Dawn of Worlds is an interesting game my friends and I have played a few times. The rules can be found at the website of Legends, the creator, if you’re interested.
Most games have a set goal to win the game. Having all the money in Monopoly, having the highest score in Scrabble, getting all your pawns home in Sorry, etc.
Dawn of Worlds is… different.
The game was designed not to be competitive or even really to be fun. The goal of the game is to create a fantasy world as a setting for a novel or a roleplaying campaign world.
My friends and I used this to create the world for our next campaign.
How does the game work? It’s really simply actually.
Each turn you get 2d6 points to spend on the world. There are ways to get bonus points as well.
The points are used to add things to the world or to influence already existing entities in the world. I can use my points to add a mountain range. On my next turn I could also use my points to infest the mountain range with dragons.
Everyone else is using their points to create or change things in the world as well.
The game has three ages. Different actions cost different amounts during the different ages.
The first age makes creating terrain features cheap and makes other actions expensive. You’re supposed to be building the physical world at this point.
The second age makes creating races and cities cheap. You build up a civilization during this age.
The third age makes changing races and cities cheap. The game encourages conflict between the players at this point.
The third age is probably the most interesting due to the conflict between parts, but this conflict is different than other games.
In Scrabble I fight with my opponent for the triple word score bonuses at the edge of the board.
In Dawn of Worlds, the conflicts aren’t really about having my civilization “win.” I just want a more interesting story for the game.
I found myself most often in conflict with one of my buddies whose internet name is Throgg. He developed a civilization of humans while I developed dwarves.
Throughout the whole game the humans and the dwarves fought. In the end neither side won the war, it was still ongoing when we ended the game.
Why would we end the game with the conflict unresolved?
Because that was the point! Now when we play D&D within the world there are issues threatening the peace and security of the world. Issues that our characters can attempt to solve, avoid, or survive.
Will our characters try to end the conflict between the dwarves and humans? Will they try to repel the undead scourge coming out of the north? Will they journey into the southern jungles looking for the first civilizations of the bird people?
We could eventually do all these things over a series of different campaigns. But Dawn of Worlds allowed us to create a world together with a history that we all know and had some impact on.
Gurutama is the name of the world we created. I think we’ll enjoy playing in Gurutama much more than in any other campaign world because it’ll no longer be a world where only the DM has the full picture. Now everyone will have some input.
I plan on posting more about Gurutama for awhile. The basics of the world were fleshed out in our playing of Dawn of Worlds, but there are many specifics to still fill in. I’m going to use this blog as a tool for writing down those specifics and getting input from the general public as well if there is any input to give.
That’s all for now!