It doesn't matter how much I try to push this idea away, it haunts my dreams and gaming. Having had a couple of people express a small amount of interest in Taran, the fantasy world built upon twelve faces of a massive dodecahedron (think "d12"), it's time to really start to develop some ideas.
That being said, the focus on this post is going to be short and sweet: how do you get started on creating a fantasy realm all of your own? My hope is that, if you're into such things, you'll find something useful or at least different here.
In summary, today's post includes:
- Grabbing a hook for your fantasy.
- Dodging the big first mistake.
- Making some basic decisions.
This the name of my "working example" world, which is also a brand new face for Taran. In many ways, Taran offers twelve attempts to create some different fantasy worlds all within a "meta-setting". For your purposes, however, you could be building a regular spherical world and still follow along with this post happily.
Here's a quote from Ray:
Making an imaginary world come to life is one of the most difficult tasks you face as the Dungeon Master. The more unique and interesting your world, the easier it will be for your players to accept its reality. A good "hook" goes a long way toward immediately signaling the world's unique characteristics to the players. Think about your favorite fantasy worlds from books, movies and games and try to identify what it is about each of these settings that makes it different from all the rest. Try to express these differences in no more than a paragraph or a few sentences. This is exactly the sort of distinguishing characteristic or hook you need for your own world.
In short, find out what makes your world interesting... to you and to your potential players.
Here's the hook for Tal'Daryn:
Tal'Daryn is one of the twelve faces of Taran, a unique world formed by the Creator God and shaped as a giant dodecahedron (12-sides). One sun lights the sky and one Moon eclipses the sun completely each day, forming a time of night.
At the heart of Taran is the Engine of Creation, a massive living force which sends out a continuous flow of energy upwards towards the surface of the 12 faces. In-between each face, which is essentially a 5-sided flat-world, the waters flow down into the Engine, only to be pumped back up through the lands by the energies within.
Tal'Daryn has been through several cycles of civilization and destruction, each caused by the ill-advised obsession that the Peoples have made regarding magick.
Magick, the manipulation of the energies from the Engine of Creation, is the ability to shape reality in conformity with the users' Will. Inevitably, as each civilization has grown in power, there has come a time when the power outstripped the ability of the Magi to contain it.
Civilization has been ripped asunder by awesome energies running out of control. The world, however, lives on. Energy flows back through the whole system and equilibrium returns.
Big Mistake Avoidance
Don't do what I did. My next move was to choose a game system and try to work towards creating my first hero for the setting. Big mistake... it just wasted a chunk of time that would have been better spent working on more details.
Making Some Decisions
Three tips for keeping it rolling:
- Don't think about the system yet.
- Answer the question, "What is the state of the world right now?"
- Answer the question, "How did the world get to be this way?"
This is where I realised that, true to form, Tal'Daryn is going to be about the rise of Humanity and learning (or not) from the mistakes of the past. What's your world really all about?
Every fantasy world seems to be about something. It has a current state of play and a backstory. It doesn't have to be long... in fact it probably needs to be pretty short. What it needs to do is to hook you into telling stories.
Hopefully that gets you started.
If you like, we'll come back next time and talk about what you might do next...
Labels: fantasy, Hero System, Savage Worlds, Tal'Daryn, Taran