Building a Random World. Part 4: System. By Yasadu De Silva

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Hello all,

As you know, the world I am creating is for a tabletop RPG (see Part 1 if you don’t know what a tabletop RPG is). Thus, I need to decide what tabletop RPG (or system) I’m going to use to play the world. The system is important because the character options and rules can dictate the setting. For example, the world’s most popular RPG, Dungeons and Dragons, is a RPG of high fantasy with flashy explosive spells. If I use D&D in my world with no modifications, my world will eventually become something closer to high fantasy, which is not what I want. So before I do anything else, I will decide my system. Below is a list of systems I considered, and their pros and cons.

Name Pros Cons
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying: 2nd Edition WFRP2 has a grim feel, which is good for low fantasy. In addition, it has many rules, including optional rules for armor layers and hit location (stab the torso or the right arm, etc.). It uses a d100, which I’m familiar with. WFRP2 assumes that you are using the Old World setting, which affects some of the rules (equipment, races, monsters, etc.)
Harnmaster  Harnmaster is a low fantasy RPG. It also has detailed rules for armor layers and hit locations, which are more detailed than WFRP2. It has low magic, being near-mundane. It uses a d100, which I’m familiar with. The complexity is mostly in character creation, but it might scare my friends away from playing. In addition, the only races are human, dwarf, and elf.
Runequest 6  It uses the same basic engine as another RPG, Call of Cthulhu, which is one of my favorites. One of my friends and his group is also familiar with CoC, so they might like RQ6. Has rules for health per hit location. Apparently, this book is poorly organized. For example, sprinting is mentioned on page 58, but finally elaborated upon on page 438.

After deliberating, I have chosen to use WFRP2.

Thank you,

Yasadu De Silva

Building a Random World. Part 3: Sociology: Races. By Yasadu De Silva

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By: Yasadu De Silva

Hello all,

I’ve recently begun building a world for a tabletop RPG. To see what a tabletop RPG is and what I will use to create the world, look at my Part 1 post.

Sociology is important because it is the people and races that inhabit the world. Without it, my world would literally have no sentient life, which isn’t good for the RPG I want to play (it may be interesting to play non-sentient life in a rules-light system though). To develop sociology in my world, I followed these steps.

First, I need to decide what races inhabit my world, and which ones are major, minor, and dominant. I need to roll a d3 (or d6 divided by two) and subtract 1 (d3-1 in short form). I get two. Then, I roll for major races. Rolling d4+2 gets me four. Finally, I roll for minor races. Rolling 4d4 gives me four minor races. Then I need to roll d100s to find out which races are in my world. I get: giants and humans as dominant; elves, halflings (hobbits but without copyright), lizard men, and gnolls (hyena people) as major; and hsing-sing mammals (here: http://www.lomion.de/cmm/hsingsin.php), doppelgangers, arakocra (bird people), and dwarves as minor. Now, I need to create subcultures for some of the races. Let’s pick: humans, lizard men, giants, and elves. After rolling, I find that: giants have 3 seperate subcultures, humans have 4, elves have 3, and lizard people have 2. I will flesh out these subcultures later. But first, I should decide where these races live. After rolling, I find that: giants tend to the mountains, humans to the forests, elves to rivers, halflings to the northeast, lizardmen to the southwest, gnolls to subtropical regions, hsing-sing mammals to the jungles, doppelgangers go wherever, aracockra to the southeast, and dwarfs to the grasslands.

Next time, I will be taking a look at a system, then I will be returning to Sociology for kingdoms.

Thank you for reading,

Yasadu De Silva

Building a Random World. Part 2: Geography and Seismology. By Yasadu De Silva

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By: Yasadu De Silva

Hello all,

I’ve recently begun building a world for a tabletop RPG. To see what a tabletop RPG is and what I will use to create the world, look at my previous post.

Geography is important in a world because it can shape civilizations. For example, the first settlements were built near water sources. Land formations such as mountains can make a nation difficult to invade. The steps below show my process in fleshing out the geography for my world.

I need to create a map of the world. For this map, I am using the free version of a program called Hexographer. The map is divided into 20 triangles, called regions. First, I need to decide my world shape. To make it simple, I’ll choose sphere. Then, I must find my world size. Rolling a 100 sided die (referred to as a d100. Six sided die are referred to as a d6, Four sided as a d4, etc.) I get a 39. If you don’t have the necessary fancy gamer dice, use this dice roller: http://www.wizards.com/dnd/dice/dice.htm. The 39 gets me a 4800 mile diameter (For reference,  Earth has a 8000 mile diameter). It also means that one hex on the world map equals 300 square miles. After finding the world size,  I need to find how much water there is. Rolling a d100, I get 71. Looking at the table, that means that the world is 80% water. I begin to add in the amount of land needed. Then I roll 4 d4s, or 4d4, to find the number of plates. Rolling a d6 for each plate size, I get: 5, 2, 1, 1, 6, 2, and 3. Adjusting for the inaccuracy of drawing, I get this: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1lnBRWcjbSBN2puOUVGYnExVkk/view?usp=sharing. Then, I roll for plate movements and earthquakes/volcanic islands. I get this:https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1lnBRWcjbSBN3ZuZFpmeVFneEk/view?usp=sharing.

