Toonaria Campaign Setting

A special place for everything Toonaria! As it is married to the Epic Destinies RPG, you will also find some goodies in that forum that include Toonarian concepts.

Toonaria Campaign Setting

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:14 am

ToonariaTM is a magic-drenched realm of fantasy, science fiction and superheroes —yep, blended-genre, like everything I create (practically). So, why create a whole new, blended-genre universe when I already have a very cool, blended-genre universe in the Cosmoverse? Well, as I've mentioned somewhere before, Toonaria is nearly as old as the Cosmoverse. It was (and is) the backdrop for most of my board and card games (more than 2 dozen), which included stories deeply rooted in this whole 'nother reality. My first stories were actually about Toonaria, not the Cosmoverse, but as I hadn't yet run any adventures through Toonaria in rpging, my focus shifted heavily to the Cosmoverse and I pursued the Cosmothea RPG to support that, instead.

It wasn't a conscious decision to pick Cosmothea over Epic Destinies or the Cosmoverse over Toonaria. In fact, as I developed the Cosmoverse, I continued working on Toonaria, but only a few friends were privy to that sister universe. While there are several similarities, it's more of an upside down, twisted, mirror universe than some imitation of the Cosmoverse.

Toonaria is its own thing. Most of the critters running around it and most of the places are wildly different than in the Cosmoverse, but they share some of the same elements as well (intentionally). So, what's it like? Great question! I'll use this thread to share more about it over time (but mostly I need to keep working on Toonaria and Epic Destinies so I can get them to you sooner).
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Re: Toonaria Campaign Setting

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:47 am

Toonaria is a realm of little epics and big epics - very small critters, and freaking huge ones the players can run on epic adventures in a high magic realm with more than a little technology, mystery, and yep, superheroes in some places. Adventures can be silly or serious, take place in post-apocalyptic environments, scifi, fantasy, superheroic or in a blend of the genres (the default). There are no elves or dwarves or gnomes in these parts, and even humans are in small number than on most worlds.

The focus of the initial release is on the little epics—the true heroes of Toonaria. Small and often overlooked, these powerful little creatures can do amazing things and do just that! Toonaria is a universe unlike any other, so heavily infused (and damaged) by magic that the notion of normal life is foreign. Even the animals and plant life are larger than life. But it isn't just small stuff blown up to cinematic scale. There are solid stories behind these "new" creatures, and while they tend to be more light-hearted than those of the Cosmoverse, as I said, things can run silly or serious depending on the GM and players, and there's a lot of meat on the bones. A lot of potential for exciting stories. I've gone way off the beaten path with this setting and am thrilled to be working on it.

There are no known worlds in Toonaria, only vast rings of island chains hovering one above another ascending into the heavens: seven layers of island chains, each with their own unique challenges, creatures, cultures and more. And there are other, hidden realms, including one that focuses on dreams (you can actually go on dream adventures and benefit from them), and artificial intelligence (yep, you can adventure in those virtual realms as well).
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Re: Toonaria Campaign Setting

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:49 am

One of many of the things that excites me about Toonaria is that it's tied to the Cosmoverse in several interesting ways. The GodStorm, a major feature of the Cosmoverse, is also a major feature in Toonaria, enabling me to do a lot of dynamic things, but also explaining some of the secrets of the Cosmoverse. I won't go into a lot of detail about secrets here, but I can tell you a few things...

There are several gods in the Cosmoverse that had horrible things happen to them. Other gods, acting on their ambitions and curiousities eventually found Toonaria, but ran aground of some unexpected consequences. The Architects also discovered Toonaria, but none of these outsiders entered unscathed. Everyone that has entered Toonaria from its sister reality—the Cosmoverse, was changed forever.

Further there are concepts that were introduced in the Cosmoverse that have twisted parallels in Toonaria. For example: In the Cosmoverse, the draeva species were dying and fled their poisoned home, boarding colony ships. Most were put into stasis, in the hopes that a cure would be found. One of the ships entered a stargate and found its way to the Interstellar Alliance where they were rescued by the taager. Unable to heal the dying draeva, the uber advanced taager transferred the draevan consciousnesses into retired, theme park living metal bodies. After a time, the draeva were accepted and became part of the Alliance and have thrived for centuries.

The other ship was caught in a dimensional rift, one that led to Toonaria. There, the draeva ship was enveloped by the GodStorm and crashed into a field of discarded toys on one of the thousands of floatings isle (long, epic story about why the toys were there). The draeva's bodies were destroyed, but their minds were magically transferred into the toys, thanks to the GodStorm, and they stumbled out of the wreckage and managed to survive in their new forms.

Like it? Hate it? Want to hear more? That's all for today. More on Toonaria later. Cheers!
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Re: Toonaria Campaign Setting

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:50 pm

Over the years, I've heard a few voice concerns that a setting as big as Cosmothea's Cosmoverse (and Epic Destinies' Toonaria is quite big and varied) is likely to suffer for its size. The usual argument goes that the settings being bigger than a single world (your average rpg) means that it won't be detailed enough to treat its subject matter properly.

