Behind the Curtain: Designing Gurutama

One of my friends has an obsession with Skype chat groups. Skype lets you add people into a chat so you get a group chat.

I think most people just use that and then recreate the same group everytime they want to talk with those folks.

My group of friends creates chat groups for specific topics and then revives the chat when we want to use it again.

We’ve got a group for discussing our ongoing D&D campaign, a group for RSVPing to D&D, a group for discussing Hackmaster, another for Crusader Kings 2, another for Overwatch, and one for discussing our ongoing collaborative effort to develop Gurutama as a fun campaign setting.

We’ve been typing in the Gurutama one a lot lately, talking about things like Continue reading

An Overview of Gurutama Part 12

D&D Races

Previous: An Overview of Gurutama Part 11

I lied! There was one more Gurutama Overview of Races post left.

Dawn of Worlds has a slightly different game definition of what a fantasy race is.

In D&D a fantasy race is any genetic group similar to humans in shape, intelligence, and power (no angels or demons).

In Dawn of Worlds a fantasy race is a construct for influencing the world.

A Dawn of Worlds race doesn’t even strictly need to be people. It could be something like a combination of computer programs.

What this means is that some of the typical fantasy races in D&D were not created in our Dawn of Worlds game.

Orcs, halflings, gnomes, gnolls (dog people), etc, were not created as official races in the Dawn of Worlds game that created Gurutama.

That doesn’t mean those races don’t exist in Gurutama!

All that means is that we decided the world’s history already had enough forces influencing it with the races we had created.

So what place do the other races have in Gurutama?

It depends on which race you’re asking about.

Halflings and gnomes exist in Western Hearthland, the dwarven continent.

The halflings and gnomes are also buddies with centaurs that live in that area.

Goblins (smaller versions of hobgoblins) live all over the place, but have a large concentration within the Turashtegal Jungle.

Orcs live all over the place too.

We’ve been discussing the placement of other races within Gurutama such as gnolls and bugbears, but nothing concrete has been decided yet.

My plan is to hammer out the timeline over my next few posts on Gurutama and then get into the specifics of other parts of the fantasy world.

I just wanted to let you all know that the other races were not left out. They were just not heavy-hitters in our Dawn of Worlds baseball game.

-Mister Ed

An Overview of Gurutama Part 9

The picture of a Hobgoblin from one of the D&D Monster Manuals.
The picture of a Hobgoblin from one of the D&D Monster Manuals.

Previous: An Overview of Gurutama Part 8

I’ll be covering the Hobgoblins of Gurutama next.

The Hobgoblins are the offspring of a dwarven curse cast at the beginning of the dwarven invasion of Najar.

The dwarves asked the Bwarlor people to assist in the invasion, but the Bwarlor humiliated the dwarven diplomats (Beard shaving!).

The dwarves, not to be outdone, cast a terrible curse upon the Bwarlor.

Every firstborn Bwalor human was taken away by a black mist that covered Bwolo Isle.

The curse was worse than that. For centuries after the black mist, every firstborn of the Bwarlor would be have the body of a dwarf instead of a human.

These dwarf children formed a community of second class citizens in Bwarlor culture. They called themselves the Bastards of the Book as the curse that affected them originated from the dwarves magical Book in Hearthland.

The Bastards shared a common hatred, but not for the Bwarlor that outcast them. They hated the dwarves that had cursed them initially.

Eventually a group of Bastards came together with the aim of violence against the dwarven community.

Unfortunately for them the dwarves were safe within the Metal Tier mountain range of Hearthland.

But the dwarves had friends…

The Bastards of the Book cobbled a fleet together and sailed against the elves at Shianosoth.

They attacked, pillaged, and raped the city.

The offspring of the mixed cursed human, dwarf, and elf blood formed Hobgoblin babies.

This was the darkness that afflicted the Halusho Forest that I wrote of earlier.

The Hobgoblins were a savage and violent race, matching their origins, until the Hykmans civilized them.

The Hobgoblins adapted to civilization and organized government quickly, but their violent ways never left them.

A few decades after joining the Hykmans the Hobgoblins revolted to form their own nation.

