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Thread: New Cosmology

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    New Cosmology

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drdd/20070926a

    Here is a new article on D&D cosmology for 4e by Rich Baker, and it looks like the Birthright cosmology lives on. This new material looks much more like the BR setting material than the old wheel of whatnot.

    Its not strait out of Bloodspawn, but it is awfully familiar.

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    Ehrshegh of Spelling Thelandrin's Avatar
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    Well, the article was written by Rich Baker, of BR fame.

    I'm not too sure about the Astral Sea idea or the fusion of the elemental planes into one maelstrom plane, but I've always been a proponent of trying something out before I hate it.

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Yeah, its the other two, the Feywild and the Shadowfell that are so familiar. The others are easily ignored, or made remote and less significant and you pretty much have Birthright.

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    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    I wonder if they are going for a "different game world/different cosmology" approach? The cosmology of Eberron, for example, is radically different to the core Great Wheel system and is also integral to that campaign world. The Rich Baker-revised Forgotten Realms' cosmology was also different to what we were previously familiar with. Perhaps this is a new "generic" cosmology, and any new campaign settings will have well-considered (dare I wish it!?) cosmologies that support the conceits and themes of each particular setting.

    P.S. Hi again!
    John 'Trithemius' Machin
    The Other John From Dunedin (now in Canberra)
    "Power performs the Miracle." - Johannes Trithemius

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trithemius View Post
    Perhaps this is a new "generic" cosmology, and any new campaign settings will have well-considered (dare I wish it!?) cosmologies that support the conceits and themes of each particular setting.
    We can but hope. I like the idea of a primal chaos approach to the elemental planes - where powerful beings can create localised conditions, or even tear out a piece to form a demi-plane. Fighting an elemental who can 'change state' to adapt to the parties strengths and weaknesses is an interesting idea and would give it an interesting take on life and suchlike - akin to Diane Duane's tale of five elementals.

    I'm not sure if that is where they are going from the brief look I got, but I'll admit that I ran very few adventures in the inner planes simply because of how unforgiving they are (Negative quasi elemental plane anyone?). A planar system that is not playable is pointless.

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    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Also check out his blog on the subject:


    http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread...5#post13926345

    Specifically:

    Here's one of the really cool features of the new cosmology that isn't explicitly called out in the article: Each world has its own set of astral dominions. You can make up as many celestial courts or reeking hells as you need to support your pantheon. So, for example, just about all of the godly planes listed in Forgotten Realms "Great Tree" cosmology can fit right in, no shoehorning necessary. Customize your own pantheons, and you can create each outer plane you need. I think it's good if some planes appear in every world's cosmology (the Nine Hells spring to mind), but there's no reason they have to. The constraints imposed by the Great Wheel aren't tying our hands anymore (but if you really really like the Great Wheel, well, no reason you can't have each of those planes as the astral dominions for your own campaign).
    So all of the worlds are not "defaultly" tied to each other anymore. Fits with those who feel that setting slike Birthright and dark Sun are actually "separated" from the rest.
    Duane Eggert

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Comments I have read suggest that they will avoid "well-considered cosmologies that support the conceits and themes of each particular setting." They will instead have a very open and flexible core cosmology, so that people familiar with the core will be able to use the specific by adding detail, which should support the campaign, and thus be different from other campaigns, but all will share the common precepts of the core. The reason for this is that doing stuff that is too campaign specific reduces broad appeal. Too much campaign specific detail creates too steep a learning curve. I can attest to this problem having new players in BR. One recently quit because he didn't see why he should bother learning new setting stuff when vanilla works fine for him. If there were not a shortage of players, I might shrug it off and recruit anew, but its been uphill recruiting. It seems that collectable card games and minatures are the most popular games at the game store.

    Given these constraints, I think the best I will hope for is that the cosmology is mostly a framework that is easy to adapt to a specific campaign, so that everything you learn in the core rules is true, and as little as possible of that information restricts the development of a good cosmology that supports the campaign.

    That's a tall order, but if Rich Baker is writing some of the cosmology, it appears to be BR friendly.

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    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    Given these constraints, I think the best I will hope for is that the cosmology is mostly a framework that is easy to adapt to a specific campaign, so that everything you learn in the core rules is true, and as little as possible of that information restricts the development of a good cosmology that supports the campaign.
    I would be very surprised if Eberron was significantly changed to reflect this new assumed design philosophy.

    However, to get back to BR; presumably the "Feywild" and the "Shadowfell" are the same place?
    John 'Trithemius' Machin
    The Other John From Dunedin (now in Canberra)
    "Power performs the Miracle." - Johannes Trithemius

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Everything is pretty formative so far. For my purposes, I've always seen the Farie World and the Shadow World as two aspects of the Spirit World, but occupying different places. Depending on how you got to the Shadow World you might see pixies and satyrs, or you might see zombies and spectres. In the new cosmology, I guess that would just tell me whether I reference 4.0 players to the Feywild or Shadowfell.

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