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Author Topic: Setting Stat-block  (Read 13348 times)
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« on: June 10, 2008, 03:51:58 PM »

Just an idea, but what would you guys say to add some kind of universal "stat block" to our campaign settings so it's easy to get an overview of some of the most important details (like Name (obviously), genre, major theme, tone, prevalence of magic, system, Interfering/non-interfering gods, human only or not and so on)?
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2008, 04:11:46 PM »

Yesyesyesyesyesyes!

I find things like this to be some of the most important considerations on whether or not I want to read a setting.  Without this most of the time I try to judge whether I want to bother based on the thread title.
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2008, 04:24:40 PM »

I think Ish tried doing this a while back, I may be wrong though... Maybe it was just for a contest or something.
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2008, 05:29:31 PM »

You mean something like this?

Quote


SETTING NAME
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Genre: Setting genre (sub-genre)
Major theme: Setting theme (specification)
Tone: Setting tone (adjustments)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Magic: Occcurrance (power level)
Character power level: Character power (restrictions)
Character races: List of allowed character races (sub-races)
Rules system: Setting rules system
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Religion: List of prevalent religions (patron deities)
Deities: Level of divine intervention
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2008, 06:02:26 PM »

Well, yeah, that looks quite nice. smile I reckon you put that together so kudos for that. Don't know whether the religion part is a bit obsolete; it's not like people who visit the site are going to get a lot of information out of that unless the setting creator uses D&D og Real-world gods.
Any other info anybody thinks should be added?
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2008, 06:18:11 PM »

Crippled Crow


Any other info anybody thinks should be added?

Possibly a section to list all relevant links.
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2008, 06:24:50 PM »

Crippled Crow


Well, yeah, that looks quite nice. smile I reckon you put that together so kudos for that. Don't know whether the religion part is a bit obsolete; it's not like people who visit the site are going to get a lot of information out of that unless the setting creator uses D&D og Real-world gods.
Any other info anybody thinks should be added?

No problem. smile

Regarding religions, I was thinking of listing the official name of the church (or religious sect) and the accompanying patron. For example: "Sacred Hammers (Moradin), Morninglord's Sept (Pelor), Nightshadow servants (Raven Queen), Moonlight shadow (Sehanine)".

Something more flavorful than "church of X, church of Y, church of Z". ;)

// Edit:
After all, it's "roman-catholic church" and not "church of Jesus". tongue
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2008, 06:27:44 PM »

I think this would be an awesome idea. Would be nice to have a little summary to look at before delving into the meat of the setting.
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2008, 08:30:17 PM »

A couple of years ago, we were really heavy into this "Core Ethos" template that tried to accomplish the same sorts of things you're after (albeit, in a little bit wordier way.)

I like where you're going with this. It's important for all writers to understand that no matter how great their work may be, they need to present their ideas logically and hook the reader quickly in order to be read. A little table of facts is an efficient way to accomplish both of those goals without spending a lot of words to do so, and I agree that it'll be useful.

But my heart was never with the Core Ethos questionnaire, and it will never be with this template, either. The reason is the same: I think that "one size fits all" is always a lie. The information that best sums up Setting A is not necessarily the information that best sums up Setting B, so any standardized group of categories is going to feel like a straitjacket to somebody. By all means, use them if you like them, but I'd fight hard against any sort of idea like this becoming somehow required.
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2008, 08:46:34 PM »

Well I don't want to straightjacket anyone, I really think it would be nice if people could be encouraged to provide some kind of summary.  I find a lot of the settings on this site are way too wrapped up in themselves, especially the ones that begin with long stretches of fiction (one short piece is okay).  I especially feel some authors forget that the rest of us don't have the same instinctual connection to the information they do and they just expect us to tease that information out.  Some of us are really bad a mind-reading.

And in the end I kinda look for keywords anyway.
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2008, 08:49:58 PM »

Well I think more a general template would be a basic summary giving others an outlook at key aspects. For me the most important ones would be things like setting genre (fantasy, steam punk, modern, etc) with no limit on what genre were available to choose from. If your setting is fantasy survivalist (which is what UR is) then nothing is stopping you from saying so.

I guess template isn't really a good word for it. Rather it is a list of answers to important questions (how magical is the setting, what genre is it, and so on). By no means should it be limited to one or two words. If you need a paragraph to summarize the magic level then do so.

Anyhow what I am trying to say is it is a summary to an overarching setting which helps draw people in and gives them a taste of it beforehand.
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2008, 09:02:56 PM »

SilvercatMoonpaw


Well I don't want to straightjacket anyone, I really think it would be nice if people could be encouraged to provide some kind of summary.  I find a lot of the settings on this site are way too wrapped up in themselves, especially the ones that begin with long stretches of fiction (one short piece is okay).  I especially feel some authors forget that the rest of us don't have the same instinctual connection to the information they do and they just expect us to tease that information out.  Some of us are really bad a mind-reading.
I agree with almost all of this, though I'd stop short of the more inflammatory language. I can't think of a single person writing here who couldn't stand to be more attentive to introductions, overviews, and the various other features of a work that convince people to read it and then prepare them to read it. Whether any given author does so by means of a summary table or by means of some other process or device, it certainly needs to be done.
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2008, 09:49:18 PM »

KISS (Keep it Stupid Simple)

---------------Your Settings Name------------------
Genre: (FIll in with Fantasy, Fantasy/Horror, SCI-FI, Western O.o?)
Rule System: DND X.X, GURPS, Custom, None...?
Quick Description: (LImited to maybe 4 to 5 sentences, and not ones that go on and on where you could just say, "Here be thy list of qualities: Strong, bold, amazingly awesome, etc... etc. etc." See this is now the beginning of sentence number two....
-----Power Levels-----
Magic: Low Middle High None
Characters: Die-a-lot, die some, never die


Those five things would tell you more than enough at a quick glance as to whether or not you'd use it. There might be some more general questions, but I think if you just kept it to a basic Genre, Rules, Quick Description you'd be more than good for an at-a-glance feel for what you're about to read.

I mean, if your group is dead set to only play DND 3.5, and you don't want to convert stuff from a setting built for GURPS 5e, why would you look at someones campaign built for that? I'm not saying one rule set is better than another however....
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« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2008, 06:13:32 AM »

Luminous Crayon

the more inflammatory language.

Which was that?
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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2008, 07:15:43 AM »

SilvercatMoonpaw


Luminous Crayon

the more inflammatory language.

Which was that?
Minor, and I'm certain it was unintentional. But since there've been threads in the past where, by your choice of words, you have ruffled feathers without really meaning to, I thought I'd point it out here. Spoilered so others can easily skip over and get back to their regularly-scheduled thread.

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