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Can I jumpstart Shared World Interest?


Rurik

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I'm having a go at getting interest going in the shared world project.

I really liked some of the ideas and have some work that can be posted without much more effort.

I plan on a city map for Portal and a map of the surrounding area. A few cults, some character cultures or races, and maybe a scenario.

I think the sooner some actual usable/gameable material gets posted the more likely people will take interest. Free stuff is always good.

Help kill a Trollkin here.

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I'm having a go at getting interest going in the shared world project.

What are the limitations and guidelines for the world in general?

Is it mythic or contemporary fantasy? Is there any science? What level and type of magic exists?

What range of cultures exist? How close do these cultures exist and integrate. Will each area be its own culture?

I ask these questions with the aim that neighboring areas can coexist in a fairly realistic and consistent way, taking into account how interactions shape the overall technologies (science and magic) and cultures of the surrounding areas.

I was thinking of an area based on ancient mythic China, or a pseudo ancient Egypt. However, these might contrast too much with surrounding areas.

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What are the limitations and guidelines for the world in general?

Is it mythic or contemporary fantasy? Is there any science? What level and type of magic exists?

What range of cultures exist? How close do these cultures exist and integrate. Will each area be its own culture?

I ask these questions with the aim that neighboring areas can coexist in a fairly realistic and consistent way, taking into account how interactions shape the overall technologies (science and magic) and cultures of the surrounding areas.

I was thinking of an area based on ancient mythic China, or a pseudo ancient Egypt. However, these might contrast too much with surrounding areas.

Theres quite a bit on the wiki here but a quick and dirty follows:

It is a very mythic background. The sun is a god who lives atop a giant mountain in the center of the world (and so is stationary) and the world is flat, hotter near the sun and colder the further out you go. Snowtroll heroes have travelled to the frozen edge of the world and describe giant icicles hanging down into a void.

I kind of picture it as more ancient than later medieval, but I'm not sure that that need to apply to the whole world, and of course the project is in it's infancy - nothing is set in stone. Though hopefully some stuff will start to be soon.

There are gates, at least in the city known as Portal and possibly elsewhere that can lead to other places, so if someone wants to link their setting to the Sky Mountain shared world they can without having to integrate it into the shared world per se. Though we definately need contributors to the Sky Mountain world.

Many of the early idea contributors were Gloranthaphiles from way back to the RQ2 days and capturing a bit of that old school Glorantha feel was an acknowledged goal (without copying any of the setting of course), staying a bit lighter and less esoteric than present day setting. Hence the strong mythic background. Wild ideas are encouraged - nobody needs another bog standard fantasy setting after all.

Everything published will be open content.

The only hard rule is no trollkin. :thumb:

All that said I think a mythic china based culture would rock.

Help kill a Trollkin here.

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I was thinking of an area based on ancient mythic China, or a pseudo ancient Egypt. However, these might contrast too much with surrounding areas.
Both of these sound really cool. I am looking forward to what you come up with.

294/420

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Both of these sound really cool. I am looking forward to what you come up with.

After reading the Sky Mountain wiki, I am not sure how either of my suggested areas would compliment the current nature of the Sky Mountain world. Any ideas or suggestions?

The references to bugs, chitin and volcanoes in the middle of the world reminds me a little of Morrowind (Morrowind Wiki).

Trolls: no additional informations ?

Interesting...

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After reading the Sky Mountain wiki, I am not sure how either of my suggested areas would compliment the current nature of the Sky Mountain world. Any ideas or suggestions?

Why not? If you can find a place to fit it in then do so. It's all made up anyway.

The references to bugs, chitin and volcanoes in the middle of the world reminds me a little of Morrowind (Morrowind Wiki).

I've heard of Morrowind, or was the the Morrow Project? I've never read it, but bugs, chitin, jungles and volcanoes fit together in any setting, as far as I am concerned.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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After reading the Sky Mountain wiki, I am not sure how either of my suggested areas would compliment the current nature of the Sky Mountain world. Any ideas or suggestions?

