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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 01 Feb 2019 17:48
by Salmoneus
gestaltist wrote:
31 Jul 2018 13:16
I just had a random idea I thought I'd share. What if god(s) of a setting were like developers of a MMO game, releasing patches and expansions when they discover exploits or create new content?

I have noticed that conworlds which have god(s) usually fall into one of two categories: either there is a god (or gods) who create the world and then let it run its course according to the rules they set out or gods are immanent in the world and are themselves subject to the world's rules. With this idea, gods would be periodically involved, altering the rules, changing the geography or even introducing new magic (or removed old capabilities which they consider overpowered).

Not sure if I will ever use this idea myself but I thought it was interesting and unique enough to share here. :)
This happens in many well-known conworlds, yes.

For example, the gods, or God, in Tolkien's world at one point makes the world spherical, removes two continents and adds a new one just for fun.

The gods in Forgotten Realms change how magic works a couple of times; and various continents are juggled around a few times as well, although I think in-world that's described as being beyond the control of the gods.

The most controlling example, however, may be in the Ravenloft setting. Ravenloft is composed of different "Domains", which are periodically created (or sometimes stolen from other worlds) by seemingly-sadistic "Powers That Be", and the 'rules' of what things are possible in which domains periodically alter seemingly at the whim of the Powers.

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 02 Feb 2019 13:19
by gestaltist
Salmoneus wrote:
01 Feb 2019 17:48
gestaltist wrote:
31 Jul 2018 13:16
I just had a random idea I thought I'd share. What if god(s) of a setting were like developers of a MMO game, releasing patches and expansions when they discover exploits or create new content?

I have noticed that conworlds which have god(s) usually fall into one of two categories: either there is a god (or gods) who create the world and then let it run its course according to the rules they set out or gods are immanent in the world and are themselves subject to the world's rules. With this idea, gods would be periodically involved, altering the rules, changing the geography or even introducing new magic (or removed old capabilities which they consider overpowered).

Not sure if I will ever use this idea myself but I thought it was interesting and unique enough to share here. :)
This happens in many well-known conworlds, yes.

For example, the gods, or God, in Tolkien's world at one point makes the world spherical, removes two continents and adds a new one just for fun.

The gods in Forgotten Realms change how magic works a couple of times; and various continents are juggled around a few times as well, although I think in-world that's described as being beyond the control of the gods.

The most controlling example, however, may be in the Ravenloft setting. Ravenloft is composed of different "Domains", which are periodically created (or sometimes stolen from other worlds) by seemingly-sadistic "Powers That Be", and the 'rules' of what things are possible in which domains periodically alter seemingly at the whim of the Powers.
I think Ravenloft is the closest to what I had in mind when I was writing this. I've never heard of that setting before. Will check it out. Thanks!

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 02 Feb 2019 14:14
by Salmoneus
You've never heard of Ravenloft!?

Ugh, kids these days! Next you'll be saying you don't know about Dark Sun, or Spelljammer, or Planescape...


Ravenloft is/was the D&D setting for horror stories. Different 'Domains' have different horror flavours, reflecting their different 'Darklords'. A Darklord is someone who is considered morally beyond redemption; the Powers 'reward' the evil with Domains, in which the Darklord has great powers, but ultimately the Domain is designed as a sadistic prison for the Darklord, intended to torture them eternally. Domains can be destroyed if their Darklord is killed, or may split in two, or merge. In a period known as the Grand Conjunction, lots of Domains were moved to new locations.

Externally, of course, these changes are driven by marketing concerns. Within Ravenloft, however, they appear to be largely arbitrary.

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 02 Feb 2019 18:11
by gestaltist
Salmoneus wrote:
02 Feb 2019 14:14
You've never heard of Ravenloft!?

Ugh, kids these days! Next you'll be saying you don't know about Dark Sun, or Spelljammer, or Planescape...
I know these three. :)
Ravenloft is/was the D&D setting for horror stories. Different 'Domains' have different horror flavours, reflecting their different 'Darklords'. A Darklord is someone who is considered morally beyond redemption; the Powers 'reward' the evil with Domains, in which the Darklord has great powers, but ultimately the Domain is designed as a sadistic prison for the Darklord, intended to torture them eternally. Domains can be destroyed if their Darklord is killed, or may split in two, or merge. In a period known as the Grand Conjunction, lots of Domains were moved to new locations.

