Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Building A World - Part 3 - Details of the Land Mass

I apologize for the lack of visual aids for this. I tried, but had some issues with the scanner to picture thing that I'll hopefully have worked out for the update to come on Thursday. Today is mostly a recap of what we have so far, but there are some questions to go forward with. On Thursday we're going to actually come into some of the civilization and country lines, so definitely hopefully we'll have some form of visual map.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Offset Posts This Week

I apologize for the change, but this week we will be doing posts on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday instead of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The weekend was a bit more packed than I expected it to be and I want to try to make some (bad) visual attempts at representing the world from the previous vote.

With only two votes done I'm going to try to combine aspects of the two of them in one map, and then we'll go from there.

See folks again on Tuesday.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Building a World - Part 2, Continents & Oceans

The first big steps of building our world have been complete. So what do we know?


  • It is a low-magic Fantasy world
  • The world is actually the moon of a gas giant
  • Said gas giant is the primary source of light for the planet
  • Beyond the world itself the gas giant has 12 other moons, one of which is constantly visible the others rotate into view during the year
  • On occasion a different source of light is seen...the "sun" of the system
  • The gas giant has its own ecology including some creatures that are visible from the world.
  • The sky is filled with stars, constellations, and other celestial phenomenon

This is all interesting and unique. I like the Gas Giant idea with its own animals that can be seen. A literal "here there be dragons" but maybe they're something else.

So where do we go from here? Well, with the space around the planet done we now move into the planet. This brings us to our next set of questions:

1) How much (percentage wise) of the world is water?

2) How many continents are on the world?

For a point of example, the Earth is about 70% water with most of it broken up across the two major oceans (Atlantic and Pacific.) The Earth also has 7 continents.

Does our world have one super continent? Two or three giant continents? Is it full of small islands?

With the number of continents made we'll be able to talk about placement and climates.

Finally, remember when answering how much water that this is a world that will be populated with humans (low fantasy and all that) so the lower the water...the more the resource wars over water. At the same time, our own oceans prove that just because you have water doesn't mean it's drinkable. 

Answer by noon on Saturday. With luck I'll have a (bad) map or three drawn for us to choose from on Monday.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Building A World - Part 1 - A Place In Space

We're building a world! With each of these posts there will be one or more questions for you to answer in the comments, and those comments will be used in shaping parts of the world. Any information regarding stuff not currently under discussion will be discarded in order to keep the focus on the topic at hand.

Now, in the announcement post we already made the first decision: this is a low fantasy world. By low fantasy we mean that while magic may be present it is very rare and generally not seen by the common populace. Think "Game of Thrones" more than "Lord of the Rings" and you've got Low Fantasy. Low Fantasy tends to also have an extreme minimum of non-human/non-monster races, but that won't be relevant for a few more posts.

Sound like fun? Then come on in. The hopeful idea here is to both build an interesting world, and to go through one of several approaches to building a world to play in.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Let's Build A World

At some point in time as a GM you're going to want to make a custom world. Perhaps you want to set a campaign in it, or perhaps you just need a world for an adventure or two in some science fiction or space fantasy game. Thing is, it can be hard to do.

With that in mind, I thought it could be a fun project to build a world on the blog. Not going too indepth in any one area so people have room to make it there own, but going through and hitting all the broad strokes and some of the finer points along the way. To do this, each day will focus on a different aspect of the world and develop it, and - where possible - I'll leave the post off with some questions to poll you guys and gals about what you'd like to see in it.

Now, for easiness sake - and to cover magic - I'm going to do a Fantasy world, but that is the only thing I'm going to define right off the bat.

For you, we'll start with the following question: What type of fantasy do we want?

Low Fantasy - Swords and warriors but magic isn't very common and tends to stick to the type of thing that people don't believe in if it exists at all. Game of Thrones is a great example of  a Low Magic Fantasy world.

Sword & Sorcery - Magic exists, but it isn't easily accessible and sticks to rituals or the random wizard/sorceror with intense power. Think Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja for this type of fantasy world.

High Fantasy - Classic Tolkien type fantasy with multiple races, magic is common, magical weapons exist and in some places is a major aspect of the world. The Lord of the Rings, and most fantasy RPGs fill this mold.

So which do you want? Majority vote gets it. If no votes exist I'll choose one at random. If only one vote exists, that person gets sole power.

Voting will close Tuesday at noon.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Discussion: Getting Back Into Character

How do you get back into character after an extended hiatus from a gamer? When it's been a month, two months, a year, or longer, how do you find the character again? Can you find the character again?

Normally I don't have problems with this. A lot of my characters have developed what I call 'head space' which is basically a place in my head where the character lives. Getting into character generally just involves opening up that bit of space and pulling the character out. The only problem with this is that it only works for strong characters.

By strong I mean fully developed. Ones with personality traits unique to themselves. For example, I'll probably be able to play Ikoma/Matsu Mesutsume or Bayushi Kyoshin at any point in time for the foreseeable futures because both characters developed very strong places in my head. The same is true for my Star Wars Edge of the Empire character Galvin Raeth. It is, sadly, less true for some other characters.

Some just don't pass the test of time. Some get replaced by characters built with similar molds but new understanding and techniques to make the character stronger. Some were never more than a set of stats on a sheet and maybe a quirky name.

But that's me. How do you grab the characters? Do you have any tricks? Sound off in the comments.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Roll20 - First Impressions

I played/started in a game that is using Roll20 and Google Hangouts as the "meeting place" for game. It's a weird feeling. I've been gaming long enough that my only real exposure to "phone in" gaming is a bunch of horrific anecdotes that all end with the same moral: don't ever do it. And yet, I had fun and it was remarkably easy. It is kind of awesome to see that the technology is there where regardless of distance a group of folks can get together and game. That said, it did have some strengths and weaknesses and today I want to go over my first impressions of those.