Making these ideas work

Discussion in 'World Building' started by bumblefish97, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Journeyman

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    I got a lot of themes I want in my world but I'm at a loss for how to make them all work together. I've accepted that my world is essentially a kitchen sink but still I'd like to make it so they work and don't just look thrown in there. Anyone have any ideas for me?

    The themes are: Dark Fantasy, Gothic Horror, Some Steampunk, Minor Dieselpunk technology, Little bit of electricity something like in rhune, a few of the standard fantasy races, demons, eldritch gods etc, "evil" fair folk, "regular" fantasy deities (though mostly uncaring/distant/in decline).
     
  2. Yora

    Yora Mystagogue

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    Sounds like regular Dark Fantasy with some added technology for me. Don't see how that would be much of a problem.
     
  3. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Journeyman

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    Some of it just seems like it won't blend well, like having gods, demons, and angels but then also the lovecraftian type gods. Also having all that technology and keeping the sort of gothic horror vibe
     
  4. Yora

    Yora Mystagogue

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    If you think they don't belong together, you have to make a selection. You can't really get a believable world when you throw everything into it that you think would be cool. You have to go and pick those elements that you feel are important to the story, and leave out those things that don't really contribute to or support the cental concept of the overall work.

    Demons might be cool, but if they have no real place in the story, it's best to just leave them out entirely.
     
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  5. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Journeyman

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    Essentially the demons are there because a big part of it will be things like black magic, demonic possession, and demon lords just generally influencing things, but at the same time I like the idea of lovecraftian elder gods somewhere in the deep places of the world. The struggle is deciding how they might work in the same setting and can't find many examples apart from Azeroth, but then everything is just kind of thrown into that
     
  6. Yora

    Yora Mystagogue

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    My own solution to this problem was to make them the same thing. A single type of entities that combine traits found in classical fantasy demons and eldritch abominations.
    Nyarlathotep is an eldtritch abomination that appears in the shape of humans to manipulate them for his evil ends. That's basically classic demon description.
     
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  7. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Journeyman

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    Something like that could work. As for the rest of the themes though, what would be the best ways to make like technology fit in with a standard dark fantasy world so that swords and stuff are still a thing even with their being firearms, and armour would occasionally still be used?
     
  8. Yora

    Yora Mystagogue

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    Muskets first appeared in the 1500s, the same time when the most advanced forms of steel plate armor were being made. Cannons even go back in Europe to the 1300s, many decades before the classic type of full plate armor appeared.

    I suggest looking at how things looked in Europe in the 16th century, like weapons, castles, cities, and clothing. It's still very "medieval" in looks, while a lot of things we consider "modern" are already widespread.
     
  9. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Journeyman

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    Yeah I'd looked into all that, though my world is like distinctly a Victorian aesthetic with revolvers etc
     
  10. Yora

    Yora Mystagogue

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    Well, that's even much later. That's the period of the American civil war where swords and armor have long fallen out of fashion almost entirely.
    Don't think about how to add these things to a medieval fantasy setting. Simply take your 19th century style setting and start thinking about way to make it dark.
     
  11. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Journeyman

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    Yeah they'd be a bit dated, though with some tweaks and reasoning I feel I can at least fit things like sabers and rapiers into it. Potentially even a few other weapons. Armour would still be tricky but things I've thought about are like making it more common among those who hunt monsters or in some crime syndicates rather than being common everywhere and still used in military.
     
  12. psychotick

    psychotick Dark Lord

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    Hi,

    My best idea if you really need all of this, would be to do some sort of parallel worlds story. Pick your main world and then travel tothe others. Or alternatively summon bits of other worlds to your world. Gods though, are always a problem. One idea might be to have two realms / worlds at war. Say the steampunk realm versus the woodsy elf realm.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  13. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Journeyman

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    That also could work, sort of like the planes in Rift and other fantasy settings?
     
  14. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Grandmaster

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    I think this can be cooked up into a good setting (sorry, today may be a cooking metaphor day for me). Using Greg's idea, the Fey's neck of the woods leads to a different dimension while the Eldritch usually come from somewhere else too. The Standard Fantasy Races either come and stick around or are exiled from the Fey lands. The demons can co-operate with either or just run around on their own from their own dimension or make war on the other two. The main themes of Gothic Horror and the Punks can blend together with what you want, as they seem to show up together along with the Dark Fantasy. How they come together is probably going to have to be a bit measured to find the right mix.

    And the big thing is going to be how this world sets into the story or the story sets in the setting. Experimenting and writing a few shorts for yourself in it might work too.
     
  15. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    Nothing works until you make it work. You can have all that stuff in the background. But if you try to put all that into a single story, that won't work. It's not that they don't fit together, it's that there's too much. As Orc Knight says, write a few stories. Stories with specific characters in a specific situation. Let each story illuminate some part of that world. Have one with just elves, for example. Another with eldritch gods. Maybe tie the stories together, maybe don't.

    So long as you're only world building, then everything will seem both possible and impossible, depending on the weather. :) You'll find objections to every solution.

    Also, why do you have all this? Why not simply reduce the scope?
     
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  16. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Journeyman

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    I'd started the first novel in my world but then I realised part way in that I didn't really have enough worldbuilding done to falll back on, not much was fleshed out enough,
     
  17. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    I get that, I really do. Every time I write a new story I am faced with stuff I need to invent. And then Iar invent some things that don't work and have to go back and re-invent.

    But I do it in the context of my work-in-progress. That is, maybe I have to decide on drow architecture, or the history of the Hollow World since Atlantis, or why the duergar invade at this particular time. I try to invent as little as possible--only what the current story needs, and only enough to tell the story. Inevitably I invent more, but all those notes go in my WorldReference project. Anything not directly used in a story goes there, even if it's contradictory or ill-conceived. Since it's not in a published story, it can all be revved and retro'ed.

    I do general world building sometimes. I get ideas. They come to me ... in the night ... [cue wolf howl]. All the ideas go into WorldReference, too. There are no ugly children in there. But I only have to do this for one world. I cannot imagine having to invent a whole world for every story!
     
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  18. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Journeyman

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    Yeah my biggest issue has been so I'll be writing and it's in full flow and I get to a point where whatever character it is goes somewhere and I've not named that place or really thought about what they'd see on the way there.

    And yeah I think having a lot of worlds would be tricky. Because there's multiple different stories I wanna write I've worked it out so instead of making a whole load of new settings each time, all my fantasy stories will be part of one setting, all my Sci Fi ones part of another, and Horror ones part of the 3rd so I only have to create 3 settings that I can have multiple stories in.
     
  19. SergeiMeranov

    SergeiMeranov Journeyman

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    Skip.knox hit this on the head. I'd say perhaps you're thinking about it in only the partially correct way. Worldbuilding should serve the story, not vice versa. If there's a story purpose behind all this other stuff then there's nothing that would prevent it from working. J.K. Rowling made magic work in modern day England. Stargate meshed a variety of deities together as aliens in Stargate SG-1. Anything CAN work, but I think the better question is what does your story need and why?
     
  20. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Journeyman

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    It's because of the world being for multiple stories and games that I'm having to build it more fully before I can really write anything. Saying that though, I have tied the demons now sort of to the Elder Gods, but the idea is still in its early stages.
     
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