I am really impressed with the turnout for this Carnival. I make it
forty-one forty-four posts (it seems I missed a few, including two of my own!) from twenty-one blogs. I think the weekly roundups were a good idea, I just have to collect them all and I’m mostly done.
This has been a very busy month for me, and honestly I stayed up way too late finishing my last post to be clever in writing a closing vignette. Pretend the old guy who greeted everyone at the beginning is musing on the broad and surprising nature of the posts seen this month, and musing what question to raise for the next one.
Because I plan to do this again. It was more work than I expected, but I had a great time.
Thanks for coming out, everyone.
Complete List of Carnival Posts
… at least as far as I know it.
I suppose alphabetical order of blog title is as fair as anything.
… and the sky full of dust
- Idea for a Campaign provides some background on The City where the various groups he has been describing (including the Church of Consumption, the Church of Fleeting Dreams, and the Church of the Fleeting Light — all of which have, I think, been linked to in my Links of the Week). This post provides some context for those religions, they certainly appear to fit.
Berin Kinsman’s Dire Blog
- RPG Blog Carnival: Fantastic Locations describes how to use abandoned and ruined places in world building.
Between are the Doors
- Gulldaw Amphibious Prison is used as a terribly (and terrible) high-security detention centre. Brick and mortar prison? A oubliette dug deep into the floor of a cavern? Those are for normal prisoners, this is a place that rescuers probably would want to ask just how badly they want to rescue their friend… and I’m guessing it’s not a very popular guard assignment. A wonderful (and nasty) example of why ‘fantastic’ doesn’t need to mean ‘I want to go there’.
- The University of Gothmagog presents a minimalist approach to location description that has enough color to be interesting and distinct, while leaving ample room for improvisation.
- Fantastic Locations & the Fantastic Things That Happen There explains how a place can be fantastic due to emotion and perception more than inherent properties of the place itself.
- Toronto’s PATH describes a subterranean semi-labyrinth (they aren’t trying to be confusing, and post maps so you can find your way, but it can be disorienting) that joins up a significant amount of downtown Toronto. This idea excites me; Vancouver has something like this, but it sounds much smaller than Toronto’s. I can easily see how this can be a source of inspiration for gamers, without the dangers of abandoned steam tunnels. I’m almost tempted to go to Toronto to check this out (and just realized — a GPS would be no use here). Exploring the tunnels, even well-lit, and finding the various exits (into large courtyards — nice image, Ameron) and landmarks and whatnot… fantastic location indeed.
- Weeleena’s Tea House reminds me somewhat of the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories in its sheer alienness-as-human-convention. I want to find out more about this place, but I think I almost don’t want to understand it. This place might be better suited to remain something of a mystery. I’m impressed.
Exchange of Realities
Ravyn is remarkably prolific and provided a number of thought-provoking articles, on top of her regular posts to Exchange of Realities. I’m not sure when, or even if, she sleeps.
- Fantastic Location Essentials identifies the things she expects from a fantastic location as opposed to just another place.
- Ravyn Freewrites: Location? Location! talks about how things and places become wonderful, the events and circumstances behind the fantastic.
- Impractical Applications (In the… Er, Corpus… of the Beast) outplays my Ghost Hills for weird, I think. I must admit that I love the description, “Some kind of demented Magic School Bus trip” (why yes, I do have kids, why do you ask?).
- Perfect Locations discusses the ideal form of each location and how to present it, along with considerations of how to vary from that ideal.
- Seeing the Light explores the use and description of light in setting a scene.
- Who’s There? talks about how some scenes and locations have little meaning without people present.
- Marring Perfection, describes taking a setting or location known to the players and changing it dramatically for greatest impact on the players.
- Impractical Applications (Variations on a Perfect Location) talks about how a the feel of and reaction to a place can be changed dramatically in more than one way merely by shifting a few details.
Game Knight Reviews
- What Makes a Location Fantastic favors a minimalist presentation to his players and to letting them bring forth the fantastic.
Hari Ragat Games
I’ve known Dariel Quiogue online for a long time now (in fact, my Challenge, Response, and Secret post from 2003 was inspired in part by an article he wrote sometime earlier) and his Hari Ragat setting fascinates me. I understand there’s a FATE version coming, which I find exciting.
- Fantastic Locations in the Jangalan Isles describes a selection of special places.
- Episode 18: Old Enough was a podcast that discussed (at length; I make it about 50 minutes of the 70-minute podcast) fantastic locations, including reminiscing about fantastic locations and incredible encounters from their own gaming past. I am particularly tickled that they never made it to the third topic planned, not because the third topic got dropped but because they just… never got there because they were spending so much time on this one.
Keith Davies — In My Campaign
I had intended, as a personal challenge, to have at least one topical post per day. This clearly didn’t quite come together for me, but I think I still had a respectable showing. Not counting the introductory post opening the Carnival, I had the following posts.
- I asked What is a Fantastic Location? and describe what I look for to answer that question.
- I forwarded a link I found of the Weirdest Cities People Actually Live In.
- A description of the Ghost Hills, the site of one of the more unfortunate events in the history of this part of my campaign.
