I've not been an official playtesting GM for the new game 13th Age but have seen some parts of the background as a player and I really like the High Fantasy setting the authors designed. As usual, I think I may steal some parts and change them but I hope I will not end up with a sum of too many plagiarisms.
A few examples of the setting I loved :
- Omen is a weird island (in the Midland Sea) which creates Dungeons magically ("linving Dungeons freely pop to the surface"). An endless reservoir of Mazes and Adventures.
I think I will turn that into some kind of Akashic/Dream Plane where Secrets and Forgotten Lore are symbolized by hidden fortresses. Dungeons would be metaphors and not material places.
- There are two seas:
The peaceful Midland Sea has been magically transformed by the Archmage of the Empire for communications. It has an unnatural controlled weather where storms are repressed. The Druid wants to set free the natural balance of this captive sea.
The Iron Ocean is exactly the opposite: it is constantly covered with tsunamis and sea monsters, as if it was the price to pay for the calm of the Midland Sea. There is a large Wall to protect civilization from all the creatures who hit the shore.
Since the Chimerian Coast has already a Sea of Dreams or Sea of Souls (the mouth of the Lethe), I could use some kind of Sea of Nightmares.
- The Gate of the Abyss: instead of a Gate, there is a Great Gold Wyrm (the main LG entity) who sealed the hole with his own body. He has to stay there to prevent demons from entering. I really like this: there was not a real sacrifice, the Wyrm is still alive, but he cannot intervene and the Paladins who follow him must act in his stead.