So, what is necessary to pull this off? Other than rearranging the already admittedly rather sketchy geography to make the two settings fit together, I mean, which is obvious? The biggest problem is that Timischburg was meant to be a kind of FANTASY HACK (FH) alternative to the Grand Duchy of Karameikos; i.e., if FH is my version of D&D, then TIMISCHBURG was my version of a default setting for it, using all of the elements of FH. DH4 as a setting was, however, deliberately not too close to D&D in terms of assumptions about how magic worked, what races existed, etc. If D&D is fantasy based loosely on a Medieval Europe, then DH4 was fantasy based loosely on the Old West and the Golden Age of Piracy. So, by merging, am I losing the ties to a D&D-like setting, or am I losing the specific flavor of DH4?
Actually, the question isn't quite as relevant as it seems because DH5 is actually more "Dark Ages Europe creates Eastern Seaboard colonies in a planetary romance alternative to "America" some 500-600 years earlier than it actually does and then gets cut off." DH5 just has a different flavor then DH4 or D&D either one, although not so different that much of the material can't still be used more or less as is (or was) unless I specifically decide that I want it to change and evolve. I guess what I really mean, though, is "is there a place for elfs and dwarfs and whatnot in DH5? Let's go through all of the races of FH and DH4 and see how they line up with DH5, shall we?
FH Core Races
- Human—naturally, humans are still integral to both settings.
- Halfling—I envision that the halflings could linger in DH5 in quiet little hamlets here and there mostly in the Six Colonist nations and Carlovingia if you really wanted to use them, but I would personally completely ignore them and for all intents and purposes they wouldn't exist. Although, I think that I may well use the stats to represent the native WHG remnants throughout the Eastern Seaboard.
- Orc—I'm going to have orcs in Gunaakt, which will carry forward from TIMISCHBURG to DH5. Seeing them outside of their homeland would be very unusual, though.
- Elf—secluded and isolationist enclaves of elfs could exist, mostly if you really decide for whatever reason that you need them. But I wouldn't utilize them for anything except maybe as villains.
- Dwarf—these would be more like semi-legendary "spirits" of the mountains, and could be found there if you needed them, but again, I wouldn't use them myself.
- Cursed—the Hyperboreans of Lomar are Cursed.
So, of the core races, three—elf, dwarf and halfling have places that they could exist if you wanted them to, but I'm going to assume going forward that they don't, and I won't treat them at all except (maybe) a brief discussion down the line about where they could go if you wanted to use them. The human, orc and cursed, however, most definitely have prominent places in the setting.
FH Optional Races
- Goblin—I can see using them as a variant phenotype of orc; i.e., as in Tolkien, the Snagas and the Uruks coexist in the same country.
- Jann—are going to be a native race of the planet of New Earth.
- Kemlings—same as jann.
- Nephilim—should be very rare; I haven't yet decided if there's a "homeland" for these guys, or if they're just isolated individuals here and there yet.
- Wose—same as jann and kemling.
Keep in mind that most of those races are DH4 races (except goblin.) Granted, I've changed the names around just a little bit, and "shifters" and Neanderthals have been combined into the wose race.
All in all, I'd say that the racial picture looks more like DH4 than FH, although there are options to add the D&D-like FH races in if you really must. In general, because New Earth is kind of Mongo-like in some ways, people are much less phased by exotic people in general, so if you really wanted to introduce an elf or a orc player characters, you could assume that people are curious, but not necessarily overly so about his presence anywhere that you go.
The race builder rules, then, could also be used, although I wouldn't necessarily recommend it unless you deliberately want a weird traveling circus approach to your PC party. Again; what the setting will support as an RPG construct doesn't necessarily represent the setting in it's "Platonic" form, as it would or could be used in fiction.
What else was expanded when I moved from DH4 to FH? I added a lot more spells, but the magic system is still more or less as is. I do have flintlock and whatnot firearms in DH4, of course, but I'm not sure if I'll use them as native weapons that have dispersed to the Colonists or not yet. I added a lot of new monsters, many of them very traditional monsters (although sometimes with new names); in fact, much more traditional than D&D's wont, quite honestly. If there isn't a folklore or mythology source for the monster (or one of the Lovecraftian monsters, which really made the core of what I was doing from the get-go) or they aren't a real or prehistoric animal of some kind, then it's not likely that I have them.
But, again, given that New Earth is as much like Mongo in terms of tone, you can keep all of the FH additions without any problem, although the chances of any particular line item making an appearance is not necessarily high. But how true is that for D&D anyway, amirite? And in unusual circumstances, a monster race could be a protagonist character of some kind or another; a thurse as Chewbacca, for example, or an imp daemon as someone's familiar, etc.
In general, I'd suggest that that's another thing that changes a fair bit. While DH4 was started to have a dark fantasy swashbuckling tone, the dark/horror elements are somewhat muted in DH5 in comparison, and it instead is a sword & sorcery meets planetary romance with some elements of horror still lingering here and there.