An Evolving World Theory of Dungeons & Dragons
|The Uncertainty Principle cover by Richard M. Powers.|
This morning I was reading the Gamma World introduction when an idea struck me: what if all the settings that TSR produced settings were simply points along the same timeline of a world that was repeatedly rising to the heights of space faring civilizations only to be consumed in a globe-spanning holocaust that sent it back to its prehistoric beginnings. In this way Gamma World, Greyhawk, Boot Hill, the Forgotten Realms, Eberron, and the rest would all be a glimpse into the long line of a single world.
Imagine for a moment how this affects something as ubiquitous as ruins in the desert. These long lost cities that appear like the skeletal remains of some poor cock-sucker who couldn't remember where the next watering hole was now have a history built into them. They're Greyhawk, Waterdeep, Chicago, and Dyvers. Then there are the artifacts and magic items that were once tied to a setting, like the Lucky Ring of the Wild Coast (Greyhawk Adventures pg. 73), which now can be dropped in without any changes to the name or lore surrounding the item. Instead they're items that have survived the destruction of the world like the treasures of pharaohs hidden deep in their tombs beneath the Egyptian deserts.
As someone who has no trouble blowing up a world because that's what the players want to do I really like the idea that these sort of world shattering events can happen and that the world still manages to survive and that the scattered remnants of the world can come back from the brink of extinction time and time again. Also, since I've been on a massive post-apocalyptic literature binge of late this runs right along with my personal tastes.
What do you think?