spread around the world, but none are particularly ‘fantastical,’ though they may appear in various myths and legends.
What’s valuable in your world? Gold? Something else?
This depends on who you’re talking to, or where you are. Spices and textiles are both highly sought after and traded. In cities, luxury goods and fine building materials can be very lucrative. In the countryside, livestock and water can be more valuable than anything. Gold exists, but is mostly used in some jewelry and has little practical worth. Salt, iron, spices, textiles, lumber, labor, etc. The value depends on supply and demand.
What is the tech level? Does magic integrate?
In cities, tech levels have reached something like the early Renaissance. In the countryside, tech is often more Medieval, or even Bronze Age, depending. Some more removed regions are closer to Stone Age. There are no black powder weapons, though.
Magic doesn’t exist, so it doesn’t integrate.
I’m enjoying these questions, even though some don’t really apply to Conquest of the Sphere all that much. It’s good to look at your setting from a different angle once in a while.