Posts belonging to Category History

Design Questions for Ruins

Yesterday, I talked about how nifty ruins were as a feature of a setting. But what does it take to make a good ruin? I’ve already talked about building, aging and abandoning cities in general, and these serve as a pretty good stopping off point. On the other hand, it might be that we’re going [...]

Why Ruins?

Ruins are awesome. We’re all in agreement, right? We go tourist on them (at least, until some fool starts vandalizing the plinths or screwing under the altars or attempting to Life Imitates Action Movie through them, and then we can only admire them from a distance, not that it keeps us from trying), we write [...]

Reprise: The Six Year Old Child Principle of War and International Relations

This was originally an RPG Blog Carnival riff from March 13, 2009, posted as a follow-up to a post on who might be backing a war.
To understand most of the causes of war, you must understand one fact: Countries, kingdoms and the various other entities of governance will, as a unit, behave [...]

Abandoning a City

This week, we’ve already talked about young cities and older cities, so let’s move on to the next common spec-fic city: the abandoned, most often ruined, city. After all, abandoned cities give all the architecture without any of the potentially intimidating politics (though if you can organically slip politics into an abandoned/ruined city somehow, I [...]

Aging a City

Yesterday, I talked about getting an overall visual appearance for young cities. Let’s face it, though, everything ages—and cities have a lot of time to age and a lot of factors to age them with. Think about these things:
Has it been changing hands? I’m not just talking about another group of entirely different people riding [...]

Constructing New Timelines

Sometimes, we find ourselves needing a new course of events. It might be for a counterfactual exercise, a chance to use new people in a pre-existing world (or to replay the same world with the same people but different characters), a way of answering somebody’s what-if, an alternate universe the characters have figured out how [...]

Things You Might Want To Know When Mediating a Feud

Two sides, both alike in… something, anyway… is an automatic recipe for drama: just ask Shakespeare! Between the inconveniences they cause and the general waste of life and potential they represent, blood feuds are a prime “problem” in a setting for protagonists to find themselves fixing. But there’s a lot to take into account when [...]

Points of Resonance

Yesterday, I talked about the importance of getting places to resonate with the people in a world and thus through them with the audience, even before anyone actually sets foot there, and talked about what sorts of factors might give the places that resonance. The next step, then, is to figure out what sorts of [...]

A Resonance of Place

One of the things I’ve always loved about a good world-building is a sense of place: the idea that after a little while, hearing a place name alone will bring in all the echoes of what the place actually means to the characters. It’s important, particularly in a narrative that bounces about between cities and [...]

From Whence Warriors?

One thing often not covered in discussions of warrior cultures (or in some cases, only covered in passing) is where they came from. After all, cultures with complex ideas about where the warrior stands in them and what constitutes a warrior don’t just sprout fully formed from a field full of dragons’ teeth—for one thing, [...]