This is a fantasy world inspired by ancient China. The setting borrows from the culture and religions of various Chinese dynasties. In particular, elven culture is inspired by Taoism and dwarven culture is inspired by Confucianism. Human religions were based loosely on Proto-Indo-European religious concepts. It also steals from Wuxia and the high fantasy cinematics of Chinese martial arts films. Your elves are trained in fighting techniques that let them run up walls, bounce over the tops of trees, throw swords, and spin one’s robes into a deadly tornado.

I wanted to do something different with the Opal Empire. A lot of my prior work kept falling into comfortable Western tropes of fiefdom and knights, ranging from the Dark Ages up through the Renaissance. That ground is well-trodden, however, and I yearned to do something different, even if it was outside of my comfort zone. Admittedly, at the start of this process, I knew little about ancient China, and I still consider myself an initiate.

The Opal Empire is not intended to be a facsimile of ancient China, however. It’s a fantasy world first and foremost. My research into Eastern culture was merely creative fodder to get me thinking in different ways.

The Opal Empire is designed for 13th Age, the highly anticipated role-playing game from Pelgrane Press.


The Opal Empire AdamDray