I concur with Soltakss - I don't see why it wouldn't fit. Just about any setting can fit as long as it can deal with a stationary sun. And there is plenty of open real estate. Chinese or Egyptian inspired cultures would be cool.

Help kill a Trollkin here.

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  • 2 months later...

I'm having a go at getting interest going in the shared world project.

I really liked some of the ideas and have some work that can be posted without much more effort.

I plan on a city map for Portal and a map of the surrounding area. A few cults, some character cultures or races, and maybe a scenario.

I think the sooner some actual usable/gameable material gets posted the more likely people will take interest. Free stuff is always good.

I'll be working on Shareworld during the summer. Could you tell me a bit more about how you visualize the people around the Portal. I'm especially thinking about culture and religion. What world-equivalent would it be?

SGL.

Ef plest master, this mighty fine grub!
b1.gif 116/420. High Priest.

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Is there a general limit regarding the level of technology that is available?

The reason I ask is that one area (neigbourhood or via portal) that is high tech will dramatically influence low tech areas.

Is it bronze age, middle ages, or other?

The fate of my charnjibbers (with lasers attached to their heads) hangs in the balance.

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  • 5 months later...

I'll be working on Shareworld during the summer. Could you tell me a bit more about how you visualize the people around the Portal. I'm especially thinking about culture and religion. What world-equivalent would it be?

SGL.

I've pictured the tribes in the land around Portal kind of like mounted Vikings. A horse people but not nomadic as say Mongols or Tartars. They are primarily mounted melee fighters, not horse archers. I wanted there to be melting pot of cultures at Portal though, so there is plenty of room for variation. Perhaps more nomadic types east of the River Jule and the more settled tribes described above east of the river.

The mountains north of Portal (the headwaters for the River Jule) are inhabited by a fierce mountain folk. In an earlier thread the thought of having Shared World be 'human only' was brought up, and I had some thoughts on creating human cultures that represented classic fantasy races. I had come up with rugged mountain men that live in cave complexes. Food in such a habitat is scarce, and one of their primary food sources is cannibalism. They live in dark caves and have good night vision, and raid neighboring people at night for food and slaves. To outsiders they are as fierce and frightening as Orcs or Goblins would be. These could be (but do not need to be) the folk north of Portal.

South of Portal is the coast, and some islands, where their is a maritime culture. Corsair like at first thought (and I haven't given them much more than that).

The people of Portal itself are an urbanised mix of the surrounding cultures (the ones that united to help the Akershule drive the demon armies back through the gates and then turned on and destroyed the Akershule). The City itself has a city cult that is also a hero cult to Thakyr Ryn (the barbarian leader who unified the tribes and took the city). Native cults of the surrounding cultures are allowed (in the outer city)- so long as they don't cause any trouble.

That is a nutshell of what I had envisioned for Portal it's immediate surroundings.

Help kill a Trollkin here.

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Is there a general limit regarding the level of technology that is available?

The reason I ask is that one area (neigbourhood or via portal) that is high tech will dramatically influence low tech areas.

Is it bronze age, middle ages, or other?

The fate of my charnjibbers (with lasers attached to their heads) hangs in the balance.

I was envisioning an early Iron Age general level of tech.

The portals/gates are a means of connecting other worlds to the Sky Mountain world so that some participants could connect their own worlds without having to be limited by the shared world itself. As such I think gates should be very limited in use - not open dorways to other worlds. Much power would be needed to move a few people through aportal to another world (say maybe a typical RPG party sized group) - but not moving whole armies through. That would definately destroy the balance.

Indeed in Portal there are gate cults to some of the ancient gates in the city - group who worship one gate, some of which can manipulate them even - though with great effort and not always with a safe understanding of what they are doing.

Help kill a Trollkin here.

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To help jump-start/re-start the project, I think the dilemma I mentioned at the outset needs fixing:

Every author needs final authority over what goes into his/her creation.

BUT

A truly "shared" world can't have a final authority (or it is theirs, not shared).

My proposed solution:

Each author has a world (universe!) of their own. Others can contribute to it, but always subject to that World-Author's agreement.

AND

Travel between the worlds is quite easy (for adventurers, at least*) but not automatic, and always subject to Game-Masters' agreement.

