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Godforge - Opinions And Interest

 
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Would you be interested in getting this setting?
Yes, I'd definitely go for it.
2%
 2%  [ 2 ]
Yes, I'd definitely go for it.
2%
 2%  [ 2 ]
Yes, I'd definitely go for it.
2%
 2%  [ 2 ]
Yes, I'd definitely go for it.
2%
 2%  [ 2 ]
Only if it was fan-work/free.
2%
 2%  [ 2 ]
Only if it was fan-work/free.
2%
 2%  [ 2 ]
Only if it was fan-work/free.
2%
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Only if it was fan-work/free.
2%
 2%  [ 2 ]
I'm sort of interested, but I'd have to see more to be sure.
11%
 11%  [ 8 ]
I'm sort of interested, but I'd have to see more to be sure.
11%
 11%  [ 8 ]
I'm sort of interested, but I'd have to see more to be sure.
11%
 11%  [ 8 ]
I'm sort of interested, but I'd have to see more to be sure.
11%
 11%  [ 8 ]
No, not my thing.
7%
 7%  [ 5 ]
No, not my thing.
7%
 7%  [ 5 ]
No, not my thing.
7%
 7%  [ 5 ]
No, not my thing.
7%
 7%  [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 68

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Mike McCall
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:57 am    Post subject: Godforge - Opinions And Interest Reply with quote

I'm currently working on/running a home-brew fantasy setting. I'm getting a lot of really good feedback from my players and local group, so I thought I'd toss it up here and see what the reaction is. If enough people find the setting interesting/compelling enough, I'll look into licensing it and publishing it as a full Plot Point setting.

Godforge

There came a time when the gods of all the worlds grew jealous of each others' power and influence, and made war on each other. This Godswar devastated the worlds, and in the end, all the gods were destroyed and the universe ended.

In its place was created the Godforge. A disk less than a thousand miles across, it holds the last remnants of the races of all the worlds, who have formed a makeshift civilisation filled with warlords, petty-kings and strange tribes. More importantly, the Godforge holds the Shards of the gods who died. Those bold enough to venture into the Wastes can seize the powers of these gods, and eventually rise to the heights of divine power themselves. Some...instinct tells every denizen of the Godforge that when all the Shards of power have been claimed, those who possess them will form a new pantheon of gods and remake the universe. Do your heroes have the daring and strength of will to seize the reins of destiny and rise to the level of gods?

The setting is high-fantasy, with several classic races and variations, magic, alchemy and empowered servants of the "gods". There's room for dungeon-crawling, intrigue, war and all bound together by a backstory that puts the heroes in a critical role of determining the future of all reality.
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jblittlefield
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, but what makes it different from any number of existing fantasy settings with the theme of "find the lost treasures and get a really cool reward"? Need more details on what makes Godforge stand out from the crowd -- namely, what will hook me as a player/GM into your setting and make me want to play it instead of choosing another similar option? Wink
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Mike McCall
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jblittlefield wrote:
Interesting, but what makes it different from any number of existing fantasy settings with the theme of "find the lost treasures and get a really cool reward"? Need more details on what makes Godforge stand out from the crowd -- namely, what will hook me as a player/GM into your setting and make me want to play it instead of choosing another similar option? Wink


In this case, the hook is that the "really cool reward" plunges you into a vast diplomacy/war over who really gets to control the next universe. By the time the characters are Heroic, they should be reshaping the politics of the Godforge, and then they get to plunge into what is potentially an all-encompassing war with other Shards to form the new pantheon.

There's also a mystery about what the Forge is, how it was created, and who's manipulating it, but that's a lot more standard.
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jblittlefield
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NotSoSavage wrote:
jblittlefield wrote:
Interesting, but what makes it different from any number of existing fantasy settings with the theme of "find the lost treasures and get a really cool reward"? Need more details on what makes Godforge stand out from the crowd -- namely, what will hook me as a player/GM into your setting and make me want to play it instead of choosing another similar option? Wink


In this case, the hook is that the "really cool reward" plunges you into a vast diplomacy/war over who really gets to control the next universe. By the time the characters are Heroic, they should be reshaping the politics of the Godforge, and then they get to plunge into what is potentially an all-encompassing war with other Shards to form the new pantheon.

