||[Aug. 23rd, 2005|07:28 pm]
Dropping the 99 wordcount thing because I'm on a computer that doesn't have word processing software that counts words, for the moment. So...|
I've been toying with a D&D campaign setting in my head for a bit, because I've been playing it or games based on it's system a lot recently. One of the things which gets glossed over in our games is Alignment, however, which is a pity because that's one of the aspects of D&D that's always fascinated me. Good, Evil, these are not subjective concepts to be argued over by armchair philosophers. They're very real objective forces. A world with Detect Evil and Protection from Law is an interesting world. So I wanted a world where alignment matters.
The Exalted setting has an interesting aspect where each corner of creation has an Elemental Pole. So as you travel closer to the elemental pole of fire it gets hotter and hotter, going from savannah to desert to rivers of molten lava where fire elementals leap and frolic. As you travel closer to the elemental pole of Wood, you go from forest to Forest to It Goes On Forever And It's Full Of Trees.\
So I think to myself, "What about poles devoted to the Alignments, rather than Elements?" What if there was a place that was the source of all Good, or Evil or Chaos or Law or whatever, that you could actually, in theory, visit? In practice, the way would be damn hard, as even the pole of Good has piles of angels who don't take kindly to trespassers of the mortal sort (or any sort, really).
The other thing I noticed is that clerical magic has a lot of cool effects which interact nicely with alignment (Such as Detect Foo and Protection from Foo, as mentioned above). So I wanted to have divine magic be fairly prominent. This being the case, I decided the campaign setting had a lot of gods. Moreso than normal D&D settings, anyway, and divine ascension is also relatively common, and there are a lot of myths about new gods springing into existence (and old gods dying or losing their power, as well). It's not incredibly common, but it happens more often than in most fantasy games, and is a realistic campaign goal (if still a goal to be done over the course of an entire campaign, not a single adventure or two)
I've had a few other thoughts, both explaining the causes of and consequences of some of the above thoughts, but I'll leave you with the basic premises I started with, before I go further. Comments welcome! Thoughts, opinions?