Hello again everyone! Welcome back to another blog entry on Project Horizon, my worldbuilding project for a future Pathfinder (a variant of Dungeons and Dragons). Last time I talked about how having a good solid idea for the tone is important, with that in mind I am now moving onto the next major step for the formation of the Horizon world. Also as a aside Horizon is just a place holder till I give my world a proper name, I just sorta randomly made that name up as I was making the first page. One last thing before I begin I tried my best not to use too much D&D jargon like NPC's, PCs, and what not in my last blog though they cropped up here and there. I know not everyone, or even a majority of the people on E play D&D, so in the future I will do my best to limit such things, or at the very least explain what they mean.
Also as one last aside, if you haven't read them yet the blogs written by Myrleena are also a good read, lots of good ideas on making stories both in E, and elsewhere. They also have the plus of not being so long winded as my last post was so if you got bored with my blog you should take a look at her if you are interested in worldbuilding/storybuilding.
Now that I decided on some tone words to describe my setting (Which were Hopeful, Grand, and Corrupt). I want to move on to design a Premise for the world itself. Now what does that mean? If you were to look up Premise on Wikipedia you would find that generally it is a short blurb that explains something like a screenplay for a film that drives the plot. So for example if I was to say:
"When a young and innocent FBI recruit is offered a chance to help solve the mystery of a bizarre serial killer, she must interrogate and survive the head games of a psychotic killer who holds the key to the mystery."
You gain a pretty good understanding of what the movie is going to be about (obviously this is the premise for Silence of the Lambs), and even a feel of what the movie might be like. However what I am going to be looking for is going to be the premise for the entire world, not just one series of events or a single plot like a movie might have. Again I have gotten most of these idea's from a wonderful podcast called Shakespeare and Dragons, which has become sorta hard to find since his site went down.
In the premise for a fantasy world it has to be larger than what is used for a movie, and I been thinking about this for a few days. From those tone words from yesterday I have gained a few more idea's of how I want the world to be. I am imaging a world that has a group of gods that more like gods of Greek myth than anything from the religions of the Book, a group of gods that were punished by the other gods of whatever world they first came from.
A group of gods that might not really have cared from the creatures that they cared for, apathetic gods that cared about their own pleasures sent off into a prison. Either by design, or by accident the race or races that make up the civilized races (to take a example from Lord of the Rings these people would be Man, Elves, Hobbits, and Dwarves), and they again became the caretakers.
I am thinking there is going to be two distinct phases in history, for the moment I am just going to steal from Lord of the Rings and use the terms First Age, and Second Age till I decide on better names. During the First Age I am thinking that the gods were amazed by their own creation, and at first the point of this prison was fulfilled, they cared for those that they created.
However I am thinking something happened, maybe a war, maybe something like the Trojan War from the Iliad. Thus the Second Age began, maybe the gods fled for a time or people lost some of their faith in them, and instead began to have more faith in their own actions. From this inner faith arcane magic was born, and with the modern day there is a conflict in the faith of these caretakers that might or might not truly care about their worshipers, and those that faith in themselves. And those I suppose that have no faith in either of these things for that matter.
Again I am trying to not shackle myself down to any one idea if I decide that I don't want to build it, but so far I am liking these concepts. I also am spiting up the world into two distinct ages because one day in the future there are going to be two settings, one of this mythical/'better' first age where the world is fresh and unexplored, and this second age were there are ruins from the first. This is sort of a cliche in on itself, but I am hoping to make try and make it unique enough that it doesn't feel tired or overused.
This conflict of faith on three fronts forms part of the premise of my setting, at least if I go with this idea. The gods made or were given this world, and made these creatures with free will. The thematic subjects (these are typically one word abstract idea's like love, and hate) for this setting would be faith which I just mentioned, the others that will be important element that I have come up with is conviction. Along with these tragic gods that rule over and created this world, i imagine that there are many temptations in the form of vices such as sex, gluttony, drugs, and the like. There are some that have given up and indulge in these vices to the extreme, and others that still cling to home for a better tomorrow.
The last element that I have thought up is something that shouldn't be too out of place on this site the idea of Submission, and Domination. How much control are you willing to give to the gods, or to the various nation-states of this world. How faith are you willing to put into that god, or into yourself to protect you? I wont go into too much depth since this is a public section of the site, but there will be some sexual elements to this setting in general. I imagine that a number if not all of the gods had pretty large sexual appetites which was part of the reason they were imprisoned by the others.
Like most D&D games fighting will be a core element be it fighting monsters, or what not, beyond that the other actions that I want to happen in the game is intrigue, and exploration. All three of these are linked in a way because characters both played by the player, and by me the Dungeon Master are traveling on a road to try to gain some truth from the dark, majestic world that they live in.
Alright so I have some vague idea's some that might make sense, others that might not. So where do I go from here?
So with these elements in mind I have come up with the following as a working premise:
"A prison made by the own folly of the gods, it is up to you to decide wither to follow those gods, and how you follow them or to blaze your own path. The world is a filled with those that have fallen from the path, and those that follow paths that conflict with your own. In this dark world filled with hidden secrets, beautiful landscapes, and corruption you must decide who you kneel before if anyone."
Its not pretty, nor is it well worded, but it is a pretty good premise for how this world works in my opinion (I more than welcome other opinions). Now at least we move on to the last part of this blog.
The misty haze of this world has been lifted just a tiny bit, there is still a lot of work to do, but I have more than I had the other day which is a good start. Looking back on my first post I noticed that I talked about dark settings like the World of Darkness setting, and how I was trying to avoid that cliche for a game based around a group of people that will be starting a thieves guild.
Well I am not sure if I have already failed in trying to not adhere to that type of world. Hopefully the idea that there are people that still hold hope will help keep it from becoming a completely black, and depressing world.
I will end for now, hopefully I have bored you guys too much. If you have any questions or comments please I welcome them, criticism is also welcomed as well. Next time I will be working on the cosmology of the setting, detailing the gods, and the way the world was made. At least that is my plan that might change.