Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Project Trinary: 30 Days of Worldbuilding - Pre-Game

Union Soldier
So after a significant dry-spell of writing to this blog, I'm back with a hopeful plan for the next 30 days. I've been kicking around a new project for the past few months, something I've been itching to do for a while now but needed to get certain things in order for it. I've wanted to create a new campaign world to run something in.

I've probably mentioned it here a few times; a futuristic world with mystic powers, monsters, mecha, and a few other things thrown in. I've been having a bit of a mental block of late. The last time I created a campaign world was back in the late 90s when I made a D&D setting called (rather unimaginatively) the Twin Worlds. It was a 3rd Edition setting, and was fun to play around in for a couple campaigns. It led to some highly memorable stories and lessons for my GMing style; some humorous and awesome ("Kick the Box" and "How To Kill An Army In One Round") and some not-so good ("Never Trap The PCs When You Want Them To Run" and "Greater Dislocating Weapons Are Fun In Concept But Not In Practice"). I've grown in my writing style and my interests, so the Twin Worlds have sort of faded into the history of my gaming career. It was a fun place, but I've got new plans and new ideas.
Bathal Host Warrior
The idea I've had is for a world someone reminiscent of the one in the game Starcraft; humanity (and a few other races) in a corner of a galaxy, fighting themselves and alien empires for survival. I want to throw in a little magic, and a few other concepts that have piqued my interest over the years. But I've had the hardest time trying to formulate where to begin.

After some searching around, I found a site that is a series of 15 minute writing exercises that you do over the course of a month. Written by Stephanie Cottrell Bryant, it covers a lot of topics to flesh out to simply get your background world in order. It seemed like a fun and useful outline, so starting tomorrow I'm going to give it a shot. I've set my alarm on my phone to go off every day at 12:30pm, right during my usual lunch break at work. With luck and determination, I'll be able to stick with it and flesh out a campaign world (well, worlds actually) by October 1st.

I'm going to try and post here as much as I can, and share the process (without giving too much away of the secret parts of the campaign bible).  I've already set up a new Obsidian Portal page for the Campaign Setting; Trinary. In the document, Bryant goes over some foundation elements to the campaign world:
  1. Map the World: Working on a star chart for the to-be-named Star Cluster the game stakes place in now.
  2. Magic Level: High/Average/Low Magic Setting - Trinary is starting "Low"
  3. Prevalence of Magic Creatures: unknown at this time
  4. Magical Cataclysms: An interesting point is made that usually there's some mystical event that changes the world, usually to the determent of all. I've got a few in mind that are listed as "The Great Victory", "The Unmaking", and "The Sacrifice". I'm on the fence about having The Sacrifice on-screen or not.  We'll save that decision for later in the process.
  5. Magical Systems: Basically, what types of magic are there in the world. Trinary will have Sorcery, Divinity, and Psychic "magic".
  6. Drakon Imperial Raider
  7. Wizard Types: What kinds of magic-users are there; I'm looking mostly at Essence Manipulators (wizards able to use the raw power of magic for direct effects) and Energy Wizards (wizards who use magic to affect energy types around them) with a few Spirit Callers and Hedge-Wizards (summoners, necromancers, and witches)
There are a few other foundation-points to go over, but these were the ones I've worked on today.

I'm excited to see where this goes, which is something I've needed for quite some time.  My creativity is starting to burble and grow, and I'm happy to accommodate that.

So tune in tomorrow for Day 1 of 30 Days of WorldBuilding.