Next time, I will be looking at political geography, or the various races and kingdoms that inhabit my planet.

Thank you for reading,                                                                                                                         Yasadu De Silva

Building a Random World. Part 1: introduction. By Yasadu De Silva

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By: Yasadu De Silva

Hello all,

Recently, I had the idea to start a new tabletop RPG campaign. A tabletop RPG is where a group of friends sit around a table telling stories about characters they made up. All the major points of a story are there (setting, plot, etc.) However, there are two major points in which tabletop RPG’s differ from collaborative storytelling. Firstly, what the characters can do in the story is determined by rules and dice. There can be many rules; for example, RPG’s like Pathfinder or Shadowrun, or very little rules, for example RPG’s like Risus or Dungeon World. Secondly, the setting and the non-player characters are controlled by one person who does not have a character, called the GM. Sometimes, most of the setting is included in the rules, sometimes, the GM makes the setting by his/herself. For me, this is the case. I want to make a dark, low fantasy (low to no magic) setting for a RPG. I haven’t decided specifically which RPG, but most likely, it will be a RPG with many rules.

To do this, I have employed the aid of a book called the World Builders Guidebook, by Richard Baker.

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It is now out of print, but you can find many copies floating around on the internet. There are many random tables inside, which I will use to build the world I want.

Thank you for reading,

Yasadu De SIlva.

Review of The Cartel by Don Winslow, by Yasadu De Silva

 

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The Cartel is a book by Don Winslow focusing on the Mexican drug wars. It is a sequel to the book The Power of the Dog, though it can be read as a stand-alone book. The book’s main character is a DEA agent named Art Keller. He wants to take revenge against the notorious drug lord Adan Barrera for the death of his colleague, which happened in The Power of the Dog. The book follows these two characters, as well as many others, as they are swept up in a murderous and  intense war between cartels.

What I like about its book is that it mirrors real life, though it is a fictional novel. The author obviously did a lot of research/ for example, the prison break scene in the beginning of the book closely mirrored one in real life… *cough* El Chapo *cough*.  The Cartel is a gritty book, with a lot of violent scenes. The book is also not afraid to get into the cause of this violence: Americans who want to get high.

There is nothing I didn’t like about this book. It was a gritty action-filled story.

Of course, this is only my opinion. Give this book a read and tell me in the comments what you think of it.

A review of Star Wars Bloodline(by Claudia Gray), by Yasadu De Silva

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Warning:may contain spoilers from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, and this book.

This book is set in the Star Wars universe. Specifically, it is set six years before Episode VII, and twenty-five years after Episode VI. It follows Princess Leia as a Senator in the fledgling New Republic. The main focus of the book is the politics of the Star Wars books in the lead up to the Force Awakens. If you were confused about how the Resistance and the First Order emerged, this is the book for you.

What I like about this book is the explanation it gives for the politics of the Force Awakens. In the setting, there is a gridlock between two factions, the Centrists, and the Populists. Readers who know a bit about early American history might identify the real world counterparts for these factions. The politics of the book don’t become boring like they did in the prequels. There’s also a little action and mystery mixed in which I like.

There’s nothing I don’t like about it. The book has mystery, action,  and politics, without making it boring. It explains the backstory behind The Force Awakens, and does it in a compelling form. I’d rate this 10/10.

This is only my opinion, you should read the book and comment on what you think of it.

By Yasadu De Silva.

The Gruesome Cycle, Part 2. By Yasadu De Silva

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Here is the second short part of a story I made, based on the setting, Deathworld. The premise of Deathworld is an alternate history world that diverges at around 1940, and the present time is at around 2010.  In it, both the Nazis and the Soviet Union invade North America, Europe, and Asia. Deathworld involves a lot of magic and supernatural forces. In Deathworld, the war has lasted until the present time. If you would like to see the first part, click here.

Waves of thousands of Red Army infantry charged down the hill. Behind them, a legion of tanks churned the mud as they rushed forward. The force meeting them was composed of occult terrors: demon-human hybrids, along with a line of conscript cannon-fodder. The demons tore into the Red Army like a meat-cleaver through butter. But for every one soldier they ripped through, 10 took their place. The front line of tanks smashed into the demons, crushing them and blowing them apart.  Yatsev’s tank was in that front line. He lifted a shell into the main gun. “Krylov, aim straight ahead. Vitaliy, full speed. Zhukov, eliminate any grenadiers.” “Understood” they chorused together. The gun boomed, and the shell tore through the demon-hybrid ahead.  As the Soviet line crushed the enemy, Yatsev began to feel like this was too easy. He was right.  Up ahead, in front of a mass of soldiers, a large hulking shape, built like a man, but with horns and claws, was summoned up. Thousands of bullets ripped through the thing, but it kept going.  Its claws sheared through 10 men at a time.  Yatsev heaved another shell into the gun. “Krylov, fire! Zharkov, aim for the monstrosity!” Yatsev opened the hatch and peered out. He could see a contingent of 5 tanks break off and go around the flank. “Krylov, another one. Bring its attention here!” The demon turned toward the direction of Yatsev’s tank, and took one step forward. Suddenly, the five tanks that peeled off slammed into the side of the demon. Yatsev could see the forms of the crew jump out. Just as they made it out, the tanks exploded.

 

Thank you for reading this,

Yasadu De Silva