Monday, 27 July 2015

5e Setting Building: Inspiration

So a big part of world building is knowing what to steal and from where.  My setting doesn't have a name yet, but one thing it does have is a healthy list of sources from which it draws elements, and tool which are helping me with the process of building it.

First things first however, time to thank those who triggered me in talking about this as I do it +Lex Starwalker from the Game Master's Journey  podcast  got me thinking about actually thinking about doing this, so if you haven't  checked it out yet, you probably aught too. Like me he is on patreon, if you like his stuff, it would be awesome if you could see your way to giving him a few dollars a month.

So whatgot me writing this setting up? Three bodies of work have driven the this process more than any other.

First of these is the Artesia comics of Mark S. Smylie. His setting the known world, is a world with an apparently mundane physicial world that exists and interacts with a powerful but largely invisible spiritual world. It embraces a deep and nuanced take on religion(especially polytheism) often lacking in fantasy RPGs. This setting shapes the way I see the martial world of the setting and its relationship with the spirit world. It also says something about the kind of stories I want to tell with it. Stories rich in sex, religion and politics.

Second, the white wolf's  changeling: the dreaming and changling: the lost have both inspired elements of the feywild within my setting, with its surreal beauty and picaresque elements of the dreaming being combined with the wild horror and weirdness of the hedge from changeling the lost.

Another white wolf classic is at the core of how I see the shadowfel in this setting, specifically Wraith: the Oblivion, with the underworld aesthetics helping to define how I see the shadowfell.

However these works are hardly alone in shaping my setting, with pan's labyrinth and game of thrones coming immediately to mind. As does the setting of the British Fest LARP "Empire", who's take on re-incarnation is fairly interesting.

What I am not including is almost as important. Firstly, I am explitingly forbidding myself from including the kind of Lovecraftian  and Chambarian themes which are common to my work. Nor am I allowing myself to touch on transhumanist themes, which are another calling card of my style.

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