Externally, of course, these changes are driven by marketing concerns. Within Ravenloft, however, they appear to be largely arbitrary.
Sounds... very D&D. One of those settings driven by marketing, as you aptly put it. I played tabletop RPGs a lot when I was younger but I was never a big fan of D&D settings and I don't think I have played any other than Forgotten Realms. We used to favor the World of Darkness, Call of Cthulhu and our own settings.

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 02 Feb 2019 20:50
by Salmoneus
You know of Spelljammer!?



Forgotten Realms was terribly generic. But Ravenloft had a lot of appeal; it could mix campness with genuine darkness. And each Darklord was effectively in their own little ironic Dantean tragedy. It wasn't, of course, as po-faced as Vampire: The Masquerade or the like, but then I never really took rpging very seriously, so...


Planescape was the best, though.

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 03 Feb 2019 02:40
by Pabappa
What about a race of people who are genetically mutated to be happy? Its as if they are all always high on a drug, but with no need for any drug to trigger it. They also have reduced sensitivity to pain, though this grows with age since small children need to feel pain to prevent htem from clawing their own eyes out. these people will always be happy and therefore content to live in very poor conditions, and will have less will to fight against other tribes or even to protect themselves against animals. and, other tribes will be jealous of these people for being so much happier than all other peoples. Yet, they survive even so because they are willing to live in pestilential conditions where no other humans would be happy.

for a biological causative agent, i propsoe a bacteria that gets into the brain at birth and grows slowly so that childhood is seen as the one sad time in a person's life but that, growing up, the child becomes happier quickly as the bacterium takes over their mind.

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 04 Feb 2019 05:06
by LinguoFranco
My world has a race of humanoid carnivores that figured out a way to sustain their own civilization. They do practice farming, but mainly to feed the animals they herd rather than for themselves, as well as for other purposes as well, like medicine plants. Their diets consist mainly of fish and rabbits. I haven’t decided what they will look like yet other than being humanoid in shape and having sharp teeth.

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 04 Feb 2019 09:32
by gestaltist
Salmoneus wrote:
02 Feb 2019 20:50
You know of Spelljammer!?
I've never played in that setting but I've read about it. I think I first came across it when trying to find inspiration for a fantasy-scifi crossover setting.
Forgotten Realms was terribly generic.
Which was the setting's strength, in a way. It was almost like a blank canvas you needed to fill with your own story. The other settings we discuss were much more... opinionated, I guess?
LinguoFranco wrote:
04 Feb 2019 05:06
My world has a race of humanoid carnivores that figured out a way to sustain their own civilization. They do practice farming, but mainly to feed the animals they herd rather than for themselves, as well as for other purposes as well, like medicine plants. Their diets consist mainly of fish and rabbits. I haven’t decided what they will look like yet other than being humanoid in shape and having sharp teeth.
Carnivorous sapients are seriously underrated. My auropaths are carnivorous.

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 10 Feb 2019 00:18
by k1234567890y
a pre-industrial society with most of the population get ordained as monks and nuns sometimes in their lives. In that society, there's a custom for every family to send a daughter to the local temple to be ordained as nun when she is born; besides, the most smart child of a village is usually sent to a temple to be ordained; moreover, females that have given birth to many children also get ordained as nuns for the rest of their lives.

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 10 Feb 2019 19:38
by WeepingElf
An alternative history which came to my mind when stepping out of the shower two days ago:

What if Rome had adopted the Etruscan language, and built its empire speaking and spreading that language? (After all, they did once have an Etruscan nobility.) So the whole Romance branch of Indo-European would be excised and replaced by a non-IE family descending from Etruscan! Also, the many Latin and Romance loanwords in various non-Romance languages would be replaced by Etruscan ones.

I call this the Etruscan Romance Alternative Timeline (ERAT). Surely an interesting idea, conlang-wise, but (1) Etruscan is hard to work with because it is so poorly known and (2) I have enough other projects to wrap my mind around already.

