Sunday, December 20, 2015

Countries of my World

I'm sitting here, 12:45 am Sunday, staying awake with my roommate because there's a horse in my backyard. Yes, a horse. I'm having to stay up so that the police and/or owners can come deal with it.

**UPDATE** The horse's name is Hershey, we bonded over apples. One of the policemen was able to tie him up and asked me to hold onto him while he went go get the owner to come pick him up.

So in the meantime,I figured I'll start explaining parts of my world that I plan on using for RPGs and maybe eventually novels. (ha...maybe...). I plan on making this a semi-regular segment because I like showing off my creations. It's pretty much why I have a blog in the first place.

My first entry will be about the various kingdoms and nations that I've come up with so far: Irmin, my main setting; Aramante, an empire about to implode; and the River City League, various city-states which are the remnants of a long dead empire.

Kingdom of Irmin (er-MEEN): Long story short, Irmin is my main setting, the place I plan on having the majority of details done first and where my characters will interact with the most, either directly or indirectly. Back before most humans were creating nation-states, a group of humans wandered onto dwarven lands, attracted by the mineral and metal rich soil that has sustained the dwarves of the area for a few thousand years prior. The dwarves first made contact with these 'giants' and thankfully instead of going to war they proposed an experiment in multiculturalism. After a hard translation process they eventually started to learn about each other. The humans that would establish Irmin used many dwarven techniques involving city planning and government.

Now, after the last 600 years or so, Irmin has developed it's own language; a mixture of native tongue along with stylings of the dwarves (a very Germanic/Norse feel to it, names like Konrad and Anders). A government imitating dwarves with a regency council with a single king at the head, yet they use a dynastic system rather than a pseudo-democratic process of king making. Overall, they're only just over twice the size of New York City, but with an army that is one of the most disciplined and effective. Because of such, they've been able to repel expansionist emperors from Aramante for the past 100 years, but with more resources being used, the threat of another war draws near.

Aramante  (ar-a-MAHN-teh): This nation has served as both a possible threat and political, economical and at times a religious competitor to Irmin. I haven't fully fleshed this one out yet, but of what I have should suffice for at least a campaign or two. Aramante grew out of the old Italusi Empire, where it was once a large frontier filled with barbarous humans and non-human races. When the humans could finally get their act together and work as one, they slowly laid waste to many wild peoples; orcs, goblins, etc. They carried over the beginnings of the church that formed in Italus (then a shell of its former self) and with claiming help from The One and the Stewards (god-like figures who oversee Creation) they swept through the lands with a voracious and terrifying speed.

In modern times, the Aramantene Empire has conquered some 12 different cultures, both human and non-humans, each of which has shaped the massive state for better or worse. While in public they see themselves as champions for the Church of the One Light, behind closed doors decadence has caused many nobles to hold ritualistic orgies of old gods of lust and hedonism. The bureaucracy of the state has become saturated with corruption of money and power. The Emperor now has little care on what happens in his lands, so long as he has the richest foods in his belly, the prettiest maidens in his bed, and the finest luxuries of clothes and entertainment he could truly care less about what happened the next day.

River City League: While not a single country, this federation of multiple smaller city-states along the Fluminus River that at one point belonged to the greatest empire yet seen; The Italusi Empire. Three main cities are, of course Italus, now a fraction of its former glory but rising back due to the Church; Fiorni, where some of the best and most shrewd merchants are born and do business; and finally Vexia, who's Spartan existence has changed little since the empire's fall, keeping up with it's highly militaristic lifestyle and home to some of the greatest mercenaries.

If you haven't figured it out by now, every one of these has at least one or two historical counterparts and inspirations. I can't help it, I'm a history nerd as well as a fantasy and RPG one. I know my readers are smart enough to make the connections, but let's see if my readers can pick these apart some, maybe I got some things inconsistent. Now's your chance to correct me! But also, what other historical civilizations and cultures would make great fantasy nations in your ideas? Why would they be important or not? Comment below and let's get those creative juices flowing!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Why I Roleplay

Wow, I haven't updated much...well really at all. The holidays are way more demanding than I remember from last year. Or maybe I just have more responsibility? Well regardless I finally got something to write about now; a little bit of reason as to why I roleplay.

