Campaign World 'Settings'
D&D is a very malleable game, so let me describe a little bit of the kind of world you are playing in. I am mostly reading the the Dungeon Masters Guide for typical world creation stuff, so let me know if there is anything else that you want to know like this.
Mostly trying to stick to normal D&D and fantasy tropes, so the players can feel comfortable in the world and know the resources available to solve problems without the DM spelling out everything.
Magic level – medium
- Not ‘High Magic’ where every Royal Knight has a dragon mount and is in +5 mithral plate armor.
- Not ‘Low Magic’ where mages are rarer than albinos or pandas.
- Around typical D&D levels, but a little lower because 5e has magic items be a little rarer.
- Magic items can be bought and sold. But maybe no magic item shops outside of the biggest cities.
- Magic airships, trains, flying castles, and such. You have never seen one or heard of where they exist for real. Stories do have them.
- Spellcastering takes a bit of dedicated time to practice and perfect. So they are rarer than village blacksmiths or bakers. But among nobles who could study spellcasting or swordcraft, greater than a third are wizards, sorcerers, or clerics. Not hated or despised any more than dentists or USC alumni on Earth (though some people do hate them).
- Teleportation – Not available commercially. Towns don’t have a teleportation circle used to get to easily. Maybe some kingdoms (elves), some previous ages, secret locations, or cloak and dagger operations might have some.
- Resurrection – Not available commercially. Is known to be possible, but probably requires a quest or intercession of the gods. [Not having it makes political assassination or murder of rich people actually meaningful and not just an inconvenience.]
- No guns, cannons, or blasters
- Not exactly Middle Ages Earth tech. Plenty of anachronisms; glass windows, newspapers, books, indoor plumbing (some places), spyglasses, glasses,
- Steampunk or clockwork? Maybe some dwarves or gnomes have build clockwork things (elevators, soldiers, and other gadgets)
- Social tech level? Republics, democracy, banks, debt, police, prisons, and such ‘modern’ things exist alongside more Middle Ages things like guilds, nobles, monarchs, knights, and bandits.
- Mostly D&D standard
- Humans most common in many realms
- Dwarves, exist in their own realms (mostly underground or mountainous) or amongst human realms (integrated or in ghetto/enclave). Many do have a Scottish accent for some odd reason.
- Halflings, no realms entirely their own. Some live amongst themselves in halfling villages or shires. Some are integrated in human society. Some are gypsy like nomads.
- Elves, high/wood. Similar to dwarves exist in their own realms (mostly forest or wilderness) or amongst human realms (integrated or in ghetto/enclave)
- Half-orcs, more common in border lands neighboring Orc dominated tribal lands.
- Half-elves, see elves and humans, but not super common
- Dragonborn, as common as a blonde Swede in the African Congo (except in some regions/cities). But people will have heard of if they are not complete bumpkins, even if they don’t know one or have ever met one.
- Gnome, no huge kingdoms (except maybe in the Underdark), but a few scattered towns or citystates. Otherwise amongst human realms (integrated or in ghetto/enclave)
- Tiefling, rare despised scum, like PHB describes.
- Others? Cosmopolitan port cities might see and accept folk from far lands (Minotaurs, Kenku, and such
- Are people at higher than level 10 common? Not very
- Some heroes with 20+ levels have clearly existed (like Sinbad, Gilgamesh, Achilles, Jackie Chan on Earth)
- Some monsters that are super high level have clearly existed (like Skarag the Destroyer or the Ice Queen)
- Are Kings high level people? No, it is a dangerous job so some ability to fight helps. But some are level 1 slobs who inherited the job.
Monsters and Wilderness
- Except for some smallish city-states most realms don’t completely tame and pacify the area they claim is theirs.
- Not all land is even claimed by civilized realms
- Most realms are not so isolated that they are ‘points of light’
- Travelling along established, patrolled routes between realms is generally OK.
- Travelling thru some lands is super rare, like Marco Polo rare. One does not merely try to walk thru the Deadlands or Skarag’s Shadow.
- Settling on the edge of civilization can be dangerous, but land is cheap, plentiful, and often bountiful.
- Does exist
- But depending on the geology, some regions have no/few connections from underdark to surface