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 11 Feb 2019 20:07
by k1234567890y
WeepingElf wrote:
10 Feb 2019 19:38
An alternative history which came to my mind when stepping out of the shower two days ago:

What if Rome had adopted the Etruscan language, and built its empire speaking and spreading that language? (After all, they did once have an Etruscan nobility.) So the whole Romance branch of Indo-European would be excised and replaced by a non-IE family descending from Etruscan! Also, the many Latin and Romance loanwords in various non-Romance languages would be replaced by Etruscan ones.

I call this the Etruscan Romance Alternative Timeline (ERAT). Surely an interesting idea, conlang-wise, but (1) Etruscan is hard to work with because it is so poorly known and (2) I have enough other projects to wrap my mind around already.
if it is not because of the scarcity of the data on the Etruscan vocabulary(and the lexicon of other Tyrsenian languages), this would be a great idea.

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 11 Feb 2019 20:51
by WeepingElf
k1234567890y wrote:
11 Feb 2019 20:07
WeepingElf wrote:
10 Feb 2019 19:38
An alternative history which came to my mind when stepping out of the shower two days ago:

What if Rome had adopted the Etruscan language, and built its empire speaking and spreading that language? (After all, they did once have an Etruscan nobility.) So the whole Romance branch of Indo-European would be excised and replaced by a non-IE family descending from Etruscan! Also, the many Latin and Romance loanwords in various non-Romance languages would be replaced by Etruscan ones.

I call this the Etruscan Romance Alternative Timeline (ERAT). Surely an interesting idea, conlang-wise, but (1) Etruscan is hard to work with because it is so poorly known and (2) I have enough other projects to wrap my mind around already.
if it is not because of the scarcity of the data on the Etruscan vocabulary(and the lexicon of other Tyrsenian languages), this would be a great idea.
Thank you! Of course, we as conlangers could fill in the "missing" Etruscan words ;)

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 12 Feb 2019 13:14
by gestaltist
WeepingElf wrote:
10 Feb 2019 19:38
An alternative history which came to my mind when stepping out of the shower two days ago:

What if Rome had adopted the Etruscan language, and built its empire speaking and spreading that language? (After all, they did once have an Etruscan nobility.) So the whole Romance branch of Indo-European would be excised and replaced by a non-IE family descending from Etruscan! Also, the many Latin and Romance loanwords in various non-Romance languages would be replaced by Etruscan ones.

I call this the Etruscan Romance Alternative Timeline (ERAT). Surely an interesting idea, conlang-wise, but (1) Etruscan is hard to work with because it is so poorly known and (2) I have enough other projects to wrap my mind around already.
I would read that book.

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 13 Feb 2019 17:38
by k1234567890y
k1234567890y wrote:
10 Feb 2019 00:18
a pre-industrial society with most of the population get ordained as monks and nuns sometimes in their lives. In that society, there's a custom for every family to send a daughter to the local temple to be ordained as nun when she is born; besides, the most smart child of a village is usually sent to a temple to be ordained; moreover, females that have given birth to many children also get ordained as nuns for the rest of their lives.
And in that place, temples are important for the education of everyone.

What do you think of these ideas? are they realistic enough?

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 13 Feb 2019 20:29
by gestaltist
k1234567890y wrote:
13 Feb 2019 17:38
k1234567890y wrote:
10 Feb 2019 00:18
a pre-industrial society with most of the population get ordained as monks and nuns sometimes in their lives. In that society, there's a custom for every family to send a daughter to the local temple to be ordained as nun when she is born; besides, the most smart child of a village is usually sent to a temple to be ordained; moreover, females that have given birth to many children also get ordained as nuns for the rest of their lives.
And in that place, temples are important for the education of everyone.

What do you think of these ideas? are they realistic enough?
Hard to say without context. How do you imagine such a custom would develop in the first place?

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 13 Feb 2019 23:31
by Keenir
k1234567890y wrote:
13 Feb 2019 17:38
k1234567890y wrote:
10 Feb 2019 00:18
a pre-industrial society with most of the population get ordained as monks and nuns sometimes in their lives. In that society, there's a custom for every family to send a daughter to the local temple to be ordained as nun when she is born; besides, the most smart child of a village is usually sent to a temple to be ordained; moreover, females that have given birth to many children also get ordained as nuns for the rest of their lives.
And in that place, temples are important for the education of everyone.

