The world of Primas is a typical garden world, in a typical low-mass single-star system, in a typical spiral galaxy. It has one moon, clouds of water, and a starry sky. Salty oceans, sandy beaches, deserts, plains, forests, and frozen tundras. Untold varieties of animals eat, mate, and die all over its surface every minute of every 24 hour day of every 365 day year.
But this is an exciting time on Primas. A number of those animals have made an exciting leap recently. Permanent settlements are appearing for the first time. While these fledgeling civilizations are currently little more than collections of families struggling to feed themselves, they’ve made the first steps towards becoming something more than they could ever imagine. A monument-building, war-faring, world-exploring, bonafide civilization.
And who knows, perhaps one day, they’ll leave this typical little world behind.
Dawn of Civilizations is an experiment I cooked up based on a storium game I’ve been in for the past few months. In that game, “Pantheons” narrated by the wonderful Kana, the players were all gods struggling to build a planet in the face of an opposing pantheon of gods who wanted nothing more than to see their plans fail. This made for some brilliant world-building, and that was something I really wanted to emulate in this game. The difference being that in this game, each player controls a developing civilization on a world predefined as being similar to earth and there probably aren’t any gods.
What I mean by civilization could vary wildly depending on the kind of applications I get. If you want to play nomadic orc warriors, you can make that civilization and play it. If you want to be human farmers with a penchant for invention, you can make that. If you want to play your civilization as a single nation, or as many disparate tribes, you can do that too. I aim to be open to ideas in the spirit of building an interesting world and history.
That said, I would like to set a few ground rules.
-No magic. mostly because I don’t want to mess with figuring out exactly what constitutes magic and how it works. There are plenty of other interesting things you can do, let’s not go down this rabbit hole.
-No immortals. Related to the last rule, we’re mostly dealing with civilizations, not characters. The only exception would be if we get to a level of technology where it is feasible for a person to be immortal. In this case, this person would likely be a very important character in the game.
-No robotic civilizations. At least not until much later in the game. All starting civilizations should be organic.
-Seriously, feel free to make something weird. Just follow these three rules.
While the majority of the story will likely be told by the players, I will jump in every now and then to introduce events outside the influence of the civilizations in play. For example, if the orcs conquer a human city and abuse the local populace, I might make a rebellion challenge that player would have to complete, limiting their actions that turn. While I don’t want it to seem like I’m punishing players for doing interesting things, the goal of this game is to create an interesting world. So if I think a rebellion fits the story and it would be interesting, I would likely PM the player of the orcs suggesting a rebellion.
The world will also likely have other things in it, from civilizations controlled by me, to natural disasters, to particularly dangerous wildlife. These will make up the bulk of the challenges each scene, some targeted and some open to any civilization to work towards. I may have more challenge points than can be played in a scene. In this case, any unfinished challenges will be assumed to have had a weak outcome, unless otherwise stated.
-Your nature is your species/race. Briefly describe their physical characteristics on the card. Picture required.
-Your strength should be a defining characteristic of your civilization that makes it powerful. Feel free to make/modify one to fit your vision, just generally follow the format of mine. Feel free to add pictures if you want.
-Your Weakness should be a defining characteristic of your civilization that undermines it. Feel free to make/modify one to fit your vision, just generally follow the format of mine. Feel free to add pictures if you want.
-Your Goal should be what drives your people now. Don’t worry about the long-term. Your civilization’s goal can and likely will change over the course of the game.
-In your description, describe your civilization as they are at the beginning of the game. This should be a civilization with a couple of crops/at most 2 domesticated animals. The wheel is something they probably don’t have. Houses are likely made of some combination of sticks, mud, thatch, and hide. Fires are common, as are stone and wood tools. Metal working is not an option.
-Pictures are good. The more the better. That said, good writing is even better.
Here is a WIP rulebook google document.
Hosted and narrated by:
Devon Pancakes (ghinkhawara)
Scenes played: 1
License: Community License