* This is the "Gate" idea again. Though now I'm thinking maybe more like a (very unreliable) spell, or ritual - rather like Corum passing between planes, it often/usually wouldn't work. But the normal mechanism(s) would be up to individual World-Authors, of course!

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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Basically, every contributor should be GM of their own universe. But universes could be virtually identical, by incorporating other people's ideas - or not, as they see fit.

Anything goes. No idea would be lost because it didn't gain general approval (or their potential contributor didn't even mention it because they feared it wouldn't). Nothing would be stifled.

Say, for example:

Rurik's World has the city of Akershule/Portal, and a Sky Mountain somewhere near the edge, and no trollkin. Soltakss's World has Akershule too, but Sky Mountain is central and taller, with plenty of trolls & trollkin. Dragonewt's World has Akershule (but heavily influenced with hi-tech), Sky Mountain (either central or marginal, opinions vary), plus laser-headed charnjibbers (which don't appear in Rurik's but do in Soltakss's). Frogspawner's World has Akershule, surrounding plains dominated by demi-bird-riding nomadic lizard-folk, a normal sun but a symbolic holy-place called Sky Mountain, charnjibbers/tech-items found only rarely, and a desert area known as The Green - where once was a huge fertile jungle stolen away by Chaos - now haunted by sentient clouds which hunt living things to suck out their souls and warp their bodies into vile monstrosities. Triff's World is identical to Rurik's, but does have trollkin - one of whom is an immortal, unkillable (albeit puny) hero.

You get the picture?

A Shared Setting - but of individual 'worlds', separated perhaps only by a 'thin fabric between the planes', or sometimes not separated at all.

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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Rurik's World has the city of Akershule/Portal, and a Sky Mountain somewhere near the edge, and no trollkin.

Once one or two charnjibbers make it through a few gates and spread, there will eventually be plenty of laser-headed charnjibber-assimilated trolkin (with spears) in Rurik's world. :party:

I am fine with iron age. I am still interested in Mythic Aegypt or Mythic Ancient China (great for using Tian Xia). The problem at the moment is that my attention span is... oh look! A butterfly.

Edited by dragonewt
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Once one or two charnjibbers make it through a few gates and spread, there will eventually be plenty of laser-headed charnjibber-assimilated trolkin (with spears) in Rurik's world. :party:

Ah, well - in Dragonewt's World, yes - laser-headed trollkin can stride around laying waste to Portal city. Under the model I'm suggesting, that would be for Rurik to make canon in Rurik's World; or, anyone who GM's a campaign on Rurik's World play it that way (though still non-canon). But, that way, the replicating Charnjibber/Trollkin Invasion idea survives - and some may well like it.

With the existing single SharedWorld, I expect this idea would die. Worse yet, if the rest of us said "Yeah, laser-head 'kin!", then Rurik would be obliged to make it canon - and Portal would be destroyed (or at least radically warped). However, I suspect Rurik would just (sensibly) take his creativity elsewhere...

That's my point. Associated, yet separate worlds - so all ideas can live.

(BTW, what IS the status of The Green? Does it now have to be, legally, written-out of the previous SharedWorld stuff?)

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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That's my point. Associated, yet separate worlds - so all ideas can live.

The charnjibber-trolkin have a Quantum Mirror (for entering parallel worlds). :D

But I do see your point, hence my tendency for something (Mythic Iron Age Aegyptus or China) that will happily and logically co-exist with the worlds of others to avoid the need for alternatives of the one world. I think it would be more fun to cooperate in one shared world where peoples' specific areas can connect via a portal (Stargates, Mists of Time, Seas of Fate, Star Fairy Silk Road, etc...)

Therefore, in the spirit of cooperation, I have to forgo my laser-headed charnjibber-trolkin (or bind them behind a petrified forest, or something...).

Edited by dragonewt
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The charnjibber-trolkin have a Quantum Mirror (for entering parallel worlds). :D

So, you'll appreciate all the parallel worlds they reached would be in "Dragonewt's World/Multiverse", no matter how much they resembled Rurik's/Soltakss'/Frogspawners/Triff's (unless Rurik/whoever wanted the invasion to be canon for their world, of course.)