There's also a mystery about what the Forge is, how it was created, and who's manipulating it, but that's a lot more standard.


Not all that different from the LotR in which the WotR determines who will rule the next Age and who will shuffle offstage (albeit Godforge appears to be on a much grander scale).

Not that this would cause me to automatically discount Godforge, but there has to be something more...something that will bring the setting to life and as a result make *not* playing the game an unacceptable choice.

What have you got that will really hook players/GMs and make them say, "Now that's a setting that I just *have* to play!" Remember, the little details can be just as important as the big ones. Tolkien succeeded because his world seemed alive -- what in Godforge makes the setting seem "alive"? Hook me with this and you'll have someone who would give the setting a serious look. Wink
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starwars1138
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I voted that I would take it. Mainly because I'm a Savage Whore. I pretty much can't turn down licensed Savage stuff.

However, between a homebrew thing I've got banging around my head, Evernight, Shaintar (once Sean finishes it), I've got plenty of Fantasy on my plate. I think Rune Stryders might be cool - so I'd be willing to give that a whirl.
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tartex
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make it resonate with late Kirby and I will run it!
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Mike McCall
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tartex wrote:
Make it resonate with late Kirby and I will run it!


As in the Fourth World? Hm, I suppose it's not unreasonable to 'pitch' it as "New Gods meets King Conan". It definitely has an epic sense of great powers clashing, idealism versus a kind of raw self-interest that borders on megalomania. I hadn't really seen the look-and-feel as that Kirby-esque, though there is a lot of "lost technology" from the Godswar.
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JackAce
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jblittlefield wrote:
What have you got that will really hook players/GMs and make them say, "Now that's a setting that I just *have* to play!" Remember, the little details can be just as important as the big ones.


Here's an idea that came to me almost instantly after reding this thread:

The Godforge is really the last remnant of the old universe. The power emenating from the shards is what keeps it in existence. Each time a shard is claimed this power is weakened, and parts of the godforge start to disintegrate.

This would add a lot of urgency to the heroes quest, because it's absolutely clear that once all shards have been claimed, there will be no world left to live in exept that which the new gods will create.
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jblittlefield
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JackAce wrote:
jblittlefield wrote:
What have you got that will really hook players/GMs and make them say, "Now that's a setting that I just *have* to play!" Remember, the little details can be just as important as the big ones.


Here's an idea that came to me almost instantly after reding this thread:

The Godforge is really the last remnant of the old universe. The power emenating from the shards is what keeps it in existence. Each time a shard is claimed this power is weakened, and parts of the godforge start to disintegrate.

This would add a lot of urgency to the heroes quest, because it's absolutely clear that once all shards have been claimed, there will be no world left to live in exept that which the new gods will create.


Now that's interesting. Wink
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starwars1138
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll second that. Give JackAce a credit, publish it and I'll buy it Smile Hurry up - chop chop! I've got some extra money in my pocket and it's burning a hole in there!
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Mike McCall
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Godforge IS the last remnant of the old universe, but it's not the Shards that keep it together. And there is a time limit, but it's because of something else.

I'm actually kinda bored with powers whose price/consequence is "you diminish the universe by increasing your own personal power." In Godforge, it's the reverse: Shards are useless unless wielded by a sentient will, and the Last God isn't about to sit around and let everything unroll peacefully.

Though now that I think about it, having the power that does hold the Godforge together (the sentient primal elemental spirits) weaken over time due to the rash actions of Shard-holders could be a very cool element.
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Stinger
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:17 am    Post subject: Re: Godforge - Opinions And Interest Reply with quote

NotSoSavage wrote:
Some...instinct tells every denizen of the Godforge that when all the Shards of power have been claimed, those who possess them will form a new pantheon of gods and remake the universe. Do your heroes have the daring and strength of will to seize the reins of destiny and rise to the level of gods?


This, I think, answers the question, "What is your game about?"