What do you think of these ideas? are they realistic enough?
certainly realistic enough aplenty - its a mix of certain denominations of Buddhism (everyone spends at least a year or few as a monk), Tibetan Buddhism (every family sends a son to study to be a monk), and various monastic traditions of Christianity.

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 14 Feb 2019 04:40
by k1234567890y
Keenir wrote:
13 Feb 2019 23:31

certainly realistic enough aplenty - its a mix of certain denominations of Buddhism (everyone spends at least a year or few as a monk), Tibetan Buddhism (every family sends a son to study to be a monk), and various monastic traditions of Christianity.
actually buddhist traditions are where I drew my inspirations; also in that society a nun invented the script for their own language, and temple also played an important role in the spread of literacy before modern era.
gestaltist wrote:
13 Feb 2019 20:29
Hard to say without context. How do you imagine such a custom would develop in the first place?
Cultural contact, they had contacts with some monks who went to their land through a ship, and they learnt some if not many advanced knowledge from the monks, but they also developed their own traditions regarding monaticism.

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 14 Feb 2019 09:09
by gestaltist
Yeah, sounds realistic enough. Why send mothers to be nuns though? Wouldn't they be more useful as grandmothers? There's a reason why in most cultures, monasticism is linked to celibacy, not parenthood.

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 14 Feb 2019 17:19
by elemtilas
gestaltist wrote:
14 Feb 2019 09:09
Yeah, sounds realistic enough. Why send mothers to be nuns though? Wouldn't they be more useful as grandmothers? There's a reason why in most cultures, monasticism is linked to celibacy, not parenthood.
Perhaps monasticism isn't linked to celibacy in that culture or religion? Perhaps it is more a lay vocation, something you are in addition to being mother or grandmother, than a full on priestly vocation.

Among the Daine, monasticism is not linked to celibacy per se. But on the other wing, the population that find their way to this calling have, generally speaking, moved beyond all that in a manner of speaking. They are mostly elders and super-elders. The been there, done that, gotten the commemorative racca folks. And very often the done all that several times over folks. The world weary, yet inwardly powerful: those who have found for themselves the new way. There is a bit of wisdom literature on becoming a monk.
The young man sees the venerable monk walking in the woods.
He asks her: “How might I become a monk?”
Then she says: “Who are thou?”
Then he: “Yapping Dog.”
Then she, smiling: “Thou are not yet ready, child!”
She asks: “Have thou a mate?”
-- “Nay.”
“Has thou a lover, then?”
-- “Nay.”
“Are thy parents living?”
-- “Yea.”
“Has thou wandered long in the wide world?”
-- “Nay.”
“Are thou a master of ten crafts?”
-- “Nay, of one only.”

Then she, smiling inwardly: “Thou are not yet ready, child! When thou has loved, and lost thy lover;
when thou has raised thy children and thy grand children;
when thou has watched some of them die in thy arms;
when thou knows the grief of losing thy parents or thy brother or thy sister;
when thou has travelled long in this world and at last weary of it;
when thou tire of all things and at the very last seek from within
and bring to the outside what is inside thee:
then thou might become a monk.”

Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Posted: 14 Feb 2019 19:57
by Ahzoh
Salmoneus wrote:
02 Feb 2019 14:14
You've never heard of Ravenloft!?

Ugh, kids these days! Next you'll be saying you don't know about Dark Sun, or Spelljammer, or Planescape...


Ravenloft is/was the D&D setting for horror stories. Different 'Domains' have different horror flavours, reflecting their different 'Darklords'. A Darklord is someone who is considered morally beyond redemption; the Powers 'reward' the evil with Domains, in which the Darklord has great powers, but ultimately the Domain is designed as a sadistic prison for the Darklord, intended to torture them eternally. Domains can be destroyed if their Darklord is killed, or may split in two, or merge. In a period known as the Grand Conjunction, lots of Domains were moved to new locations.

Externally, of course, these changes are driven by marketing concerns. Within Ravenloft, however, they appear to be largely arbitrary.
I know of Ravenloft from novels my dad had involving the setting. My favorite is the Vampire of the Mists.