Swords and Sorcery Sandbox Campaign
Ben: Here is my two penneth’s worth. (& yes – am under no delusions that these are anyone else’s ideas). Will copy this in the section ‘planes’ – any replies to this email I will post onto there too – so eventually we have a lot of ideas – or immediate agreement ;) – probably the first point- and then at some point we can sit down and thrash it out! ;)
I like what Erikson has done in his setting – and thus I would like to port some of the concepts he has straight into our world – but not 100%, and obviously not his gawds! The Erikson ideas are displayed so: (E). I would also like to nick other ideas – from Earthdawn (ED) and Nobilis (N), and Monte Cook’s planar book Beyond Countless Doorways (BCD)
1) There are planes of reality (E).
2) these planes are constantly shifting in terms of their total composition. Their composition reflects the portfolio of their owner. (N)
3) realms/ planes: these are philosophical, as well as physical embodiments of reality, in purest form. (N) (E)
4) realms/ planes: conquering these planes of reality empowers the planar warden (ECD term) with their energies, and gives them access to that realms’ ‘assets’: the planes natural defences (could be dragons, hounds of shadow, 1000s of werewolves – whose threat level depends on the size/ power of the plane). Thus conquering a plane of reality is a rather handy thing – it gives you more power and influence! (E)
5) realms/ planes’ power/ assets/ influence is proportional to both a) the number of worshippers it has and b) its physical presence in the material world. Thus a god who is no longer worshipped, is not 100% dead if aspects of its reality it represents are still alive/ in existence on the world. It maybe become a shadow of its former self…. may enter a dreamlike state eventually (Cthulhu?)…..
6) gods can be killed. [contentious – and this is an idea for now – not a statement of 100% commitment!] They have to be killed on their home plane for obliteration. Killing them elsewhere will lead to their physical form being destroyed -but if you don’t then capture and claim their plane of reality, they will respawn and grow (eg Sauron). [this is a contentious area – which I intend to think on!!]
7) gods involvement on the material plane. *How involved should they be? *
In Scarred Lands, the original ‘gods’, the titans, were very active/ present, living on the world, destroying 100,000s lives out of boredom, reshaping the land to suit….. they were fought and beaten and imprisoned/ killed by the gods – here is the wikipedia material on that: “The setting is set on the world of Scarn in a post-apocalyptic era where the world is recovering from a horrific war between the Gods and Titans, which ended 150 years ago and left the land warped. In need of a way to rid the world of the whimsical and dangerous titans, the gods – the children of the titans – decided to unite against their parents. However, the essence of the titans are inseparably bound to the world of Scarn, since they are the world’s creators, and so the gods are obliged to simply incapacitate their parents instead of destroying them. Hacked to pieces and/or chained, the felled titans are a constant incentive for the titan-worshippers to resurrect their masters and for the divine races to continue fighting against the titanic abominations.”
In Erikson’s work, they are simply individuals who have captured planes of reality (in the case of 2 gawds), whilst others are very ancient and alien (eg beast gawds)…..thus their ability to help/ assist is limited. (Not omnipresent!) But certainly able to manifest. Priests in Erikson’s work become physically like their gawd – and gain abilities resembling them. Thus priests become the main agency through which the gawd influences things physically in different locales. An idea I like. The gawds don’t like to hang around in the material plane – afterall, other gawds have their agents, and they don’t want to get captured!!
8) False gawds: ED had plenty of these – horrors worshipped as gawds. I like this idea. & it can be tied into the notion that they are a reflection of a plane of reality too (they may not realise it lacking the intelligence/ or they may have their own demi-plane of madness which is theirs) Thus shark gawds, crab gawds etc etc. :)
Thus priests still exist in this setting. But it would be good if they physically changed as they levelled to represent their gawd more – for the sake of flavour. ;)