Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Change in Direction for Wounded Gaia?

There is something that bothers me with the two existing incarnations of Wounded Gaia. My original intention was to create something different and distinct from the typical D&D campaign world, something with strong flavor and features that'll make it stand out. But for some reason I keep detailing more or less typical D&D worlds, albeit cold and wild, instead of creating something radical, interesting and challenging to design.

In short, I want to think out of the box, but the box is quite difficult to break out of.

So I am considering a radical re-imagination of Wounded Gaia, possibly switching to the excellent Lamentations of the Flame Princess ruleset for added weirdness; my main reservation about using LotFP for Wounded Gaia is that I'm not sure how well this game will work with my animist cosmology. Another option is to use S&W:WB, which might be easier to graft the animistic cosmology into them but might add a "vanilla D&D" flavor to the setting, which is not necessarily what I'm aiming at.

So I propose the following:

The Frozen Age came and abruptly ended the Age of Blossom. Now the Surface World is a frozen wilderness, hardly tillable even in the most hospitable locales and an untillable harsh tundra or taiga in most places. Monstrous beasts stalk this icy wilderness, beasts that one were confined only to the furthest reaches of the north. But other things stalk the frozen wastes, metal abominations from the old Age of Blossom driven by unknown masters; terrible new things which grew from the ice; and the legions of the dead, who fell in untold millions when their world froze down, haunt the barren landscape. Only a handful of men cling to the world above, men of a hardy sort who have domesticated wild Caribou and Mammoths, and wander the wastes trading between the various underground cities, plundering ruins along the way.

The bulk of what is left of Humanity, however, live underground, shielded by rock and soil from the icy wind and torrents of snow of the outside world. In these vaulted towns and hamlets - remnants of old caverns, mines, dungeons and sewage systems - most remaining men eke out a living. The most prosperous (relatively speaking) underground towns are those who inhabit old mines or dungeons which still have some working Elemental systems, which enable them to create light and heat on a more or less permanent basis. The others, who have hidden in underground caverns, have to make do with expensive Continual Light spells to raise their crops, spells which must be case on precious gems and which eat gem after gem as time goes on.

But deeper underground, older things steer, things which were left over from the less savory sides of the Age of Blossom. Young warriors, Magic Users, clerics and rogues are needed to venture to the harsh surface world or into the treacherous warrens underneath, to seek out salvation for their people, and mayhap also for their world.

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