I really thought I would not need to design yet another area, but circumstances dictated otherwise. Simply put, I felt reluctant to have a player reach a location where everything took place outside. So, although unscheduled, I designed an area where a player would also learn more about the lore of the land ... a Sanctuary. (This week's screen shot.)
RELIGIOUS TEXTS (LORE)
As a Christian, writing about the lore or religion of the world is something I find quite difficult. Not because I don't have an imagination for it, but because I do not want to write anything that could be taken the wrong way for whatever reason, or do a creation story "injustice". That's all I am going to say on the matter, except that I do think "religion" in a game is an important aspect for any world that wants to become more than something just superficial. Think of Tolkien's world of "Arda" in "Lord of the Rings" and the depth of lore involved in his world design, and you should recognise that is what goes a long way to giving his world depth.
That is the premise I used when I wrote the "history" for Althéa. Even before I wrote the first story or designed my first dungeon, I had much of the lore written down and in place. A complete world map was also drawn up, even though the main thrust of the campaign as it currently stands was only to take place on one continent: In the north-west continent called Narborantra. I even have a version of the elf language that I use to help name the various places in my world with respect to the elvish names. E.g. Althéa is made from "alt" meaning "land" and "h(éa)" meaning world. So, we get the translation "world of land" from Althéa.
At the time I drew the world map, I also wrote the world history - and I also drew a second world map that showed how Althéa looked before a worldwide catastrophic event in its history known as the Debacle took place. The history written down served to explain what caused the Debacle and the events throughout all time, which included the coming of religions to Althéa. The bottom line: the religions of the world find their roots in this history of Althéa ... and not just from the perspective of what happened, but also from what was believed to have come to pass during that time. These are the "religious texts" I include in my campaign, written from the perspective of those who lived in that time ... and reflect beliefs and attitudes based upon "real" ways of thinking with respect to such. So, careful readers may notice logical arguments being posed around concepts not too dissimilar to our own world ... and not unlike the way Tolkien treated his own work.
However, I live in the age of computers, and while I have written a story about my world in book form, my main aim is to work such background for the world and campaign into the CRPG I am delivering to you in The Scroll for NWN2. And as the main thrust of any CRPG is more about action than cerebral study, these historical information dumps have to be handled in smaller packages than any normal book-reading may get away with. It is some of these parcels of lore/religious texts I have added this week. For those that have played The Scroll (module one), they take a similar format to those found in the Sanctuary of New Edgeton. The text themselves offer a deeper understanding behind the meaning to life in the world of Althéa, and careful readers will begin to see a deeper level of what drives characters in the world to do what they do, beyond the superficial.
I know many players will more than likely skip over these texts. However, I hope they are intriguing or challenging enough in their content to make the odd player or two sit back and think more about life, the universe and everything ... and not just of Althéa!
I am reaching a difficult point where I need to start bringing some of the plot lines together. At the moment, I have a number of plot lines (which the player may have followed in a number of ways), and I want to now make sure the combinations work. I also still have to finish the mega-dungeon, which is its own plot line, and a major one! I'll see what the days and weeks bring, and keep you updated.
|Religious Texts To Study|