The second question is, "How is your game about that?" If I'm reading it right that equals, "What does it take to rise to the levels of gods?" What will they need to do to achieve it? Are they giving up their humanity? Building up cults of followers? Killing pre-existing gods? Whatever, try to pin down they way your setting and the characters fit the answer to the first question.

The third question (IIRC) is, "How does your game reward the behavior it wants to encourage from the players." This last question is perhaps not so applicable since you aren't designing a game system (but who know, you might want to), but still worth considering if it helps you integrate the setting with the SW system better.

And on the subject of characters, another question to look at is, "Who are the characters and what do they do in this setting?"

Those first three questions are coming out of the John Wick/Jared Sorenson/Luke Crane design seminar at GenCon last year - check it out at the Sons of Kryos podcast. They're talking mostly about game design itself as opposed to setting design, but it is still very interesting stuff and well worth listening too.
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Mike McCall
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Godforge - Opinions And Interest Reply with quote

Stinger wrote:
The second question is, "How is your game about that?" If I'm reading it right that equals, "What does it take to rise to the levels of gods?" What will they need to do to achieve it? Are they giving up their humanity? Building up cults of followers? Killing pre-existing gods? Whatever, try to pin down they way your setting and the characters fit the answer to the first question.

The third question (IIRC) is, "How does your game reward the behavior it wants to encourage from the players." This last question is perhaps not so applicable since you aren't designing a game system (but who know, you might want to), but still worth considering if it helps you integrate the setting with the SW system better.

And on the subject of characters, another question to look at is, "Who are the characters and what do they do in this setting?"


Thanks for the comment, Stinger. These questions are useful to think about. The setting is actually a lot more developed than my initial post would suggest, I was just trying to get a "feel of the setting" idea down.

The answers so far:
Question 2:
- Shards are the most precious of all treasures. Most of the rulers are Shards, and a few have effectively become demigods, capable of bestowing their magic on their devotees. The race to godhood is what drives the politics of the setting.
- In order to find the Shards, the characters must venture into the Wastes, an area at the centre of the Forge where nothing lives that has not been twisted by the power there. They must brave the ruins of fortresses and temples, most of which are still protected by traps and guardians. Alternately, they can kill others who have absorbed Shard power and draw the power from them.
- Once the characters are Shards, they need to defend themselves from other Shards who will slay them while unlocking the secrets of the nature of reality that will allow them to transcend "having god-powers" to "becoming demigods".
- Finally, by alliance, treachery or war, they need to secure a pantheon that will agree to unite their powers and master the forces of creation to forge a new universe in their image.

Question 3:
- Characters who find Shards get an immediate level-up that can only be used on Shard powers. This goes for each Shard they find.
- Shard-powered characters are regarded with awe, reverence and fear by the common people of the setting (+1 to Charisma)

Question 4:
- The characters are the classic adventuring types. They organize expeditions into the Wastes to search for Shards, act as the main force for order in a chaotic world, and organize their own empires.

Hopefully that gives people more to work with. I have put a lot of work into this setting already, and I do have a strong idea of how things work. I will admit to being a little stuck on how to express this. Any more specific questions on things would be appreciated. Suggestions, too, but at this point I need to clarify my own ideas more than I need to have other ideas thrown at me.
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Stinger
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you've said so far tells me that these characters are not just typical Joe Blow fantasy adventurers. It sounds to me like they are godlings themselves, or people with the potential to become gods. This suggests they are of an order of magnitude more powerful than any "normal" person (and not just by virtue of game granted Wild Card status).

I think you should zero in on Question 2 some more. How is the game about becoming a god? Reminds me of the Proxies in Planescape actually, characters who are the mouthpieces for their gods, or the Avatars in Unknown Armies. They're so wholly consumed by their god that their humanity is compromised. They were once human, but are gradually leaving that behind and becoming something else entirely.

I suppose there are ways to model this mechanically in the game, but this I think may be the core of your setting (if I may presume to suggest it). If I were playing a character in this game, I'd be looking to explore this aspect fully. "What does it mean to become a god? Do I give up my humanity to become divine?"

