Saturday, April 7, 2012

Wonders of the World

A lot of us GMs have played some version of Civilization. I think that game has had a major impact on the way I design cultures. It has made me think of what technology level different cultures might be at, especially in comparison to other cultures, and what the impacts of those differences might be. It has made me think about what resources might be available to a city and how ample resources really make a difference between a city succeeding or failing. But oddly enough, I guess it never made me think about wonders of the world.
Fletnern’s got a couple of wonders of the world, but they’re not very impressive. Port of Brinston is supposed to be the biggest in the world and perhaps more impressively the longest pier in the world. The Cathedral of Lady Vlodsdock in Parnania, considered the most beautiful temple in the world. If I thought really hard about it, I could probably come up with a couple more, but really, I’ve never documented those brazenly enormous projects that seem to mark previous civilizations (or current ones).
I think it’s because I’m way too practical to think about stuff like that. You’ll never catch me on the side of a mountain blasting stone away to carve four presidents or three generals. I don’t see the point of throwing away money on “spires” to pretend that some building is taller than it actually is in hope of tricking others into thinking you have just constructed the world’s largest building. I was going to say “vain hope”, but lots of stupid people were tricked into believing that the world’s tallest building was in Malaysia. Now it’s in Dubai. The building’s empty, but it’s really tall. See - I don’t have the whimsical (foolish) personality for these enormous wastes of time, ego building projects.
But role-playing isn’t about what I would do; it’s about putting yourself in that situation and acting as those people would. So I guess I have some work to do.


  1. In one of my settings I had the top of a mountain carved into a jinormus lighthouse, whose light could beam across miles and miles, both inland and out to sea. Several Dwarven cities have huge statues to Deities or ancient heroes. Everything else is on the same scale as a cathedral or castle - impressive, but not worthy of "wonder of the world" status. It appears I have some work to do as well... ;-)

    1. Not really related, but my dwarves had a civil war over religious vs. socialist. The nobles were religious and the "clan masters" are atheist socialists. It really makes the magic items (particularly the nobles') really cool!