Archive for the ‘World Creation’ Category

Postcards from Apocalyptica

15 Oct

I recently began a Dungeons and Dragons campaign at college. I won’t talk much about the campaign itself (largely because I haven’t yet gotten permission from the players), but I did want to share the setting with you guys.

I knew I’d be playing with newer players, so I figured I’d create a setting that used the vanilla races and classes. The last thing I wanted to do was confuse them with some unbalanced homebrewed crap that an experienced player would have trouble dealing with—creating integrated player options is not my forte.

On the other hand, I wanted a setting that felt completely different. It sounds weird to say this as a fantasy writer/gamer/fan, but I am sick to pieces of the same generic sword-and-sorcery dragon crystal sorceress prophecy kingdom bullsquid. I ran a fairly standard Greyhawkish campaign once, and I’ve pretty much vowed to never do it again. I don’t mind playing in those settings so much, I just hate running them. Using a setting like Eberron is also out of the question—making the world is half the fun for me. So, I had to somehow assemble an interesting setting out of fundamentally played-out pieces. Now this was a challenge.

The end result was this a Mad Max fueled warlords campaign. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

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World Creation 15: The Last Waltz

01 Mar

Welcome to the final World Creation post. It’s been exactly three months since this series began, and now, I’m bringing it to a close.

We’ve covered science, religion, culture, warfare…by now, the setting is established enough. If I was to write anything in it, of course, I’d flesh out more things as I went, but this series has already provided a very firm ground on which such sub-settings could be established. One doesn’t need to start out knowing the name of every factory in Caulplanck; to establish that much would be a waste of time that could be spent actually writing.

However, there are a few little things about the setting I either missed or have retconned, and I’d like to go over them before I wrap up the series.
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World Creation 14: The Fuzz

22 Feb

Welcome to the penultimate World Creation post. Yeah, the series is almost over, brings a tear to my nonexistent eyes, etc, etc. It’s been fun, but I’m really looking forward to the series that’s going to replace it.

Enough about that, anyway. Plenty of time for wistful reflection next post–for now, let’s get down to business.
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World Creation 13: Too Tired to Think Up a Clever Title

15 Feb

The World Creation series has nearly run its course. I’ve established most of what I’d need to tell a story or create a character in this setting.

This week, I’m going to present a few news stories from the Great Machine. This serves a few purposes: for one, it adds minor details, much as my snippets of fiction did. For another, it establishes the sweeping conflicts that currently trouble the Machine, giving a good idea of the world situation.

Without further ado, I present: The Sublime Mechanic, an independently run weekly newsletter (the publication and contents of which are heavily supervised).
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The Price of Freedom

09 Feb

The following conversation was recorded by Outreach Agent Saulston Crayes on Cycle 17, Day 43, during a rebellion in Embryst. Setting: A meeting in an apartment building that was later raided by Outreach Forces. There were three rebels present, the first identified as “Marx”, the second as “Claude”, and the third as “Artran.” The first is dead, the second was imprisoned, and the third is now employed as a steel mill worker in Caulplanck. Not all of the conversation has been recorded, due to a high level of ambient noise.

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World Creation 12: A Tale of Three Cities

08 Feb

This week, I’m going to look at a few of the major cities of the Great Machine.

I’ve given varying numbers on how many cities there are total, but I envision there only being a dozen of major cities that act as hubs for tons of smaller ones. These cities would actually be surprisingly diverse; although they all serve the same purpose of perpetuating the goals and ideals of the Great Machine, the culture and structure varies.

To demonstrate this diversity, here’s three examples:
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World Creation 11: Dang Guv’mint

01 Feb

I’ve implied much and said little about the political structure of the Great Machine. I think this is a proper time in the development of this setting to set down exactly how it works.

Before I look at the actual politics, I first need to establish the bounds of the Great Machine. What does the political machine attempt to accomplish?
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Necessary Force

29 Jan

Hopefully, I’ll have both the last Squirrel post and the Pretty Picture post up tonight as well. In the meantime, by way of apology for the lateness of my final Squirrel entry, I provide you with the following fiction in the Great Machine universe. Narrated in the first person, for once.

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World Creation 10: Wasteland Ettiquette

25 Jan

When we left off last week, I promised to address the issue of humans outside of the Great Machine.*

First, I need a name for these people existing outside of civilization. Off the middle of my head, I’ll say The Scattered, because it sounds just grandiose and vague enough to sound reasonably clever until I come up with something better.

The Scattered consist of anyone who doesn’t belong to or contribute to the Great Machine. Obviously, since this is such an enormous demographic, it’s hardly homogenous. There are many, many different cultures and organizations spread throughout, and chances are that even peoples in the same area have their little differences. There is only one constant—The Scattered don’t really have civilization as we know it.

As a whole, The Scattered have no ready access to resources or arable farmland. The Great Machine has already snapped up almost all of the people and territory that have those things. They have only what food foraging and hunting can provide, only what resources can be picked off the ground.

There are certain tendencies that are common amongst The Scattered Peoples:
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Report Re: Freak of Nature

19 Jan

The following is a special report from Ranger Outpost 52C, near a newly colonized mining area. It was leaked to an underground news network that circulated it throughout the central cities. The Great Machine has confirmed the information within, and has stated that “steps are being taken.” They have declined to clarify what, exactly, this means.

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