Also, where are the characters (thematically) when they start? I really can't see them as a bunch of restless wanderers sitting in a tavern making up equipment lists for an expedition to go kill things and take their stuff (yawn). I see them maybe something like Greek heroes who don't need all that, and just go where they're supposed to go and do what they're supposed to do. They don't need a logistics train, if you catch my drift.

Finally, consider scale. The premise here says to me that even the Novice ranked character is like a Hero ranked character (or higher) when compared to an average person (someone who is not destined to become a god). So SW ranks maybe only mean anything when compared to other god-destined characters. Powers may be inherent abilities, and if so, looking to NE for inspiration there perhaps?

My own interpretation of what you've said makes me wonder if SW is the right system for something like this (my own thoughts now are drifting to Nobilis and Unknown Armies), but I guess that depends on what sort of focus you put on the game and how you implement the system/setting link up. If you can make this work with SW, it'll be interesting to see it.
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Mike McCall
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps I've misrepresented. Characters do not start as godlings: they start as people with the heroic spark necessary to become godlings and gods. And they do not lose their "humanity" in the process of doing so, so much as they transcend it while keeping their fundamental qualities. I'm not familiar with Planescape, but I want to avoid the attitude of Unknown Armies. There are two problems with that view, with respect to what I have in mind:

1) The old gods are dead. Dead and gone. They are not coming back, and the godlings aren't going to channel them. In fact, one of the definitions of rising beyond sucking up Shard-power is that you have to overcome the old influences. So the analogies you've chosen muddy the waters there.

2) The old gods were not, and the new gods will not be, archetypical manifestations. They're like the Greek, Roman and Teutonic/Norse gods: fallible, flawed people who function much as mortals do, but on a scale that dwarfs mortal concerns and agendas. Only now the agendas of the gods ARE the agendas of mortals.

As far as where they start with respect to everyone, I should mention that there is an in-game difference between Extras and Wild Cards: only Wild Cards can absorb Shards; only they possess the will and drive to avoid being destroyed by the power. They also tend to be the only ones who are willing to lead journeys into the Wastes to get their opportunity.

I have been running it with a certain emphasis on logistics, but then this really started as "hey, I'd like to run a high-fantasy game" and sort of blossomed from there. You're right in that they share a lot of the qualities of Greek heroes. But they also owe a great debt to sword-and-sorcery heroes.

When I think of the future of the setting (my campaign group is only just getting to Seasoned), I see something like The Scorpion King (or Conan or Kull, but their ascents to the throne haven't been filmed), only with power that sunders the dome of heaven and reshapes the lands of the Godforge with its fury. This is why I think Savage Worlds is the system for it (though I will admit to not having looked at Nobilis enough to say it's wrong).
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Mike McCall
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to let people (especially Stinger) know, I had my first session of Godforge after posting here last night. I made a few changes to the setting rules, including adding a set of rules for increasing reputation and recruiting followers, and the game just clicked. The changes I've made to rules and approach thanks to discussion here have helped a lot.

If this keeps up, I will write everything up as a full setting. Whether I release it professionally or just PDF it as a fan setting is yet to be decided, but I will do something more with it than just run it as my home game.
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Nuadha
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As another sucker for Kirby's Fourth World, I'd buy this in an instant if it had a strong Kirby techno-magic vibe, but if it were to look like another somewhat generic fantasy setting, I'd pass.

This is not to say that you shouldn't do it as a traditional S&S setting. Don't ever make something because you think it would sell better. Make a setting because you want to run it. Very Happy
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Mike McCall
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not a techno-magical setting, it's very much grounded in traditional fantasy. Sorry to disappoint, maybe once it's out you'll find a way to incorporate those elements, it wouldn't be hard.

And no worries: this setting is going ahead, and it's going ahead as I envision it. This poll was to see if there was interest in my writing it up as a published setting instead of my home setting (because there's a lot I simply don't bother writing down if I'm the only one who's gonna GM), and to see if talking with people about it could narrow down a few of my fuzzy areas about what I want to do with it (and it has).
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