Workshop Wednesday – World Building Ideas

Lately, I’ve been toying with a few different world building ideas. The concepts are pretty nebulous right now, but I felt like I wanted to go ahead and get some things written down.

First, I wanted to talk a little bit about game systems. Or maybe I don’t want to talk about game systems. Ok, maybe I want to talk just a little about game systems, and how I don’t want to limit myself to any right now. For now I just want to think about what I want my world to look and feel like, without it having to conform to what any game systems look and feel like. For now, I’m more interested in broad concepts, and not how dragonborn fit into my world, or if they even fit at all (they probably don’t, but I don’t know – I’m not there yet). Ideally, I’ll end up with a world that could be used with multiple game systems.

Boy, that was a lot of words just to say that I wanted to create a system-agnostic world.

That being said, I do want to phrase the broad concepts and ideas I have about the world in such a way that they could be used as Fate Aspects. That may make it sound like I’m contradicting what I just said, but not really. In Fate, an aspect is just a succinct, descriptive sentence that describes an “aspect” of something. If you’re playing Fate you can do things with aspects, but if you’re not playing Fate then, well, describing things succinctly and descriptively sure isn’t the worst way you could describe things. Anyway, here is the succinct description I have so far for my world:

The world is a dark place, in need of heroes to light the way.

I can probably do better than that, but for now it’s a good starting point. That sentence makes me think of an old world, and the ruins of a once great empire. It makes me think of the dark ages. I see isolated pockets of civilization, and crumbling roads stretching through a wilderness that was once farmland. I see an inhospitable world, but I also see hope.

And that’s where I’m starting. It’s still pretty vague, but I have a couple of more specific ideas, and the goal is to elaborate on them in the near future. One idea I have involves a civilization ran by priests, awaiting the return of their God-Kings. This is more or less based on me daydreaming while watching Ancient Aliens. I like the idea of a culture venerating mysterious outsiders that visited them long ago, but who aren’t really gods. Ziggurats are involved, of course.

The ziggurat-dwelling priests worshiping their God-Kings is a cool idea, but I think it’s a cool idea for a “distant land,” and not quite what I had in mind for the main setting. For that, I’m thinking more along the lines of several more or less unique civilizations that are all linked together and built upon the crumbling infrastructure of a once mighty empire. I’m thinking of cities that were once more or less homogeneous under the empire, but that are now becoming more distinctly individual. I’m thinking that one of the things that still links such cities is the imperial currency that is still in broad circulation, and then of course there is the imperial religion, centered around veneration of Law, as represented by the aspects of The Martyr, The Myrmidon, and The Miser. Meanwhile the religion of the rural population has largely reverted to paganism, with significant differences from region to region.

That’s it for now. More to come later though.



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