Setting Basics: What is Tolrea?

Tolrea is a campaign setting for the Dungeons and Dragons version 3.5 rules. Campaigns in Tolrea are different because the setting starts from several assumptions that you won’t generally find in a more conventional setting.

  1. Atheism and agnosticism are valid religious paradigms in Tolrea, because the gods don’t come down and talk to their worshippers—in fact, nobody can prove whether they exist. This allows characters who have faith . . . in the same sense as real people in the real world have it. Religious people in Tolrea, which includes clerics, do not know for a fact that they are praying to a god that exists. They absolutely believe that their gods are real. But nobody can prove or disprove their existence, so characters in your game can reasonably have the same kinds of discussions about religion and spirituality as people have in real life.
  2. Tolrea is a magical world, not a mundane world with magic added. As a result, Tolrea does not generally take a “standard medieval European historical setting” and add wizards and orcs. Instead, when magic is the best way to accomplish a task, it is used for that purpose. When a mule cart is the best way to accomplish a task, it is used for that purpose. Furthermore, Tolrea’s development emphasizes the importance of including magical plants, creatures, and minerals in the setting’s ecology. In Tolrea, your Player Characters will encounter magical entities that are the basis for local economies, whether those economies are fisheries specialized in a gigantic, magical fish’s caviar, or the illicit manufacture and sale of an addictive wine pressed from the fruit of magical trees.
  3. Tolrea handles alignment differently than other settings. With the exception of certain kinds of monsters (primarily demons, angels, fey, undead, and the like), the Tolrea setting does not use the word “always” to describe the moral or ethical alignment of a creature. Similarly, a cleric aligned with a good deity is not necessarily good himself—the Tolrea setting loosens the restrictions on a cleric’s alignment. More information is available in Classes and Monsters, which discuss the details. Although there are parts of the setting in which orcs are viewed as monsters, or even as savage barbarians, there are also parts of the setting in which they are quite civilized. This distinction is similarly true of other “monstrous” races that may be familiar from other campaign settings.