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Old 12-07-2009, 06:03 PM   #1
combatmedic
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Default GURPS Fantasy , shared world, recruiting

I am recruiting for a GURPS Fantasy setting world-building project.

goal: We will create a GURPS fantasy setting, intended for actual gaming use. It will be non-commercial in nature, intended as a 'gift' to the community.

Administrative stuff:
I will be the editor-in-chief. What that means is that I will have oversight of the project as a whole. This job is a necessary one, as I have seen shared-worlds/group projects fall apart or become incoherent without an authority to keep the project 'on track.

The editor will be in charge of admitting contributors to the project and maintaining internal consistency ( with the help of all the contributors).

A wiki will be set up, as the project evolves. This wiki will become the project website and repository of information about our setting.

For now, I am limiting the list of contributors to a total of nine individuals, including myself. More may be admitted later, but the editor will first consult with the group before making that decision. Too many contributors may make the project unmanageable.

I already have one likely recruit, so we are currently at two contributors. If anyone else in interested, please post below or PM me.

general creative guidelines:

GURPS Fantasy, shared world

TL: any between 0- 3+1 [stone age through medieval with anachronisms, but no TL 4 guns]


Sapient beings:
• common: humans [may include human sub-races with unusual hereditary/cultural traits]
• Uncommon in most locales: undead, spirits, constructs, etc
• No elves, dwarves, hobbits, orcs, etc- new non-human sapient species are possible, but should be rare, isolated, hidden, or otherwise not too prominent


Magic: default level is normal mana, large areas of low mana exist.
Standard rules with minor exceptions:
• Items created from nothing by magic must be maintained or they will disintegrate/decay [prevents use of magic from simply replacing mining, lumbering, farming, etc]
• Teleport is only possible between gates. Gates are less reliable as local mana levels drops.
• Nature of enchantment precludes mass production of even simple magic items.
• Power Investiture for ‘clerics’ is a design option- but such empowered servants of the gods/spirits should not be too terribly common [not every village priest should wield magic, or every monk and temple functionary, even in high magic zones]
• Mana fields: vary from none through very high. High and very high should be limited to fairly small pockets, not huge swathes of countryside.
• Mana levels will decline is too much is drawn out of the environment over time. Recovery of drained mana fields is slow, but special events may hasten/delay this process.

Planetary info: Assume fairly earthlike world, fantastic features are certainly possible- especially in higher mana zones.

Last edited by combatmedic; 12-12-2009 at 02:32 AM.
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:02 PM   #2
tantric
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Default Re: GURPS Fantasy , shared world, recruiting

So, my last attempt at this died the true death. My advice is that you should decide before hand whether or not there is a true mythohistory, or whether each culture will have its own conflicting beliefs. I vote for the latter, as it gives much more freedom and is more realistic, but the former certainly produces fewer conflicts.

Also, do you want Earth derived cultures, or something completely new? Stylistic guidelines would be helpful.

Last edited by tantric; 12-07-2009 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:26 PM   #3
combatmedic
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Default Re: GURPS Fantasy , shared world, recruiting

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Originally Posted by tantric View Post
So, my last attempt at this died the true death. My advice is that you should decide before hand whether or not there is a true mythohistory, or whether each culture will have its own conflicting beliefs. I vote for the latter, as it gives much more freedom and is more realistic, but the former certainly produces fewer conflicts.

Also, do you want Earth derived cultures, or something completely new? Stylistic guidelines would be helpful.

Each culture will have its own beliefs. Creators are free to create echoes, overlaps, parallels in mythology, of course.

This is not intended to be an Yrth-style setting, with the major cultures transplanted from Earth. That being said, I certainly think that using elements adapted from Earth's history and varied cultures is a good starting point for designing a familiar-yet-exotic setting. Don't feel bound by historical models, though. This isn't an alternate Earth, but an earthlike fantasy world. Don't be afraid to add in 'weird stuff.'
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: GURPS Fantasy , shared world, recruiting

I can't commit to any projects, so forgive me for contributing to the thread, but I have some observations that you might find useful.

The internet is littered with co-operative worldbuilding projects, most of them dead. It seems to me that you will have a better chance of attracting people if your world is distinctive in some clear way from all the other worlds out there. Tantric's Ubantu setting (which I would like to see developed further) would be an example of such a distinctive setting.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:47 PM   #5
combatmedic
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Default Re: GURPS Fantasy , shared world, recruiting

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Originally Posted by Greg 1 View Post
I can't commit to any projects, so forgive me for contributing to the thread, but I have some observations that you might find useful.

The internet is littered with co-operative worldbuilding projects, most of them dead. It seems to me that you will have a better chance of attracting people if your world is distinctive in some clear way from all the other worlds out there. Tantric's Ubantu setting (which I would like to see developed further) would be an example of such a distinctive setting.
Good point.

