Thursday, June 10, 2010

Question of the Day

I've got some thoughts on Imperishable Fame's dungeons I want to type up later tonight, but first I want to highlight a question from an earlier installment in the series.  (The comments have been super-awesome by the way.  Keep those tough questions and neat observations comings!)  Anyway, here's richard's question:
So I wonder; are your PIEs "modern?" making their own way in progressive, eschatological time?
My first reaction to this question was "Man, do I even know what the crap this means?" But I guess since I imagine a forward arrow of time, with the PCs making changes (improvements? that's up to them) to the campaign world, the answer is a tentative 'yes'. On the other hand I've got some ideas about tying the PCs to destiny where you take the destiny rules from  "Believe it or not, Fantasy has reality" (Dragon #40, August 1980) plus Pendragon style multi-generation rules to make destinies that can be fufilled even when you are killed by rats at level 1.

Maybe you've got some ideas you'd like to share in this regard, richard?


  1. I would say that your PIE characters are living in "mythic time". That is, the period of time before recorded history, during which the various myths of the Indo-European cultures take place.

    It is the time that Dyeus Pater overthrows his parents to form his own order, where Deiwos sets the sky in its course, Perkwunos uses his great club to slay armies of foes, and the twins race their horses against one another.

    You could make a point of how seemingly mundane events are eventually mythologized (Steven Saylors novel "Rome" is probably the best example of this); thus, the players either are or are witnesses to the underlying mundane events that eventually become the basis for the IE-derived myths we know today.

    That lets you drag in tropes from cultures from Scandinavia to India as the basis for your adventures or the background events of the campaign.

  2. It might be fun to throw in some non-linear time elements to bring home what Joseph says above. For example, run a short adventure with the PC's great-grandchildren that mythologizes an action of the PCs. Then go back and run that event with the PCs.

    The running of the original event with the PCs has a forgone conclusion already since the later event already mythologizes the original event. Done right, that doesn't have to take away the tension or even possibility of death (see Sorcerer & Sword" for an example of how that Destiny thing might be played out.)

  3. Jeff Rients said, "plus Pendragon style multi-generation rules to make destinies that can be fufilled even when you are killed by rats at level 1." Crap Jeff! There you go again! Now I just HAVE to go out and buy a copy of Pendragon, just to get this... ;-)

  4. Wow...I love that you cite that article from The Dragon. It was probably the most significant thing D&D lead me to read. I read that in either 7th or 8th grade and went out and bought Heroes with 1000 Faces.

    It was a bit beyond me at the time.

    Still, that article was when my games changed from typical early 80s/early teen games (I had played in more sophisticated briefly in east Texas but when we moved to Wyoming it was all peer group games). I had tried to be "sophisticated" before but that gave me a roadmap.

    One I could barely read and had I used it to drive from NY to LA I would have gone to Seattle but still a road map.

    It's my favorite article from the magazine to this day.

  5. Herb, I agree. That's the best article ever to appear in Dragon.

  6. Anonymous1:37 AM

    I think is question harkens back to your remark that although D&D is typically set in a post-apocalyptic setting, IF is, by design, not. He wanted to know whether an apocalypse would eventually happen in this world, if it would be within the lifetime of the PCs, and if they would have a chance to participate in, influence, or even cause the apocalypse itself.

    I had to read it a few times, too.