Drifting Sands, Drifting Souls
Thank you for you interest in Drifting Sands; Drifting Souls, the first game of the Drifting Sands campaign setting.
My name is Ryan Elliott, and I am the writer and designer of the setting (with help from a few people that have thrown out suggestions to me about what should be included). It’s nice to meet you.
This disclaimer is to indicate that the Drifting Sands campaign setting is a dark place. It features a great deal of conversation on religion and how it can be a double-edged sword: it can drive people to hope and heights that they would not otherwise reach; it can also foster war and violence against religions that are considered “heretical.” This is a sensitive subject. Considering the primary imperialistic religion in the campaign setting is a monotheistic religion, this could make some people uncomfortable. This is understandable. If you choose to play in the Drifting Sands campaign setting (or use the information listed here [and hopefully, eventually in a published work for Pathfinder] to create your own game), please keep an open mind. Nothing in the campaign setting is directly meant to offend or shock anyone, and be sure to gauge your players’ expectations when running it. Sometimes you may inadvertently offend someone because you didn’t realize how religious they were, what particular issues they have in real life, etc.
That stated, Drifting Sands – like all role playing games – is intended for escapism. If someone wishes to get away from their life, they will not want certain topics drudged up within their hobby.
This campaign setting includes a lot of really terrible things. Slavery is common, if not celebrated, in certain parts of the world. Imperialism is raging through the world of Thirajin, which displaces native people from their homes. Genocide has happened in the past and is happening in the present by countries that intend for it and other countries that are doing it without knowing they are. On a more personal level, murder, rape, assault, and the other darker parts of human nature happen consistently.
I do not endorse any of these activities, nor does anyone working with me on producing this campaign setting. We want to show a dark fantasy world, similar in tone perhaps, to Game of Thrones. Any depiction of real life events are completely coincidental – and while it may seem that the religious aspects match real-world religions, this is due to influence. Most people grow up in the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam). Some of this influence shines through in the game itself. Once again, it is not intended to be offensive to anyone. If you have a player that is particularly religious, simply do not emphasize the religious struggle – set your game in some far-flung corner of the world, like Alaekor, where that isn’t an issue. Have your characters play a Lady’s Honor group in Valinos, where there is religious freedom.
Just as I do not endorse the more personal and violent activities that happen within Thirajin and the Drifting Sands campaign setting, I will not describe them in any detail. You will not see charts for such things; you will not encounter anything that particularly celebrates anything in that regard. It will be mentioned, dealt with in an adult manner, and set aside. The game is not about the crimes we commit against each other. It is about attempting to survive in a hostile world against many hostile forces, and finding the truth about what made the world into what it is today.
In short, this is a game for adults. Please keep that in mind.
Ryan Elliott (somasatori).