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Old 11-21-2012, 05:44 AM   #1
combatmedic
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Default Vote up a Fantasy Setting

Vote up a Fantasy Setting
I’ve decided to run one of these threads. 
I give options, you vote (open invitation to forumites). I will break ties and provide further input as needed.
Once we have some idea of what the initial world set up and general outline of features is like, other posters will develop races, kingdoms, gods, and so on for use in the setting. Those will be voted up or down much as in VUASO.
All topics will be introduced by me, in order to keep some coherence. But feel free to suggest matters for voting and submissions.

EDIT: Initial votes have been tallied. Judgment calls have been made. The spoiler below is just for reference:

Spoiler:  



CLOSED TOPICS WITH CLEAR WINNERS:


Shape and Nature of the world: Mostly Earthlike, but with fantastic features (mainly geographic like floating islands, but regional fantastic micoclimates like a valley of endless summer are possible)



TL: TL 3 is default TL. TL 4 is max. Gunpowder is not universal. Use it if you like it, don't use it if you don't like it. But it is part of the setting. Primitive regions/nations/whatever are certainly possible.


Connections with other worlds: World-hopping is possible but rare

Gods: Mysterious and Distant (design the myths and religions that you like)




Magic: After two rounds of boting and considerable discussion:
PATH/BOOK is the winner. Note that the additional stuff like type discounts , power Talents, and so on from GURPS Powers is not being used, but supernatural Advantages are perfectly fine. Blessed, Oracle, and so on are okay.

OPEN SUBMISSIONS FOR RACES:
http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread...13#post1480313


The first round draft picks are:

Centaurs

Biggams

Common Dragons

Dreamweavers & Watchers

Mohani



OPEN POLL:
More races, yes or no?

Last edited by combatmedic; 12-07-2012 at 01:08 PM. Reason: add Chaotean
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: Vote up a Fantasy Setting

Since I'm happy with my fantasy world rough sketch. I'll mostly vote it, unless something comes up I like more.

Shape and nature
Earth-like planet

Magic system
RPM

TL
Default and max of 4

Races
Humans and (semi-)humanoids only, with rare spirits

Connections
World hopping is possible but rare

Gods
Mysterious and distant
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:12 AM   #3
combatmedic
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Default Re: Vote up a Fantasy Setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
Since I'm happy with my fantasy world rough sketch. I'll mostly vote it, unless something comes up I like more.

Shape and nature
Earth-like planet

Magic system
RPM

TL
Default and max of 4

Races
Humans and (semi-)humanoids only, with rare spirits

Connections
World hopping is possible but rare

Gods
Mysterious and distant
Noted.


I'd like to see where the other contributors take it before I put in my votes.



And yes, if something comes up that you like more, you can alter votes so long as you do so before the topic in question is closed.

I don't plan on closing all this very soon. But it depends on the volume of posts, the number of contributors, etc. Closures will be announced in advance.

Last edited by combatmedic; 11-21-2012 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Vote up a Fantasy Setting

Actually, the first thing I think we should establish is: what kind of fantasy?

Swords and sorcery? Tolkienesque? Low fantasy? High fantasy? Mythic? Wainscot?

Sorry to hijack the thread for the moment, but fantasy goes in so many dire toons, I though it best to state what we're going for right off the bat.

I'll vote when I get back from work.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: Vote up a Fantasy Setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
Shape and Nature of the World
Multiple votes are fine if the options can be reconciled, such as a hollow but Earthlike world, or a flat world with strange seasons

• Earthlike planet
• Mostly Earthlike, but with some fantastical geography (flying islands, crystalline forests, vast underworld caverns, wandering mountains)
• Flat world
• Strange seasons, day-night cycle, or climates
• Hollow world
• World not yet fully formed from Primal Chaos, subject to change by powerful magicians, heroes, villains, gods
• Other (pleases specify)
Mostly Earth-like with some fantastic + Strange seasons, day/night etc. as a consequence of fantastic stuff.


