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[WIP] Worldbuilder RPG

SkyCaptainSkyCaptain Registered User regular
edited April 2012 in Critical Failures
Worldbuilder is a shared world building game, based on other similar games like Lords of Creation and Dawn of Worlds, but with my own take on the genre.

Worldbuilder (ver 0.4a)

Worldbuilder is a shared world building game, which can help a novice game master or novelist create a fantasy setting from scratch. The players take on the roles of primordial entities that use their powers to sculpt the world and shape civilization.

What do I need to play?
Worldbuilder requires only a few things: a large blank map, a ruler, two six sided dice, some scratch paper and a pencil. The game can also be played using a computer and any kind of drawing software. Worldbuilder works best if you use a large hex grid, but can still be played if all you have is a ruler. You also need a group of players, one of whom can be assigned role of the Narrator, to settle any arguments or conflicts about the rules, but the role is not required. In the absence of a Narrator, at any point the Primordials are in disagreement, flip a coin, roll a die, or take a vote to resolve the conflict.

Maps & Themes
The first task is to decide what kind of map to use and what the theme of the world will be. Worldbuilder has two map types: Standard and Tabula Rasa. Standard games begin with a map that has a coastline already drawn by the Narrator. Each hex inside the coastline defaults to the grasslands terrain and hexes outside the coastline default to ocean. Tabula Rasa means "blank slate". The world is completely barren and devoid of any features or life instead of beginning with a coastline. This type of game can take the longest, because the Primordials are required to sculpt every hex to give shape to the world. This includes raising the land above sea level or deep gulfs between the continents and filling it with water for the oceans and seas.

Theme is a little harder to pin down, so Worldbuilder only provides the tools for two themes: Mundane and Fantasy. Mundane games do not allow the use of Sculpt Climate (magical), Sculpt Terrain (magical), Advance Civilization (Magic), and any Wonder which increases Magic. Fantasy themed games allow the use of all actions.

The Primordials
Each player takes on the role of a primordial entity, choosing an element and an alignment to represent their basic aspects. The combination of the chosen element and alignments helps to give shape to the Primordial and their role in the creation of the world.

Element - Choose one of the following elements: Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Wood, or Ice.

Alignment - Choose one of the following alignments as the Major Axis: Law, Good, Neutral, Evil, Chaos. Choose from them again to determine the Minor Axis.

Order of Play
The game is divided into three segments: The Dawn of Creation, the First Age, and the Second Age. Additional ages can be played if the Narrator or players want a more mature world with a rich history or they're just having too much fun running kingdoms and deciding the fate of entire races. The ages are divided into a number of rounds and during each round, the players take turn spending Power to use various actions on the world and creatures living on it. These actions range from shaping the land, raising mountains, trenching rivers, or creating entire races and commanding them to build far reaching civilizations. Each age must last a minimum of ten rounds, though a Tabula Rasa game or large maps require a longer Dawn of Creation age. At the end of each round after ten rounds, the players vote to move on to the next age. The vote does not need to be unanimous, just a majority. In the event of a tie, the player with the most Power decides if the age advances.

The Dawn of Creation - The dawn of creation represents the birth of the world and its shaping. During this age, each round represents roughly a thousand years and shaping the world is as easy as molding putty. However, the creation of intelligent life is difficult and time consuming and fraught with peril as the land itself is warped and twisted.

The First Age - The First Age is the dawn of sentient life and reason. Each round during the First Age is approximately one hundred years. During this age many civilizations may rise and fall and the wonders of the world are often built. The land and climate can still be altered, but it becomes much more difficult as the world has settled into a more enduring shape.

The Second Age - The Second Age represents the height of civilization and society. The Primordials care more about manipulating the people and shaping society than sculpting the world. Each round represents about a decade. Great heroes and leaders arise from the populace and lead their people in war, exploration, diplomacy, faith and more.

Starting Power - Each player begins the game with 2d6 + 8 Power.

Initiative - The order of play is determined by comparing Power totals. The player with the highest Power has the option of going first, but they may choose to go last instead. Doing so is a gamble, but sometimes it's better to conserve your power until you know how your opponents have spent their Power. The round continues to the player with the next highest Power total until all players have acted. There is no limit on the number of actions a player can perform, as long as they have Power available.

Action List

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