Doing chargen today, so just throwing up some notes.
The ice came north maybe 2000 years ago. Before that time, things were normal enough fantasy, largely dominated by a number of human cultures, regular D&D races, stuff liek that. The Advancign ice changed all that, rolled over the bulk of “civilized” land, pushing them north to the edge of the desert and into a very narrow band of livable land. This lead to a lot of conflict over limited resources, and by the end there were only three major human cultues left (one of which being those who live north past the desert) with remnants of a few more. As the ice receded, these human nations have aggressively expanded to fill the space.
For ease of use, we’re going to use real world culture as touchstones for the humans. One will be roughly Byzantine, one is TBD but India and the Americas have been floated. The cuture north of the desert may or may not enter into play, but in my mind they’re Mali.
Other peoples found solutions to the ice. The Dwarves simply dug. Some stayed close to the surface, but others dug deep,founding great cities in the warmth and light of the depths. The dwarves are doing ok.
The Halflings found some way to shape the ice (or bargain with it, some say) and it formed great bubbles over their shires, turnign them into a combination of fortresses and arcologies. Culturally, the Halflings are going to be very cinematic-Japanese influenced, and yes that means halfling Samurai.
The elves split. The High Elves withdrew from the world save for a handful of watchtower. The Wood Elves adapted to the tundra and desert. Some elves walked out onto the ice and were changed by it. The elves do not speak of them.
Some humans apparently found life on the ice as well, but they have been changed by it. Blue of skin, with demonic features, they were the stuff of stories for centuries, but with the thaw it is beginning to appear that the tieflings have established a seriosu presence on the ice.
The thaw started about 50 years ago, and had proceded at a startling pace. Fast enough that stretches of land are still muddy barrens, and the very edge of the ice is a no mans land. The humans have expanded, the halflings are emerging, the elves are returning and the Dwarves are takign an interest in the surface again. Treasures lost to the ice have emerged, but so have unexpected things, frozen elsewhere and pushed north to thaw.
On the edge of the thaw is a town called Placeholder (a bureaucratic slip up that has stuck). It is unclaimed, contested territory, and it woudl be of little note save for that fact that it is suspected that it is somewhere near the site of the city o [TO BE DETERMINED], the crown jewel of the old world. Finding it and claiming it will be a triumph and, more important to the people of Place, will be an opportunity to strike it rich. So the town has grown in fits and starts, and every year, the ice recedes a little more, people dig a little deeper and the town grows. And, of course, as it grows, so does foreign interest. No nation has a clear claim on Place, and nothing found yet has been worth pushing the issue, but they’re all watching very closely.
We have not explicitly decided what’s up with other races, though I’ll be shocked if we don’t see Warforged (whose origin will be a mystery). We’ve discussed the gods some (the original pantheon is based on the charactes from the Dungeon World game) but it (and the geneal role of magic) i still fuzzy.
Mechanical things I shoudl do:
1. More Warlock pacts
2. More Sorcerer options, because man, the PHB ones are way too little.