Quote:
Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post

Magic System
please pick one. Or, if you really want more than one, choose 'Other' and specify
• Basic Set system only
• GURPS Magic hardback
• Something from Thaumatology (please specify)
• Magic as Powers
• Magic as Psionics
• Magic as alien/ancient super science
• No ‘magic’ in game terms. Magic is a matter of cultural beliefs, how people explain things. Many magicians are sincere believers, others are frauds.
• Something else (please specify)
Any combination of Thaumatology (particularly Realm magic), Magic as Powers, superscience (e.g. Alchemy).


Quote:
Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
Tech Levels
Please vote twice, once for ‘default’ TL and once for the maximum TL that maybe included. These may be the same TL, if you like.
• TL 0
• TL 1
• TL 2
• TL 3 (specify with or without gunpowder, since not all TL 3 civilizations will have it)
• TL 4
• TL 5 or higher
Default TL2, maximum TL3 in general and TL4 in swordmaking (Rapiers!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
Races/sapient creatures
Choose one option
• Humans only
• Humans and humanoid races only
• No humans, one or more other races exist
• Humans, humanoids, and non-humanoid races exist, may include spirits or talking beasts
• Spirits and Humans only
• Something else (please specify)
Humans, humanoids and non-humanoids, but humanoids are more common in Places That Matter™.[/quote]

Quote:
Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
Connections with other worlds
Choose one
• Isolated
• World hopping is possible but rare
• Gates are common
• Something else (please specify)
Isolated to Rare Worldhopping (as in, 3 other connect worlds at most, and difficult to reach normally).

Quote:
Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
Gods
choose one
• One True God, possibly with hierarchies of saints, angels, demons, ghosts,ancestor-spritrs, 'small gods' etc. beneath him
• Two gods, one is good and the other is evil—or they otherwise represent opposed principles
• The gods are mysterious, distant beings—some mortals may even doubt their existence
• One pantheon for the world (gods may be known by different names and aspects to the various cultures/races)
• Distinct pantheons, probably in competition
• Other (please specify)

If I get a lot of ‘Other’ votes, I will probably go back and reopen one or more of these initial sections to more ideas.
My 'non-Other' choice is Mysterious Distant. My 'Other' choice is 2 or preferably three gods, but neither of them can be clearly identified as good or evil. An example would be something like this:
Spoiler:  
Or maybe take five of Heidt's aspects of morality, modify them a bit, and make 5 gods.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:25 AM   #6
combatmedic
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Default Re: Vote up a Fantasy Setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faolyn View Post
Actually, the first thing I think we should establish is: what kind of fantasy?

Swords and sorcery? Tolkienesque? Low fantasy? High fantasy? Mythic? Wainscot?

Sorry to hijack the thread for the moment, but fantasy goes in so many dire toons, I though it best to state what we're going for right off the bat.

I'll vote when I get back from work.


The votes on these initial questions/topics will actually answer that question, Faolyn.

I'm assuming that High Fantasy (meaning fantasy not set on Earth) is likely. Although Low Fantasy (set on Earth) or Wainscot is possible if people vote for 'Earth/'the real world'' as a specified 'Other' option
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: Vote up a Fantasy Setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
Vote up a Fantasy Setting
Oh goody! I am running a DF campaign that is sometimes too big for its britches, so this could be a fun thing to steal ideas from and allow to influence me.

Shape and Nature of the World
• Mostly Earthlike, but with some fantastical geography (flying islands, crystalline forests, vast underworld caverns, wandering mountains)
• Strange seasons, day-night cycle, or climates

I like fantastical geography because that is part of the draw of a fantasy background. Nothing has to have a better reason than "a wizard did it" (or a god, or whatever). I like strange seasons and day-night cycles because I want it to be a plot convenient time of day and year at all times. I don't think that this is something a GM needs to have well defined at the start of a campaign, actually, since pre-scientific people don't necessarily have a very accurate worldview.


