Tuesday, 24 November 2015

[Worldbuilding] Discovering Old Maps Part 1.

Have you ever packed up all your stuff, moved, and then forgotten to unpack one box, stuck in storage, back room or shed or some place, then you open it years later and say "oh wow, I forgot I had all this?" Tag that emotion..

The Discovery

I left my mums place when I was 19, packed a lot of things in boxes to move, but my new place was big enough to expand into. I wrote a lot of notes into old books. At the start of a new year, around  February / March, Diaries become cheaper, so I picked up what was $20 hard cover, leather bound business diaries for maybe $2.

In these I would write my game rules, notes, adventures, everything. I even have old receipts and budgets for my lifestyle..

When I moved from that place, I had to go home for 6 months to sort out my finances, so most of my stuff, unable to fit into my small room, had to get put in boxes.

Digital Version of my world and how I made it
When I moved from there to my next place, I had the room, but I sorta maybe forgot about the older stuff, I maybe felt like my old notes were not as good as my newer notes, I was more grown up.

Also I had decided to make things digital, I could map things in the Civilisation game, sort out what was where and structure things more systematically.. so why would I ever use all my old maps again?

So they stayed in their boxes and I made all new maps.

Fast forward >> I GMd for several years, made a whole new version of my rules, shelved the old version, and with it, made all new maps >> Then I left Australia, travelled Europe to understand more of what makes roleplay interesting and returned to start the whole next version of my rules to match the growing and changing landscape that is the roleplay community >>

So 2013, I move into a new place, and take all my boxes stored in my mothers roof and put them on my shelves.. but I'm studying so hard, I have no time to actually check them

The Orginal (Upper Right) Albius, Drawn 1991
And now its 2015, a month ago I opened up a few boxes and started to sift through.. Cue tagged emotion.. WOW!

What to do with it all? a lot of it was almost useless.. maps we never got around to using, places that had no names.. is it worth it to bother to use a map because I made it 25 years ago?

Is it any different to making a new one?

Well I decided to stick to my original plans.. History is written by those who survive, so whose to say that the world map I had was 'legit' It could be a map that someone could have drawn based on theory and conjecture, rather than the actual world map.. that allowed for some 'adjustments for reality'

Then also, we had stories about characters from ages ago.. players who played in our games and I could ask them to recall their events and write them in this blog or put some together as 'histories' all manner of creative ideas can come from it.

The Lands of Albius, Drawn June 2015
So, I decided.. since my blog has been a bit sparse of late, that I would document the 're-creation' of my game world, using original maps, updated maps, notes, structures of ideas and things from 1989-1996, prior to the Civ Maps, and use them as my "original world" series.

My endevour, to 'match' enough of the maps and map notes together to make one cohesive world, without breaking any of the history, (but maybe breaking a tiny bit of continuity, but creatively) and document the process.

Link to be Added:

Friday, 13 November 2015

Veterans Day in your world

After seeing so many of the 11/11/11:11 posts, I was reminded of an old TV-show that had rigged up a trap to go off and shoot anyone trying to access a treasure chest. It was such a moment in my childhood that I never forgot, So I was going to write about that..

But then I saw a photo-shoot of returned, healed veterans, missing arms, legs, both, faces from burns.. and for a moment I thought.. no-one in a fantasy world would be coming back like that, they'd either die.. or get miracle cures / limited wish back to full health.. but I asked myself again..

What would happen to veterans in our fantasy worlds

Our lives are affected by events around us, what we see, how other people explain what they see, and the cumulative effect it has upon us.

So When roleplay characters have events around them, their lives will be affected as much.. yet I get the feeling that maybe some GMs forget to add that to their games and worlds.

How Often have you had NPCs in taverns talk about the last great war, how it affected them, what they did, their stories. More interestingly, how did the non-worldly events change things. Magic can be both napalm and airstrikes, tactical strikes and reconnaissance, so would a medieval war be like we think of a medieval war? or would it be more on par with WWI & II, even some of the skirmishes being played out now.

What of Healing? If a cleric or three exist on the battlefield, wouldn't they be the no.1 target for all strikes? Mass heals, miracle cures, Resurrection for the top brass or greatest heroes? Surely the local kings would be half decent warriors, and would go into battle daily, with the knowledge that no matter what, they'll be alive again the next day.

I don't know about many systems, but my Clerics gain XP for healing, based on the wound and how much healing took place. After a week of constant, regular healing, plus surgery, they'd gain a level or maybe two, sure the diminishing returns would take out some of the smaller HP heals, but any mid level Cleric/Priest with a minor in healing, is going to get more than half a dozen levels from just being on call.. 

and if they were running M.A.S.H. I'd have some epic level doctors by the end of the campaign.

What of the wounded? the dying? ok guys, rush them all into this 10x10m room, and I'll mass heal everyone to stop bleeding and close severe wounds.. then the junior clerics can take over and do some extra healing on the severely wounded, and within a few days the entire platoon would be back on their feet, right as rain.

Only the dead would be the limiter, so get those clerics in some arrow resistant armour, out on the battlefield, and heal them before they die, not much, just enough to survive the trip back to hospital.

Wars would go on for much longer. Soldiers would gain enough XP to level up, by the end of a campaign, you'd have an army of 3rd or 4th levels.. that's a scary thought.. maybe that's why they go fighting, for massive XP boosts.

Sieges might be the same, except a few mages that summon up food would counter the main problem, and the sight buff spells would take care of sappers and other tricks from the enemy..

Again Mages, they could do all the fighting, summon up creatures, back him up with a cleric to cover the possible backlash and damage.. (Magic the Gathering?)

begs the Question.. why hire, train and pay an army, if a few mages and clerics would do.

Would War even exist in such a fantasy world? could it still exist? The enemy declares war on your kingdom, so you send over an assassin, kills the opposition king, then maybe a bard, disguised using voice and illusion spells, pretends he's king for a bit, strikes up a treaty, then retires, to allow his 'friend' (you) to rule his lands too.

But the question in the beginning is, if wars are changed, people arn't coming back missing parts, burnt faces, and the greater populace doesn't see this, how will they be affected.. how will they think about wars.. just some crazy game played by kings? go off, have a good fight, don't get killed and you'll be right? return all levelled up? ready to be a hero?

Doesn't feel ok to talk about it in such glib terms, but I think that's the survival mechanism kicking in, so would a medieval person feel the same way about it, not having yearly reminders?