That’s about it for the Hobgoblins. They live in the northern half of the Halusho Forest and in the Mandible mountains along the northern coast of the Lower Maw. All the cities in that area are Hobgoblin cities.

-Mister Ed

Next: An Overview of Gurutama Part 10

An Overview of Gurutama Part 8

The elves of Gurutama live in the Lower Maw.
The elves of Gurutama live in the Lower Maw.

Previous: An Overview of Gurutama Part 7

The elves of Gurutama joined the dwarven invasion of Najar, but when their beachhead at Cyflenwi was captured, the elves abandoned the cause.

What happened to the elves after that?

A dark presence entered the Halusho Forest (more specifics on that later when I pick apart the timeline of Gurutama as a whole).

The darkness joined several of the “evil” races together. Hobgoblins, orcs, trolls, and giants all started ranging through the wood.

The elven cities of Prestounasi and Shianosoth were overrun.

The remaining elves retreated to their capital at Crodolan and hid behind the city’s magical defenses.

The elves feared the evil races, led by the Hobgoblins, would penetrate their defenses, so an escape route was built.

The elven constructed Freedom Road connected the western sea of the Lower Maw to the eastern canal.

Freedom Road was protected by the same magic that kept Crodolan safe.

The elves then built the Homestone Bridge over the Great Canal.

On the Bridge the elves placed a powerful enchantment, preventing any Hobgoblin from ever crossing.

The elves built a new city south of Hykma named Rotandean.

Rotandean developed a good relationship with Hykma and eventually joined the Hykman League.

The elves who stayed behind in Crodolan petitioned for aid against the Hobgoblin menace.

The Hykman League sent a stunning force that defeated the Hobgoblins at Crodolan, recaptured Prestounasi, and rebuilt the city as a western port for trading with Hearthland.

The Hobgoblins were amazed by the Hykmans and asked to join the League. Their request was swiftly granted.

The elves argued against this decision, but the humans in charge of the League insisted that building alliances was wiser than keeping enemies.

Some elves could not accept this judgement and split off to form a rebel faction known as the True Arrows.

After this the situation became quite complicated as more forces influenced the growing Hykman League from the outside and from within. I’ll talk more about that when I start posting the timeline of specific events in Gurutama.

Only three descriptions of races left to go. The Rana (Preservers in the Trimurti), the Grez (Destroyers in the Trimurti), and the Hobgoblins (an extra race created outside of the Trimurti theme).

-Mister Ed

Next: An Overview of Gurutama Part 9

An Overview of Gurutama Part 6

The continent of Gurutama that the dwarves originated in, Hearthland.
The continent of Gurutama that the dwarves originated in, Hearthland.

Previous: An Overview of Gurutama Part 5

Next in line for the “describe the races” theme I’ve got going on here are the earthy dwarves.

I was the player controlling the dwarves in the Dawn of Worlds game.

They started off in the mountains of the western continent, Hearthland.

The dwarves are ruled by a group of priests that interpret the Holy Book.

The dwarves believe in a cycle of rebirth and death for the world as a whole.

They bury themselves in the earth to survive the death and remerge after the rebirth to guide the world towards good and prosperity.

The Book is the guiding means for them, containing knowledge and predictions from the past on how to best guide the people of the new world.

When Navillus emerged to rule the Najar humans, the dwarves were quite upset.

Something from outside the world came in, which the Book was unable to predict. Furthermore the outside presence was malevolent, seeking to corrupt the people of the world instead of leading them towards the light.

The dwarves moved to attack the humans and defeat the Black Prince on his own ground. They sought for allies among the different races of the world.

Only the elves fell in with the alliance (more on elves to come later)

The dwarf attack succeeded and the Najar Empire was shattered, only beginning to rebuild itself near the end of the Dawn of Worlds game.

Navillus didn’t care though. He saw the dwarves only as new subjects.

The dwarves who stayed in Najar became corrupted and began to act separately from the dwarves in Hearthland.

The western dwarves have become isolationist since.

The empire dwarves had many revolts to deal with after claiming the Najar Empire.

The Empire soon fractured and the dwarven kings of Syluk have struggled to reclaim it for centuries.

And that would be the historical background of the dwarves in Gurutama.

Next up are the elves.

-Mister Ed

Next: An Overview of Gurutama Part 7