But I do see your point, hence my tendency for something that will happily and logically co-exist with the worlds of others to avoid the need for alternatives of the one world.

That's the other face of the same problem - your ideas shouldn't have to compromise, or be approved by a committee, or be so bland no-one cares. Who are we to say that world-dominating events/facts (like a Charnjibber Invasion or a Sun-on-a-Stick) are BadWrongFun and not allowed?

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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Anything I put forward into the Sky Mountain Shared World I put forward with the full knowledge that it is no longer entirely 'mine' and is now subject to the collective project. I think such an attitude is essential to the success of such a project. If Portal gets destroyed by Laser Brained Charnjibbers then so be it (which mind you is not so far off from the original plot line for the city I had before I out out there for Sky Mountain - the city was after all almost destroyed when the Akershule opened a gate that let through hordes of yet undescribed demons and the gate still remains, held shut by centuries old spells of the now dead Akershule - I wonder if how long the spells will hold up?).

The whole reason for the gates was so that some people could contribute without really giving up control of their worlds or conforming to the absolutes of Sky Mountain (tech level, flat world, the sun lives on top of a big mountain). So contributors can partake in the shared setting of Sky Mountain, similar to the collective development of Gwenthia, while others could link their own setting to Sky Mountain by a gate (and maintain control of their setting).

I think that for they Sky Mountain portion there should be consistency in things like geography for the purpose of 'published' material. Things like maps are an essential part of a fantasy setting, and one of the original goals was to make a freely available and accessible setting for BRP. If everyone who posts something to Shared World contradicts other contributors the 'accessible' bit is pretty much shot.

The ultimate goal is to have a usable setting, with regional supplements, scenarios, maps and such freely available. Now if Frogspawner wants to unleash Charnjibbers with Lasers on it, or Dragonewt wants to turn most of the world into a giant dragon, so be it. I think it is normal for GM's to personalize setting material they buy (or download). But I don't think it is good for a contributor to wantonly contradict what has been released for the setting previously.

Help kill a Trollkin here.

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Anything I put forward into the Sky Mountain Shared World I put forward with the full knowledge that it is no longer entirely 'mine' and is now subject to the collective project. ... conforming to the absolutes of Sky Mountain (tech level, flat world, the sun lives on top of a big mountain). ... But I don't think it is good for a contributor to wantonly contradict what has been released for the setting previously.

That's the ideal attitude to have when contributing, of course.

But potential contributors may be put off by the 'absolutes' (like me, by the Sun-Mountain thing). And who knows what other wacky absolutes might come along? Politeness and a natural desire to get contributions might well prevent the SharedWorld Committee from saying "No!" - and then we're stuck with it.

(Like Thieves' World - I recall some rubbish story said all Mages had to hide a "secret", or lose their power. Lame and stupid. But it became canon.)

Contributors may feel the need to contradict some things, but hopefully not 'wantonly'. Am I, wanting a normal-sun world, exiled beyond the Gates? Are there limits on what I can have there? Am I, liking Akershule/Portal and The Green, allowed to have parallel-world versions of them, otherwise conforming to everything said about them in the official SharedWorld?

(And again - will The Green be staying on the official maps?)

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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That's the ideal attitude to have when contributing, of course.

But potential contributors may be put off by the 'absolutes' (like me, by the Sun-Mountain thing). And who knows what other wacky absolutes might come along? Politeness and a natural desire to get contributions might well prevent the SharedWorld Committee from saying "No!" - and then we're stuck with it.

(Like Thieves' World - I recall some rubbish story said all Mages had to hide a "secret", or lose their power. Lame and stupid. But it became canon.)

Help kill a Trollkin here.

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I guess I can live with the Sky Mountain. My wanting to avoid it is probably just 'wanton'.

