Wednesday, November 16, 2011

DM Advice - Worlds Come and Worlds Go

A long time ago the Mormons wanted a territory that comprised most of the four states of the south-west of North America. They called their proposed state Deseret and had high hopes that the powers that be would grant them their territory. We all know today though that they were given Utah. This makes me think about the grand expanses of tracts of land that we carve when we are creating worlds and exactly what it is that makes us decide to reduce/reuse and recycle them.

It also brings me to several variations of home-brew campaign worlds that I have ran in the past including Shylitheria and Astra Zolar. What happened to these worlds? Why did they not take off? Some may say that it is silly to put together your own world when there are so many great commercially available ones out there. It takes time, patience and lots of creative work for little payoff.

So why do it?

It may be directly linked to a previous post in which I suggest that gamers have to create something. For game designers it is not about making something that they would envision others would want it is about creating something they want to create.

A good friend of mine once told me "The purpose of the author is not to write to his audience but to write what he is inspired to write".

Those words ring true with me anytime I write anything for gaming. I have to admit that it is true that I would LIKE for more people to be into When the Navy Walked and It Came From Beyond the Still or to give my fantasy campaign worlds a try but the reason that I write them has nothing to do with profits, bottom lines or margins. I write them because I love to write them and I feel an overwhelming urge to create.

I needed to do something.

I suspect it was the same for the Mormons and Deseret.


  1. I've said repeatedly that my own fantasy RPG, Adventures Dark and Deep, has exactly one sales goal. To sell one copy, to me, so I can have it on my shelf and play it with my friends. If other people want to read what I've come up with and use it too, that's just gravy.

  2. I guess some people don't want to bother thinking more about how their world works. It's true game designers are trying to get gamers more involved int he creation process which is great. However in the end though a game designer knows best (usually).

  3. @Joseph - I have not played Dark and Deep. Tell me about it. I too really like having a published copy of my own material to game with. I can say "well it's in the official rules". hehe.

    There are so many fantasy worlds out there now. Would another one that uses the creation myths of the Greeks and turns them upside down involving 13 dragons really be that interesting? It's Shylitheria. How do you get people interested in your world? I really would love to know!

    @R.gers - I have several friends working on their own campaign worlds right now. I find it refreshing that so much energy goes into the creation of these games. Normally it is very obvious when a designer does not put much of themselves into a game. It is flat. I like a good vibrant world. To me the rules are not as important as the world and setting. I do like a good mechanic and a good set of rules do not get me wrong but I believe that the fluff really drives a game world and gets people to want to play it.