As an artist, I can tell you that I'll be spending more than a little money to shed light on the various areas in both settings and games.

As a published author and game designer, I can tell you that I'll be putting out a wealth of material to—you got it—reveal the environments and genres in proper detail.

It should also be noted that I wouldn't be publishing everything all at once, any more than WotC publishes all their books about a setting all at once. I would focus on a part of the setting and then go into great detail on that part. Then publish about another part of that same setting, again, going into proper detail. Both Toonaria and the Cosmoverse have a wealth of backstory and personality, worth the wait in my opinion. I would provide all the cool goodies for playing in a particular area and expand as time and money flow in.

I wouldn't feel right about compromising on a setting's epicness just because it blends genres together, nor would I reduce the number of genres blended into the whole. Instead, I'll take my time to do it right as I'm sure you'll appreciate, if and when you dig into them!

Why not just publish a setting about a single world, like nearly everyone else on the planet? Hm . . . you want epic and really cool, or not? I think most of you will agree, I should stick with doing these settings how I envisioned them. I want to do them justice!

Cheers,
Bob
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Re: Toonaria Campaign Setting

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:02 pm

I've been sneaking in time to expand and polish Toonaria whenever I get a spare moment (read, while driving, walking the dog, waiting in lines, waiting at doctor's offices, while brushing my teeth, while sleeping!)

And the setting is really pulling together nicely. Nearly 40 years worth of thinking about something, jotting things down, sketching exotic creatures and places . . . well, you're bound to nail some really cool concepts others will fall in love with. I couldn't be more excited to share Toonaria with you. When the time is right, will you be around to sink your teeth into enchanted realms and stories unheard of?

I am hard at work on both Toonaria and the roleplaying game that will let you explore it properly: Epic Destinies. More to come . . .

Follow our blog, join these forums so we can talk about it, and join my newsletter to make sure you don't miss this epic event, and get in on the ground floor of special offers, discounts, sneak peeks and more!
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Re: Toonaria Campaign Setting

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:37 pm

Revised the logo last night. Like it quite a bit. I'll put it up next chance I get.

Instead of depicting the top view portion of the islands in a stylized manner over the letter "i", which someone said might look too much like a rainbow, I included the trinity super structure of Toonaria, which is modeled after or at least looks similar to a triskele. Essentially it marks the 3 major realms and their suns instead of the dot on the "i" in Toonaria. I tweaked a few other areas to improve the overall look. Anyway, I'm always open to questions and comments and would love to hear what you all think about Toonaria and Epic Destinies.

Have a great weekend, all!
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Re: Toonaria Campaign Setting

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:12 pm

Still need to find time to get the new logo up, but I did manage to get a new blog post up! Be sure to subscribe if you like it, and I'd love to hear what you think about the concepts. :D

This latest blog post was a brief overview of Toonaria and we are starting to dig into some of the mysteries. The first up is Pink Syndrome!!
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Re: Toonaria Campaign Setting

Unread postby Ragnarok » Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:22 pm

Okay I'm eating up the blog posts. Very cool stuff. Thanks for being so transparent on Toonaria, Bob. Question though. The Clone Gates post - have you actually taken characters between your two universes yet? If so, what was that like?
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Re: Toonaria Campaign Setting

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:26 pm

Ragnarok wrote:Okay I'm eating up the blog posts. Very cool stuff. Thanks for being so transparent on Toonaria, Bob. Question though. The Clone Gates post - have you actually taken characters between your two universes yet? If so, what was that like?


Great question, but sorry—I've been slammed lately, Ragnarok (I suppose that's a good thing, though!) I wanted to answer sooner. I'm usually right on top of answering posts.

Thanks for your enthusiasm! As for the Clone Gates, yes, I've had exotic creatures (one that pops up in my 3rd book: The Sea of Worms), Player characters and even gods go through the gates before.

Some major things have happened during those events, too! One of them changed the way magic dueling works in the setting—a whole new type of dueling was inspired by a creature that used the gates.

A few times I've had some powerful, curious critters come through from Toonaria and adventure with PCs. Loads of fun! Toonaria is more easy going than the Cosmoverse - less gritty, but the crossovers have always worked well. I suppose as with any game, if the GM handles it properly, it can be a great thing. If not, maybe not so much. It's important to be in tune with the gaming group dynamic for any gaming session, though.

One of many nice things about the Clone Gates is that you can have a major character do cool stuff and become part of 2 settings without having to leave either one! Heh. Another is that if you have a character you love, but want to go on adventures in the other setting, you don't have to start over if you don't want to.
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Re: Toonaria Campaign Setting

Unread postby Flowswithdrek » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:54 am

I've got to say I'm digging the blog posts also. Some of them are a great read. I suspect like most people, my inbox fills up will all manner of marketing drivel, but its great to see such well written blog entries arrive every so often.
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