Saturday, 27 May 2017

Terrae Vertebrae: A Summation

I rather think I have posted as much as I can adequately for now on the setting I called Terrae Vertebrae. It was perhaps my first attempt at such a thing; as such it is something of a loose sketch of influences; not only derivative but unpolished. It was possibly wise on my part to stick to tried and tested tropes in my first sessions as GM, but aspects of it seem a little shabby in retrospect.

I rather suspect I got a little worked up about making it all 'work'; that is, seem functional and sensical - no orc warrens within a days travel of a major stronghold full of troops. Not exactly adventure friendly and a little paralysing to consider.

Nonetheless, there are a few things that might stand a re-visitation or use elsewhere; not that are not only useful but pleasing.

The Giants and Half-Giants I like as a blend of influences; the willful semi-divine ids straight out of Tim Powers; the Atlantis as Iceland picture of vast ruins built for another race in another age; the opportunity to play a race twice the size of a man. All a little stronger and more resonant than the Caprines, the other house rules race.

Kapelleron has a wonderful through line in conception; if you ever want to play a Reconquista-Boer-Wild West-Mormon character, this is the place to be. It feels like Cormac McCarthy could do some pontificating on the whole business.

The Faith of the Eight is pretty robust, but does not perhaps stand out. The Heavenly Jury, meanwhile, has more potential.

The one entry in the canon that I think perhaps pleases me the most is the Land of Punth and its denizens; not only adventure friendly (all that wilderness, that hostile regime!) but the influences are a worthy blend of literary and pulp (Winston Smith rebels against the Ministry of Love inside the Tower of Babel by riding sandworms and fighting the Tharks!). The in-universe clash of Eurocentric Vertebreans against Near Orientalist-flavoured sword-and-planet folks is rather lovely in some ways. It almost seems worthy of a trans-dimensional setting as in False Machine's Great Fold.

Anyway, having reframed and cleaned up a lot of my old notes for this blog, it seems time to move on a little. I might come back to all this in time, but let this be a stopping point for now.

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