Random thoughts being what they are take this all with a grain of salt... My purpose in this is imprecise, borne more out of a desire to set down some things and link, mayhaps, to beings who have said all that I am going to say with a bit more clarity and sense, than a rich intention to educate and awe the masses. That being the case, this may well be abandoned shortly.
My focus, however erratic, is the rich field of the tabletop role-playing game. Specifically D&D ( at present limited to the first edition of AD&D and earlier), though others will no doubt be mentioned in passing.
That much being said, I continue with my blatherings.
The BECMI sets generally detail a fairly specific type of campaign world, elves, dwarves, halfings, et al are fairly well worked out and a number of underlying assumptions are, as they say, assumed...
For today's exercise, I feel like hitting that sort of thing with a hammer. Not, perhaps, very hard, as I do still fancy such a game, but I will be trying to work out a suitable new world, were the BECMI rules still work, but has somewhat different assumptions. Along the way, I shall be passing various points from the ridiculous to the stereotypical. Such is life.
Starting in the grandiose, the world I will be expounding on exisits on a fractured weave of the space-time continuum. It, it's sun and other such planets circling said body, staggers back and forth through conflicted and dubious cosms. This plays little part in the everyday life of the sentients that bob about on it's surface, but allows us to chuck in whatever we might wish in terms of alien oddities and provides a rationale for the occasional disasters that shall be hucked at the poor globe.
Dominant upon this world is the Empire of Xarathique, whose Eternal Emperor struggles to reign in the competing thrones of its seven kingdoms. This is the homeland of humanity, ancient, proud, and beloved of the gods. Humans were the first race to walk upon the world, a fact that many of them refuse to let anyone forget, and most myths claim that the world was fashioned for them by the Eternal Emperor and his Paladins. The myths go on to state that the sight of this paradise enraged the demons of the pit and they plotted schemed, and eventually unleashed their creations: The orcs, a perverted mockery of humankind, designed with but one goal - destruction. This has, so far, not been achieved, but much knowledge and treasure has been lost, and cities lie in ruin scattered across the world. Humans are nearly as varied as they are on earth, though they tend more towards the darker skin tones, with olive being about the palest seen.
Three races, the 'demi-humans' are allied with and generally friendly with humanity, these being the dwarves, elves, and halflings.
Dwarves are forged in the Great Furnaces of the Life Priests in the bustling Republic of Almizotl. Prone to greed and seek to differentiate themselves from one another via accomplishments or body modification, as dwarves have a disturbing tendency towards similarity in build and feature. Skilled warriors, thanks to the persistance of the goblins, dwarves show a terrific lack of ability with magic apart from one small caste known as 'gnomes'. Gnomish magical talent remains restricted to illusions and the like, nonetheless, they are valued (and envied) in dwarf communities. The typical dwarf is of Neutral alignment, but extreme examples exist. Dwarven society is rich and boisterous, full of competition and contests.
Hailing from the Frozen Lands, the elves are tall, slender, beautiful humanoids who are equally adept with blade and spell. Living in fantasic cities carved from glaciers, the typical elf is stern and aloof to those outside their war-group or family, but tender and generous to their fellow members. Elves are most often Lawful in alignment (those that are not are typically criminals, outcasts, traitors, or simply supremely self-centred bastards). Due to their martial bent and sorcerous talents, elves are extremely successful at war, but their low birth rate combined with their affinity for the cold, slows their spread.
Exisiting on the fringes of human society, halfings are freeholders and frontiersmen. Small, quick, and with good aim, they live in small family groups that often squabble and break up. Most halflings are Chaotic in nature, though they are typically more benevolent than other chaotic types. Halflings are skilled in war, in a stealthy, ambushing sort of way. Guerrilla tactics are their bread and butter and 'fighting fair' is not something they consider.
Next time: The orcs and their kin.
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