The humanocentric aspect of the setting tends to set it apart from the majority of the fantasy RPG settings that I've seen on the web. No elves, orcs, dwarves, etc is a pretty big difference.
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
Good point.

The humanocentric aspect of the setting tends to set it apart from the majority of the fantasy RPG settings that I've seen on the web. No elves, orcs, dwarves, etc is a pretty big difference.
Yes, I like the humanocentric nature of your setting. I would still like to see more description of what the setting has got that makes it a unique place to adventure in.
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:15 PM   #7
combatmedic
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Default Re: GURPS Fantasy , shared world, recruiting

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Originally Posted by Greg 1 View Post
Yes, I like the humanocentric nature of your setting. I would still like to see more description of what the setting has got that makes it a unique place to adventure in.

Indeed, so would I. :)
That's why the contributors will be writing those unique features.

The varied and unique human cultures and 'sub-races' will no doubt be a major feature of the setting.

If the several contributors ask for a central 'hook' I have several possiblities in mind:
  • a great plague has come and gone, leaving the world diminished in population
  • a great war was recently concluded
  • the collapse of a mighty empire has ushered in an era of migrations and invasions
  • the discovery of a new continent has opened a cycle of colonization and exploration- and conflicts/collaboration with the exotic natives
I am keeping things free and open just now, as I'd like to see what ideas others will bring to the table.

Last edited by combatmedic; 12-07-2009 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: GURPS Fantasy , shared world, recruiting

If my previous transgressions can be forgiven (and I promise to do better), you can put me down from some of the tropical areas. I've quiet a few ideas about neotropical shamanism that won't fit in my current world. A once great culture now fallen to headhunters and cannibals, with a few redoubt cities, perhaps.

By low magic, do you mean that magic doesn't have any serious affect on the way civilizations develop? If you're looking for a disaster, the greedy empire that sucked up all the magic looks like a winner. It would also explain a world where ostentatious displays of magic are taboo. Are you allowing all different kinds of magic - Powers, Magic, Paths, Psionics?

Alternately, a fully developed centralized liturgical nature religion would be very interesting, I think. Nature religions are often seen as simplistic and primitivist, but I like the idea of a society recovering from ecological disaster via a highly organized priesthood that puts the kind of energy into reforestation that most low tech societies put into megastructures (and deforestation). If I could include ravenous mutant animals as devil-analogs, so much the better, but I have no interest in transplanting any of my developed worlds into this. Druids with slaves that die by the thousands creating wetlands instead of building pyramids. Maybe a kind of post-Easter Island culture, on a larger island, more like New Zealand.

Last edited by tantric; 12-07-2009 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: GURPS Fantasy , shared world, recruiting

Those ideas sound good, Tantric.

Magic certainly affects the way that civilizations develop. It is not possible to mass-produce magic items. Mana can be drained from an area by over-use of magic, much as over-grazing might turn a fertile grassland into desert. These things don't necessarilly make this a 'low magic' world, but they do tend to control the prevalance and use of magic in various ways. Different cultures may have different ways of dealing with these things.
Keep in mind that the mana level of the world varies by region, and may change over time.

EDIT- For the sake of coherence, I'm assuming that the standard Gurps Magic system will be used, with variations. Various schools/traditions of magic may exist, but all should be powered by mana fields [even the priestly spells are subject to this- but a shrine or temple might have aspected mana that aids the clerics of the shrine's deity/spirit].

I am not inclined to use psionics or model magic using Gurps Powers.

Last edited by combatmedic; 12-07-2009 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 12-08-2009, 02:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: GURPS Fantasy , shared world, recruiting

Quote:
Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
  • a great plague has come and gone, leaving the world diminished in population
  • a great war was recently concluded
  • the collapse of a mighty empire has ushered in an era of migrations and invasions
  • the discovery of a new continent has opened a cycle of colonization and exploration- and conflicts/collaboration with the exotic natives
I doubt I have enough time to contribute on a regular basis, but you remembered me on a project I only got started with before it got lost in some drawer...

That setting was centered around the struggles after the collapse of a roman style empire. The empire had already declined for a long time, having grown too large, exhausted itīs resources and itīs nobility becoming increasingly decadent. Then a great barbarian leader with help from a sorcerer (himself in league with a great demon) united severeal barbarian tribes and invaded the empire. The empire defeated the barbarians, but the strain on itīs resources got too much - it splintered into some half a dozen successor states (not unlike the empire of Alexander the Great).

Had an interesting take on religion, too. The empire practiced ancestor worship, with an order of beneficial necromancers (!) acting as intermediaries between the living and the dead.

Huh, now I just get excited about that again... when Iīm home again, I will look for remnants of that old project...

Last edited by Threlgar; 12-08-2009 at 02:31 AM. Reason: Spelling - no native speaker...
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