What do you look for in a game setting? Part 2

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the two short samples of life in the world of Immortals’ Wakepart 1 and part 2 – culminating in the demon trial of the merchant Evani Georgia.

This world has a little bit of everything…

  • Coat of arms of {{ #if: Villejust (Essonne, Fr...

    Image via Wikipedia

    Controversial religious-based persecution? Check.

  • Traditional wizards and people with the ability to control raw elemental energy? Check.
  • Hired swords, thieves, knights for various causes, and nobility struggling with court intrigue? Check.
  • A combination of oral and written history viewed through the eyes of the people of the present day? Check.
  • Immortals seeking… peace, revenge, an end to their eternal suffering? Check.
  • A broad world waiting to be explored and filled in by GMs and players alike? Check.

As was discussed in a prior post, I’m seeking input on how to make settings such as those created for Immortals’ Wake accessible to gamers in such a way that it would benefit GMs and players as source material and yet provide enough flexibility that it’s not stifling.

Tourq and Adaen brought up some great things to consider, including:

  • Fear of the Unknown
  • Room for Conflict
  • Ease of Immersion
  • Hooks
  • Open Space

I think all of these are represented in some way or another in this setting.

As far as “Fear of the Unknown” goes… The impending arrival in the city of Belan’si of “The Nameless One” will introduce the players and GM to the raw power of the Immortals of Immortals’ Wake. In every campaign and session I have run where the players encountered these beings, there has been awe, fear, and change left in their wake – followed by the fear of knowing that a character has changed in some fundamental way and is now hunted by the very society they were living in.

For “Room for Conflict,” there’s plenty of that in the world. The mages are at odds with the church. The church is at odds with the “Changed” and even a bit in conflict with itself. The people are caught in the middle, with little safe ground to stand on when the crisis hits. And beyond that, there’s the typical thief vs. guard interplay, the tenuous balance of power among the nobles and their knightly agents… even a rival guild of thieves trying to make headway in the city.

“Ease of Immersion…” This one is tough. The only benefit here would be that many of the groups are loosely based on those in our own history. The history of the Church of the Mother is loosely aligned with that of the Catholic Church, with its militant push towards converting the infidels and seeking to control the hearts and minds of its people through the Inquisition. Nobility and knights are much like those encountered during the middle ages, with different families, power bases and ideals clashing regularly. Magic? Well, magic would be foreign to any setting…

There are many “Hooks” scattered throughout the setting – from strange artifacts left over from ancient wars to rumors of improprieties among noble families, from hidden agents of change within the Church to wizards seeking to control the demons themselves… There are many points that would serve to hook players and GMs into the world.

And “Open Space…” I have a crude map of the world that offers island kingdoms to explore, mysteries to investigate, and huge open spaces yearning to gain histories and inhabitants.

So I think all of these are covered in some way or another.

If you were a player or a GM wanting to know more about the world of Immortals’ Wake what would you look for first?


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