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Making these ideas work

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

  1. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    FWIW, bumblefish97, I'm going on the opposite tack. I did not start writing with a completely blank slate, but nearly so. I had the advantage of using real Earth as the setting, but that brings its own challenges. But I had nothing developed concerning the nature or society of elves, dwarves, orcs or anything else (except humans) and I wrote my first story. I didn't even have a magic system and my first story was about the discovery of a key element of magic. But I dodged by having the discovery go up in smoke at the end of the story. Its official discovery came later, outside the story.

    In my second story, I have goblins invade the Roman Empire. Where did the goblins come from? I didn't know. What were goblins? I didn't know, save that I pictured a horde, so that began dictating certain aspects. By the time I was done, I had a very clear picture about goblins. I also happened upon the notion that magic in Altearth develops over time. Those who use it don't know how it works, or have mistaken ideas about it.

    Then I started deliberately writing stories in order to explore some fantasy aspect of Altearth. The one that's soon coming out has a gnome as a major secondary character. I had a couple of core ideas about gnomes, but that was all. As I wrote, I was able to fill in details. I was also found a corollary to the process.

    Characters in stories leave the ordinary to enter into the extraordinary. In order to show this properly, I had to develop a fair amount of what daily life would look like for gnomes, and how others perceived gnomes in their ordinary routine. Only then would I know how my gnome (and those around her) would behave when thrown into unusual circumstances. The ordinary becomes like negative space that defines the extraordinary.

    Anyway, it is indeed possible to put story before world building. In truth it's a dialectic. Do both at the same time. But world building without having a specific story in mind, is never going to be more than a pencil sketch. With a story in mind, it is the sketch on canvas that will become a painting.
     
  2. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Scribe

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    Yeah I can see it'd be tricky without a clear story in mind. One issue I've got though is like because as well as novels I sort of have an open world RPG or maybe a series planned, I've found wordbuilding for that is sometimes different to novels, I gotta find how to cater to both
     
  3. Horus

    Horus Scribe

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    I'll echo the sentiment that you can have world-building take place before creating a story board, or even going too deeply into what kind of story you'll be telling. This is especially easy when you're creating a world for a D20 session, as you can't predict how PC's are going to screw with the world. You have to work around setting the player base will want, then tell a compelling story within by placing hooks around where you think the player's interest lay. Or at least that's the case in a free-form adventure. Even then, brace for murder hobos.

    As for your situation, I'd say you don't have anything that is too hard to blend. Lovecraft's stories took place in a fairly modern setting. So technology isn't too much of a problem for the eldritch. Same goes with demons, angels, and other races. Urban fantasy, and Victorian fantasy are already feature some of those themes mentioned. You just need to craft the world around what it's like to be the commoner, the adventurer, the ruler, or the demon. Examine each side, then make changes accordingly for balance. As for gods... they're better left aloof and distant. Their hand being felt or seen is fine, but physical gods are best left for climatic battles/world ending scenarios. Honestly, I can think of a dozen videogames/series/books that use a similar set of themes.
     
  4. Nascent

    Nascent Acolyte

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    Perhaps the issue is trying to use established things rather than working around it, but that might be what I'm reading into it.
    You can have gods, angels and demons as well as lovecraftian type gods by just saying the old gods slept and new ones took their place.
    Gods, devils, angels, demons etc. all of them could just be latest parts of older races that lived under elder gods but even to them elder gods are myths.
    Horror, dark fantasy and everything else could be worked in under that. Trick is not just going balls to the wall without explanation.
     
  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Sorry guys, I sometimes forget that not everyone here is eye-deep in writing novels. There are indeed other kinds of story telling and the methods will differ. Open-world RPG storytelling fascinates me, but in the way photography does--it looks interesting but I'm not going to dip any toes in it.
     
    bumblefish97 likes this.
  6. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Scribe

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    So far what I have as a solution is I've not fully decided where the gods came from or the nature deities/animal spirits/whatever I'll have. But as far as the demons anyway, this is a rough sort of draft so far but whoever created the gods was at odds with the old gods who to taunt him/her as much as combat him/her, created the first demon either a mockery of the gods or by corrupting one of them, who in turn corrupted a few of the others (not decided which ones because so far there's 9 "Demon Kings" but I also think I might have this first demon that came before the kings). That's all I have so far but by the world's modern-ish timeline, the elder gods are buried deep and sleeping (for the most part), the gods are sort of in decline, the nature ones help very few people because they don't like the industrial state of the world, and the demons/dark gods are gaining more power and followers, either from those who turn to them for new powers or who turn to them because they see no other way.
     
