GURPS · Worked Example

Reflections: Parts of the world I’m not so sure about….

(For those who came in late: having completed the initial sketch of a new fantasy world, I’m now reflecting on how it went.)

Hawkfolk 6The Hawk-folk of Valiroth

I’m not yet sure whether or not I like having these guys in the world.

GURPS Fantasy FolkOn the one hand, “People with Wings!” is a pretty cool schtick, and I think their role as defenders of the border suits them.  Plus I’ve always really liked the “Winged Folk” in GURPS Fantasy Folk.  (Which is such a great book, by the way!  it’s always been one of my favorites.  Highly recommended!  Go and get it!  Amazing stuff!)

On the other hand, they’re a high fantasy element stuck right in the heart of civilization, and generally I wouldn’t do that.

Why not?  Well, I tend to make worlds in which the “civilized” parts have a fairly realistic “low fantasy” flavor, and the wild, dangerous, marginal, or mysterious regions way off on the edges of the map tend more towards “high fantasy.”  This makes it easy to have plots that feature normal people stumbling into amazing and dangerous fantastic things.

But when those Hawkfolk turned up in Valiroth, I suddenly had a very high-fantasy element – a race of winged people! – right in the heart of civilization.  I’m still not sure I’m happy with that.  It wanders just a little too much towards gonzo for my taste – I’d prefer to have a world in which the average “civilized” townsperson is not so accustomed to wonders.


So – to put this post together with the previous one – it seems that I like some of the Villains a lot (i.e. the Wolfkin of Volbad and the Unshapen Cultists of Sinistrhal) but I don’t necessarily like the default Heroes very much.

What to do about it?

The temptation in cases like this is to dwell on the things you really like, and kind of avoid the stuff you’re not sure about.  Instead, I’m going to take the opposite approach.  In the next post, I’ll be working out how to transform those Hawkfolk into something I’d love to play with, without losing their essential character!


3 thoughts on “Reflections: Parts of the world I’m not so sure about….

  1. I think posts where you point out what didn’t go just as planned are almost more helpful than the kind where things go smoothly. My personal solution when dealing with these kind of generation schemes is to take everything as a suggestion and just change results when it doesn’t seem right.
    E.G, if I rolled, something that said, “This place sucks, that place sucks, and also this place over here sucks” I’d probably just choose different results on the tables for one or two, but I look forward to hearing how you deal with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do that, too – if you’re rolling for inspiration, and you don’t like what the dice are telling you, then just re-roll em, I say. In fact, I did it a number of times during the world creation process, as I note in those posts.

      Having said that – just to point out the obvious – there are times when a result that you hate at first actually turns out to be an *amazing gift from the dice gods*, if you’re just willing to roll with it a little. Trying to cope with an odd result can really get your imagination going, and open you up to new possibilities, that you never would have through to explore on your own. Of course, you know this!

      This is kind of what I did with that first roll that created the Hawkfolk. I didn’t like it, but I thought “Well, ok; let’s let it stand for now, and see what happens”. Who knows whether that was the right decision… I’m still hoping it will lead me to new kinds of fun!


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