Magic System
please pick one. Or, if you really want more than one, choose 'Other' and specify
• Something else (please specify)

I like Threshold Magic for arcane casters, and I like magic as Powers for those who use magic in a more intuitive way. I suppose that Divine Favor is a form of magic as Powers, which suits me, since faith is an intuitive position, in my own worldview.

Tech Levels

• TL 2 - default; I always wanted to see a more tech limited fantasy background, and somehow every one I've gamed in has been a background with steel and plate armor and so on.

• TL 3 (without gunpowder) - because someone will have a character concept that probably needs steel or something, and I don't begrudge anyone their good time. I would like the fighting to be muscle powered, though, if it isn't magical.

Races/sapient creatures
• Humans, humanoids, and non-humanoid races exist, may include spirits or talking beasts

I like this talking beasts idea, but I am more interested in animals at animal scale, preferably with animal bodies, rather than anthro animal races. I am also in favor of spirits and faerie, if only because this thread might be a resource for ideas for my DF campaign. I am also a fan of the traditional FRPG races with something novel. I like elves (or someone who lives a long time) with amnesia, dwarves with no women (all disliking other races and being cursed to rely on them), orcs who herd cattle (or something weirder). I don't mind these races getting less iconic, but as a point of departure, I appreciate the classics.

Connections with other worlds

• World hopping is possible but rare

The PCs might do it, but it should be extraordinary.

Gods

• Distinct pantheons, probably in competition

Gimme competitive and meddlesome gods please. Maybe even make it possible to ascend to heaven to displace someone.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: Vote up a Fantasy Setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
I'm assuming that High Fantasy (meaning fantasy not set on Earth) is likely. Although Low Fantasy (set on Earth) or Wainscot is possible if people vote for 'Earth/'the real world'' as a specified 'Other' option
Does anyone aside from literary scholars actually use that definition (at least exclusively*)? It's a distinction that's normally so tangential to the story. Any definition that lumps together a story of great struggle of heroes against an evil overlord and another about a merchant trying to corner the market on wheat in the same category, but puts Merlin in a different category because it took place in Britain, is of limited use, IMO.

It seems like grouping squid with humans instead of octopuses, based on the fact that they have two different kinds of limbs.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:41 AM   #9
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Default Re: Vote up a Fantasy Setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
Does anyone aside from literary scholars actually use that definition (at least exclusively*)? It's a distinction that's normally so tangential to the story. Any definition that lumps together a story of great struggle of heroes against an evil overlord and another about a merchant trying to corner the market on wheat in the same category, but puts Merlin in a different category because it took place in Britain, is of limited use, IMO.

It seems like grouping squid with humans instead of octopuses, based on the fact that they have two different kinds of limbs.
I use it.

I don't know any other useful definitions for 'High' and 'Low' fantasy. Maybe you do know some.

But you've hit on part of the reason why I chose not to open with a 'what kind of fantasy' question. Vague or contestable labels would not help much, and might lead to a pointless tangent about literary subgenres. We aren’t marketing or reviewing a fantasy novel—we are designing a shared world for gaming purposes.

Better, methinks, to just ask a series of questions about setting to be designed. The answers will give us a basic picture of what things are like. If you wish to label the resulting framework 'high', 'low' swords and sorcery', or whatever, it doesn't matter to me. I won't quibble with your personal definition.

Does all that make sense?
YMMV, of course.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: Vote up a Fantasy Setting

Yay! another one of these!

Mostly Earth like with fantastic geography (emphasis on fantastic geography)

Book/Path Magic from Thaumology (mixed with hardback system)

TL3 no gunpower. max and default.

Spirits and humans
you can do a lot with that.

Isolated
If we have lots of gates we should start with the cosmos, not a single world

Two opposed gods.
I favor them representing light and dark (not good and evil). This is because such a situation makes for good Epics.

Wow, I think I'm going for a low profile approach here. No pointy ears, no Dragons, the magic isn't flashy, but spirits roam the land, and two massive powers pit their strength against each other.
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