- Fantastic Locations: Sources of Fantastic Elements identifies references I use for effects used to define and describe fantastic locations. I provide something of a review, if not a formal one, of a couple of the more useful books I use.
- Fantastic Locations: Places of Power briefly describes places of power (which often are fantastic locations) and includes semi-reviews of several more references I use for manifestations of power.
- Fantastic Locations: Resources for the Lands of Chaos gathers the various material I have in these references from the previous two posts, to illustrate the range and nature of the information present. That… was a lot of work, even just gathering it without integrating or tidying it. I’d still like to build a full reference set for all sorts of powers, or better yet set up an online repository of related ideas. Let me know if anyone’s interested, because this would be a very useful thing, I think.
- Fantastic Locations: On Holy Ground describes holy sites, one of the more common types of places of power. I like powerful holy sites to be very distinct from one another, well beyond what the hallow spell can do. Thankfully, I’ve got a fairly large (demonstrably so) set of resources to use in describing them. This post gives some indication of how I might actually apply the various traits and manifestations in describing a holy site.
- Fantastic Locations: Rime Tower, Part 1 — Inspiration was my last post on the topic (except weekly roundups) for a while. I talked earlier about the resources I use, and a bit about how I use them, but I wanted to demonstrate how I go about devising a new fantastic location. This post takes me from a blank sheet of paper to some initial ideas and direction for implementation (and a stack of other ideas to pursue later as they become relevant). To be honest, I didn’t know a place like this existed in my campaign, but I like where this is headed and suspect this may see use sometime soon.
- Fantastic Location: TV Tropes… that site seems to bend the laws of biology and time, and is a black hole to productivity. Go ahead, tell me it’s not a fantastic location!
- Fantastic Location: Rime Tower, Part 2 — Perspiration makes some decisions about what direction to go with this location and nails down some details.
- Fantastic Location: Rime Tower, Part 3 — Implementation has an actual entity definition for this location. There are still quite a few details missing (such as specifics about the various other entities this one would be related to and the mechanical elements) but they are probably just as well left until use (the other entities, to make sure they fit when used) or not truly important yet (the mechanics).
- RPG Carnival: The Glade of Sorrows describes a haunted wood. I like the style of Matt’s maps, and I like the style of this place.
- Agharta and the Hollow Earth is the original hollow earth, complete with miniature sun, alien Secret Masters, and host to conspiracies galore… and according to some people today, it is real.
- The Great Beyond — Surf’s Up! mixes the Silver Surfer into a fantasy world. A strange idea, but I see where David is coming from — mixing genres can provide some interesting results indeed.
Points of Light
David Guyll described some places in his Sundered World campaign and what he plans to do with them.
- Drafting a Sundered World describes his base ideas for the setting and how he plans to develop it (at a high level).
- Sundered World: The City by the Sun is the first post I was aware of in this series and led me to look for the others. Just because a sun god is dead doesn’t mean his followers are helpless.
- There are similar posts for Thunderspire and Acamar, the Corpse Star (though he doesn’t say much about the latter, since it’s intended to be something of a surprise for his players).
- Mega City One is the setting of Judge Dredd. Definitely a fantastic location by my standards, and I’d completely forgotten it. To be fair, though, it was somewhat over twenty years ago and only about three or four sessions before we moved to another game. I’m pretty sure I can’t capture it as well as Tonybro001 did.
Sea of Stars
- The Snowfall of Irasosia is literally a cool place, a ‘waterfall of magic snow’. Interesting, integrated with the world (drives an entire industry), and inexplicable. A good combination, and I enjoyed the post even though it came right after I’d spent two hours clearly my driveway of the first snowfall of the year.
- The World Beside is a short story about a fantastic location you visit without necessarily going elsewhere… but where you can still get lost forever.
The Black Campbell
- RPG Blog Carnival: Fantastic Locations explains how to choose locations that can be described in an evocative way, then provide your players with the tools needed to make the locations fantastic.
The Spirits of Eden
Dennis is working on a remarkably rich setting that I really want to find time to read and enjoy in full.
- The Vagarasi Dig Site is a very good example of the degree of detail Dennis goes to at times. The entire setting is unusually convincing and fantastic, so it is hardly surprising that a long-lost, buried city of forgotten artifacts is itself a wondrous place. The amount of supplementary information (items found, factions represented, people present) is even larger than the description of the site. I’d almost rather see the relationship map showing how everything interacts than a mere picture of the site… especially once I got to the plot lines and adventure ideas.
Erik provides us with a couple of fantastic locations.
- The Vulture-Men of Buzzard Gulch (because really, where else would you expect to find them?) describes a place evidently made special by those who live here, but there is a deeper secret that is not spoken of.
- The Sobbing-Stone of the Disappointed is a sad place inspired by a comment from his son on his parents exhibiting some romance. The comment was funny (I have kids too and have heard similar), and while the place Erik describes here isn’t funny, it is fantastic.
Wild Hunt Studios
- RPG Blog Carnival — Fantastic Locations is a small campaign setting my friend Raven threw together in the last couple of days (and got in just under the wire — it’s now 9:00 PM January 31 and I’m going to bed in a few minutes…). He hit Seventh Sanctum up for some location names, culled them, and put together something that looks different from the norm and that I’d like to learn more about.