Mind you, things like that can have odd effects, that puncture the fantasy unexpectedly. Frex, there'd be no sun-'dials' - they'd be straight. A mate of mine had two suns: nice touch. The moon, though, had a fixed 28-day cycle, corresponding to the 28-day months: neat, except the day-of-the-month supposedly gave the fraction of fullness (in 28ths). Eventually, we twigged that meant it 'pinged' back from full to new in one day! Most amusing, and I liked it, but after toying with ideas about silver-plant-growths and crazy cosmologies, he cracked and reverted to a standard lunar cycle. Shame.

The principle remains, though - will the next contribution bring something over-arching and, to me, unacceptable?

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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I guess I can live with the Sky Mountain. My wanting to avoid it is probably just 'wanton'.

Mind you, things like that can have odd effects, that puncture the fantasy unexpectedly. Frex, there'd be no sun-'dials' - they'd be straight. A mate of mine had two suns: nice touch. The moon, though, had a fixed 28-day cycle, corresponding to the 28-day months: neat, except the day-of-the-month supposedly gave the fraction of fullness (in 28ths). Eventually, we twigged that meant it 'pinged' back from full to new in one day! Most amusing, and I liked it, but after toying with ideas about silver-plant-growths and crazy cosmologies, he cracked and reverted to a standard lunar cycle. Shame.

The principle remains, though - will the next contribution bring something over-arching and, to me, unacceptable?

It is exactly those little details that can make the world distinctive though - it isn't always easy being different in the crowded fantasy market. They key is to be unique, but so alien or hard to learn that the setting is not accessible.

Yes, the sun dial would not exist. Navigation would be very different. One of the key differences is that shadows would not move. The shady side of a tree or building would be always shady - it would never get any sun. The sides of mounjtain ranges facing away from the Sky Mountain would be in perpetual shadow.

With real world science this would create some big problems, but hey, this is fantasy. I'm thinking the earth itself is a source of warmth (or earth god/goddess) in addition to the sun. Or maybe not, maybe cold darklands closer to the sky mountain (but in perpetual shade) are not a bad thing.

Help kill a Trollkin here.

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I guess so. But in that light, is Sky Mountain enough to make SharedWorld distinctive? Probably not. Just having deep shadows is a fiddly detail.

BRP does multiple genres. So maybe we should play to that. I always liked the Moorcock/Corum plane-shifting idea, but thought not enough was made of it. It's not necessarily counter to the Gates idea - the actual, physical gates are just more formalized instances.

Would that make SharedWorld distinctive - having multiple worlds, in those different genres? Harks back to Worlds of Wonder, which wasn't successful (was it?). But was that due to lack of support? Maybe we could enlist various monograph-authors to endorse their creations as a "plane" of SharedWorld...

That'd be a way to kick-start it! :)

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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Would that make SharedWorld distinctive - having multiple worlds, in those different genres? Harks back to Worlds of Wonder, which wasn't successful (was it?). But was that due to lack of support? Maybe we could enlist various monograph-authors to endorse their creations as a "plane" of SharedWorld...

That'd be a way to kick-start it!

No problem with the Green:). -It was designed to latch on to other worlds; first for the shared world, only second as a monograph.

In order to have some bits of detail, I did discuss a default setting for the outer world. For the Green to work it needed some form of outworlders exploring or invaiding the Green. Also, many of the traditions and legends connect to the outer world but hopefully these are easily adjusted or may simply be ignored by other writers.

The Gates still exist in the Green, they are the stuff of legend though and are not located in very nice places. There are hints that a special type of magic is necessary to activate them.

I think that would actually violate Chaosiums Monograph policy to officially support it.

Ouch! I hope this is not true. My original plans were to support it from this site and make it an ongoing thing. There was a lot that I wanted to put into the Green that I had to cut out to bring the page count down. The whole process of editing and formating about wiped me out though. Those parts took me waaay longer than simply writing the thing.

Heck, for all I know Chaosium may reject it. They have had the manuscript for weeks now and I have not heard that they even recieved it.

294/420

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Cthulhu Rising comes to my mind. It exists both as a series of monographs

published by Chaosium and as an ongoing project on its own website, with

each of its forms creating support for the other one.

So, if this is possible with Cthulhu Rising, I think it should not be too diffi-

cult to convince Chaosium to handle The Green in the same or a very simi-

lar way.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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