Well to begin, I have only done a handful of roleplaying in my two years of actual serious roleplaying. In this incredibly short time I've gone across the board on systems and themes; Pathfinder, DnD, Swashbucklers of the Seven Skies, Marvel RPG, Savage Worlds, World of Darkness, Iron Kingdoms and so on. While I have yet to be seriously into one over the other I have dabbled in enough to realize that there are a near endless amount of ways to escape this boring reality. With so many different choices, I can truly express various aspects of myself.

Okay, so quick background information about myself; I'm a 5'7" scrawny 22 year old from Small Town, USA. I don't have much in ways of muscle or athleticism, but in a fantasy world I can be the strong and righteous Paladin, defending the weak with my sword and shield. I consider myself decent with a computer but in an epic space saga I can be the greatest hacker in the sector, breaking through barriers in the evil empire's massive database. Finally I'm not exactly a ladies man, but I can seduce my way into and out of trouble with supernatural vampiric charisma and charm. 

I roleplay types and people that I want to be but due to limitations I can't be. I know, that's incredibly cliché, but many times, people can't express themselves unless they're doing so through another 'person' so to speak. Those who are normally shy and reclusive now have a way to open up to others who are doing just the same. Basically, I see it as a safe and open environment for people to just be themselves (while being someone else..if that makes sense). While I'm not exactly the type who is overly shy, my sociability, problem solving and teamwork skills all drastically improved when I was getting out more to roll some dice with friends. I got out of my shell when I was slaying goblins with my +1 longsword!

Finally, I like to entertain and the written word has been my preferred medium for quite some time. As someone who's major in college relies heavily on writing (damn you History classes), I had to learn how to write very quickly. And I realize I'm not master wordsmith, not by a long shot, but when I roleplay and especially when I'm the Gamemaster, my creativity and writing get a massive workout when I'm typing up characters for the upcoming battle or plotting how to creatively sneak around the guards in my way. I have to seriously work my mind if I'm going to both entertain my players and show off to my team mates, where else can I find such a fun and rewarding way to practice my skills?

I realize I'm rambling now, but get used to that from now on, at least until I can learn how to tidy up my thoughts at least. But what I'm trying to get at is, I roleplay because I use it to be my way to both interact with friends and soon-to-be-friends on a whole new and fun level, but also to help me build a repertoire of writing and prose. I can't ask for a better way to do so many amazing things in such a small, self contained package. If you haven't done anything in the roleplaying world you are seriously missing out, but I'd be happy to point you in the right direction if you want!

If you want to read more about the benefits of Roleplay in a tremendously better way, I suggest starting off with these two great sources, one from Lifehacker about its benefits and this one from Gnome Stew.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

My First Post

I feel like the first something is spectacular and can set a precedence for what's to follow; the first step in a big road trip, the first game in a football season, the first year of a new marriage. It should be dynamic and awe-inspiring, a fantastic start to an even better adventure.

This is the exception to that idea.

I fancy myself a writer, usually jokingly and maybe when a little bit inebriated. But somehow people think that the drivel I write has some merit to it. So I decided to give blogging a try. I want a creative repository and a way to just get what out what I want to say.

So, I decided this will be a mixture of writings and musings of various topics. Could be ramblings about fantasy settings (my favorite!) or me talking about the latest Tabletop RPGs (also amazing!) or maybe about writing homework for classes (eh...). Altogether, I want this blog to my voice to people about topics I feel passionate about, I can't always get out it out the way I want it and so starting this blog just seemed the right route to go. So please stick around and check me out, I promise I'll be great decent!