Campaign-Themes

Ships and sailing
- palm ships are woven rather than nailed, more-flexible but less-stable
- hard wood ships are nailed, less flexible but more stable in deep waters.
- medium-sized ‘ship-shrines’ where rituals can be cast to affect the entire ship and can be used to counter spells cast on the ship
- crew are part-detailed, part-abstracted. need to be managed, but can aid the party and complete tasks by themselves
- cost of buying/selling ships need to be looked into. This is an expansion-time, and ship-building is a growth industry, but it still needs to be profitable
- buying/selling/trading of cargo. needs to be there, but secondary to adventuring

Kami/small-gods
One aspect of oriental mythology that I think will really fit into D&D is that of Kami/nature-spirits/small-gods. These are the spirits of places/objects/types of things, which have enough presence to be contactable or even manifest as creatures, but they don’t have god-like powers to change reality or grant spells to followers.
I think that awakening/appealing/fighting the spirits of such spirits seems like a very D&D thing to do, so unless people have issues with it, it will be part of the campaign.

“Fate”/“The Law”/”The Lawgiver”
I’ve been reading the Arabian Adventures/Al-Qadim books for AD&D and they have brought up a difficult concept and handled it in a pretty good way (IMHO). Islam is very important part of real-life arabian culture and practices, but it doesn’t fit as-is into D&D. Al-Qadim handling this by including a big theme of “Fate” and “The Law” which mimic a lot of the elements of Islam, but without an actual deity/religion, instead a philosophy and set of expansive laws/traditions.

Unfortunately, there is a decent amount of reading to be done to understand this.

Slaves, slavery and serfs
This is kinda a big theme, and one of to be handled carefully. There are three main types of slavery:
Chattel Slavery – where the slaves are considered property (and generally not-people)
Bonded Labour – where people are bound to work until a debt is repaid (but often on very poor terms)
Forced Labour – when people are forced to work under a threat of violence or other punishment, and also restricted in other activities. Living as a Serf can be seen a type of forced labour, as you live where you are told, work on the land you are told to, give a portion of what you make the lord that owns your land and if you don’t do what you are told to, then you don’t get to eat.

Slavery will be a thing that come up in the campaign/setting, but I’ll try to keep it as reasonable/non-exploitive as possible. If you have concerns about this, please bring it up.

One country I’m planning on is built around Mamluk slavery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mamluk). While other countries consider them warlike, they are still well-respected.

Genies and planes
Standard 4ed has: the Prime (the main one), the Feywild (the bright reflection), the Shadowfell (the dark reflection), the elemental chaos (self explanatory), the abyss (dark/evil/chaos) and the nine hells (which I don’t know much about).
Do we want to stick with this for the new campaign? I had planned on changing them, but just by writing them out here (in vague terms), I think they can be transferred over as-is or with just minor changes.
Genies and the Planes have their own pages.

Deities
With different countries and cultures, there is the question of how to handle deities. Would Melora have the same name and rituals in 3 different countries? I don’t think so.

I’m leaning towards new/changed deities, with a simplified core. Most notably, deities no longer have names, they have titles. The Storyteller, The Berserker, The Smith, etc… Each is worshipped in a different way in different cultures, but they have the same core.

Campaign-Themes

The Circle Sea badgerish