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Making Cultures: Start of a long series

Mar. 27th, 2007 | 12:17 pm


Over the last few years, I have run into quite a number of discussions about how to design cultures for fantasy games. To me the most interesting of these have centered on questions like, “How do you design a fantasy culture so that it isn’t Eurocentric?” And I’ve posted bits and pieces of a personal response to such things, here and there, especially on The Forge but also in other places. I keep pushing around this notion that someday I’m really going to lay it all out in one place, clearly, from beginning to end.

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Making Cultures: Chapter 1

Mar. 27th, 2007 | 12:26 pm

Chapter 1. First Principles: Sacred and Profane

I notice that religion is relatively often added late to fantasy worlds. It also seems to have consistent institutional and mythological forms: priests with temples dedicated to particular gods in a pantheon. Sometimes there is a significant attempt to integrate these into the game-world; more often, they seem tacked-on, something primarily the concern of religious professionals (clerics, druids, etc.).

All of this depends on a number of fundamental assumptions that are stunningly difficult for most modern Westerners to get around. And because these assumptions are so deep, and because they in some sense run right to the core of what we think culture is in the first place, I think the best way to start building something new and different is to challenge those assumptions.


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Making Cultures: Chapter 2

Mar. 27th, 2007 | 12:31 pm

Chapter 2. Beginnings: Identity and the Sacred

Master Narratives


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Mar. 27th, 2007 | 02:11 pm

I just wanted to put this link here up, primarily for my reference. It's a thread from the Forge a couple years ago where I wrote a lot about how to run a mystery. Feel free to discuss it here, certainly, but I just wanted to have it somewhere I'd know where to find it.

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