9/09/2009

Published on 9/09/2009 Written by 6 comments

Is this a good idea?

I've had an idea for a campaign world floating around in my head for the better part of ten years. Its an idea thats always there but as soon as I get close I start to get uneasy about it. You see, this idea is out of my usual pulp sword and sorcery genre and that is disconcerting to me. For some reason as much as I want create it, I just chicken out.

Here is the basic idea:

Add 1 part collapsing Roman Empire
Add 1 part wild west
Add 1 part Steampunk
Add 1 part H.P Lovecraft
Add 1 part Harry Potter (at least the idea of vast magical institutions)

Mix all ingredients and hope for the best.

I envision a vast empire struggling for its last breath. As the empire dies new masters are claiming their stake in the once rich and now unprotected outer provinces. With the diffusion of power new technologies are birthed unaffected by Imperial stagnation, and while the old world crumbles a new one is born.

The old world is still there of course. Some with old world values have become more rigid in their views (the Priests) while others have adapted and even prospered (the Mages). Many of the old orders have disappeared but some new ones have been created (knights have become gunslingers, of course inspired by Stephen King).

All the while dark forces are looming in the shadows, and sinister secrets that have been hidden for thousands of years are waiting to be discovered.

Thats about all I have so far. I want to create this world and I want to publish it, at least in a limited way. So what I really need to know from you is... Is this a good idea, and what do you think?

6 comments:

  1. As an aside, if you looking for the "death of an empire" vibe then new tech is out of place. The collapse of civilization (like rome) lead to the dark ages, which were just the medieval version of mad max.

    Its a backwards time, you might want the empire to be steampunk, but to be collapsing, to get the feeling of a dark age looming ahead, as the old empire dies and before a new one can be built from the ashes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The death of an empire is a good place to find the immediate, easily grasped major conflict for characters to take sides on.

    They could be old guard institutionalists, fighting to preserve the regime that stabilized and modernized surrounding lands. Or they could fight to build a new order to stave off the encroaching chaos. Or they could be the harbingers of that chaos, knowing that the old empire must be burnt down completely before something new can arise.

    Give those sides in the conflict hooks to immediately grasp them on a superficial level, but also layers for more subtle interpretations. The chaos-bringers aren't just slavering barbarians; they have a legitimate beef with the standing way of doing things and maybe a beneficial, if different, way of life to offer.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lots of interesting ideas there but getting them to work together could be difficult.

    So, let me throw out some ideas:

    Steam technology and gunpowder is a legal monopoly of the church which understands it through practical, not scientific, means. (See H. Beam Piper's Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen.) Making them a power of stasis and the status quo.

    A new, young and active Emperor is trying to inspire and rebuild the collapsing Empire. The pistol armed knights are his paladin, his shining examples of the new way. (See Dogs in the Vineyard.)

    The mages, under the direction of A Great Wizard, are also seeking to save the Empire. But from the ground up, by spreading knowledge and building local institutions. This places them as odds with the Church and the Empire, making them act in secret more often than not.

    Trying to tear this all down of the Cults of the Ancient Stars, who are promised great power for opening the sealed doorways. Opposing the Cults in the only think that will get Knight, Priest and MAge to work together.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The idea is a fun one, Im not so sure all of those things would work, it would take a looooooooooot of thought and planning, probably with some playtesting t'boot.

    I like the way that Seaofstarsrpg put the scenario the best.
    Still, Im all for out there ideas that shouldnt work but do, perhaps this shall be the new and awesome next gen spelljammer ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. The death of an empire is a good place to find the immediate, easily grasped major conflict for characters to take sides on.

    They could be old guard institutionalists, fighting to preserve the regime that stabilized and modernized surrounding lands. Or they could fight to build a new order to stave off the encroaching chaos. Or they could be the harbingers of that chaos, knowing that the old empire must be burnt down completely before something new can arise.

    Give those sides in the conflict hooks to immediately grasp them on a superficial level, but also layers for more subtle interpretations. The chaos-bringers aren't just slavering barbarians; they have a legitimate beef with the standing way of doing things and maybe a beneficial, if different, way of life to offer.

    ReplyDelete
  6. As an aside, if you looking for the "death of an empire" vibe then new tech is out of place. The collapse of civilization (like rome) lead to the dark ages, which were just the medieval version of mad max.

    Its a backwards time, you might want the empire to be steampunk, but to be collapsing, to get the feeling of a dark age looming ahead, as the old empire dies and before a new one can be built from the ashes.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting at Rule of the Dice.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...