View Full Version : World Building System, a Homebrew

2012-08-26, 02:18 AM
I started this system with the intent that I would use it with my friends to design a world, and then would adapt that world to some system or other and play a game in it.

Notably, I chose to do things this way rather than using Dawn of Worlds (or similar widely available) not because I had any particular problem with Dawn of Worlds, but rather because I felt like making a new system. This system is also designed to be very minimalistic numerically.

Originally, we played it using poker chips, a deck of regular playing cards, and a dry erase board, but it would be reasonably easy to accomplish it with Google-Docs and forum rolls as well.

What I want to ask you, the Playground, is whether you think this system A: makes sense, and B: is playable, in aspects of understandability, enjoyability, and outcome.

Here is the outline, copied from Xmind's export feature:

World Builder

1. Setup

1.1 One person should draw a very basic landmass in the center of an editable map.

1.1.1 special requirements Assign a number of terrain 'zones'

1.1.2 Assumptions: Basic plants and animals exist as appropriate for the given terrain

1.2 Determine Magic type(s), Maximum technology level, and any other special requirements.

1.3 Each player is assigned tokens

1.3.1 Life

1.3.2 Culture

1.3.3 Land

1.3.4 Special

1.4 Determine play order of first round.

1.5 Following that same order, first forwards, then backwards, fill each terrain zone with a terrain type.

1.6 Begin first round

2. Round play

2.1 A round is assumed to be 1000 "world-years"

2.1.1 any effects in a round take place over the entirety of this time period.

2.2 Before the round starts:

2.2.1 Each player describes the natural progression of any active civilizations they have. Any civ currently existing (including those created in the last round) gains one advancement point

2.2.2 Determine a new play order, to prevent players from acting in a predictable order. Draw cards, go in order of number

2.3 During the round:

2.3.1 Players each take their turn in order. If a player saved some of his available uses for the turn, he may use them reactively (but only when his own creations are involved).

3. Turn Play

3.1 Each player may normally spend up to three tokens in a turn.

3.2 Active gods act on their owner's turn

3.3 Different actions have different costs

3.3.1 Given later on

3.4 A players turn is considered to end when they say it does. Even after spending their last token, they may have discussions to make with other players

3.5 Be considerate of one another, and give the documenter time to keep up with what you do

3.6 At end of turn, designate advancements for any of your civilizations, as appropriate.

4. Actions and Costs

4.1 Land (Green Tokens)

4.1.1 1 token Alter the basic terrain or climate of a single terrain zone Create significant feature Must be appropriate to the terrain zone where it is created (at time created)

4.1.2 2 tokens Alter the basic terrain of a terrain zone and any adjacent zone. Nearby zones must match each other, but not necessarily the original zone Add terrain zone

4.2 Life (Red Tokens)

4.2.1 1 token Add trait to any life form

See Also: Traits Create a sub-form Trade up to half of original's traits or knowledges for new ones Can do both, but cannot cross them (IE: cannot trade trait for knowledge or vice-versa)

4.2.2 2 Tokens Create basic life form Can be any category Has basic form, means of survival, etc. Receives 3 'traits' for free.

See Also: Traits

4.3 Culture (Blue Tokens)

4.3.1 1 token Gift life form with intelligence Receives 2 'knowledges' for free

See Also: Knowledges Grant additional 'knowledge' to life form

See Also: Knowledges Add 2 advancement points to civilization Improve a civilization's primary industry by one stage, or gain another primary industry Create subcivilization Must be adjacent to original Retains current advancement level of original, but does not benefit from future increases to that civilization

4.3.2 2 tokens Forge civilization

See Also: Civilizations Civilization begins with 0 advancement points Must declare a central location for a civilization Add 5 advancement points to single civilization

4.3.3 3 tokens Add 8 advancement points to civilization

4.4 Special (White Tokens)

4.4.1 1 token Gain an extra turn immediately Change up to five tokens you have for different non-special types Trade three tokens you have for a single special token Gain two non-special tokens of your choice Gain control of a single other player's civilization

See Also: Another player may gain control through a special token

4.4.2 2 tokens Create a god A god immediately can take any single-token Land, Life, or Culture action. On each player turn after the creation of the god, the god may take an additional such action A god may stockpile these actions, and need not specify which type he is stockpiling

4.4.3 3 tokens Take control of a god from another player

5. Traits, Knowledges

5.1 Traits

See Also: Receives 3 'traits' for free., Add trait to any life form

5.1.1 Traits represent exceptional physical characteristics of a species. Examples include but are not limited to: Flight Poison or venom Exceptional strength, size, or senses

5.1.2 By using up two trait slots, an intelligent creature can gain the 'exceptional intelligence' trait This trait grants an additional knowledge to that creature

5.2 Knowledges

See Also: Receives 2 'knowledges' for free, Grant additional 'knowledge' to life form

5.2.1 Knowledges represent the exceptional skills of an intelligent species Examples include but are not limited to: Specific type of magic Technological aptitude Innate connection to a specific existing god

6. Civilizations

See Also: Forge civilization

6.1 Every civilization by default belongs to the player who created it

6.1.1 They may give control to another player for free

6.1.2 Another player may gain control through a special token

See Also: Gain control of a single other player's civilization

6.2 Civilizations, when created must be comprised of a single primary intelligent species

6.3 Advancement points

6.3.1 0 Culture is just beginning. Members of the eventual civilzation generally work together, and the central location is well populated

6.3.2 1-4 The civilization has a well-designated capitol city, a primary (level 1) industry, and basic knowledge (level 0) of other industry

6.3.3 5-9 The civilzation is well-regarded (level 2) for its primary industry, and capable of doing other industry (level 1)

6.3.4 10-14 Primary industry level three, gain three secondary industries (must be related) at level 2 others level 1

6.3.5 Every additional 5 Primary industry improves by one level per 5, secondary 1 per 10, other industries 1 per 15

6.4 industry

6.4.1 Includes such things as magic, religion, technology, or production of resources

6.4.2 Levels of 2 or greater indicate exportable skill

6.4.3 Every other skill level is only relevant as a comparison

If you have any questions about it, please ask for clarification. They mean that something I wrote in could be better written.

List of known problems with the system:

Gods are overcentralizing. To have optimum performance, Players will always burn all their "Special" tokens in the first couple rounds of play giving birth to gods. Whether this is necessarily bad or simply a feature is still up in the air.