Friday, July 29, 2011
Dawn of Worlds
So to start my new home campaign I’ve decided to try out Dawn of Worlds. For those of you who don’t know, Dawn of Worlds is a fantasy-based world generator game. The game was designed by Legends, a group of rouge game designers from clanwebsite.org. I know very little about the designers but I’ve heard rumors that they are working on a new version of the game but the original version that released in 2005 is free for download. Feel free to visit their website and download the pdf of Dawn of Worlds at your leisure. In the Game, the group leader draws up a blank map of a world. Then each player in turn order begins to add to the world to create a unique setting for whatever game you may be playing. The game is not rooted in any one system of role-play. In fact, any fantasy game from D&D, World of Darkness, and the Dresden Files could combine this game to its set-up.
I think this game is amazing. It allows my players and I to equally participate in the development of our own fantasy world. Players can feed off each other’s ideas and react to changes in the environment to create a rich history of a fantasy epic perfectly tailored to our desires. My hope is that my experience with Dawn of Worlds will inspire you, the reader, to at least check it out, browse over it, and maybe give it a whirl.
For my first session we were missing a few players sadly but I felt like we had to get the ball rolling. Even though this was my first time running/playing Dawn of Worlds and I knew that it was going to take a long time to play. The game is divided into 3 ages; Creation, Population, and Civilization. So I tried to time it out so that we could finish at least one age per session. At a rate of one session per week, then world creation should be done by week 3 and we could start playing D&D in our custom world by week 4. Sence we had our first session this week, I want to share with ya’ll how our world is turning out to be so far. During game play, we each decided to take on the role of a deity of our own design. I had no idea what kind of god I would turn out to be but it is really interesting to see the dynamics that build between the players and the world itself.
The Briefest History of Astra
Years 0-5,000 of the 1st Age
The World of Astra was founded by Four gods of Creation. Rekoligo (Josh) the gatherer, he preferred to be inspired by creation and manipulate and make it beautiful and grand. Far-Mor (HumorousEndeavors) the Never Sleeping Frost god, he forges mountains and breaths a cold wind that covers the land in Ice. Dra (Ryan) the Dragon god, he erupts volcanoes and covers the land in flame while his dragons roam the skies of Astra unchallenged. Khauzdul (Scott Farspell) the Dwarf god, he raised the highest mountains and forged the strongest of races, his burly Dwarves who seek honor in a hard day’s labor.
In the first millennia of the first age, Far-Mor began to raise mountains in the north and covered the land with his Frost Winds creating the Frost Lands. Rekoligo took the Frost Winds and created Hiber, an angelic being who embodies the Season of Winter. The others slumbered.
In the 2nd millennia, Far-Mor Raised the High Top Mountains and continued to spread his Frost Winds. Dra began on an island in the far East by creating the Fire Dragons, a race of dragons whose bodies are engulfed in flame. He also created a massive volcano that would rival the High Top Mountains in size. But Khauzdul raised the largest single mountain ever seen in the middle of the Frost Lands, the Dawn Forge Mountain. While Rekoligo sent his servant Hiber to visit the Fire Dragons, which he befriended them and brought some back to the Frost Lands where the cold doused their flames, turning them into Stone Dragons
In the 3rd Millenia, Far-Mor created the frozen lake of Rym between the High Tops and the Dawn Forge, in honor his kinship with Khauzdul. Dra covered his island of Dragons in fire and called it the Burning Lands. While, Rekoligo created the beautiful Hiber-Mor Forest on the northern coast of the frost lands. And Khauzdul created the Dwarves and placed them in the Dawn Forge Mountains.
By the 4th Millenia, Rekoligo built the great Vaerym City for the Dwarves of the Dawn Forge Mountains and commanded Hider to anoint the Stone Dragons as the guardians of the Frost Lands. Far-Mor Continued to spread the Frost Winds across the land. While Khauzdul raised the Hiber Rift mountain range to protect his Dwarves, Dra created the Elm of Ages, a giant tree which emanates life extending magic.
The 5th age begins with Rekoligo’s Great Forest which sprang up around the Elm of Ages. He also created Willow the tree Ent, guardian of the Great Forest. Far-Mor created a son from rock and ice which he named Roc-Mor the stone giant. Dra continued to scotch the Burning Lands and add to the Great Forest, while Khauldul fell back into slumber.
5000 years of History in one 3 hour session. I had a ton of fun and I can’t wait to play again next week. I’m curious to see how some of the elements in our game will translate to D&D but so far the themes of Astra has not strayed too far from traditional fantasy. The best part about the creation process isn’t the creation itself but the story that develops. The gods, creatures and even the land begins to take on personalities of their own and I found myself being inspired by the other players as the game progressed. My only criticisms are that it does take a long time to play and some rules are still a little vague. I was hoping we would be done with the first age this week but it is going to take at least one more 3 hour session.
Next Week we will start in the year 5000.
Until next time, keep playing.