  7. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Auror

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    Armor vs firearms... it isn’t that they couldn’t make armor capable of repelling primitive bullets, it’s that it was prohibitively expensive. Fantasy worlds offer up a multitude of possibilties for why technologies crossover. You just have to find what works for your world.
     
  8. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Scribe

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    I could potentially make magic armour, though I want to avoid having magic as a catch all solution in my world. But I think a bit of magic armour wouldn't be too bad, one of my inspirations after all is the Elder Scrolls games, and its a thing there.
     
  9. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    You can certainly limit the magic. Take a certain amount of time, effort and ingredients/resources to do a spell or alchemy and the like. Even some effort in casting spells and the like or working runes into weapons and armor. An oath to fuel the magic for every smiths hammer blow.
     
  10. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Scribe

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    Yeah, my magic system is something I need to work on tbh, still deciding whether it's something people are born with or can learn. So far I'm thinking of it being a bit of both depending on the type of magic. Also to fit the setting, magic will have a lot of dangers tied to the use of it as well as the fact even the non banned forms of magic in some places will get inquisitors on your case waiting for you to slip up or trying to find ways they can set you up to look like you're doing something wrong so they can burn people at the stake
     
  11. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Auror

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    No need to make the armor magic to stop a bullet, or mitigate its damage, you just need a method to make its production more common/cost efficient. There are so many potential reasons for armor and old fashioned weapons to exist in a fantasy world it's kind of nuts. Why do people carry knives now? They are quiet and don't run out of bullets. Also recall, all a bayonet does is turn a rifle into a thrusting sword. If you creatures that are "hardened targets" bullets might be crap, the flexible bladed foil that can slip through body-armor joints at odd angles might be best. If the creature attacks via surprise and gets in tight... guns are damned near worthless. A demons armor might absorb energy well, but not resist a slash. So many ways to work it.
     
  12. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Scribe

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    Yeah for the creatures I figured, while you might be able to gun down an enemy soldier, a fast werewolf sprinting at you in a zig zag quicker than your aim can keep up with will be another issue, making armour and close quarters fighting necessary. And yeah the quiet stealth thing part of the reason crossbows are still in use in my world.
     
  13. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    And here's where I'll drop in again, taking a bit from my own world building. Humanity got the short stick and hold on through sheer tenacity, guile and insanity (to the rest of the world). A bit of alchemy and magical enhancements and some training and then you've got an anti-werewolf unit in the military. Maybe a Hulk out potion to toe to toe with the biggies that show up or others for a Captain America style. Though you mentioned a price, so they may have to be careful with such things, but if it can be tested and refined, it could make for a decent way to fight back.
     
  14. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Scribe

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    Something like makes sense. Werewolves are another thing I've not fully fleshed out other than I've taken the Underworld route of werewolves and lycans being related but different things, also the fact the original werewolves were created by one of the demon kings in response to a rival demon king creating vampires
     
  15. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi Bumble,

    You don't have to make your armour bullet proof. Instead you can limit your firearms to muzzle loaders. That means whoever goes up against them has one shot only. Alternatively you can add magic to your armour, but if you do that you also have to add it to your weapons, so it sort of cancels out. Also you can include multi-barrel pistols / rifles allowing multiple shots - changing the scenarios again. And the easiest way to limit magic is that only some people have it and what they can do with it isn't all powerful. Since I've moved in a more steampunk direction I've been tinkering with all these ideas.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  16. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Scribe

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    Yeah I'll figure out a balance between the firearms and armour. As for limiting the magic, yeah I wanna avoid it being too powerful and like not have spells for literally everything. Another thing with the magic I was thinking about yesterday though, if my inquisitors don't like/aren't allowed to use magic, how could they have magic-proof gear without enchanting it? That's something I'm stuck on.
     
  17. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi Bumble,

    The gear isn't magic. It's divine. Created by priests and enchanted in the name of their gods.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  18. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Scribe

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    That'd work
     
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